Olympic National Park. Almost a million acres of preserved wilderness, old-growth temperate rain forests, glacier capped mountains and glacier carved lakes, wild rivers, the longest undeveloped coast in the contiguous United States. Nearby Sequim, in the rain shadow of the Olympics. Self proclaimed “Lavender Capital of North America.” All within 3 hours of Seattle. Can you see why this is one of my favorite road trips?
The itinerary doesn’t change much from year to year. It doesn’t have to. It’s got everything. Here’s how this year’s trip played out.
Day 1 Head to the Olympic Peninsula to enjoy one of the largest celebrations of all things lavender in the country, the Sequim Lavender Festival. Visit the farms and breathe deeply.
(And as you read this be sure to pronounce Sequim as one syllable, “Sqwim,” or we will know you are not a Washingtonian.)
Navigate the Street Fair and support the local economy…
Spend the night somewhere deep in Olympic National Park and breathe in the fragrance of dense forest and campfire.
Day 2 – Wake up and smell the coffee and drink the same slowly. Move on to Hurricane Ridge, a major high point in the Park (literally and figuratively) where on a clear day you can see forever into the Olympics. Even if it’s not a perfectly clear day, you can still enjoy the mountains from behind the mysterious clouds and fog flowing around you.
Continue down the road to beautiful Lake Crescent
Stop by Lake Crescent Lodge where Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed in 1937 before he signed the bill that created Olympic National Park in 1938.
Unless you are staying here continue on to Sol Duc and set up camp at the RV park and welcome your friendly neighbors, this mama deer with her two fawns..
Traverse the easy hike to one of the most photographed views in the Park..
The reward for your effort…. beautiful Sol Duc Falls.
After a quiet dinner at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort (yes, there is a nice restaurant and wonderful hot springs you can soak in), walk back to the camper and let the falling rain put you to sleep.. we are after all in rain forest country..
Day 3 Sleep in while hubby catches trout in the Sol Duc River; afterwards break camp and head west towards the rugged Washington Coast at Ruby Beach.
Pick up a souvenir… there are plenty of smooth rocks to go around….
Stop by Lake Quinault deep in the rain forest for a rest…
then continue on to spend the night at Ocean Shores..
Day 4 Walk on the beach in the morning and then head towards home …. and plan to do it all again next year, maybe even remembering to book ahead for the coveted lodges….