Northwest Day 6: Olympic National Park
Saturday, July 26, 2014
We decided to stay in the hotel for two nights, so we didn’t have to pack this morning. We had a simple breakfast from our camping supplies and headed up the Hurricane Ridge entrance to Olympic National Park. The visitor center at Hurricane Ridge is typical of National park visitor centers: picturesque, well-managed, and staffed with rangers who know what to recommend to whom.
A 1.5 mile one-way hike to Hurricane Hill was recommended to us. It is a popular hike judging from the problem we had getting a parking space at the trailhead. The path was mostly paved (a bit of a surprise) and was quite sunny. We were expecting a somewhat more forested route. Along the way, numerous wildflowers were in bloom; this is definitely the right time of the year to visit. After considerable climbing, we were rewarded with a panoramic view of much of the Olympic peninsula, with clouds only to the north in the direction of Victoria, BC.
We stopped for lunch at a picnic area near the trailhead, then drove down the hill and to the west to Lake Crescent, where there was another (shorter) trail leading to a waterfall. Marymere Falls was small but reminiscent of some of the smaller waterfalls we saw last year in Iceland.
We made a short stop at the Lake Crescent Lodge for refreshments before heading back.
The lodge is built in the classic national park style, with lots of exposed timbers, craftsman architecture, and such. It’s a little smaller than most I have been to, but seems like a very nice place.
After returning to our hotel in Sequim, we checked in with Blondie’s Plate where we ate yesterday but they didn’t have tables available at any convenient times. We opted instead for a chain restaurant, the Black Bear Diner. Despite ordering their “smaller” plates, we got enormous portions of mediocre food, in many cases with a thick coating of gravy. Quite a contrast.
Mileage today: 128 miles
This article is part of a series about our recent driving vacation to the Pacific Northwest. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.