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Northwest Trip Recap Photos 2/3

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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By the time we got through customs, ate dinner, and checked into our hotel in Port Angeles, it was time for bed. I will say that the hotel choices in Port Angeles are limited so you may want to look into the B&B options. Although he only had a couple of hours sleep, Marcus got up early with me (thanks, Honey!). I really wanted to be on Hurricane Ridge closer to sunrise, but the sun was coming up SUPER early. It's a 17 mile drive into Olympic National Park from Port Angeles, and I think we got up to the visitor center around 7. After taking one of the shorter walks close to the visitor center, we drove to the end of the road and started the trek to the top of the hill.
Northwest Trip Recap Photos 2/3Northwest Trip Recap Photos 2/3

The trip to the top of Hurricane Hill is an absolute must-see and one of our favorite parts of the whole trip. The trail climbs about 650 feet from the parking and can be steep, but it's worth the trouble. At that time of morning, there were very few people on the trail, and we could really enjoy the wildlife and stupendous views. When you get to the top, you can enjoy the views in every direction, looking down to Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca or inland across the tops of the Olympic Mountains. The juxtaposition of colorful wildflowers and melting snow is spectacular, and we saw several marmots. Do remember to take water, sunscreen, and a sun hat as the trail is mostly exposed. We got sunburned on our whale watching trip and spent the rest of the trip peeling.

Northwest Trip Recap Photos 2/3

Northwest Trip Recap Photos 2/3

After leaving Hurricane Ridge, we drove west past the beautifully blue Lake Crescent and checked into our room in Forks for two nights. Forks has a few choices for lodging and food (try Pacific Pizza) and is an easy drive to the places we wanted to visit. One of those places was the Hoh Rainforest where we took one of the easy walks near the visitor center. The moss-covered trees are HUGE, and we had a run-in with a spunky squirrel and elk right on the trail. One of the rangers eventually had to chase the elk off so that the visitors could use the trail. We also hiked out to the waterfall at Sol Duc Hot Springs.

Northwest Trip Recap Photos 2/3

The Olympic National Park isn't huge (at least not the parts that are easily accessible), and you can hit most of the highlights in just a few days or stay longer and revel in the beauty of nature. Enjoy the show!

 

8/7/2008 11:37:08 AM
I'm assuming you weren't really THAT close to the little squirrel and that your camera can just do amazing things, but that's really cool. I spent hours trying to get a really close up shot like this of the chipmunks in Sequoia and Yosemite because they would come right up to you, but to no avail. That picture is adorable, and I really want to go hug "Bambi" in that other picture! :)
Megan M.
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