At the Feet of the Gods in Olympic National Park

Hoh Rainforest

The landscape of the Pacific Northwest is immense, rugged, and powerful. Thundering tides jar and sculpt the rocky coast, massive snowy peaks thrust upwards to the heavens, and everything in between is shrouded under the canopy of some of the world’s largest trees. Our first introduction to this breathtaking ecosystem (three separate ecosystems to be more accurate) was Olympic National Park. A scenic three hours drive from Seattle, the visitor center in Port Angeles can get you all set up with permits, advice, and current conditions.

The first leg of our backpack would begin in the coastal region entering at the Three Mile Beach trailhead. From there you can stroll the windswept beaches, Discover sea life in the tide pools, and gaze at the impossible looking sea stacks scattering the coastline all while camping under the massive pines stretching nearly to the shore.

Water cascades down to the beach below

Olympic Coast

First Beach

Local resident of the tide pools

Massive log washed ashore

Sea Stacks jutting from the powerful seas

First Beach

Sea Stacks scattered across the horizon

The second portion of our trip within the park took us to the Hoh Rainforest where wet air from the tumultuous Pacific below dumps 12 to 14 feet of precipitation yearly. Trekking two days out and back from the Hoh trailhead we walked in awe under the giant moss covered hemlocks and encountered an array of wildlife. As it was still spring, the third of the park’s ecosystems comprised of alpine forest and meadow was largely inaccessible by foot, though a drive up to Hurricane Ridge provided a glimpse.

Herds of Roosevelt Elk graze on the rainforest floor

Hiking the Hoh

Blacktail Deer

Hurricane Ridge

A scenic drive along Crescent Lake

8 responses to “At the Feet of the Gods in Olympic National Park

  1. Some stunning photos there – it’s strange for me as an Aussie to see so much greenery and water just lying around the place. 😉

      • That’s not to say we don’t have water: we do, especially the frilly bits around the edge. But large swathes of the country are arid or semi-arid, and even the populated areas tend to eucalypts and other drought-tolerant plants, which are more grey-green than full green.

        It is a beautiful country in a lot of places, though, and I think you’d like it. And we have some excellent wine regions as well, which helps no end.

      • I think that’s what prevents many people from visiting – we hang out down here at the bottom of the world, while everyone else is at the top, and it costs a big heap of dosh to get here. Working your way via Indonesia’s a good idea, though.

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