Thursday, January 7, 2016

Quinault Rain Forest, Olympic National Park

About an hour north of Forks, Washington is the Quinault Rain Forest. After a short stop at the ranger station, you can take a very nice hike through the rain forest and see alpine lakes, streams and many old growth species of trees. Known as the "Valley of the Rain Forest Giants" because of the number of record size tree species found here, this area is in the second part of the Olympic National Park. This area receives an average of 12 feet of rain per year! Located on the western side of the Olympic Mountains this valley was carved out by a glacier. While the trail, at times, can be challenging, it is well worth the time and effort to make the hike. It's about 5 miles in length if you make the entire circle. Enjoy the pictures...I believe they speak for themselves and need very little input from me.

With 20+ pictures, I've posted them in a smaller format. For more detail, please double click on any picture for an expanded view. Enjoy !

The trail is, for the most part, pretty easy walking. There is some up and down and the path does disappear at times, but it's easily done.

We discovered many small waterfalls all along the trail.

Some unlucky parent is going to be in deep trouble once their child misses this parrot. We found it along the trail and I put it on one of the fallen trees. In spite of any argument from the little one, I'm sure the parents weren't about to retrace their path to retrieve it. It will be interesting to see how long it stays on this log. 

Anyone who takes this hike, drop me a note if you see it still there.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. If you are in this area, be sure to take the time to walk this trail. Even if you don't do the entire loop, there is an easy walk to a fabulous waterfall within 1/2 mile of the parking lot. You can also walk all the way to Lake Quinault although that trail is much more difficult.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Copalis Beach to La Push, Washington

We headed north toward Aberdeen with our destination set at Copalis Beach for the Fourth of July. There is a burn ban in all of Washington State and fireworks will only be allowed on the beaches. We have stayed at Sunrise Resorts in Copalis Beach before and loved it's location on the sand, so we decided it would be perfect for a week or two. From there we will head north to Forks and La Push. Enjoy the pictures.

Traveling north on US 101 we entered the quaint City of South Bend, which borders a small cove.

Stay on US 101 towards Aberdeen and Gray's Harbor. Chehalis is east of here on Washington Route 6. We've stayed at the Thousand Trails park there which was the first TT park and is an excellent destination. However, we wanted to stay on the coast so we continued north.

Considering it was the beginning of July we thought there would be more traffic on US101. It is a beautiful drive.

After passing through Aberdeen and Hoquiam, we turned off US 101 onto Ocean Beach Rd. This takes you through Copalis Crossing and on to Copalis Beach. Again, we encountered very little traffic. A little weird and eerie.

We finally ended up at the Sunrise Resorts facility in Copalis Beach. Lots of room although the grass had died due to the extreme drought that all of the western states have had this year. While the skies were cloudy, there was no rain forecasted.

After spending two weeks in Copalis Beach, (see the following posting for our trip to the rainforest) we headed north again toward the City of Forks and the Olympic Peninsula.

The Olympic National Park was created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938. It has four very different regions - the Pacific coastline, Mount Olympus and it's ski areas, the west side temperate rainforests and the forest areas on the drier east side.  It encompasses almost 1 million acres. We plan on visiting all four areas.

We arrived in Forks, Washington. A small city on US101 it thrived on the timber industry. Decline in foresting almost led to the city's demise. Fortunately for the city, the movie industry discovered it and filmed many episodes of Twilight there. Tourism has kept the city alive. While we kept an eye out for vampires, we never encountered any. 

Leaving Forks, we headed west on Wa. 110 toward the town of La Push. This area is known for it's salmon fishing and serene isolated beaches. Our destination was the Quileute RV Resort in La Push.

Several small islands surround the coves in La Push.

We finally arrived at our destination. There are cabins, a hotel and an RV resort all connected on the grounds. All have ocean views and a beautiful beach.  Just a heads up with this area though, it's an Indian reservation and as such fireworks are in demand here and are sold everywhere. They are allowed on the beach with restrictions and are sold very cheaply. Think sky rockets over the ocean...a lot...

The grounds were excellent and the sites were roomy. The beach was a short stroll behind the coach. We weren't able to secure one of the sites on the front beach row as the park was booked solid. Still, we were close enough to enjoy ourselves. Fires and fireworks were allowed on the beach with some restrictions.