There are few places more beautiful than the Upper-left USA. Locals around here are really proud to say their from the “PNW” (Pacific Northwest). It’s certainly easy to see why. Settled between the scenic Rocky Mountains and the salty Pacific Ocean, the evergreen coastline is full of gorgeous hiking paths, waterfalls, and plenty of untainted wildlife.
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Just hours outside of the big city of Seattle lies a small port city along the Olympic Penninsula. Port Angeles is accessible from Seattle and Victoria, Canada by ferry, or by car using a long, winding path up and around pristine lakes and beaches. It also holds one of the best kept secrets in the North West: The Olympic National Park.
Hiking Olympic National Park
If hiking really isn’t your thing, take a scenic drive up Hurricane Ridge, where you can relax in the mountain air alongside mother does and their fouls. The view from the top is incredible, featuring lush mountains covered in evergreen trees and snow as far as the eye can see.
Along the back-side of Hurricane Ridge lies an ancient ski-lift, clearly out of use for many years. The old ski patrol cabins sit untouched,. settled into the snow. Although I felt like they were begging to be explored, I was too enthralled with the deer to do much exploring of the buildings.
Best Camp Spot: Crescent Lake
There are lots of camping spots available near Crescent lake, although in late August, you have to get there quite early in order to get a spot!!
Interested in camping at Lake Crescent? There’s so much to explore. Check out my guide to camping along the coast
Camping at Lake Crescent is first come, first serve. It gets super busy…so busy, in fact, that my best friend and I packed up at a nearby camp spot at 6am to sit and wait for the chance to grab a lake-side spot at Crescent lake! And there were already people there waiting before us!
Olympic National Park Camping
Other awesome camping spots in Olympic national park include:
- Staircase Campground. The Skokomish River snaking through the Staircase Region of Olympic National Park Exotic Hikes. …
- Hoh Rainforest.
- Kalaloch Campground
Just a small drive west from Hurricane ridge along Olympic highway will lead you straight to the waters’ edge at Crescent Lake. The turquoise waters will remind you of a tropical ocean setting, despite the frigid temperatures from their glacial beginnings. The water at Crescent Lake is so clear, you can see the bottom even at depths of 4 or more meters. I was able to make out the rocks that sat below the docks, and watch the small fish as they swam by.
Crescent Lake is also the home of one of the highest waterfalls in the area. Marymere Falls is just a brisk 20 minute walk back into the sticks behind the lake. This 70-foot high waterfall has viewing points at both the top and the bottom.
There are also 5 more waterfalls of similar heights nearby, either located near the sleepy lakes or to the East near the small town of Sequim.
One of the best parts of visiting & hiking Olympic National Park is the sheer amount of beauty you can appreciate. The park takes up almost half of the Olympic Penninsula, and is so vast, it would take weeks to explore everything it has to offer.
The Best Hikes in Olympic National Park
- Enchanted Valley Trail to Pony Bridge (5 mile RT)
- Hoh Rain Forest- Sitka Trail (1.5 miles RT)
- Sul Duc Falls (1.6 miles RT)
- Klahhane Ridge (7.2 miles)
Have you ever been out to the PNW? What’s your favorite spot, and why?