Yes, I did read and enjoy Stephenie Meyers Twilight-Saga (Team Jacob, all the way), and of course I watched the movies and I marvelled at the beautiful scenery where the whole story is set. So I was superexcited when a trip to Olympic Nationalpark was part of our US-roadtrip-itinerary. Here is what the park has to offer when you get tired of hunting for werewolves.
1. Watch the sun set from Hurricane Ridge viewpoint
Enjoy the beautiful view over the many peaks of Olympic Nationalpark from this viewpoint which you can supereasily reach by car. And stay for nightfall too – the place is superdark and you get an amazing nightsky. Check the ranger programs too: When we were up there, a ranger had set up a telescope and let us have a look at the planets and explained some of the star patterns.
2. Hike to Deer Lake
We spent the first two nights in Olympic Nationalpark at Lake Crescent Lodge, a good basecamp for some nice hikes. A hike we particularly enjoyed was the one from Sol Duc hot springs to Deer Lake. The roundtrip is some 9 miles, and the trail takes you through dense, beautiful forests, past sparkling waterfalls, it features a rather juicy climb uphill (the total ascent is 3198 feet) and ends by a beautiful little lake, where you can pic-nic, sunbath, maybe even go for a little swim, before the trail takes you down the same path again.
3. Stroll amongst giant washed-up tree trunks on Rialto Beach
The Twilight-Flashback of the trip: Walking on Rialto Beach, remembering the scenes from the movie 🙂 But even if you are not a Twilight-Fan, the beach is something superextraordinary: You can walk between giant washed up tree trunks, all the way to a natural stone bridge, maybe see some seals, maybe see some bald eagles.
4. Get amazed by giant trees in Quinault Rainforest
They don’t call it a rain forest for nothing. Its damp, and dense and humid and it feels ancient. The Quinault Rainforest is old, and walking between its lush vegetation makes you feel tiny and insignificant and makes you appreciate nature even more so. The forest has a scenic lop drive, that takes you past some of the tallest and most ancient trees. Also make sure to check out the Quinailt Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop, a 0.5 miles long trail that takes you trough the forest and has signs and illustrations all along the way giving you an introduction to the vegetation system of the rain forest and its plants and animals.
5. Watch the waves at Kalaloch Lodge
One of my favourite hotels of my US-Trip was the Kalaloch Lodge. It is beautifully set right at a cliff with access to the endless beach. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, the restaurant is cosy and food is nice (especially for breakfast: Try their Smoked-Salmon-Hash. And the pancakes. Oh, the pancakes.), and the whole place finds a nice balance between subtle luxury and an outdoorsy camping-vibe. The best thing however was the balcony our room had, including comfy chairs and ocean view. I could spend hours just sitting there, drinking craft IPAs, chatting nonsense with my friends, nibbling on some snacks and listen to and watch the endless play of the waves… Quite the show, believe me, even if there are no werewolves throwing themselves off the cliffs just for kicks.