Kam goes to: Olympic National Park

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Kam shares photos from her recent trip to Olympic National Park on CampfireChic.com

Where do I even start with this one? Olympic National Park was Alex’s #1 park to visit since we started this endeavor, and spending a long weekend in the park was exactly what we hoped – magical.

If anybody ever talks about her weekend in Olympic National Park and does use the word magical…well, there is something very wrong with that person. Magical can’t quite capture this multi-environment park. It’s other-wordly. I was able to go from an Alpine mountaintop, to the rainy and secluded coast, and to the moss-covered wonderland of a rainforest.

 

All in one freaking day.

 


U.S. National Parks Passport - Campfire ChicKam and Alex in Olympic National Park - Campfire Chic Madison Falls Elwha Olympic National Park - Campfire Chic  

The clearest way into the Universe
is through a forest wilderness.
-John Muir

 


Hiking in Olympic National Park - Campfire ChicOlympic National Park - Fragile Meadows - Campfire Chic

 

We stayed at the Super 8 Motel in Port Angeles, which offers free wifi, free parking, and a free breakfast in the morning. If you’re not concerned with staying in a fancy hotel, this is a great option for you. It even came with a small fridge, so we were able to have “hotel dinner” to help save money.

 

We started our adventure on Thursday at the Visitor Center on the way to Hurricane Ridge, the rangers were super helpful with letting us know about the closures in the park. One ranger spent quite a bit of time with us, writing out the high tide and low tide times for the next few days, giving us the driving times between different areas of the park, making suggestions for seeing what the park had to offer, and showing us photos she took on her tablet. Honestly one of the best interactions with a ranger we’ve had at any of the parks.

Rialto Beach Olympic National Park - Campfire ChicSea Stacks Rialto Beach Olympic NP - Campfire Chic

We started our day early on Friday, grabbing a quick breakfast before heading out to Rialto Beach. We spent a few hours on the (really, really wet) beach, exploring the shore, taking photos of the sea stacks, being followed by a few river otters, and chatting with a local about the history of the areas. Magical.

 

Our adventure didn’t stop there, we had a more proper breakfast in Forks (please see below for my suggestion on dealing with anything having to do with Forks), and then drove to the Hoh Rainforest. The Hoh Rainforest should not be missed…yes, it’s a drive, but it wouldn’t be as magical of a trip if you don’t go there. All I need to say: banana slugs. Because, why wouldn’t you want to drive a couple of hours in search of a banana slug? We did about 5 miles of the Hoh River Trail before stopping for lunch…and the shore called to us again so we decided to check out Ruby Beach. It wasn’t as deserted as Rialto, but it was much drier.

Hurricane Ridge Olympic NP - Campfire Chic

 

Where to visit on your next weekend in Olympic National Park

  • Hurricane Ridge
  • Hoh Rainforest
  • Rialto Beach
  • Ruby Beach
  • Elwa

I cannot capture the magic that we encountered over the few days we were in the park, so I’ll be back with more posts. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of the photos I took while in Washington. If you don’t, you can find me at @CampfireChic.

Before you go

  • Check the park website or call the ranger station for closure updates
  • Get your fill of Mexican food, the area isn’t known for it and the last thing you want to do is be disappointed when trying to satisfy a craving
  • Bring extra water – I only remember 2 water fountains and neither were water bottle-friendly
  • If driving from SEA-TAC, load up your phone/music player with some podcasts…it’s a long drive to Port Angeles
  • Practice saying, “No, I’m not here for the Twilight Tour”

 

Have you been to Olympic National Park?

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Adventure National Park National Parks Travel. Weekend

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • amy t schubert June 17, 2013, 7:54 am

    Oh man, I can’t wait to go someday! I just made Andrew pull up your blog to look for himself :)

    Also, banana slugs are such weird creatures :)

    Reply
    • Kam June 18, 2013, 9:46 pm

      I hope it was worth Andrew breaking himself away from the record player ;)

      Reply
  • Kristin - My Life as a Teacup June 17, 2013, 10:13 am

    “Practice saying, ‘No, I’m not here for the Twilight Tour'” -snort-

    This is freaking GORGEOUS.

    Reply
    • Kam June 18, 2013, 9:45 pm

      You NEED to go. Like, get on a plane right now.

      Reply
  • Robin June 17, 2013, 5:46 pm

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous photos!!! You are way inspirational. Now Olympic Natl Park is on my list, too.

    PS Your hair is looooong!

    Reply
    • Kam June 18, 2013, 9:13 pm

      All sorts of blushing right now. YOU are “my gorgeous cousin who is always ahead of the curve…but not like hipster-ahead, like, she knows shit”

      Reply
      • Robin June 29, 2013, 7:27 am

        I’m putting that at the top of my resume.

        Reply
  • Serena June 17, 2013, 8:59 pm

    Ack! I’ve been so looking forward to this post! When I saw the word Elwha, I may have started chanting it over and over in my head. Okay, maybe that just makes me sounds weird. Hmm. Anyway, I’m psyched you went. This park also tops my list, and I was super bummed not to have time to hit it up when I was in Seattle earlier this year. The Elwha Dam removal project is one we’ve been involved in the periphery of, and I really want to see that particular river.

    Reply
    • Kam June 20, 2013, 8:53 pm

      I imagine that I look like Dory from Finding Nemo when I’m trying to say Elwha :X haha! I hope you get to go while they’re working on the removal so you can see what is going on over there. I’m also seriously fascinated by the socio-economic impact that logging has on the penninsula…especially with what I feel is a wealthy/well-education city right across the water! If you have any more info on the dam removal, I’d love to read it :)

      Reply
      • Serena June 24, 2013, 7:24 pm

        Always dangerous to ask a nerd for more info :-) I’ll keep myself in check.

        It’s definitely interesting how things are playing out up there. The piece that interests me the most is the spiritual and cultural connection of the tribes to the salmon.

        Reply
  • Yellow Elm June 17, 2013, 10:41 pm

    Love this post! We just moved to Seattle in January and have done a lot of hiking & camping in the area so far but haven’t made it out to the peninsula yet since we moved…we were just talking about that being our next overnight backpacking trip! Thanks for sharing your tips.

    Reply
    • Kam June 18, 2013, 9:12 pm

      Take the ferry…that drive is waaayyyy too long :(

      If you do go backpacking, I want to hear about it!

      Reply
  • Serena June 18, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Gorgeous! I tried commenting earlier, but evidently, it got deleted. Instead of repeating myself, I’ll just say that you continue to inspire me to expand my list of parks to visit.

    Reply
    • Kam June 20, 2013, 8:54 pm

      All fixed! I found your comments buried in 300+ spam comments. I had a HUGE influx the other day and somehow your comments were thrown in there :/ Thank you for the sweet comments and checking in with me to make sure I didn’t ban you (never!!!)

      Reply
  • Britta June 19, 2013, 9:21 am

    You’re in my neck of the woods! If you want Mexican food, just head south down the coast to Aberdeen/Hoquiam. Lots of delicious tacos to be consumed!

    Reply
    • Kam June 20, 2013, 10:40 pm

      I’ll have to keep that in mind, Britta, thanks! I think I’m super spoiled living in Southern California ;)

      Reply
  • Joanna June 19, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Oh gosh. I’m a Seattlite and still haven’t made it over there. It going on the list, right under Stratcona Provincial park in BC.

    Reply
    • Kam June 20, 2013, 10:38 pm

      Do it! Do it!

      Reply

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