Olympic Peninsula Road Trip

The boys had spring break last week and although my spring break had already occurred a few weeks before, we decided to do a quick one-night-away Olympic peninsula road trip.  Evan was gone on a work trip the day we left, so he didn’t get to come along for this particular adventure.

There are a lot of things on the northern side of the peninsula I’d like to take more time to see but for now a quick drive through worked well.  This time of year is still pretty wintry up in the higher elevations and many of the Olympic National Park facilities are still closed for the season.

We started out taking the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, which is half fun and half timesaver so I don’t have to sit in traffic around Tacoma to drive up the eastern side of the peninsula. It’s about a 20-30 min ride.

I didn’t take any pictures once we got to the Kingston side but near there is an adorable tiny town called Port Gamble that looks like it would be super fun to hang out in during the summer.  Below is Dungeness Landing beach park in Sequim.  The lavender fields in Sequim are lovely but not blooming now, and I believe all those farms are closed to the public in the off season.  There is also some sort of wild animal park somewhere near here but we didn’t really have time to check that out.

This is at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center.  If you keep going past it up the mountain, there is a beautiful view area called Hurricane Ridge.  It’s covered in snow right now, so we skipped it. I’d like to go back eventually. This Elk is on display at the center.  Elliott says it is super glued to the floor.
At the visitors center.  There are hiking trails all over.  We didn’t go far.

This is Lake Crescent. There isn’t enough nitrogen in it to support algae growth so the water is exceptionally clear.

See all the logs at the bottom?!?  So cool

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No Vampires spotted here.  This is the where the Twilight books/movies are set.  In actuality the films were made in Oregon because it’s better there.  True story.

Cape Flattery. This is furthest point northwest in the contiguous United States. It’s on the Makah Indian Reservation and is very secluded.  This view was pretty much the whole point of going on the trip.  What we didn’t realize is that it’s about a 20 min hike from the parking lot to the view point and we got to the parking lot at 7pm and sunset was ~7:55PM. In this place you’re literally alone in a dark forest with zero cell phone reception and if you are me you have two children and a small dog too.  The rain had stopped and the evening was looking somewhat lovely, though darkness was coming fast. We made the decision to hike fast, got SUPER MUDDY and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.

We got “home” to our cabin in time to catch the sunset on the beach. 

The next day we headed home the long way, around the western side of the peninsula.  This side is a bit more boring and there is really nowhere to stay overnight this time of year unless you are camping. I’m not that tough. We took a potty break here at Ruby Beach and the sun shined on us and it felt glorious.  You also have to hike down to get to the water and Patrick is mad at me that we didn’t do it because we were just passing through.  This is a real place!  So pretty.

Here is our day one:

and day two: See all those icons from Tacoma to home?  TRAFFIC all day every day.

We had fun.  The boys found tons of sand dollars, a sea urchin, a “mermaid’s purse” and of course excellent sticks. We saw bunnies, elk (real ones), and bald eagles. We had junk food and freezer pizza when there was no restaurant open on the rez. Next time I’d like to take several days during a warmer season to check out stuff in more detail.  More time in Sequim, Hurricane Ridge, walking to Cape Flattery with a flashlight mayhaps, and checking out the beaches on the western coast more.

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