Lowland Hiking in Olympic National Park

Just got back from a long day visiting one of my favorite spots to chill out, Lake Crescent, located in one of the lower elevations of Olympic National Park. In July I had visited the subalpine meadow wildflowers at Hurricane Ridge. If rain forests and old-growth forests are more of your thing, then I suggest either the Hoh Rain Forest or the Lake Crescent area of the park on the coastal side of the Olympic Range. I cannot say how much I love Lake Crescent: its historic lodge, the food, its hosts…and the lake! The lake is one of the most beautifully colored lakes I have ever come across! And, it is so clear! On a sunny day, look down into the water and see the clear, deep turquoise color. It sometimes looks a teal blue color as well.

It was a beautiful, cool sort of day at the lake, with patches of clouds here and there along with a bit of a breeze….a perfect day for hiking. I arrived just in time to have lunch at the rustic Lake Crescent Lodge. Bring your stomach and a big appetite. No wimpy portions here! And the food is delicious! I always leave room for dessert because they have some of the best desserts around. Enough food talk!

There are plenty of trails around the lake, some short loops, others not so short. The choice is yours. I opted for the shorter trails today. A very popular hiking trail is the one to Marymere Falls, a beautiful and tall cascading falls in the old-growth forest; but, since I hiked that trail last time I was here, I opted not to do that one again. Instead, I trekked a few of the shorter loops near the lodge area. There’s plenty of hanging, green moss to found on the trees, primarily the Douglas Fir, Western Cedar, and Western Hemlock. Many people falsely believe that the Douglas Fir is the state tree; but, in fact, it is the Western Hemlock. Below is a photo that shows a combination of Western Cedars and Western Hemlocks.

Below is a grove of a few very old and very big Western Cedars. It is really amazing to walk through these old forests and see these giants all around you.

I know it’s hard to tell from the next photo, but here is a really, really big, old Douglas Fir. Imagine standing next to this giant!

These old-growth forests receive lots of rainfall along the moist, north pacific coast. Just look at the carpets of thick moss, hanging from the tree branches!

I really enjoyed my day at beautiful Lake Crescent and hope that the many travelers to national parks in the US make it a point to stop by it while visiting the other sections of Olympic National Park this summer.

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I am retired and enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store, http://www.zazzle.com/northwestphotos.
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7 Responses to Lowland Hiking in Olympic National Park

  1. raea stika says:

    I have a Hiker coming to stay at my home. She is interested in moving to Port Townsend where I have recently moved…I am unable to hike…she likes to climb…she has been working as a nurse at mt rainier for the summer. Where can I direct her with regard to good hiking, with some climbing involved on the peninsula? Yes! I love Lake Cresent…we have the opportunity to step back in time! Your photos are superb!

    • Hi! Thanks for the compliments on the photos! Glad you enjoyed them. Great choice on moving to Port Townsend! I love that coastal community, as it has a lot going on there for people in all walks of life. As far as climbing on the Olympic Peninsula, I am not by any means an expert in that area, as I do not do any climbing. I did a bit of research and found some very good information for you and your friend. Please refer to the following link from the Olympic National Park website. It will provide the information you are looking for. http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-climbing.htm
      Hope you and your visiting friend have a super time together!

  2. Looks like a gorgeous area!

  3. the trees are magnificent……..how fortunate we are to live on such a beautiful planet……but then how stupid many of us are to take it for granted……………………

    • Thank you for your commentary! You are very correct in your words about so many of this earth’s inhabitants taking it for granted. We are too caught up in our own material world of technology or are just plain unaware or just don’t care. And then, there are those less fortunate that will never have the opportunity to discover what natural beauties this world has to offer. I have chosen to live where I do, and I feel very blessed to live in an area that surrounds me with so much natural beauty along with the many people that want to keep it this way and work hard to do so. With that said, natural beauty is to be found everywhere! The secret is to become AWARE!

      • indeed…….i live on the outskirts of the biggest city in africa…i dislike the city immensly…….but regularly get out into the mountains…not as often as i wish…….but i live right next to a large pan of water and there are many birds around my garden………not to mention insects,reptiles and other life forms…all beautiful and amazing in their own right……….ther is a whole ecosytem in my back garden of which i am very aware……..

        • That is great! Sounds like you are definitely in tune with your surroundings. I wish for you to continue to have many moments of inner peace and connection to the “other world” out there! And…to know it’s right in your own backyard!

Thank you!

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