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