Forest Hiking in Olympic National Park

I made my first, major trek for the summer months this past week in the Olympic National Park forest area, near Crescent Lake. This is a very favorite area of mine. I had previously thought about visiting the Hoh Rain Forest, but decided not to, since it is a long, 4 hour drive from me. The shorter, 2 hour drive is more suited to me, and the old-growth forests are just as spectacular with their giant conifers and moss covered branches. There are plenty of hiking trails throughout this wonderful, peaceful area. With all honesty, if you want a spiritual retreat of sorts, come to these forests. Connect with yourself and connect with the giants of mother nature.

042Frequently you will see Douglas Fir and Western Cedar growing side by side. (Douglas Fir on the left, Western Cedar on the right)

074Sometimes you will see both tree species intermingling roots with each other.

068Check out the size of this humongous Douglas Fir! It’s base is enormous! I can only imagine how old this tree is. (Now you know why they’re called old-growth forests.)

121To compare species, here is an enormous Western Cedar. Notice how its bark is smoother and has straight lines.

127When walking the forest trails, watch your footing. The giants have their roots stretched out everywhere.

032Not unlike their neighboring temperate rain forests, moss laden branches are a common sight in these particular old-growth forests. Here are a few more mossy images.

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One of the more popular hiking trails is the the one that takes you to Marymere Falls. There are a couple of starting areas for this trail: one being from the Crescent Lake Lodge and the other from the Storm King Ranger Station. I opted for the one from the lodge; it is a 3 mile round trip. The trail is pretty level most of the way and is easy, except for the last section past the split-log bridge. From there it is all uphill with lots of steep stairs, and I mean steep! I do not recommend it for those with limited physical capabilities. A good pair of trekking poles will help anyone, though. I can tell you that I probably will not attempt that part of the trail anymore. It’s a bit too much for me.

080A good look at Marymere Falls from a viewing platform along the trail.

105Coming back down the Marymere Falls trail, you can see the split-log bridge at the bottom of the trail steps.

038I absolutely love these old-growth forests on the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington State. It’s an absolute must-visit spot!

Experience it for yourself!

 

© Peggy A Thompson

 

 

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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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13 Responses to Forest Hiking in Olympic National Park

  1. Gunta says:

    I really need to get my butt in gear and get up that way!

  2. Amazing shots! I’d be quite happy to hike there.

  3. Fabulous pics of these wonderful old giants, Peggy. Just imagining how long they’ve been growing there, gives me goose bumps.

  4. I should see this some day…

    • Pierre, Olympic National Park takes up a vast area on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The best route for you would be to take a ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles. The entrance to the most visited part of the park, Hurricane Ridge, is a relatively short drive from the ferry dock. And the lowland forests, Lake Crescent and beyond is very easy to travel to from the ferry, as well. Signs are prominent along the main Highway 101.

  5. Magical! I think I saw a gnome. 🙂

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