Olympic Peninsula

Shishi Beach The western side of Washington is mostly made up of the Olympic Peninsula. Here, you can find giant slugs, the point that is furthest to the west in the lower 48, and old growth forests; which combine to create the incredible scenery that fill the Olympic Peninsula.

The Olympic Mountains give the area its name, since they dominate the horizon of anyone looking west from Puget Sound and Seattle. Mount Olympus is the tallest peak in the Olympic Mountains. A number of forests and Washington State Parks are in the Olympic Peninsula, like the Hoh rain forest, the Olympic National Park, and the Quinalt rain forest.

There are a number of roads on the Olympic Peninsula, but due to the rugged terrain of the Olympic Mountains, none of these roads go very far into the park. One of the best ways to explore the Olympic Mountains is on foot. There are dozens of hiking trails, and in the summer, the alpine valleys come to life with wildflowers that contrast sharply against the deep blue skies and snow-capped peaks. If you visit the Hoh rainforest, you will gladly brave the chance of rain once you get a sight of the ancient trees and incredible wildlife. The Hoh rainforest is deep in the center of the peninsula, so you will want to give yourself a full day for driving, hiking, and returning to your Olympic Peninsula lodging.

Although most of the ski areas of Washington State are to the east of Puget Sound and Seattle, Hurricane Ridge is a popular area on the Olympic Peninsula to enjoy skiing and an alpine environment. This is a non profit ski area that has great rates on its lessons and rentals.

With so many options of things to do, you get no less variety in accomodations. Olympic Peninsula lodging can range from a cozy bed and breakfast set in a lovely alpine valley to a simple cabin by the coast. Kalaloch Lodge overlooks the Pacific Ocean, so this is a popular choice for travelers seeking the best Olympic Peninsula lodging. You have your choice of a room in the main lodge, the Seacrest House, or one of the inviting detached cabins with fireplaces when you stay at the Kalaloch lodge. If you want to spend a weekend exploring the beaches, this is an excellent choice of Olympic Peninsula lodging. You can easily lose two days wandering on the beaches, looking for wildlife, hiking, and just having the adventure of your life.

A number of lakes are also on the Olympic Peninsula. Lake Crescent, Lake Quinalt, and the Sol Duc are some of the most popular, either for their hiking trails, their hot springs or great summer recreation opportunities.

If you"re not sure what there is to do in an area like this, you can take a few tips from experienced outdoorsmen. Try something new and you might find your favorite new hobby. Whether you hike on the Discovery Trail through the Olympic Mountains or you fish on the Sol Duc River, you will love the beauty and abundance of scenic vistas that the Olympic Peninsula provides you with.

You can also enjoy great backpacking along the Washington coast. There is enough coastline to spend an entire weekend hiking up the coast. One should keep in mind, however, that there are narrow sections of beaches in some parts, and in the north, around Neah Bay, the beaches are covered in fallen old growth, which can become large, floating hazards when the tide comes in.

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