National Park Geek Series - Olympic
National Park Geek Series - Olympic
Several years ago, we travelled to Washington state for a family wedding. My husband and I went with my mother and father in-law. We flew into Seattle and over the next 7 days, in a very roundabout way, we made our way to Spokane were the wedding was held. We explored Seattle and the surrounding area, which I loved and would love to visit again someday. We then made our way to Anacortes to take a ferry to the San Juan islands where we went zip-lining and whale watching. All four of us said we would go whale watching again but only my husband and I would sign up again for zip-lining. After spending an entire day on the island, we took the ferry back to Anacortes for the night. The next morning, we took another ferry out of Coupeville (Keystone) to Port Townsend.
It’s worth talking about ferries for a quick minute. If you’re visiting the Puget Sound area of Washington, you will inevitably take a ferry at some point. I HIGHLY recommend you book your ferry tickets in advance and plan on delays if you’re travelling in the morning because this area is prone to fog delays. Ferry trips do tend to sell out, especially during the morning and afternoon commute times as locals use this system to get to and from work.
Back to the great state of Washington! The Olympic National Park is on Washington's Olympic Peninsula and sprawls across several different ecosystems, from the dramatic peaks of the Olympic Mountains and glacier-clad Mt. Olympus to old-growth forests. The park contains rainforests and part of the Pacific coastline, making it (in my opinion) one of the most unique national parks in the US. We explored some of the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. We definitely didn’t have time to see all 22 of them and some are not accessible by trail but we did see 3: Marymere (everyone’s fave), Sol Duc Falls, and Beaver Falls. Some were easier to find than others but I would recommend all of the ones we were lucky enough to see.
Marymere Falls trail is a 1.5 mile round-trip hike and there’s literally moss everywhere. It’s dripping off every tree branch and trunk, rocks and covers much of the ground. It’s so breathtaking! The trail is super easy, you get to cross a few streams by way of cute, unique bridges, and the waterfall is tall and pretty. If you only do one hike in this national park, do this one.
If you have time, you need to go to the Hoh Rainforest. It’s only about half an hour from the Marymere Falls trail and it’s even more green. It’s home to the world’s largest Sitka Spruce. We definitely stopped for a photo op and hiked part of the Hall of Moses Trail which somewhat follows the Hoh River.
After we spent a couple days exploring the Olympic National Park, we made our way to Tacoma to see the Museum of Glass (pretty freaking cool), and then drove one more hour to Mount Rainier National Park.
Mount Rainier might be one of my favorite national parks. I’ll be posting a blog next week about it because there’s too much to say about it so stay tuned!
We wrapped up our Washington tour in Tri-Cities for some wine touring and tasting. We then spent two days in Spokane for the wedding festivities and reconnected with family. I would love to go back to Washington to make more time for the Olympic National Park. I’d like to also do the coast of Washington...seems like I need to get to work on another itinerary!
Have you ever been to Olympic National Park?
My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.
I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.
My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.
Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer