Olympic National Park: Part 3

An old print: Walking in the Quinault Rain Forest 3 May 99

Alie and I fondly remember a quick trip we took around the Olympic Peninsula in 1999.  We particularly remember driving and walking through the temperate rainforest there because it was early May, we were alone in the rain, and we saw a juvenile panther cross the gravel road.

So this year, we wanted to show it to her sister Michelle, but of course, some experiences can’t be replicated.

It was August, there were crowds, we had to wait in line just to get into the Hoh Rainforest Visitors Center parking lot, and the weather was beautiful.  Finally, worst of all, we forgot exactly where we had been and drove to a different portion of the Quinault Rainforest than we visited in 1999.

It is not surprising.  The Olympic National Park is huge and varied.  Their website lists 922,651 acres, 876,669 acres (95% of the park) are Congressionally-designated wilderness, 73 miles of wilderness coast, over 3,000 miles of rivers and streams and 60 named glaciers. They get over three million visitors a year.

We are glad we visited again, however, but would just recommend you see the higher elevations in June or September [whenever the roads are open but the crowds are smaller] and visit the coast and rainforest in off-season.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Dates of our visit: 22-23 Aug 21

Santa vacationed in the Olympic National Park this year. And yes, he is a professional Santa.

About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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7 Responses to Olympic National Park: Part 3

  1. leggypeggy says:

    What a lucky sighting in 1999. I have family in Washington state so maybe I will get to the park one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      We were indeed exceptionally fortunate. We later spoke to a ranger at the Hoh Rainforest Visitors Center who said she had been there ten years and had not seen a panther. I am sure it was because we were there so early in the season, nobody else was around, and the late snows kept the animals at lower elevations. On the other hand, we saw nothing of the mountain tops that year because the roads were blocked by snow and the weather was bad. We cherish the experiences we do have, and we did this year too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JohnRH says:

    Beautiful! Touristas, ugh!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that tree, Ray. Peggy and I have been to the park at least twice. And years before, in other lives, I was there at least two other times. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      The portion of the Quinault we visited in 1999 also has a world record cedar and spruce within easy reach of the road. It would be interesting to go back in the off-season again and see if we would still be alone. You also might be able to hike some of the trails that were too much for us.


      • Peg and I drove that area of Quinault last time we were up in the area and admired the world record trees, Ray. BTW, in my next post, This and That, I am going to post some photos of the Alsea Bridge in Waldport…

        Liked by 1 person

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