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