We were able to spend a week exploring Olympic National Park while we stayed at a park in Port Angeles, WA. Our first day in the park, was like every other one of our first days in the National Parks...first it's all excitement and awe as you drive through the gates, flash your pass, get your map, drive in and be funneled into the driver's "highlight reel" of the park. Which is absolutely stunning, of course, but...not the solitude we're looking for.
And to my left...
We jumped on the first trailhead we saw, fewer people, but still busy. We could see Canada out there past the water.
We didn't want to waste much time in the crowds so we immediately turned around and headed back down the mountain. The funny thing we've found about hiking trails is that you have to be a little bit in the know...you have to be searching for them. Most national park guides will have the paved nature trails, the family friendly trails, and perhaps a few day hikes marked out, but typically that's it. The good stuff is a little bit secret, or just simply overlooked by most. I suppose one could do more research beforehand, but apparently that's not our style, ha.
Thanks to a friendly ranger, we were able to find this trailhead that was actually just before the Hurricane Ridge gate. We only hiked to Lake Angeles, but we were racing the sun, uphill the whole way.
Lake Angeles. Just amazing. Mountain lakes are the best.
pretty island in the middle
We didn't have too much time to explore the lake, so we just climbed out on this mess of logs, and settled down for dinner (it was another trail mix and cliff bar type of day :)
We had been getting caught up in weird silk-worm strings most of the way up, even our spider-swords were futile (a spider sword is a stick you wave in front of yourself as you walk. It catches spider webs, so your face doesn't have to. It doesn't make you look silly at all.) It wasn't so bad though, just a little gross and annoying. It didn't stick like spider webs, and on the way back down it had all cleared up. The season was over I guess? It made the forest glimmer in the setting sun though. This was a particularly webby branch. Is this where the term fairy floss comes from?
A handrail! Not all the bridges we've come across are so accommodating. Ed demonstrates this amenity while representing LBD and the Clubhouse.
A successful introduction to Olympic State Park. Rainforests and beaches to come...