We flew into Seattle from Pittsburgh, grabbed our rental car and hit the road toward Olympic National Park. It’d long been on our to-do list since we had to pass it up on our month-long road trip in 2015. We hopped on the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry for the half-hour boat trip across the Puget Sound, and by early evening we were in our home base Airbnb just outside Port Angeles.
The main reason we chose Olympic National Park as our big getaway - the Elwha River. We don't have cable TV, and stumbled upon a documentary called DamNation on Netflix a couple years ago. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend you do! Beyond the excellent educational component, the videography is absolutely stunning. We've since watched it dozens of times, to the point my kids can practically recite it. I had no idea an effort to free salmon could have such an impact on us, but I still can't help but tear up when I watch it.
Our exploring along the Elwha wasn't easy. Because this river hadn't been able to run free for over 100 years, when it finally did it washed out roads. We had to park and walk the road in 5 miles (10 round-trip) just to reach a trailhead. Well worth the trek, and a special adventure to see it with my own eyes and share with my family.
To add a little humor... the road opened for the first time in 15 months, five days after we were there. Of course it did lol.
The road to Hurricane Ridge opened for the first time in weeks just as we pulled up. We made it a ways up - and then didn’t. Next time!
The Hoh Rainforest
Can't really put this place into words, but if I had to it'd include spectacular, incredible and stunning. Pure magic. Thank you Olympic National Park for being all that you are.