It was good to wake up on day-two of our three-day visit to the Olympic National Park rested and knowing that we didn’t have to drive too far to get to our next location, Lake Quinault. We planned to wonder the beach here at Kalaloch and also go explore another nearby location, Ruby Beach.
Kalaloch Beach is a magnificent stretch of beach with thousands of shore birds. And here too, thousands of silvery dead logs had washed ashore and now neatly line the many miles of coastline. We wondered these two beaches that morning and once again pondered the grand presence of the “Sea Stacks.” They are such odd, yet magnificent formations. Why did they not erode away?
After a picnic on Ruby Beach, we drove to Lake Quinault where we had reservations at the historic turn-of-the-century lodge. We spend our final two nights of our trip at this charming lodge. The grand and rustic lodge was built in 1926 and sits perched above the lake with a large lawn that leads down to the beach. Many of the lodge’s rooms have a wonderful view of the lake. The lodge has a large grand communal living room where guests can sit in large comfy sofas in front of the fireplace and read a book or talk. A large mounted elk head stoically observes from over the fireplace mantel. Tables are set up with board games. There is a “kids” game room too with pool and ping pong. The lodge also has an indoor pool. The Roosevelt Dining Room is adjacent to the communal living room, with picture windows that overlook the beautiful and serene alpine lake just beyond the front lawn. We had two very delicious dinners in the Roosevelt Dining Room. And yes, I had salmon!
Guests gather throughout the day on the large expansive lawn and lounge in the Adirondack chairs that are scattered about. Guests enjoying sun or shade, while taking in the amazing view and sipping cocktails and watching the children, and adults, play the many games out on the lawn.
Down at the lodge’s sandy beach, guests enjoy swimming in the cool water out to the diving platform where they can sit and warm themselves. Guests can also rent various non-motorized boats at the beach, as we did one still morning as the mist rose off the lake. We rented a double kayak and peacefully paddled to both ends of the lake in search of loons. We had the lake to ourselves; not a motorboat in sight. At dusk, the lodge employees light a campfire on the beach where guests can sit around and roast marshmallows and make some’ores, which ingredients are sold in the gift shop
We viewed three of our six waterfalls in the Lake Quinault area. Each was unique and beautiful. The Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail Map marks 24 waterfalls to visit in the park.
We also had a picnic on the bank of the Quinault River without another soul, or bear, in sight. The Quinault River is snow fed by the mountains above and flows down the valley into Lake Quinault. It is also one of the many salmon spawning rivers on the peninsula.
Our time at Lake Quinault was so relaxing and peaceful. I enjoyed sitting in the Adirondack chairs and looking out at the lake with little activity. The weather was in the high 70s and just perfect. I enjoyed this special time with my husband in this beautiful location.
We loved our visit to Washington and the Olympic National Park and wished we had two more days to visit a few more sights that we just could not squeeze in. Although many visitors come to this national park each summer, it was nowhere near as crowded as Yosemite and Yellowstone typically can get in the summer. There is so much to do in this park: hiking, auto tours, camping, backpacking, fishing and clamming, bird watching, animal viewing, tide pooling, and boating. Please come and visit this amazing, diverse, and beautiful corner of the world; The Olympic National Park. I know we will be returning some day.
Please visit the websites below to plan your trip and make your reservations.