Michael and I recently took one of the best trips to the PNW! We headed to the coast for the first day and stayed at La Push, then spent a few days in Olympic National Park. Our technical first full day in the park was spent in several areas hiking – Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent Lodge, and the Sol Duc Valley. Heading up to Hurricane Ridge was just breathtaking! The higher we went, the more snow-capped mountains and the cooler air. It felt amazing!
The trail is 3.2 miles round trip.. and it’s all uphill the first half. UGH. Talk about a workout for your legs. But the views were totally worth it. The meadows have all sorts of colorful wildflowers that flow in the breeze, which is so refreshing when hiking uphill in all direct sunlight. The highest elevation point is 5757 ft and from the very top we could see the Olympic Range, Puget Sound and Vancouver Island.
After our hike we were zonked and didn’t want to do much other than lay around and rest. But we had so much more planned for the day, we knew we couldn’t stop with Hurricane Ridge. We grabbed some lunch and headed to the Lake Crescent Lodge, where we sat out by the lake for a breather before our next hike. It really was a nice spot – lots of activities like canoeing, fishing, swimming, and paddle boarding (though we were too exhausted to do any).
We quickly realized that our trip was packed with many things to do, and that sometimes it’s okay to break out of our plans and take time to rest. After our afternoon by Lake Crescent we made it to our final visit of the day – Sol Duc Valley.
It wasn’t too difficult to find an easy, quiet trail in this area. We decided on the falls trail, which ended with a three-chute waterfall. The mossy covered trees, and nearly golden hour light gave this photographer all the heart eyes.
And once more, we chased the sunset back to La Push. One thing that’s hard to budget for in this area is travel time. It may take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to get from place to place in the park. When we dropped our rental car off at the end of our trip, we realized we had driven over 800 miles with it. Good news, we made it to La Push Beach for our last sunset in this magical place.
This trip was so long and so packed, that I’m breaking it up into several blog posts. Part Three is coming up, and it’s our final half-day in Olympic National Park.
Erin Turner Photo is a Nashville wedding photographer but travels across the country to photograph weddings. If you’re looking for a Chattanooga wedding photographer, Nashville wedding photographer, Knoxville wedding photographer, or destination wedding photographer, get in touch!