Pacific Northwest, Washington

Exploring Olympic National Park, Forks and Cape flattery…

After moving to Seattle, getting back to work life was a challenge. Surrounded with some really intelligent people can get intimidating.  It was a new beginning for me, I was stressed, worried and that just exhausted me. That’s when my friend decided to visit me from Dallas on a weekend and we decided to explore the Olympic national park, one of the largest national parks in Washington.  

Day 1: Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is about 3 hrs away from Seattle downtown. There are two ways that you can get to Olympic. Either catch a ferry for Bainbridge from Seattle and drive from Bainbridge to Olympic or you can directly drive from Seattle to Olympic.  I decided to drive from Seattle to Olympic since we wanted to cover the north side of Olympic. You can also drive from south Seattle- Tacoma- Olympia that way you can cover south of Olympic. So we left around 9:00 am from Seattle to Olympic. It’s a beautiful drive after you enter Port Angeles. We decided to drive straight to Olympic national park towards whiskey bend.

On your way to whiskey bend you see a small stopover where you can get down on the side of the road and climb down the ladders to see a small creek, it’s the water flowing from Elwha river.

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We need to see what we see 😀
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Our struggle getting off the ladder!
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A small creek with really cold water
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stairway to the creek

After you enter Whiskey bend, you see the broken dam of Elwha. You stop at Glines Canyon dam spillway overlook and it’s a beautiful overlook where you see Elwha valley and clear blue water flowing through the canyon.

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Drive through whiskey bend ❤
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Never ending bends
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Elwha Dam
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And the view!!
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Water flowing through these small canyons
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And some more !!
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This day though.

You can drive to whiskey bend until you reach a point where the road ends and the hike begins. You can park your car here and walk on the beautiful trails. It’s about 4-5 miles hike to Elwha valley overlook. You can continue your hike to explore more. We decided to get back as we had many other points to cover before it started raining (yes it rains abruptly :()

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Some random falls on our hike
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Never ending trails

We then left for Lake Crescent which is an hour away from Whiskey Bend. Near lake crescent, you will see lodges to stay if you decide to stay there. I would suggest booking in advance. There are few trails and meadows near the lake that you can take a stroll at. After lake crescent, we got some lunch at Granny’s Cafe. A small quaint cafe near the lake with homely food.

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Lake Crescent
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Gloomy day at the lake
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Exploring the trails in Olympic
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Deers on our way 😀
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That reflection though!!
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Can’t get enough of this lake.

After lunch, we drove back to Port Angeles which is a small town and you see a lot of private stores and small businesses. We got some lunch from Sabai Thai, amazing Thai food. We enjoyed some fried tofu, Veg Pad thai and Thai basil rice.

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Yum Yum!!
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some fried tofu, that sauce though!!
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Sabai Thai!

Definitely check out Bada NW coffee shop, great coffee and a place to have small bites. After some coffee, we went to the waterfront and tried taking some pictures of Mt Olympus although it was kinda gloomy.

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Trying to find Mt Olympus
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Poser me :p
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Yes, Olympic Peninsula is gorgeous!!

We had an Airbnb booked in Sequoia. You see lots of houses in this area in the seclusion. Our Airbnb was one of them.

Day 2:  Forks 

After getting some rest, we left for Forks next day. Being a Twilight fan, I definitely had a fascination for the place. It’s about an hour drive from Lake Crescent. We did what twilight fans would do and that was checking out Forks high school, La push beach. But honestly, La push beach is definitely a must go place because of the cliffs and lighthouse that it adorns. A beautiful view of the cliffs standing tall in the water, soft sand. We waited here till sunset.

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It looks like art to me!
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La Push!
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La Push and its many views…
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The lighthouse!

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Sunset at the beach is the best kinda sunset

Forks is a very small town, we were staying in a beautiful shack in the middle of the forest which was right in front of a lake. It was one of the best Airbnb experienceWe then enjoyed some barbeque and drinks at our stay in front of the lake and got some sleep. You can also find campsites and camp in the national forest. The forest has really great sites for camping. But we Wanted to stay in Forks and look out for vampires 😀

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Leading our way to the Airbnb
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Our little shack!
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Outhouse..

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Day 3: Cape Flattery

Next day we decided to check out the farthest northwest point of USA, Cape Flattery. From forks, it’s about half an hour away. The place has no network and only a few restaurants near Neah Bay. Neah Bay has beautiful houses and view of Victoria Island on your way to cape flattery. After we got there, it was a mile hike down to the point. It was the most convenient hike and once you reach the point you have an amazing view like below. There are few trails that you can explore here for different views.

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The farthest point in the northwest USA
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Cliffs in cape flattery
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I travel for this!

This was our weekend getaway to the Olympic national forest where we covered the northern side of it. On our way back we drove to Bainbridge Island and took the ferry back to Seattle.

Recommendations:

  1. There are many campgrounds in Olympic near lake crescent where you can camp. I found this amazing website which has information on all the campsites that you can pick from http://outdoor-society.com/your-guide-to-the-15-campgrounds-of-olympic-national-park/
  2. I would suggest staying in a tiny house near La Push. You can find many options on Airbnb
  3. Hike to cape flattery is a small one around half a mile only.

This is why I love Washington, it’s a travellers paradise!!

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