September 6, 2004

Olympic National Park – Lake Crescent

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 3:33 pm by diandy2004

We found out recently that our house in Boca is fine. Special thanks to Gail and Merle for securing the place and reporting to us as soon as they could. We’d also like to thank all of those (Mom and Ace, Melissa, Rick H) who helped keep us informed regarding the storm conditions until we could hear from Gail and Merle.

Over Labor Day weekend, we camped at Lake Crescent which is on the north side of the Olympic peninsula.  The Fairholm Campground and nearby trails are in a temperate rainforest.  Large firs, cedars, and hemlocks towered above us.

Hiking in the Forest

Hiking in the Forest

I found that many mushrooms can be as colorful and ornate as wildflowers.

Orange Shelf Funghi

Orange Shelf Funghi

Petite Mushrooms

Petite Mushrooms

And the forest creatures, here, were unique to us – like this large Banana Slug.

Banana Slug

Banana Slug

From there we spent one day in the Sol Duc area walking through rain forests, looking at waterfalls, and soaking in the hot springs.  The waterfalls were only a 1.8 mile roundtrip hike, but we wandered about and enjoyed the earthy smells and hushed surroundings.  The hot springs was a man-made pool of hot mineral water.  The hot pools ranged from 100 – 104 degrees, whereas the large lap swimming pool was kept at a freezing (for us!) 75 degrees.  While in the Sol Duc area we explored an old cabin, Ancient Groves Trail, and the Salmon Cascades.

Sol-Duc Falls

Sol-Duc Falls

After Sol Duc, we went to the Storm King Information Center and then walked to Marymere Falls.  This required several creek crossings with bridges tht were made from trees laid across the creek.  The falls themselves reminded me of Ribbon Falls in the Grand Canyon.  Along the trail we saw several large Douglas Firs, with the biggest aged at 700 yrs old.

Another day we took a great bike ride on the Spruce Railroad Trail along the north shore of Lake Crescent. The official trail is only 4 miles long (one-way), but we rode from our campsite so that tacked on another 5 miles to reach the trailhead.  Normally railroad trails are level and as wide as a railroad track, so we were surprised to find this trail more technical. Most of the trail was a naturally mulched trail high above the lake with some areas that washed out creating narrow crossings. Several rock slides created some challenging hills to bike over. And a couple inclines were steep with rock steps that were best to walk over. The trail wasn’t what we expected…it was better.

Biking Lake Crescent Trail

Biking Spruce Railroad Trail on Lake Crescent

Biking Lake Crescent Trail

Biking Spruce Railroad Trail

On our third day, Andy went kayaking on Lake Crescent as Diane did some yoga on shore. Amazingly, the weather on shore was about 30 degrees warmer than at our site which was under a thick canopy of trees.

Fairholm campground is probably one of the prettiest campgrounds we have been in. It’s like living in a rainforest.

Our Site in Fairholm Campground

Our Site in Fairholm Campground

Just Hanging Around

Just Hanging Around

Added note: there was a thirteen mile loop trail we considered doing (but too late of a start).  It is USFS near the Klahowya Campground.   Also, we checked into kayaking on the Sol Duc River in that area as well, but the water level was too low at that time.  Perhaps next visit?

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