Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Trip To Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

map of the olympic peninsula

If you look at a map of Washington state you’ll see that funny part way off to the left up towards the U.S. and Canadian border and the Pacific Ocean.  The city of Port Angeles is sort of the center of the universe in this part of our state. From there you can catch an auto/passenger ferry for a 90 minute ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia, you can take a 45 minute drive up to Hurricane Ridge referred to the Alps of Washington state, you can drive into the Olympic Peninsula rain forest, sit in the hot springs pool at Sol Duc, drive to the native American communities of Neah Bay and La Push and walk out to the north western corner of the United States at Cape Flattery.   This was our destination in August…I hope you’ll come along and enjoy the ride.

(August 16, 2009) We left about 4pm and headed for the Hood Canal Floating Bridge which took us to that part of the state.

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 20091

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 20092

We arrived in Port Angeles where we camped out in the far corner of Albertson’s parking lot. (Albertson’s is a large grocery store for those of you who don’t have one nearby). There were actually other R.V.’s there, so we felt right at home~no hook-ups but the price was right.

(August 17, 2009)  We brought our Passports thinking we might catch the ferry to Victoria, BC but that never happened.  The first ferry leaves at 8:20am and it seems we could never get up and get ready in time to get the truck parked, get our tickets and actually board the ferry 15-20 minutes before it was due to depart.  So this first full day in this area, after going to the local Goodwill and a great store called Swains (they have everything you can imagine except grocery items) we headed for Sol Duc Hot Springs.   The resort has cabins and RV lot but we headed for the National Campground just up the road from the resort.  It’s a lovely campground, it actually reminded us a lot of  the campgrounds in the Redwoods~lots of big trees.   While the resort’s RV park was like a zoo.  No trees, just row after row of RV’s with their TV Satellite dishes aimed to the sky and their BBQ’s going. 

(August 18, 2009) After some breakfast we drove down to the resort so Bob could hit the pools.  How come breakfast tastes so good eaten at a picnic table in the woods?

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200937

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200939 

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200936

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200940

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200935 

The patio cafe where the bathers and others can enjoy a snack.

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200945 

There are three hot mineral pools of varying temperatures, and one large swimming pool.  I didn’t go in this trip but have been in them before.  While Bob was soaking his weary bones, I was showering in the camper and then sat by the pools reading my book.  It was a beautiful sunny day…so relaxing.

The springs, known to local Indian tribes for their therapeutic value, first came to the attention of settlers in the 1880s. An elaborate resort opened up in 1912, and was characterized as "the most noted pleasure and health resort on the Pacific Coast" until it burned down in 1916.

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200938

The resort was rebuilt on a much less grand scale in the 1920s, and was operated into the 1970s until it ran into trouble with its thermal spring in the 1970s. These problems were overcome, and the resort was rebuilt in the 1980s. It continues to operate until this day, attracting thousands of visitors a year.  I can remember back in the 1970’s there was a pipe coming out of the hillside and the  hot mineral water flowed out of the pipe into a large pool.   It has all been remodeled since I was there in the 1970’s. 

The Sol Duc River flows just along the edge of the resort. 

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200934

I was actually sitting at a picnic table here reading for awhile.  What an experience!  So peaceful……

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200944

The Olympic Peninsula of Washington is considered a rain forest area.  They get at least 12 inches of rain here every year.  Thankfully while we were there, it was sunny, dry and warm.

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200921

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200924

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200947

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200925

When you walk thru this area you see all this wonderful moss hanging from the trees. It’s so beautiful….

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200922

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200931

 Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200920

And deer everywhere…..they were standing right at the edge of our campsite munching away.

Around the loop  august 17 thru 22 200928

The  Sol Duc National campground was full for this third night so we went to a Bureau of Land Management campground along the highway. It’s very primitive (thankfully we’re fully contained) but very nicely laid out and FREE! 

To be continued;  A Twilight Experience


  1. I likw the pictures of that river. It makes me want to go campimg again.


  2. Food always tastes better at picnic table!

  3. Oh Linda that looks so inviting, on my two trips out your way I fell in love with Washington/Oregon..I now have to work on hubby to get him out there and I know one look and he will want to see more and possibly move out there. Looking forward to reading Sandi

  4. Thanks for once again taking us along on your journey. I love the photos. What's more inviting than rushing water & lunching outdoors on a picnic table. I think it is neat that y'all take these trips. What wonderful time spent together & memories made.

  5. ((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))I always love reading your Blog,enjoying your Journey as you are your Hubby travel.I am so jealous of you,but,happy for the both of you.My wish list is,would love to take my Mom to Hawii and I always wanted to go to Austrila.Have a grea weekend.

  6. Linda your trip up to Port Angeles was very interesting to me as we went about getting there a little differently and did not go up as far as you did, and did get the ferry to Victoria. Your photos and description of the history of the area was excellent. I would truly love to go back to this wonderful area of Washington, the whole trip from Olympia right up to Port Angeles was truly memorable for myself and my friend. Your journey and wonderful pics and descriptive narrative of this beautiful area definitely has decided me to go back there when I again visit Oregon and the Washington area, and continue past Port Angeles to where you and Bob journeyed.

    Again as always thank you for sharing your travels with us, you always make me feel like I am right along with you on these trips.

  7. Linda thanks for taking me along on your trip ~ Loved the pictures ~ and isn't it amazing how food always tastes better from a Picnic Table ~ Look forward to reading more next time ~ Ally x

  8. How Beautiful!! and all the fresh air makes you more hungry, that's why food tastes so much better at a picnic table.... :)

  9. Gorgeous pictures and the river looks so inviting. Sounds like such a relaxing place to be and I bet the thermal springs feel awesome. Never had breakfast at a picnic table but it sounds nice to me :)


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