Olympic Park Greats: Top 3

2011 10 24_0396eThe Olympic National park is huge…that’s why it’s taken me 3 posts to tell you my top 10 favorites. Today’s post will end this Tree-loving Trilogy with my Top 3 favorites (actually, all of it’s my favorite, but I had to number them…so these are my last three to talk about)

Reason 3 Why I love the Olympic Peninsula is…

Lots of Lakes

There’s a lot of rain here. That’s why it’s so green and lush. There are rivers, creeks, and lakes everywhere. My brother took us for a ride on Lake Crescent. It was windy and cold, but I still loved it. I want to go back!!!


Lakes are so peaceful. You can kayak or canoe on them.

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You can skip rocks across them.

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And they’re fun to sit around and stare at…that water rejuvenates the spirit.

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This bridge let us walk under the road so we could see the Elwha River at flood stage.


This river used to have several dams on it, but the dams kept the salmon from swimming upstream. Over the last few years, they have slowly been taking down these dams and letting the Elwha flow naturally again. They had just taken another layer off an upper dam and a lot of water was flowing down, picking up sediment built up over decades and bringing it downstream. The river looked like a volcanic lehar (gray, kind of like cement as it rushed along).


Hopefully though, in a few years it will be clean again. The 9 mile hike we did took us above the dams and the glacial fed Elwha up there was gorgeous and clean. It’s just all that dirt it’s picked up from the dams along the way that makes it all gray now.

The next favorite on my list is…

2. Crazy Coast

DSC01102My kids loved the coast, especially at low tide when they could explore the tide pools. There are some amazing critters all over the rocks there.

DSC01174At high tide, some parts along the beach can get dicey if you aren’t watching and you get stuck somewhere on those rocks. I can’t imagine getting smashed up along these sharp, mussely rocks. Yikes.

DSC01154I loved the starfish. They were my favorites. We spent hours out here enjoying the sea life, waves, and utter wildness of it all.

DSC01367One of the things I especially love about the Washington coast is that there is lush trees and ferns right up to the edge of the cliffs that line the beach. Other beaches are strewn with driftwood logs from the mighty forests around here. I love it!

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And now the final #1 reason why I love the Olympic Peninsula is…

1. My Beloved Brother lives there.

2011 10 24_0575eHe’s pretty awesome, and I don’t think my trip would have been near as nice and fun if he hadn’t been there! Thanks for letting us all come visit you Bro! You’re the best, and I wish I saw you a lot more than I do. Getting to see family on vacations is probably one of my favorite things in the world (even better than chocolate)

There you have it! My top 10 reasons for going to the Olympic Peninsula. I told you these wouldn’t be in a travel log, but they are still pretty great reasons for going there. Hope you enjoyed my blog tour (and for those of you who live in that pretty part of the world—I’m jealous! Hope you enjoy it thoroughly for me.)

Char Signature

31 thoughts on “Olympic Park Greats: Top 3

  1. That’s a great #1 reason! Those waves and rivers look pretty scary though. I’m glad you didn’t get swept away. I love that photo of everyone looking out at the lake. It looks so peaceful.

    • I was a wimp with the crashing waves and wanted my kids away from perceived danger. I got a lot of eye rolls from my family and they all lived, so I guess I was overly paranoid about a ‘rogue’ wave. I’m not an ocean person like you, so kind of have a healthy fear of it.

  2. Your photography is outstanding. You really need to be writing and taking pictures for travel magazines! Now I want to go to Washington!!

    • You are so nice. I can’t take all credit because my camera got taken from me many times and husband or kids took pictures (and they’re better than me). I know the starfish picture isn’t is my husband’s work, and probably the crashing waves behind my kids as well. I couldn’t look at them because I thought they would get swept out to sea and was yelling for them to come in closer. Take me with you when you head to Washington.

  3. Looks wonderful. I love the picture of the fave backs looking out over the lake. So let me get this straight, your brother is happy to put up any of us blog followers, and our families and close friends, up at his place if we take a trip there, right? That IS aweome. I’m packing now, tell him we’re on our way, just four or five of us, maybe half a dozen, no more than that, eight tops!

    • Ha ha! Yeah, I’m sure he’d be all up for that if he didn’t have a boss to report to as well. I was feeling lucky having my bloodlines that week. I’m the only one from the family so far to enjoy these sibling advantages. The park really is so far out of the way for everyone that no one else gets up there (and that probably makes my brother sigh with relief).

  4. Beautiful pictures, Charissa! Now I want to go and visit. I had no idea just how beautiful it is there. I’m missing out. My parents live in Oregon–and it is gorgeous, but this tops it by a mile!

    • I loved Oregon too when we drove through the Columbia Gorge on the way home. They had soooo many waterfalls along that stretch of highway…and all so stunning. There are a lot of similarities between the two states. I think more people visit Oregon because its coast is more developed for camping and stuff. There were only a few spots in Washington for camping and you had to drive a long ways in between park lodges and stuff to get to the next destination. It was more wild and undeveloped.

  5. All those experiences in a wonderful place, you and your family can cherish them forever. Thanks for sharing and introducing us to Olympic National Park. 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Justin. We will cherish these memories forever. This was such a neat, different trip than we usually do.

  6. Beautiful photos, and great reasons for loving the trip! I’m glad the Atlantic Ocean is a bit calmer on most days. My husband and I were in Monterrey one December during a winter gale, and that was intense. Lucky you to have a brother who lives in such a place!

    • I guess I always pictured the Atlantic more wild than the Pacific. Maybe because you guys have storms so much (hurricanes and whatever). Yes, I am lucky my brother works in that place right now. He really likes it, so maybe he won’t move on to another national park for a while.

  7. Beautiful lakes and gorgeous rocky coastline. Your brother must be the trifecta of awesomeness for that place. 🙂

    • Isn’t it so pretty. I can’t get enough of that place…and neither can my brother. He used to be like a gypsy, moving from job to job and state to state. I think he’s there to stay.

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