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Trip Report Two Wonderful Nights on the Olympic Peninsula

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We drove from Seattle to Lake Quinault Lodge in about four hours, including a stop for a quick lunch. There we had a large room with a small terrace on the lake, comfortable bed, small TV, but no coffee maker or telephone. We had a delicious dinner in the dining room at a table with a great view of the lake and sunset.

While we were waiting for our room to be ready, we walked on a path along the lakeshore to a trail in an old-growth rain forest forest. The trail can also be accessed from a parking lot one passes about one mile before arriving at the lodge.

After settling in, we went next door to the Ranger Station for suggestions about what to do in the area. We were advised to drive around the lake. I’m not sorry we did, but I don’t recommend it because much of the road is unpaved and filled with potholes impossible to avoid.

However, on the south shore of the lake we enjoyed a short walk to the world’s largest Sitka Spruce (which is beautiful) and two waterfalls. The first waterfall is about four miles from the lodge and the other is at about six miles farther on.

On the north shore of the lake we especially enjoyed the short and easy hike on the Maple Glade Nature Trail. (This trail can be accessed from Highway 101.)

On the second day we drove to Port Angeles. On the way we explored the grounds of Kalaloch Lodge and then we climbed over great twisted masses of logs to take a walk on Ruby Beach. After lunch at Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant in Forks, we drove to Rialto Beach and to First Beach at La Push. Both of these beaches give great views of massive rock formations. Rialto Beach is very well maintained. First Beach is sandy, rather than rocky, and it is located within an interesting Indian Village.

We then drove to Lake Crescent where we parked at the Ranger Station and took the hike to Marymere Falls—about 1 ½ miles round trip. The path winds through a beautiful forest.

We had hoped to drive to Hurricane Ridge, but the road was closed so we drove around the hills above the town of Port Angeles were we discovered a fine residential neighborhood with sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

In Port Angeles we stay at the Olympic Lodge, which used to be a member of the Best Western chain, but is no longer. The comfortable rooms have been recently redecorated. We prefer the rooms facing the gold course. The big lobby is undergoing a renovation which we look forward to seeing on our next trip to the area. The hotel offers complimentary soup and sandwiches in the evening and a big breakfast in the morning, for which there is a charge. We didn’t eat the snacks because we didn’t want to spoil our dinner at Sabai Thai Restaurant, about which we had heard raves. We love Thai food and we have never enjoyed a Thai meal more than the one we ate at this restaurant. Highly recommended.

We drove back to Seattle on Highway 101 as it hugs the west shore of Hood Canal. This is a scenic drive that always delights us. Those who have never been to the area before may prefer to return to Seattle via the quaint towns of Port Townsend and Port Gamble.

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