Olympic National Park

 The Olympic National Park is spectacular - very big with many campsites and trails - ranging from sea level to about 8000 feet at the top of Mt Olympus. There are several glaciers in the park and a lot of it is rainforest. We were almost disappointed (just kidding) that the weather was great when we were there.

The first day we drove up to Hurricane Ridge – getting spectacular views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Vancouver Island on the way up - then at 5000 feet, we could see the top of the park, Mt Olympus and the glaciers. There are about 60 glaciers in the park.

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus

 Click on these photos to make them bigger.

There was still snow in the parking lot on Hurricane Ridge.  They have big snowblowers.

Snowblower

Snowblower

The deer were very close to the building on the Ridge – they call them black-tailed deer here - but they are also called mule deer south of here. The grass was showing up as the snow melted back. They seemed to be unafraid of humans.

Black Tail Deer

Black Tail Deer

It was possible to get pretty close.

Closeup

Closeup

At the campsite we talked to a guy that had spent about 4 days on Hoh trails trying to get up on a glacier  on Mt Olympus- but about 500 vertical below one, the avalanche danger was too great.

The campsite had a lot of downed trees – we talked to the ranger and he said a wild windstorm did it about 2 years ago -guess the campers were terrified - hid in the bathrooms - not sure if they would be safe if a 8 foot diameter tree hit one - but lots better than a tent.

The record for snow here is 60 feet. They only got around 20 feet this year. There are some monster snow blowers that help clear – but there is still snow up high - - plenty of snow melting now

The coast is really a wild coast - huge logs and stumps - generally quite foggy.

Olympic Coast

Olympic Coast

 

 

Wild Coast

Wild Coast

The fog had lifted some in this photo  - at first we couldn’t see the big rocks (sea stacks) offshore. Several people would walk up up the coast for a day or two -

Sea Stacks

Sea Stacks

Logs

Logs

Effie loved this area  - nice and cool beach with  big logs and smells and fog.  This gives you some idea of the size of some of this stuff.

 We  saw several bald eagles - one feasting on a dead seal. We spooked him so I didn’t get a good photo.

 

A pretty nice fishing river comes into the ocean next to the campsite, but I hate to buy a license for a two days here - we will need ones for BC, the Yukon, and Alaska.

Hoh rainforest - The Hoh rainforest gets 12 feet of annual rainfall further up the mountain the number is close to 20 feet - Seattle gets about 37 inches.  We took a walk on the Trail of Mosses.

Moss

Moss

The trees all have moss hanging on them and when a tree falls down more grow from the stump or log. A temperate rain forest like this produces more biomass per acre than a tropical rain forest -

The new trees start up on stumps and logs - which eventually rot out from under them.

New growth

New growth

Moss grows on everything.

Moss

Moss

We followed the Hoh river – nice one. There must be salmon and trout there.

Hoh Riverr

Hoh Riverr

We passed a Sitka Spruce that was about 550 years old - 275 ft/ tall.

Sitka Spruce

Sitka Spruce

This is a great and a great big park  not that far from Seattle.

 

 

Next is the ferry to Victoria across the Straight of Juan de Fuca.