South Beach Olympic NP, WA AUG 12, 2018

After Forks we had a reservation for one night at a campground in Olympic National Park.  However I read about a first come first serve (no reservations) campground, also in Olympic National Park, with campsites that overlooked the ocean.  This campground is at one of several beaches in Olympic National Park and some of the last protected wilderness beaches in the contiguous United States. Since it was first come first serve we got up early Sunday morning and drove the 45 minutes to South Beach campground. This is one Pacific Ocean viewpoint along US-101. IMG_20180817_121518IMG_20180817_121509

We found the perfect site and asked the current occupants if they were leaving and if we could claim it by putting a folding chair on the picnic table. The current occupant said no problem. In the meantime we pulled into a less desirable site and waited. And waited. For five hours. Even though checkout was 11:00 AM, they finally pulled out around 2:30. With this view I can see why they hated to leave. IMG_3483IMG_3484

We stretched what was originally going to be a one night stay at the other campground to six nights here. Who could resist staying longer at this site with ocean views and the sound of the ocean right outside your window? A short distance from our campsite was a path down to the beach. IMG_20180813_180927IMG_20180813_175803IMG_20180813_175931

And can you believe with our national park senior pass the price was $7.50 a night? We were thrilled. Only drawback was it had no hookups. Small price to pay in our opinion. While we were there it was very hazy and we were under a poor air quality alert for many days. The Seattle TV News said it was due to wildfires in Canada with the air pressure system pushing the air down into our area. IMG_3488IMG_3497IMG_3503

During our six days we spent a lot of time enjoying the beach but one day we drove to another rain forest.  Last week it was the Hoh Rain Forest and this time we visited Quinault Rain Forest south of us in the southwestern edge of Olympic National Park. Last time we were here was 2014.  IMG_3482IMG_3477

We drove the 31 mile loop around Lake Quinault and Quinault River through the Quinault Rain Forest. We took a short hike to the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce. IMG_3461IMG_3460IMG_3466IMG_3462IMG_3464

It is 191 feet tall, diameter of 18 feet, 9 inches and a circumference of 58 feet, 11 inches. It is estimated to be about 1,000 years old.

Along the drive we stopped at Merriman Falls and IMG_3468

Bunch Falls. IMG_3471

We ended the day by hiking the Maple Glade Trail.  We really enjoyed our walk because it was far less crowded and seemed more green and lush than the Hoh Rain Forest we visited less week.  All of Washington state is really hurting for rain. The local news said that in the last 120 days the state has received less than an inch of rain. All areas are under a fire ban. 20180814_12564220180814_130741IMG_3478IMG_3480

Four years ago we took a difficult trail to see the large Quinault Cedar Tree here but we learned that it has now fallen over. IMG_20180814_133046
Here is our pictures from 2014:


Next up: A visit to Beach 4 and some amazing sea life

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