Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller
Date: June 29, 30, July 1, 2022
This huge park located on the Olympic Peninsula, was established in 1938 and is also a World Heritage Site. It has three different ecosystems from the dramatic peaks of the Olympic Mountains to old growth forests. The summit of 7,980 ft. Mt. Olympus has glaciers while on the Pacific Ocean side you can hike through rainforests or along the beach searching tidepools for starfish. Nearly one million acres or 95% of the park, five areas of the national forest and over 600 islands are protected as wilderness. Differences in rain (from 40 to 240 inches annually) and elevation (from sea level to 7,980 feet) create a variety of forests in the park. Currently they are 266 glaciers in the park.
We camped at the Port Angeles KOA campground and hiked mainly the north side of the park. In Port Angeles two things stood out. There were a large number of drive-thru coffee shops, many with funny names like “Bean Me Up Scotty”. Secondly, there were many cannabis stores even one drive-thru store. One road sign said, “Don’t Smoke & Drive”.
We hiked the Hurricane Ridge area of the park one day and then drove 18 miles west to hike in the Lake Crescent section of the park on day two.