Coastal Olympic Peninsula

Boy, have I been a busy traveler this week! We’ve had splendid weather for several days, and I wanted to take advantage of it while it lasted. Those of you who live here, in the Pacific Northwest, know exactly what I am talking about. Sooner than later we’ll all be hunkering down with a good book (more like a pile of them) or catching up with movies on line.

To be begin with, Sunday, I went for a long drive to a part of the Washington coastline that I have never visited before—the very small coastal communities of Moclips and Pacific Beach. To get to theses places is a long drive to begin with, from just about anywhere. But I found that after studying a map, the fastest and shortest route to take is Oceanbeach Rd from Hwy 101. This road cuts across, instead of following the winding, slow going highway along the coast from Hoquiam. Once I arrived, I was very disappointed. There is not much here, except for a few beach motels, and the beaches are not appealing—at least not to me.  It can be a very dreary spot, as this area of the state gets lots of rain, with the coastal rain forests not far off to the east. In fact, that’s where I was headed for next. Here is the only photo I took of a beach that had something scenic to look at, and I had to drive onto the Quinualt Indian Reservation to find this spot. Sorry to say that I will not be returning. But if you are looking for seclusion and cool, damp weather most anytime of the year, this may be the spot for you.


I found another well maintained road that cut across the western part of the peninsula to the main Hwy 101 and headed north to Lake Quinault Lodge. This is a favorite spot of mine that I had not visited in several years. The Quinault Rain Forest is located here. I didn’t have time to hike around the forest, since I wanted to make this a one-day trip. I would have loved to stay the night at the lodge, but not at the price they were asking—at least not for one person, anyway. It is a beautiful, rustic lodge located in the forest and is on the list of National Historic Lodges. Here are a few images.

016View of Quinault Lodge from rear of property

006View of the lake from outside patio of lodge

010Rental canoes at the lodge

018Coastal Native artwork on a wooden shed

003Chess set inside main sitting room at lodge

051Welcoming area in front of lodge


As well as a few Coastal Redwoods planted in front of the lodge, expect to see lots of native Western Cedar, Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, and Sitka Spruce. In fact, just down the road from the lodge is the world’s largest Sitka Spruce tree. These trees are one of the predominant species in the area’s rain forests.

All around the lodge are planted large Rhododendron shrubs and Hydrangeas. I was surprised to still see some Hydrangeas still in bloom, mainly the Lacecap variety. Here are a few photos of these beauties.




Please be sure to stop in at Lake Quinault Lodge when visiting the Olympic Peninsula, if only just to take a look at the rustic lodge, or perhaps to walk on the many trails along the lake and forest. It’s a great travel destination for the whole family!


About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store,
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9 Responses to Coastal Olympic Peninsula

  1. Miriam says:

    What a lovely place. Gorgeous photos.

  2. I remember it well, through the rainforest.

  3. Gunta says:

    Interesting to see redwoods growing in Washington. 🙂

  4. It sounds like a wonderful trip. Beautiful shots!

Thank you!

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