Olympic National Park lies on the Washington State peninsula, west of Seattle. We (my parents and I) were there for two days in July of 2000, on our Pacific Northwest trip.
Hurricane Ridge is easily accessible from Port Angeles, and features a visitor's center with information about the park and the mountains. (Actually there are two visitor's centers, the main park one at low elevation along the road up, and a second one up at Hurricane Ridge itself.) The ridge itself is somewhere around 5000-6000 ft, and gets a good amount of rain, so there are quite a few wildflowers to be seen. Of course, I have forgotten the names of all of them by now (December 2001).
Yellow, red, and purple (thistle?) flowers (click for full-size image)
Clip: deep-blue flowers (click for rest of picture)
Returning from Hurricane Ridge to Port Angeles, then traveling west, you eventually come to an area where you can park and walk out to Marymere Falls. This is a very pretty, although not terribly well-lit, temperate rainforest area. The path goes right up to the top (or middle, I forget) of the falls, which is a relatively easy climb, although there is a narrow bridge to cross.
Marymere Falls (click for full-size image)
My folks, on the bridge (click as usual)
We stayed overnight in Forks and went on to the Hoh Rain Forest (also part of the park) the next day. Hoh gets even more rain than the Marymere Falls area, something like 40 inches a year. The Hoh River is also fed by the glacier on Mt Olympus, and tends to run green with the `rock flour' that glaciers dig out of mountains. When we were there, though, it was remarkably dry.
The normally-wet weather grows some very large trees.
My folks at the base of a tall tree on the path (my dad is the white dot in this small version!)
Hoh River (random tourists on shore)
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All contents are copyright © 2001 Chris Torek.