Saturday, April 23, 2011

Olympic National Park - A Land of Contrasts and Variety

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Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service
These majestic mountains reside in my backyard!
I wake up every morning to see them glistening in the distance.
In a short 20 mile drive, I can be in the Olympic National Park.
Who's a lucky girl?!

The Olympic National Park is surely the most diverse of all of our grand national parks.  Within its boundaries are miles of coastal and tide lands, the largest old-growth forest with trees over 1000 years old, temperate rain forests, hot water springs, sub alpine meadows and magnificent glaciers.

Map of Olympic National Park (courtesy of

One of my favorite hikes is at Hurricane Ridge located 17 miles straight up the mountain from Port Angeles.  It is a favorite of our guests who have made the trek.This past week, while my dad was in the dentist's chair in Port Angeles, my mother and I took a drive up the mountain - I thought you might enjoy seeing photos of our little adventure.

Top: Photos of the drive up the mountain. Snow started only a few miles up.
Bottom: 'Looks like Christmas!' Deer nibbling the new growth along the road.

View of Straight of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island in the distance.
Tidbit: At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak
 in Olympic National Park and has the third largest
glacial system in the contiguous U.S.

Even though there was snow everywhere, it was a beautiful day at the crest.
My mother wanted to take in the sun so I attempted to wheel her up the path,
but alas we only made it a short distance.  We saw two guys strapping on
skis for a back-woods downhill adventure.  Woo hoo!!

I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  our national parks!! 

If you are not familiar with our National Park Service, check it out.  Chances are there is a national park, forest or monument close to you. 

This is what Hurricane Ridge looks like in July and August - wild flowers replace the snow!
Tidbit: 95 percent of Olympic National Park is designated as Wilderness.

2011 Fee-Free Days:  April 16-24, June 21, September 24, November 11-1

Many of the 394 our national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee.

Annual pass (one year from date of issue): $80
Senior Lifetime Pass: $10 (62+ years)
Disabilities Pass:  Free
Volunteer Pass:  Free (500+ hours of service)

If you find yourself in Seattle, perhaps departing for a cruise to Alaska, consider staying an extra week or two so that you can venture out to the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic National Park.  Guaranteed to be a highlight of your adventure to the Pacific Northwest!

Linking up to: TidyMom

Tidy Mom

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing the National Park photo's.....they are spectacular!! What a beautiful place for your mom to feel and see the sunshine.
    Happy Easter!


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