Living in the Pacific Northwest, the potential for wilderness always exists. Perpetually calling for you, but like most of the time our phone rings, we send it to voicemail. Wilderness is around every corner, begging for explorations. You catch glimpses of wilderness on the city streets, between buildings and reflecting off the glass jungles of the Emerald City. The glances are intoxicating, enticing you to explore the natural wonders of the world that very instant. Your mind drifts to days on the trails. Gazing off of summits, looking over the entire world, a day in the Pacific Northwest filled your soul. John Muir was onto something when he received the call from the mountains. He answered the call and seems like a happy enough man, and we know we must go too. But seriously, wilderness should have just texted us.
We look at the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula from different angles. Some see the Olympic Mountains from their home in the rainforests, others through their 27th floor window in downtown Seattle. Depending where in Cascadia you live, you might have your favorite beach, rainforest and secret mountain lake in Olympic National Park. In a region with roughly 750,000 acres of wilderness, and 311 miles of trails, it is hard to find one a dozen favorite locations let alone one. Olympic National Park offers one of the most diverse ecosystems in the entire world, and it is right in our backyard.
Olympic National Park is more than one trail or one destination. It is more than the Hoh, Kalaloch, Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent Areas; it is a lifetime of wilderness experiences in one park. With mountains to climb that offer the best panoramic views in the world, waterfalls so numerous it is impossible to see them all, and a rainforest so green that you wonder why it is envious, Olympic National Park needs to be explored. Make 2015 your year to fall further in love with the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
Five Olympic National Park Experiences for 2015
See the Sunset
Even if you have already discovered the unrivaled beauty of seeing a sunset in Olympic National Park, it can always get better. If you have seen the sun plunge below the horizon from Ruby Beach, Rialto Beach or Hurricane Ridge, try going somewhere more remote, more rugged and more isolated. Those of us who know the park well know that it always can get better, which makes us incredible spoiled.
Explore the Coast
Olympic National Park has 74 miles of coastal wilderness, with each mile away from the nearest parking area more rocky and wild than you can ever imagine. You don’t have to trek for days (though you can) to find a coastal area to fall in love with. Whether it is Ruby Beach, Rialto or the coast of the Ozette Triangle, the rugged beaches of Olympic are the best in the world.
More Beach Info: http://exotichikes.com/olympic-national-park-rainforest-and-beaches/
Stand on a Ridge
Whether you decide to climb one of the easier mountains, or make your way up the glaciated peaks around the region, climbing mountains, standing on a ridge and enjoying panoramic views is something Olympic is amazing at giving. Above the rainforest-filled valleys below, the ridges and mountains of Olympic give the best views in what I presume to be the entire universe. For those looking for something unique, head up to Gladys Divide near Staircase.
See the Greens of the Rainforest
Olympic National Park has three rainforest regions. While the most popular is the Hoh Rainforest, the Quinault and Queets are actually even better, as they are more wild, less visited and full of more wildlife and amazing destinations. Whether you decide to hike to the chalet in Enchanted Valley (aka: Valley of 10,000 Waterfalls), hike up the Hoh River Valley or explore the remote Queets Rainforest, you will find beauty and more green than you thought possible. If you have seen these places, try hiking in the more remote regions, as there are places that have yet to be hiked.
Discover the animals of the Hoh Rainforest: http://exotichikes.com/the-animals-of-olympic-national-parks-hoh-rainforest-a-video/
Do Go Chasing Waterfalls
Olympic National Park has places that receive 14 feet of year each year, and combined with the melting masses of snow in the glaciated Olympic Mountains, the rivers and streams of the region become swollen with water. As the water tumbles down to the ocean below, the flow of the streams plunge down giant drops, giving Olympic National Park thousands of waterfalls. While some are remote, others are close and easy to hike to, giving explores and adventurers of all ages and sizes a chance to see the waterfalls of Olympic. If you are looking for more remote waterfalls, just head to the mountain passes, or to the remote sections of the rainforest regions. You won’t come back empty handed.
Top Ten Waterfalls Around Olympic National Park: http://exotichikes.com/top-10-waterfalls-around-olympic-national-park/
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