Adventure-minded residents of Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia have a great deal to gain from spending a day or two in nearby Olympic National Park. The park’s snow-capped mountains and lush rainforests make it unique among parks in the United States. The park has beaches and harbors—it even has hot springs that make the perfect weekend getaway for any of our customers here at High Elevation.
Things to Know About Olympic Park
Planning a day out in Olympic park can be a hugely rewarding decision, especially since our cannabis dispensary is right on the way if you’re coming from Seattle. Speaking of routes, you’ll want to choose your entry point with the types of activities you want to do in mind. Olympic Park is over 922,000 acres in area, and there are no roads crisscrossing the parks’ interior; make a plan and choose your entrance accordingly.
The park offers camping, kayaking, mountain climbing, rainforest hikes, hot springs and more to guests and adventurers. Find the appropriate entrance by planning your trip based on the information on the park website. Additionally, the months of June through September tend to be the busiest times of year, which means you may need to reserve a wilderness camping area in advance.
The park contains a wide variety of ecosystems: subalpine, coast, temperate rain forest and lowland forest. One of the most popular goals of hikers and daytime adventurers in the area is to sample each of the major ecosystem groups, which can be achieved by driving around the circumference of the park and spending time at each stop in turn.
Kayaking and Rafting in Olympic Park
Along the north border of Olympic Park, adjacent to the Port Angeles entrance, you’ll find kayaking equipment rental stores as well as directions up through the wilderness to jump-off points around the Elwha river. This river used to be dammed, but as of August 2014 is not flows freely, offering a great whitewater rafting experience to any adventurer willing to take it up.
While enjoying our products while rafting or kayaking is not recommended, especially if you’re a beginner, you’re encouraged to keep a small jar of concentrate with you and celebrate the completion of your adventure with a dab. Bring a group of up to 12 people and make an event of the occasion.
Hot Springs in Olympic Park
There are two hot springs in Olympic Park, and they vary greatly in appearance and accessibility. The Olympic Park Hot Springs are completely natural and undeveloped, while the nearby Sol Duc Hot Springs feature a fully developed resort.
Accessible via the same entrance as the Elhwa river, the Olympic Park Hot Springs offer a relaxing, natural experience that merit the 2.5-mile hike necessary to get there. There are seven distinct, individual springs located in the area, with temperatures that typically range between 85 and 105 degrees. The pools tend to average about one foot in depth.
The trail that leads to the hot springs is called the Appleton Pass Trail, and it’s a relatively easy one. This makes the Olympic Hot Springs a great choice for daytime adventurers who are not necessarily seasoned outdoor hikers. Bring along our lambsbread strain and enjoy it after bathing in the warm geothermal waters.
The Olympic Hot Springs are also open during winter, however, the road needed to access the trail is closed during winter, adding 4 extra miles to the hike. Some may find it preferable to enjoy the facilities of the Sol Duc resort in this case, but at High Elevation, we find the beauty and tranquility of completely undeveloped nature too inspiring to pass up.
Try this trip for yourself and remember: pristine, untouched nature needs our help to remain that way. Leave no trace of your stay and dispose of waste thoughtfully.
Have you been to one of these gorgeous spots? Let us know on Facebook! We’d love to hear your stories.
Enjoy the photo from this blog? Check out more from the photographer here.