25th Jul 2012 - Summer 2012
Day 37-Sol Duc Hot Springs at Olympic National Park & LaPush, WA
Day 37-July 25, 2012-Olympic National Park Part 2 & LaPush, WA
Drove 103 miles today in 4-1/2 hours but that included a 25 mile round trip to Sol Duc Hot Springs, the second part of the Olympic National Park.
We first drove by Lake Crescent, a glacial lake that’s 12 miles long and 624’ deep. It’s so clear you can see forever although it looks like it gets deep really quickly. Very deep blue too. From there we went 12-1/2 miles up the National Park road to Sol Duc Hot Springs, a natural mineral spring that’s starts at 128 degrees and ends up in three pools that are between 99 and 104 degrees. A resort, lots of cabins and even a couple of campgrounds (that we can’t fit into) on the premises. People come to go in the springs to cure what ails them. On the way back down we pulled over for some lunch at the salmon cascades, part of the Sol Duc River that salmon spawn in. They say there’s salmon here every season but they’ve been over fished so they’re hard to spot now. Very pretty blue cascades. There was another area called Ancient Groves which was large old trees that we drove through, Sitka Spruce, Red Cedar, Fir and Hemlocks. The wildflowers are beautiful here but different from other areas, here they’re white daisies, tall yellow dandelions and pink foxglove.
It was about another hour to our campground, still travelling of 101, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway ‘til we got to Forks and then we turned on 110 for 15 miles of nothing ‘til we reached LaPush. Most of the peninsula is either the Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest (I don’t know the difference), Indian Reservation, the Makah, Quileute, Quinault, Ozette and Hoh, or a combination of the above. Our campground is in the National Park but it’s on Quileute land. Go figure. It’s called Quileute Oceanside Resort and there’s a lot of cabins, family suites, a restaurant, convenience store, marina and the campground. Somehow I think the Quileute Indian tribe got snookered out of this property. Anyway, it’s right on the Pacific Ocean and as soon as we got about a half mile from the campground we saw what we thought was smoke but turned out to be mist from the ocean and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. It was sunny and beautiful and then BAM!, cold, damp, misty. But still pretty. The campsite is right behind the dunes leading to the ocean, which has tons of driftwood on it. We took a walk on the beach after we set up, there’s lots of people, some surfing, some sitting by a fire, some swimming (we figure they’re either from Canada or Michigan and the water feels warm to them). A lot of seagulls and funny looking pelicans, too.
Back at camp we threw in a load of laundry and then I went back to the beach and collected some driftwood for campfires. We’re gonna chill out, read and relax for the rest of the day. We’re here for two nights so tomorrow we’ll do some more sight seeing.