Lake Quinault

Miles today: 100 Total Miles: 1,279

This morning we packed up and sadly quit our little cabin by the Bogiechief River and headed south about 60 miles to Lake Quinault. The road ran along the Olympic west coast for a while and we looked down on the enormously long beaches. There was a sea fret at this point of the journey and it was quite misty.

That soon cleared and the day turned very hot. We got to Lake Quinault around mid day and we called in at the Lake Quinault Lodge first for a look-see. We aren’t staying there – too expensive – but we can still enjoy the facilities of this lovely large lodge. Like most of them it was built in the 1920s/30s and has a gorgeous old fashioned vibe, with luxuriant lawns running down to the lake where water sports are available. There are lawn games and adirondack chairs scattered about.

We went to reception and enquired about boat tours of the lake. The website was still showing that there was no schedule but I’d read a Tripadvisor review that suggested they were running. And indeed – hooray – they are. We have booked for the 6pm one tomorrow. Just hope the boat doesn’t break down this time.

We sat on the lawn for a while and just enjoyed the view and the sun and watched families playing some of the games. It’s a gorgeous lake, not quite as big as Lake Crescent, but still pretty big.

After that we decided to drive the 31 mile Lake Circuit route, a country road that goes around the entire lake. About 12 miles of the route is a gravel road. Single track in places but largely flat and nothing to worry about. At first we passed by lovely small farmsteads along the south route along the lake and beyond. Probably hadnt changed much in a hundred years. Then the road entered the rain forest proper – the Quinault Rain Forest – and once again we were in the green world of moss laden trees and ferns. Just a lovely, lovely drive. Eventually we crossed the river over a rickety bridge, the road worsened a little bit on the north side, but not for long. There were quite a few trail signs all along the route and we will explore some of those tomorrow.

We stopped at a pull in above the lake and had our picnic. There was quite a nice sandy beach area below – July creek I think. And on to our motel for the next 2 nights – the Lake Quinault Inn, right at the western end of the lake. It’s one of those ones where you drive up to the door of your room Quite basic but a big room with fridge, microwave, coffee, 2 x queen size beds and wifi. Our room was ready, so we unloaded the car and loaded the fridge.

Then we headed out again up the north side to the ranger station and a short trail we had seen to the Kestner Homestead. The Kestner Homestead was established in 1889 by Anton Kestner and the family lived there for many years. It’s now being developed into an interpretive centre but is the turning point of a lovely loop trail through the woods and along the Kestner creek (sadly dry at the moment). We really enjoyed our walk, the woods were beautiful.

By the time we finished, it was nearly 5pm so we headed back to the motel for our microwave dinner (lasagne tonight)!