Lake Quinault: Forest Walk, a Giant Tree and a Boat Trip

Mileage today 23. Total mileage: 1,301

Lovely day today – very hot – 26C. We drove round to the south side of the lake and parked at the lodge. Our morning hike was a combination of the Lakeshore Trail plus the Woodland trail that went past Cascade Falls and the Cedar Bog, a bit of the Nature Trail and then back to the Lakeshore Trail. 4 miles in all. It was a really beautiful walk The lake was looking so blue and I was very much looking forward to swimming in it after the hike. The trail was pretty quiet and reasonably flat, a bit uppy and downy, but not too bad. The trees were enormous, towering above us. and there were lots of logs down with growth on them. Some of them look like a weird liquorice allsort.

A lot of the forest trail ran alongside the river and we could nearly always hear it. We criss crossed it a few times. The Cascade falls were pretty.

We eventually emerged after about 2 hours and the last mile was walking alongside the lake. By the time we got back to the lodge lakeside and appropriated a couple of adirondack chairs, I was more than ready to get in the lake!. The water was pretty warm actually. No shock at all, but not so warm as not to be refreshing. We spent the whole afternoon on the lake beach, reading and dipping in and out of the lake whenever we got too hot. It was absolutely lovely. Just what we needed.

We left the lake about 4 – definitely caught the sun, both of us – and had a quick call in at a small trail leading to an enormous Sitka Spruce, billed “the Biggest Sitka Spruce in the world”. Well, who knows really…. but it was very enormous…. It has a circumference of 58 feet, 11 inches, diameter of 18 feet, 9 inches and is 191 feet tall. Bob stood against the base of it to show the scale and size.

The Great Spruce

a more normal tall tree. still v huge

After a quick call back to the motel to change we went back to the lodge for our 6pm boat trip. There were 13 of us on the boat plus the captain, Charlie. He was a superb guide and for the next 2 hours he not only steered us around the lake but gave a really factual and interesting talk on the Lodge, the trees and physical features of the lake, the Quinault tribe’s salmon fishing industry, the conflict between beauty and money….. it was a great trip. We also saw 2 bald eagles.

We got back just as the sun started to set behind the mountains to the west. A lovely sight.

Tomorrow we leave the Olympic Peninsula and head south to the coast to begin the next section of the trip which takes us all the way down through Oregon to the northern California border. The first part of the route is along a section of the coast called “the Graveyard of the Pacific”. Join us …