Washington Journals

2006 Trip Pt 4 - Washington's National Parks

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An August 2006 trip to Washington by creekland

Moose Ahoy! Photo, More Photos
Quote: Washington State - a place we only nicked the corner of on our first western trip, so this time it was a major part of our journey - and again - the National Parks were our highlights. This was the last state with my mom and nephew.

Ohanapecosh Campground (Mt. Rainier National Park)

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Attraction | "Ohanapecosh Campground (Mt. Rainier NP)"

Ohanapecosh Campground (Mt. Rainier National Park) Photo, Packwood, Washington
Quote:
Ohanapecosh is a large campground in a wooded area of the southeastern section of Mt Rainier National Park. Its central location is superb for visiting any area fairly easily. There are flush toilets, but no showers. Sites have decent size to them - and as always - some have more privacy than others. Some are also right along the creek - as ours was - making a really nice "woods" setting with the natural sound and view. This is a highly sought after campground, so reservations are recommended. That said, we made ours shortly before we left on our trip for a Friday night stay and didn't have any problems. Folks next to us were last minute campers. However, the campground was mostly full and we wer...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 18, 2006

Ohanapecosh Campground (Mt. Rainier National Park)
Southeastern Corner of Park
Mt Rainier National Park, WA 98304
(360) 569-2211

Grove of the Patriarchs

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Attraction | "Grove of the Patriarchs (Mt Rainier NP)"

Grove of the Patriarchs Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
In a state/country where most of the old growth forests have been logged (or burned) in years past, the Grove of the Patriarchs stands as an icon/reminder of what used to be. Protected from man by being in a National Park, and from nature by being on an island in the middle of a wider section of the Ohanapecosh River, this testament to the age and growth possibility of hemlocks, cedars and firs really should NOT be missed - even if you're in a hurry. This is a genuinely easy hike for such a spectacular witness to one of nature's gems. The round trip is just 1 1/2 miles with little or no elevation change - and remember - you've come to the park to see the sights, right? The hike is not wheelchair ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 18, 2006

Grove of the Patriarchs
Mount Rainier National Park
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Kalaloch Campground at Olympic National Park

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Attraction | "Kalaloch Campground (Olympic NP)"

Kalaloch Campground at Olympic National Park Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington
Quote:
Ocean view, ocean sounds, access to an uncrowded beach, and all in a wooded setting miles from any civilization - thus is a brief description of Kalaloch campground in Olympic National Park. Let's start with the name. Most folks see Kalaloch and pronounce it "cal - a - lock." Wrong... it's pronounced "clay-lock." Huh, you say? Us too. They tell us it derives from an Indian name, but no one could get more specific. We think it's one of those names locals use to tell the difference between natives and tourists... This campground is large (175 sites) and varied. We made our reservations the first day you could - on the 5th, five months in advance - in the first hours - and were abl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 22, 2006

Kalaloch Campground at Olympic National Park
On bluff overlooking Pacific
Queets, WA

Lake Chelan + Ferry to Stehekin

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Story/Tip

Moose Ahoy! Photo,
Quote:
Riding a passenger ferry on a two mile wide, 50+ mile long ribbon of deep water slicing through mountains to reach a mini-village on the other side - this can be your experience in North Cascades National Park... and it sounded REALLY neat. To back up... when planning this trip, we looked at where we would be (Glacier National Park) and our semi-final destination (Washington Coast at Olympic National Park) - then looked in between. Aha, a huge lake bordering Cascades National Park... then to the Internet and research. We found we had the option of driving through the upper road of Cascades National Park or driving to Chelan (the town) and taking a day trip on a ferry the length of the la...Read More

Mount Rainier National Park

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Story/Tip

Appearing in the distance and dwarfing the surrounding mountains... Photo,
Quote:
Spectacular... in one word, that has to sum up our overall opinion of Mt Rainer. It's a gorgeous mountain volcano with glaciers and snowpack - tall, towering trees, idyllic campgrounds, and miles of hiking trails. If you couple this park with Mt St Helens - on different days of course - you also get a very REAL understanding of the power of nature's volcanoes - an understanding that simply can't be felt from a video or book. You have to experience it. Mt Rainier towers more than 14,400 feet - the tallest point in Washington State - at least - for now - it's another of earth's ongoing projects that someday will drastically change. The question is, WHEN? Try to see her as she is now. I dou...Read More

Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument

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Story/Tip

Its Alive! Photo,
Quote:
Wow - for a while - that's all we could really say about Mt St Helens as we looked, read, and learned about her and her survivors/victims. None of us were "new" or "uninformed" about her history. We adults were alive and well when she erupted in 1980 - and all those "warnings" and minor eruptions since. All of us had watched TV shows about her for general information, I even teach about it at school at times, but none of those prepared any of us for what we saw or felt when we were there in person. As mentioned in a couple of my other journal entries, Mt St Helens was a late addition to our trip - spontaneous really - due to having seen Mt Rainier, and of course, because it was famous. My nephew ...Read More

Olympic National Park

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Story/Tip

Out of the forest and onto the beach. Photo,
Quote:
Trees, trees everywhere - and beaches - and temperate rainforest - and mountains. One National Park. Which one? Olympic National Park in the "evergreen section" of the Evergreen State. We were here to see - and camp next to - the Pacific Ocean - our planet's largest body of water - a landmark all should take the opportunity to see. Olympic National Park has three totally different areas within it. The section we were mainly after was the 50+ miles of coastline on the Pacific - or at least the section of it that Kalaloch campground was near. My nephew had never seen the Pacific Ocean - so it was our goal to get there before he and my mom had to travel back home. We made our reservations t...Read More