It was more than we expected. Much more.
Oregon always held a special place in our heart after our previous Pacific Northwest road trip, so my expectations were subdued for it’s northern neighbour. I’m sorry Washington state, but most of what we knew about you was “it always rained in Seattle.”
However with the 10th anniversary of the first Twilight novel coming up and a long deferred desire to visit the famous town of Forks, we had the motivation and means to make a b-line to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
What we discovered was spellbinding – majestic rainforests, rivers, lakes, beaches and mountains. Nature’s wonderland. Too many times I found myself speechless, staring with mouth gaping, staggered by the magnitude of Olympic National Park.
The only way I could think of encapsulating this experience was a series of photographs which captured the essence of this destination’s divinity.
Oh, and don’t forget… the world’s freakiest beach is here. As voted by me.
1. Rialto Beach
Rialto is a public beach located on the Pacific Ocean, near the mouth of the Quillayute River near La Push. It’s a coastal forest with a spooky tree graveyard littering the shoreline. To top off the eerie ambiance, wafting clouds emanated out of the ocean, like ghosts searching for new hosts. The salty air was thick and calm, no tree dare moved. I could see why it made the perfect backdrop to a fictitious vampire story. A symbolic marriage of death and beauty. This is hands-down the freakiest beach in the world.
2. Salmon Cascades
Now to a more butterfly-and-sunshine theme – happy jumping fish. We had never seen salmon returning home to spawn and this was a remarkable opportunity. Primarily in late September and early October coho from the Pacific enter the Sol Duc River by means of the Quillayute River and leap, with great determination, over the cascades en route to their desired spawning grounds. And then they die. Oh darn. Maybe not so cutsie after all.
3. Ruby Beach
Back on the topic of ghostly beaches, Ruby Beach takes spot #2 for the world’s spookiest beach. On the western outskirts of Olympic National Park, along the Pacific Ocean is a stretch of coastline called Olympic Wilderness. Ruby Beach is situated near the Hoh Indian Reservation, about 27 miles south of Forks. Another otherworldly tree graveyard, covered with large pebbles (don’t try sunbaking) and spectacular spooky scenery. No words necessary.
4. Hurricane Ridge
Deep in Olympic National Park is Hurricane Ridge rising to an elevation of 1,598 m (5,242 feet). It was quite the drive to the top of the mountain, but the views were more than worth it. We took a short hike to the highest lookout and soaked up the vista. Ahhh!
5. Lake Crescent
Situated along the main highway at the northern boundary of Olympic National Park, this vast yet tranquil lake will take your breath away.
6. Marymere Waterfall
A pleasant hike through mossy fern forests with green paths and colossal trees culminated with a 90-foot high waterfall. The enveloping lush, calm forest made us feel like a million miles from civilisation.
That’s a wrap
I think these 30 photos say more than enough. Mere words will only get in the way. I hope you feel inspired to visit this beautiful part of the world to experience it for yourself… if you dare.
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
I'm so glad you liked Rialto Beach. Fantastic photos, Josh! My own photo of it is the one I put on my travel credit card. It's such a memorable place, isn't it. Olympic National Park is also where we took my kids on their first trip that didn't involve visiting family. That was a long time ago, and we've been to so many places since.
It was an interesting post, with great pictures.. looks amazing.
The beach is looking amazing.
I am thinking to travel there with my family taking help of any travelling agency.
Thanks for sharing this post.
Simply awesome! The beautiful pictures and descriptions left me spellbound and surely it's hard to resist visiting this place. This beach makes as a unique beach that will leave you shuddering with fear. So experience thrill and adventure of a tour to this picturesque place.
Love your post and pics! You have great taste- I picked the same spots when our fam(3kids and my husband and I) got to travel around the peninsula !! Except for the second stop. we stayed in A little cabin by the forks vampire sign! Iloved all of your pics and descriptions- there is something otherworldly about that place! Thanks for sharing-
Write Your Comment
Please DO NOT include links, URLs or HTML in your comments - they will be automated deleted and you will waste your time.