A Taste of Alaska in Washington's Olympic National Park
|View from Hurricane Ridge|
|Inside the forest at Lake Crescent|
|Walking the ridge, 5000+ ft|
However, this week the rain and snow had settled in high in the mountains and on Hurricane Ridge, so I decided to switch things up and take the group south and east from Port Angeles to Lake Crescent. I expected the lake to be clear and beautiful, as it was carved out by a glacier and has an unusually low nitrogen content making it difficult for phytoplankton to grow and murk up the water. What I didn’t expect was to be blown away by the forest on the trails around the lake.
We hiked the moderately easy 1.5 mile trail to Marymere Falls, and almost instantly I was transported to an ancient old growth forest of Alaska. The trees were impossibly strait and tall. We reached a douglass fir that took five people with outstretched arms to wrap around. Then we reached a bigger one. Then there was a seven person western red cedar. The big leaf maples were in full fall colors, reflecting off the river below the falls. My photographers in the group just couldn’t get enough. I’m surprised I was able to get them back to the bus at all.
We finished the visit with some free time around the Lake Crescent Lodge. Some folks sat by the fire, while others walked the pebbly beach lakeside, while a few others dug into the legends and history of the area, even finding out the storied history of the phone booth at the Lake Crescent Lodge.