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Washington: Olympic Peninsula

Deception Pass area

Deception Pass are is located in the northern Puget Sound connecting Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island as well as Strait of Juan de Fuca and Skagit Bay. In fact, at the time of exploration, Deception Pass mislead George Vancouver into thinking that that Whidbey Island was a peninsula hence the name “deception”.

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The history of Deception Pass is rather peculiar and the part of it that I got to know so far revolves around the powerful waters rushing though the pass. Standing on the Deception Pass Bridge it was certainly the sight to behold!!! I was told that the most competent and proficient scuba divers are able to discover the beautiful water world of Deception Pass waters; however, I would most certainly prefer to appreciate the water in the peace of tide pools. If you are planning a trip to Olympic National Park area, I would suggest making it a point to visit Deception Pass Park. Being the most visited park in Washington with over 2 million visitors a year it offers beautiful sights and wide range of activities.

 

Cape Flattery

Cape Flattery is the northwestrnmost point of the contiguous United States. Despite its isolation, Cape Flattery is deservingly one of the most popular hikes on the Olympic Peninsula due to the stunning views of raw wilderness it offers.

The hike assumes a fairly easy 1.5 mile walk through the forest and boardwalk. Once you arrive at the view point, be on the lookout for whales since they do frequent this area. We did not see the whales ourselves but people who arrived to the viewpoint slightly before us were very excited about whale sighting.

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Be sure not to cut your Cape Flattery experience short and do visit Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches. We were too excited to discover Neah Bay and Olympic National Park that we missed this part of the Cape Flattery package.

 

Olympic National Park

Few years ago I was invited to camp in the Olympic National Park. Despite my best efforts, I never made it to that trip. That said, I did get a chance to explore Olympic National Park recently by visiting the following few places:

 

Hurricane Ridge

Located 17 miles away from Port Angles, Hurricane Ridge is the mountainous area of the Olympic National Park. The drive to the Hurricane Ridge is absolutely breathtaking in terms of beauty as well as in terms of the cars proximity to the cliffs. That said, I was too busy indulging into the pure silence of the forest to notice anything else until we arrive to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.

Hurricane Ridge is a year – round destination providing opportunities for hiking in summer and skiing / snowboarding in winter. Speaking of the cold, the weather in the Olympic Mountains is said to be unpredictable, and visitors are advised to be prepared for snow at any time of the year. We were lucky to experience Hurricane Ridge on an exceptionally sunny day which is why we were preoccupied with packing of the hats and sunscreens as opposed to packing of the jackets.

 

Sol Duc waterfall and hot springs

Sol Duc Valley is one of the major attractions of Olympic National Park. Most people head to Sol Duc area in order to hike the Sol Duc waterfall or to visit the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Our intention was to visit the waterfall; however, upon arrival we opted for enjoy the healing powers of the hot springs. The resort uses both spring and river water in order to maintain the gentle and meticulously observed temperature regimen.

 

Hoh Rainforest

Hoh Rainforst is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the USA. Located within Olympic National Park, it stand rather far from Hurricane Ridge, Elwha and Sol Duc area. The Hall of Mosses trail (0.8 mile loop) is beautiful but I think you need to have strong interest in the forest life in order to make the distance worth the drive.
Thanks for reading,

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