Due to the U.S. Government Shutdown, admittance into both the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park has been ceased. Calls to the ranger stations must go unanswered and websites now display a "not operating" message like this http://www.nps.gov/shutdown/index.html. So what are visitors supposed to do? Don't worry! There is still a plethora of things to do and see on the 5,316 square miles of the Olympic Peninsula outside of governmental lands. This weekend, October 5 & 6, is the 32nd Annual Shelton Oysterfest http://www.oysterfest.org/. Enjoy wonderful seafood and watch the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship. Then travel north up Hwy 101 to enjoy the Kinetic Sculpture race and events in Port Townsend http://www.ptkineticrace.org/. Afterwards, warm up from watching those crazy-geniuses enduring the race's frigid waters at the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival, just 30 miles west in downtown Sequim http://www.fiberartsfestival.org/. See beautifully hand-crafted woven arts and get in the cozy, Fall spirit! Even though camping and hiking in the National Park and Forests might not be an option, there are still plenty of beautiful areas to explore. We're using this time to visit coastal grounds and towns as well as our beautiful State and County Parks that are located throughout the Olympic Peninsula. On the east along the Hood Canal is the Dosewallips State Park http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Dosewallips and the Dungeness Recreation Area in the North http://www.clallam.net/Parks/Dungeness.html. Both are open year-round with spectacular water views. Travel along the Hwy 112 Scenic Byway to take in the Autumn splendor over looking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Stop at the Salt Creek Recreation Area near Joyce http://www.clallam.net/Parks/Dungeness.html. Explore the tide pools in Sekiu (watch for the giant red jellyfish this time of year, but don't touch.) and listen for the last of the migrating birds as they make their way south. This is also an excellent time to visit the Makah Indian Reservation at Neah Bay. Spending an afternoon at the amazing Makah Museum would not be regretted. Enjoy the boardwalk along Cape Flattery and scan the vistas for whales. Also happening this weekend on the West coast is the La Push Last Chance Salmon Derby http://forkswa.com/salmonderby/. Fisherman don't want to miss out on our record high salmon run this year! Hopefully these tips can replaces a few disappointments with inspirations as we endure these changes that out of our control. For more information planning your trip or for a free travel planner, call us! (360) 452-8552. Our complimentary travel planner can also be downloaded from www.olympicpeninsula.org.
"Fall into the Olympic Peninsula" this season by entering our Pin-It to Win-It sweepstakes for a chance to win a different prize package all season-long! Up to five (5) Winners will receive weekend getaway packages, to be drawn on or around September 27, October 2, October 16, October 30 and November 27. The packages are listed as follows: Art Lover’s Dream Weekend (to be drawn on or around September 27, 2013, for the weekend of October 4, 5 and 6, 2013). Total approximate retail value: 450.00 USD. In Sequim, the town that's the Queen of Lavender, you'll soak up the local art of the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival and First Friday Art Walk and Nourish yourself in the rainshadow of the Dungeness Valley. Take in the views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains as you relax at the Holiday Inn Express. Then head on over to the Victorian seaport town of Port Townsend for the mechanical fun of the Kinetic Sculpture Race and events and a stay in the charming Ravenscroft Inn.
- One (1) double-queen guest room for one (1) night, including Express Start Breakfast for two, at the Holiday Inn Express in Sequim, Washington
- Explore the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival, the First Friday Art Walk, and the Saturday Sequim Farmers Market.
- One (1) $50 gift certificate for meal service at Nourish Restaurant in Sequim, Washington (valid October 30, 2014).
- One (1) room for one (1) night at Ravenscroft Inn in Port Townsend, including dinner for two at Doc's Marina Grill ($50). Valid through March 31, 2014, excluding November 28, 29, 30, 2013; December 24, 25, 31, 2013 and January 1, 2014.
- Two (2) tickets to the Great Port Townsend Kinetic Sculpture events in Port Townsend, Washington, valid for October 5 and 6, 2013.
- One (1) room for one (1) night at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles, Washington. Valid October 11, 2013
- Two (2) tickets to the 12th Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival – Peninsula Daily News Community Crab Feed in Port Angeles, Washington, which takes place the first night of the festival, Friday October 11.
- One (1) two-person room for one (1) night at Winters Summer Inn Bed & Breakfast, including gourmet breakfast, in Clallam Bay, Washington. Valid through March 31, 2014.
- One (1) two-person room for one (1) night at Elk Meadows Bed and Breakfast, including breakfast, in Hood Canal, Washington. No pets, children over 14 are welcome. Valid through March 31, 2014.
- One (1) room for one (1) night at the Robin Hood Village Resort in Union, Washington.
- Two (2) tickets to Union PumpkinFest (weekend of October 25 and 26, 2013) plus participation in pumpkin catapult contest.
- One (1) two-person room for one (1) night at Quinault River Inn in Amanda Park, Washington. Valid through May 31, 2014.
- Dinner for two at Lake Quinault Lodge in Quinault, Washington. Valid through March 31, 2014. (Up to $100 value, excluding alcohol, must be used in one sitting.)
- One (1) room for one (1) night at Kalaloch Lodge in an Oceanside cabin, plus breakfast for two, in Quinault, Washington. Valid through June 30, 2014.
- One (1) view room for two people for one (1) night, including breakfast, at the Inn at Port Ludlow in Port Ludlow, Washington. Valid through Valid through March 31, based on availability.
- 18 holes of golf with a cart at The Resort at Port Ludlow in Port Ludlow, Washington.
- One (1) kayak rental for two at the Port Ludlow Resort Marina in Port Ludlow, Washington.
- One (1) room for one (1) night at Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast in Forks, Washington Valid through March 31 excluding Feb 14 & 15 and March 15, 22 and 29.
- One (1) $30 Gift certificate for two at Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant in Forks, Washington (no expiration).
The northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, from the beaches of Clallam Bay along Highway 112 to the culturally rich Makah Indian Reservation and down to the rugged beauty of Shi Shi Beach and Lake Ozette, offers a wide variety of unique experiences. Something for everyone isn't just a cliche here. It's the simple truth. Clallam Bay and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A stay in the fishing village of Sekiu, right on the bay, is a chance to slow down while walking the docks and breathe in the sea air. For generations, anglers have launched their boats into the protected bay in search of record-breaking salmon and halibut. To the north, across the Strait are spectacular views of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Clallam Bay offers great family adventures such as hiking, camping, birding, beachcombing, diving, kayaking, wildlife watching and just about any outdoor fun that does require waiting in line or at stoplights. A drive up Highway 112 towards Neah Bay, home of the Makah tribe and the point of Cape Flattery, offers a chance to take in the views of the Strait. Motorcyclists especially appreciate the 249 curves of the road along the coast to Neah Bay. By the late 1700s, the Native American populations of Makahs and Ozettes numbered over 200 in villages near Neah Bay and Lake Ozette. Europeans first visited the area in the 16th century and later established settlements along the coast. Today, the outstanding exhibits at the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay offer a look at the early life of the Makahs. The boardwalk trail to Cape Flattery offers breathtaking vistas with four observation decks where one can see Tatoosh and Vancouver Islands, sea life, and ship traffic. A two mile hike on the southern end of the Makah Reservation leads to pristine Shi Shi Beach. Only accessible by foot, Shi Shi has a special kind of natural setting that attracts those hikers looking to slow down, or perhaps even go surfing. Down the Hoko-Ozette road to the south along the Pacific Ocean lies Lake Ozette. First settled in the 1800s by Scandinavian immigrants, the area around Lake Ozette was included in the Olympic Forest Reserve. At over nine square miles, Lake Ozette is the largest natural lake in the state of Washington. The Ozette Triangle is a popular 9.4 mile loop from the recently uncovered ancient village of Ozette at the northern tip of the lake, along the cedar-planked boardwalk through wild forests and meadows to Cape Alava, down the primitive beach to Sand Point, and back another cedar-planked trail to Ozette.For those who love the water, an unforgettable adventure awaits at
The Olympic Peninsula is home to dramatic coastline and beaches. From sea stacks to tidepools, sandy shores to rocky cliffs there's a beach for everyone. Here we are highlighting five of our favorite beaches paired with who they may appeal to most: Adventurers, Surfers, Whale Watchers, Families, Shell Fishermen, and Storm Chasers. Shi Shi Beach- Often described as the Olympic Peninsula's most dramatic beach, Shi Shi is home to sea stacks, caves, arches, and tidepools. Part of the adventure is getting to the beach. Starting just outside Neah Bay, it's a 3.3 mile hike on wooden boardwalks and bridges through the rainforest and down a rather steep beach cliff. Hikers are rewarded with stunning views of this wild coast. A Makah Recreation Pass should be purchased before heading out on the trail. Surfers and Whale Watchers- First Beach - Near the coastal town of La Push is one of the Olympic Peninsula's top surfing spots, First Beach. Waves crash on the mile long crescent shaped beach which is part of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Surf lessons and equipment rentals are available in La Push. At the north end of First Beach is a Whale Trail site. From February to April, gray whales pass through the area during their northern migration. Porpoises, otters, seals, and sea lions are also commonly seen here. Continue readingAdventurers -
Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park have trails, campgrounds, and dispersed campsites to suit all types of outdoor enthusiasts. Year round Big Quilcene Trail #833 follows the Big Quilcene River along old growth forests and lush meadows into the Buckhorn Wilderness. This is a beautiful area for a day hike. Backpackers hoping for an extended trip can follow the trail to Upper Dungeness and Tubal Cain Mine Trails. Continue readingHiking and backcountry camping are great ways to explore tthe Olympic Peninsula. The
The Olympic Peninsula is home to a variety of waterways including wild rivers, protected bays, and serene lakes, together providing many paddlesport adventure possibilities.
Visitors can kayak the Elwha River in the midst of an historic dam removal project. The first of two dams has already been removed, a year ahead of schedule. Nature Bridge’s Amazing Elwha River Story Adventure gives families two opportunities to experience the Elwha, learning about its history and ecology while rafting and doing science experiments.
Explore Tide Pools and Examine Cool Critters on the Olympic Peninsula! beaches. As breezes blow away the morning mist, you'll discover dozens of fascinating tide pools with sea stars and urchins and other critters scurrying about in the tide pools. Constantly shaped and re-shaped by the actions of sun, wind, water and rock, tide pools are distinctive and somewhat harsh habitat where the ocean water meets the land. Life is tough for plants and animals that live in tide pools. The sun bears down. Wind and water continually pound at the rocks. Nevertheless, the rugged Olympic Peninsula coastline teems with life! Sea stars, barnacles, urchins, anemones, tubeworms, piddock clams and sea snails thrive in these little pools - and one square foot may support thousands of these tenacious little sea creatures. 11. Tide pools: http://www.olympicpeninsula.org/things-to-do/its-time-tidepoolingTake time to discover and explore the miniature world of tide pools on the Olympic Peninsula's Pacific coastal and Strait of Juan de Fuca
See the Pacific Ocean from a Ruby Beach or Find Some Perfect Skipping Stones
Olympic Peninsula's Ruby Beach with a meandering creek, dramatic sea stacks, and drift logs is named for its sometimes garnet-colored sand. Witness this phenomenon especially near sunset. A gold mining operation was located here in the early 1900s. Olympic National Park protects over 73 miles of the some of the most primitive natural coastline in the 48 contiguous United States. The views of ocean, cliffs, headlands, islands and sea stacks, coupled with the dramatic changing sea, provide a unique wilderness experience. Most of the coast can only be accessed by foot. Rialto Beach and Kalaloch beaches, including Ruby Beach, are accessible by road. You’ll find prefect skipping stones at Rialto Beach near La Push. 10. Pacific Coast Beaches, Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-kalaloch-and-ruby-beach.htm