Friday, August 1, 2014

Olympic National Park // Camping in Port Townsend, WA + Hiking on Hurricane Ridge

Happy August everyone!

Today, I'm excited to share some of the photos from our trip to Olympic National Park this past weekend. Now that I've officially been a resident of the Pacific Northwest for a year, I'm realizing just how many places that I have yet to see in this area! Since Cameron and I purchased an annual National Park Pass when we visited Zion earlier this year, we figured that we might as well get some more use out of it and that Olympic National Park in Washington would be a be a great place to start! I am obsessed with national parks and so I was excited to check another one off my list!



The issue with camping in a National Park is that typically, the majority of campsites inside the park are first come, first serve. Since we were driving up from Portland after work, we didn't want to risk not getting a spot and so we opted to stay outside of Olympic in a nearby state park. For the first part of our trip, we stayed at Fort Townsend State Park which is just a few miles south of the town of Port Townsend, Washington. The campground was really peaceful with lots of tall trees and our site was very secluded compared to some other places we've been.


Before heading to the park, we spent a little bit of time exploring the town of Port Townsend, Washington and it was really cute! Granted we didn't spend a ton of time there, but it was very charming to walk around and it was only a few minutes from the campground.


I loved all the old buildings!
Usually we bring food to when we go camping, but this trip we opted to just go out instead :)
It was chilly in the morning when we woke up at the campground...hence why I'm wearing Uggs.
(Don't judge...ha!)

Port Townsend is actually about an hour east of Port Angeles, WA, which where the entrance to ONP is located, so depending on your priorities, it may not be the most convenient place to stay if you're trying to explore the park. However, national parks are giant and so no matter where you stay, you usually have to end up doing a fair amount of driving and so we didn't really mind it.


We stopped at the Visitors Center when we got to the park entrance to get our bearings, and unfortunately, that's the only place we saw an elk this trip. But as you'll see, we did see a ton of deer! The first place we headed in Olympic National Park was Hurricane Ridge; located 17 miles from the north entrance of the park, this is the area where you can see really awesome views of snowy mountains! It was really overcast while we were driving up, so we were concerned we wouldn't be able to see much. However, you gain quite a bit of elevation on the drive, and so by the time we got up there, we were out of the gray and into beautiful blue skies!


We were originally planning on doing a longer hike, but Cam was concerned about doing anything too crazy given the fact that I am pregnant, and so we ended up hiking Hurricane Hill instead. This trail seemed super popular and at only 3.2 miles, it was relatively easy while still offering great views of the mountains and it leaves from a trail head just past the Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center.

We saw this little guy before we even left the parking lot - a preview of things to come!
Getting close to the top!
I realize this whole post is photo overload, but the views were so gorgeous that I couldn't help it!
The grassy meadows and the snowy peaks reminded us of the Alps, so I obviously couldn't resist re-enacting the opening scene from the Sound of Music...and that's in no way a joke :) #soawkward
Le bump at 21 weeks :)
At the summit of the trail, we saw a bunch of deer...and also this white mountain goat!
We also saw a mom and her tiny fawn that still had its white spots - it was so cute!



We actually ended up adding an extra mile or so on to the hike by exploring a different offshoot trail on the way down that had some really gorgeous wildflowers!


If you're in Olympic National Park, I'd definitely recommend doing this hike!
I have some more pictures from the rest of the park...but since this post is already pretty lengthy, I'll wait to share those until next week :) Until then, have a great weekend everyone!

PS: I'll have another bumpdate later this month, but in the meantime, I thought I'd throw in one more picture of the bump at 21 weeks since I know my mom likes to see them :)
Kinda crazy that this baby has technically already been to three national parks! (here and here)

6 comments:

  1. ahhh so lovely! in my old neck of the woods. adore port townsend and sequim is awesome to check out too! looks like a great weekend away
    Ladies in Navy

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  2. Omgosh!!! These photos are stunning. Love, love them!

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  3. I love all your pics! I haven't been up to Olympic NP in years...perhaps I can squeeze a trip in for my family before my husband's sabbatical is up!

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  4. That looks so pretty! I admit I hadn't ever even thought about that being a place to visit. I definitely am adding it to my list for a long weekend trip now! PS - Totally love the Sound of Music photo! :)

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  5. Wow, cool! I haven't explored the park up there too much, although we go to Port Angeles on the northeast side of the peninsula at least twice/year to see family. Camping up there is a great idea!

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  6. So i was reading the 2nd post about your camping trip and followed a link up to here.... I thought the camp site by the lake was incredibly fantastic... but This place is gorgeous too and now I can't wait to go there. I especially love the flowers, the wildlife... So cool and great pictures by the way!

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Your sweet words make my day! :)

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