Hiking

Lake Quinualt and Ruby Beach

Every year or so we head out in the late winter/early spring to the Olympic Coast and often to Lake Quinalt Lodge to spend a long weekend. Usually in the rain, but we make it happen. Lake Quinalt Lodge is one of a kind and I have been staying there since the late 1990’s when I first found it.

I’ve stayed in the lodge, in the hotel rooms (Lakeside Rooms) and the historic Boathouse rooms. When long ago there were no TV’s (though they gave up that ghost at some point).

The Lakeside Rooms are pretty nice though, for a traditional hotel style room. They are relatively quiet and have pretty views of the lake off the deck, if you are on the upper floor. There is something about staying in the great indoors in winter months, when it is dark by 4:30 pm, that is worth it. You can hike, and be warm during the long nights.

We had a pretty day (meaning no rain….) so the boys and I set out for a hike along the shoreline of Lake Quinault. The trail along the lake by the lodge is part of a larger loop, that goes up into the forest on the other side of the road.

In a rain forest, a carved mushroom log might be pretty right.

The shoreline is moss covered.

Following the creek.

Pass a bridge, that goes over to a National Forest campground, and keep on going.

Waterfall from a distance.

The trail goes to Falls Creek and comes to a waterfall that comes out from under the road. It is a pretty spot to sit even so close to the road.

In the morning we headed out on Hwy 101 and stopped at Kalaloch for a bit to stretch the legs. Tide was in, and was a winter high, where not much beach is left.

After spending a bit of time, we got back on the road.

The next stop was Ruby Beach, one of my favorite stretches of the Olympic Coastal area. High above on the bluff, looking down.

The trail down to Ruby Beach is quick though not accesible (it has steps and a few short steep-ish sections).

The boys checking out the side paths down to Cedar Creek.

The creek empties into the Pacific Ocean here. It is a dark, tannin filled creek, like many creeks on the coast. The water is dyed tea color by the tree roots.

The tide was going out, but still high. In the summer it is easy to hop the creek and continue down the beach.

Say what you will about cairns, but on a beach like Ruby, filled with so many flat smooth rocks….

My kind of day at the beach.

Rocks in tree stumps, left by the waves.

And another cairn to wind up with….

~Sarah

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