Olympic National Park, Neah Bay, Cape Flattery, and Hobuck Beach
Seattle Travel Blog› entry 6 of 14 › view all entries
The anticipation of this day had been building and I was very much looking forward to driving over to Olympic National Park. Before I left for Seattle I had made my ferry reservations online. I really did not need them going over but coming back it was a must. I left the hotel at 5:00am and headed north on I-5 to Hwy 525 west to Mukilteo. There I caught the ferry to Clinton on Whidbey Island then a nice drive to Keystone for the ferry ride over to Port Townsend.
Just outside of Port Angeles I had to drive onto Hwy 112 out to Neah Bay. The drive along the road was beautiful. At one point I noticed a lot of cars pulled off the road ahead of me. I slowed down to see what was going on and the trees opened up to the water and there were surfers catching the waves. I pulled off and took some photos. They had full length swimsuits on. You know the water was very cold. The road continued on winding it's way thru the trees and eventually it opened up to the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The road wandered along the cliffs with some awesome views. I made a few stops when I could and took some more fantastic photos. Finally I reach Neah Bay and what a beautiful site it was. Neah Bay is part of the Makah Tribe. Before doing any hiking or camping you need to buy a permit. $10.00 for the year. I stopped at Makah mini-mart to buy the permit and they give you a map of the area also.
I wanted to visit Shi-Shi beach. With a two and a half mile hike fro the trailhead. I had to pass on this. I choose Hobuck Beach. A quick walk from the road.
It's time to leave all the beauty behind me and head back towards Seattle. I wanted to get something to eat in Neah Bay but being a Sunday the only thing open was the mini-mart. I decided to drive on to Port Angeles and get something to eat there and fill up with gas. Finally I drive into Port Angeles. It's a beautiful little town with some great views of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Vancouver Island. I filled the car up and drove thru Wendy's and it was back on the road. Again I took the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island.
One more thing......In Florida we have Hurricane Evacuation Routes......In Washington you have Tsunami Evacuation Routes....things that make you go hmmmm.
Olympic National Park - The coastal portion of the park is a rugged, sandy beach along with a strip of adjacent forest. It is 73 miles long but just a few miles wide, with native communities at the mouths of two rivers. The Hoh River has the Hoh people and at the town of La Push at the mouth of the Quileute River live the Quileute.
The beach has unbroken stretches of wilderness ranging from 10 to 20 miles. While some beaches are primarily sand, others are covered with heavy rock and very large boulders. Bushy overgrowth, slippery footing, tides and misty rain forest weather all hinder foot travel. (Times to hike should typically be doubled.) The coastal strip is more readily accessible than the interior of the Olympics; due to the difficult terrain, very few backpackers venture beyond casual day-hiking distances.
There are thick groves of trees adjacent to the sand, which results in chunks of timber from fallen trees on the beach. The mostly unaltered Hoh River, toward the south end of the park, discharges large amounts of naturally eroded timber and other drift, which moves north, enriching the beaches. The removal of driftwood - logs, dead-heads, tops and root-wads from streams and beaches was a major domestication measure across North America. Even today driftwood deposits form a commanding presence, biologically as well as visually, giving a taste of the original condition of the beach viewable to some extent in early photos. Drift-material often comes from a considerable distance; the Columbia River formerly contributed huge amounts to the Northwest Pacific coasts.
The smaller coastal portion of the park is separated from the larger, inland portion. President Franklin D. Roosevelt originally had supported connecting them with a continuous strip of park land.