From: Justin Gural
July 22, 2010
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Photo: Trevor Anderson
Art of TidesBordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Hood Canal and on the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Peninsula is anchored by the majestic Olympic Mountains. Not many places in the states can match its diversity in terrain and weather in such a compact geographic area. You'll find easy access for exploring lakes, waterfalls, rivers and rain forests.
Olympic National Forest covers over 633,000 acres and is made up of two ranger districts: the Hood Canal and the Pacific. It offers a wide range of recreation, including hiking, camping, backpacking, picnicking, boating and other outdoor activities. It operates 17 campgrounds that are on a first-come, first-served basis and have varying overnight fees, and there are five designated Wilderness Areas that do no require wilderness permits - but a Northwest Forest Pass is required for all vehicles parked at many ONF trailheads.
The Hood Canal's protected waters are ideal for kayaking, and features many sheltered coves, bays, and inlets that provide calm waters with serene beaches. Popular launch sites include Pt. Whitney, Pleasant Harbor, Seal Rock Campground, Yelvik's Boat Ramp, Dosewallips State Park, and Triton Cove, among others. Broad Spit County Park is an undeveloped, boat-in only kayaking destination that permits camping on the east side of the Bolton Peninsula. Kayak Brinnon provides kayak rentals and tours and will deliver kayaks to locations between Potlatch and Quilcene.
Visitors can reach the Olympic Peninsula from Seattle via Washington State ferries and a 60-minute drive, or two-hour drive northwest from SeaTac International Airport. Lodging includes camping, quiet bed and breakfast inns, fishing resorts, country motels and famous historic lodges.
To learn more or to book your next adventure, visit OlympicPeninsula.org.