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How We Explored the Olympic Peninsula in Just One Day

Exploring around the Olympic Peninsula is no one-day task nor should it be. The beauty of this part of the state is incomparable and should be treated as such when venturing out into its depths.

By: Garrett Schmidt + Save to a List

To start,

since moving here back in October, I have been wanting to see these giant rocks emerging from the coast. So getting two days off in a row finally and the weather being somewhat decent I went for it.

Leaving from the Tacoma area we embarked on our quest up highway 16. Getting to see The Narrows Bridge is pretty amazing. I would advise seeing it. Also if you don't have Spotify go ahead and get it. I am in no way getting money for that comment but it's a long drive and kind of boring so being able to have the Backstreet Boys at your fingertips could help. 

The first place we stopped was Lake CrescentThis was the only sunny spot we got to enjoy on the trip; I mean it is the coast so that is to be expected. This lake is easily accessible from the road so you don't really have to go too far out of your way. The sun's reflection off the emerald green water is out of this world. Crystal clear all the way to the bottom. Seriously. Stop there. 

After the Lake,

continue onward west towards the coast. Rialto Beach was first up. It's kind of a bummer but we didn't get to explore too much here. The weather had thickened with rain and not wanting to destroy my camera I didn't stay out long. With that being said I did get to step onto the beaches made of black rocks. You just get kind of "horror movie" feel out there. Either way our first beach with giant rocks, so I was happy!

We accidentally took a wrong turn,

and ended up in La PushThis small town is super sweet, and worth the wrong turn. Got to see some really big colorful boats, and more rocks in the water (Big rocks in the water make me happy). So I had this great idea of cooking dinner on the beach and being romantic, but Washington has a way of making you have your dinner plans according to it. Fortunately, La Push has some good places to eat. I don't know about you, but when I'm near the water I just want Fish N' Chips. River's Edge Restaurant has some amazing Fish N' Chips so go there if you get "lost". Oh, and they have beer. So if you need a "break" they have beer. Did I mention they have beer? 


The sun was starting to set so we didn't have time to see First and Second Beach which are on my list as well. But we did stop at Ruby Beach a little bit further down the coast and it was all that I had hoped for. Giant rocks in the water, and half of the beach was covered in massive pieces of driftwood. You have to pretty much crawl over a wall of it just to touch the water. Accessibility is the greatest part of these places. Yes, I hate crowds. Yes, I don't like easy photos, but when you are worn out and you want to see a lot in one day you have to sacrifice quietness. If you do hate crowds like me then you can just wait for a miserably wet day at the beach, trust me, you won't see a soul! Well... you may just see me. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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