This past week I was able to visit the Olympic National Park, which also happens to be one of my favorites! One of the reasons why the Olympic National Park is so special compared to others around the United States is because it has more diversity in both plants and animals than any other! For those of you that are are unaware of the exact location of this national park, it’s actually located in the beautiful state of Washington and its located on the Olympic Peninsula. In my opinion, the Olympic Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in the world! I started my in the Northern area of the park at a beautiful place called Hurricane Ridge. When I arrived to the ranger station I was greeted by a very helpful Ranger who issued me my a new national parks pass and a map along with recommendations. During the drive to the trailhead I was so surprised on how much wildlife I was able to witness! Within the first few minutes of being on the road I had seen several deer of all different sizes and even a bear sitting right along side of the road eating berries!
When I made it to the trailhead I was greeted again by a big buck! He was so beautiful and calm! After hanging near the buck and my van for a bit, I decided to head to the Hurricane Hill trail only to find that it was closed due to ” goat migration “, this bummed me out quite a bit, as I had been looking forward to doing that hike for quite some time now. I decided to not be to upset and I ventured off on some of the other smaller trails in the area that were open. While I was on one of the trails I came a cross another huge buck standing in between some trees! This one unlike the first one I had seen was a lot bigger and meaner looking, or maybe I just got that impression simply because I was alone! I quickly grabbed a few pictures and kept going about my business. Not to far up along the trail I ran into a group of boys from Hong Kong and they had also just arrived to the Olympic National Park, except it was there very first time! After chopping it up a bit and breaking the ice I got to know that they had turned around on the trail because the fog was to dense, not allowing them to see and after seeing all the wildlife they had been to afraid to continue. It didn’t take long, but I was able to convince them to finish up the rest of the hike because I had a feeling that we would easily surpass the fog cover and that the view would be rewarding! Sure enough when we made it to the top the sky was clear and you could see everything in the valley and out in the distance so clear! It brought me so much joy seeing how stoked these kids were, especially because it had been there very first time out in nature like that ever before. It reminded me of myself, growing up in Los Angeles I only felt comfortable in massive cities for a long time. It wasn’t until I was introduced to hiking and photography that I really became in love with the outdoors. After hanging out with these guys for a while I decided to run around and shoot the sunset a bit more before heading over to the Storm King Ranger station, I never made it all the way there because I was tired so I pulled over on the side of road and called it a night!
The following morning I woke up with every intention on hiking up Mt. Storm King, but because of my dim headlights on my van and no GPS I passed the trailhead and by the time I realized That I had passed it I was about 30 minutes in the opposite direction, so I decided to head off and explore the Hoh Rainforest as it was only about another 30 minutes drive from where I was. When I arrived to the rainforest I immediately found the main trail head and I decided I would do the most popular route since I had never done it called the “Trail of Moses”. I started walking on the trail and immediately ran into large groups of families with kids crying and some yelling at each other! I then decided to turn around and head back to another trail head called the Hoh River trail. This trail has several different routes on it some starting at a 10 miles round trip leading all the way up to a 36 mile roundtrip! I decided I would head off to a few waterfalls, which were only about 3 1/2 miles away according to the sign. To make a long story short, I never ended up seeing waterfalls and my hike turned into 13 miles because I veered off onto the wrong trail! If that wasn’t enough, while I was on this trail I also had one of the scariest encounters with wildlife that I’ve ever had in my life ! While I was walking I had a momma bear and her cub jump right out in front of me onto the trail. I literally had an oh shit moment and slowly began stepping backwards to hide behind the nearest tree! All of sudden all of the tiredness had gone away and I was completely scared for my life because this bear just sat there and looked at me while her cub jumped around in the brush. After looking at me for a few second, (but what felt let eternity to me!) the bear jumped behind a log and began to feed her cub. I decided to sit back and continue to wait until others come around or until I saw the bear leave. After about 20 minutes a few hikers come by and I warned them of the bear. One of the hikers just so happened to be a wildlife volunteer and assured me that it would be okay to walk in front of the bear. I wasn’t going to risk it, but they had continued walking so I ran up behind them because I wasn’t going to sit there any longer by myself. Sure enough the bear kept on feeding its cub and I got to live to finish that beautiful trail. (first two photos shot on Iphone)
After the trail I headed to the coast, which was only about 30 minutes away from the rainforest! The first stop on my list was Rialto Beach where I was able to spend s couple of hours walking up and down the beach enjoying the beautiful rock fixtures that stood out in the water. The beach was so beautiful that I decided to stay for sunset and it did not disappoint at all! After sunset I decided to head to another beautiful town along the coast called La Push. La Push is famous for its famous beaches that appeared in the Twilight series and since have attracted thousands of visitors from ll around the world every year! I decided to go sleep at one of the more famous beaches in La Push called Second Beach because I heard it was an amazing place to wake up for a sunrise! If you know me than you know that I love my sunrises! The following morning I woke up at 5 am and made the one mile walk down into the forest which eventually lead me to the beach. The sunrise that morning unfortunately wasn’t anything special, but it didn’t make the beach any less amazing than it was! I was completely left in shock because I had never seen such a beautiful piece of coastline throughout my travels! After taking a couple of photos I decided it was time to put the camera down and simply enjoy the beach! I hung around for a couple of hours before heading back into my van to start my drive back into the city to charge up my equipment, edit, and catch up on some studies!
I hope you all enjoyed hearing about my adventure through the Olympic National Park! I’m excited to share with you all that next month I will be heading back to Europe to the beautiful countries of Sweden and Iceland! So stay tuned for all of those fun adventures that are about to come your way! Thanks for stopping by! See you on the next one! 🤘🏻