Seattle and Olympics NP

In July I went to Seattle for a company Hackathon event, so I got to visit Seattle city for the first time, and went to Olympics National Park for a weekend trip.

Seattle city felt pretty small to me. When I took a Uber from Space Needle to Pike Place Market, the driver gave me a look and said “you know you can walk there, right?”. And these are pretty much the only 2 areas I visited in town. Pike Place Market is a tourist trap for sure, but it indeed has awesome seafood and fruits. I had some wonderful rainier cherries and king crab legs there for a quite reasonable price. Space Needle itself took a long wait so I didn’t go to the top, but we did enjoy a free rock concert on the lawn in front of Space Needle. And we visited Chihuly Glass Art Museum, an interesting and super photogenic place.

We went to Olympics NP on Sat morning, stayed in the gateway town Port Angeles for one night and returned on Sun morning, so it was basically a full-day trip. If I arranged it again I would definitely give it one or two more days, because Olympics NP is huge! It’s famous for its variety: you can see mountains, rain forests and beaches in this one park, however it takes a long drive from one place to the other. A nice itinerary is to do a large loop that will take at least 3 days. Unfortunately I only found this out after booking the trip.

We went to the mountain part first, Hurricane Ridge. It was a cloudy day. The higher it was, the more cloud there was. In most time we could barely see snow peaks faraway. But the fast-moving cloud mist has its own beauty.

We did a light hike to the Hurricane Hill. The highlight was mountain goats. About half way to the top we saw a mom goat with a baby goat. They were eating snow for water and weren’t afraid of people. The baby goat was super cute and always following its mom closely. Near the top we started to see more and more goat families, at a time I think there were a group of 10~12 goats in our view. Babies were playing and fighting with each other while moms were busy eating and doing a bit social.

Then we drove downhill because it started to rain on the mountain. It was still early afternoon so I drove all the way to the rain forest area. We hiked the Sol Duc Falls trail. It was a totally different view than the mountain area. Rain forests are super wet… although it wasn’t raining, there was water dropping everywhere and it almost felt like hiking in light rain. It was an easy hike and the falls were very pretty. We tried to take a different trail on our way back but found it was wrong and way longer than we thought so had to turn back… the only bonus for that detour was a “half bridge” which looks like being cut in half.

Overall I think Olympics NP was OK based on my experiences. It has a little bit of everything but none of them is that superior. Maybe the cloudy weather played a role in my experiences. I wouldn’t mind visiting it again if I visit that area again and have enough time for a longer trip.

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