Olympic National Park Day 3

We did a little bit of everything on Day 3. We started the day by driving out to the west coast again, but this time a little farther south to Rialto Beach. It was foggy and windy and cool when we got there and so we bundled up in our coats and started walking the beach. There was a lot of drift wood which was something we hadn’t seen as much of before and a bunch of really smooth stones along the beach which was also different that Shi Shi Beach the day before. There were a number of sea stacks which is part of what Rialto Beach is known for. After about a mile or so up the beach there is a solid wall of rock that during low tide one can actually walk through a large hole in it. We timed it right and walked through and then spent a lot of time exploring the tide pools. The clouds and mist slowly lifted while we were doing that. We again found starfish and all sorts of little creatures. We also found a trial up over the large rock wall that backpackers use when they are hiking and are there during high tide and can’t just walk through the hole in the wall.

We found some drift wood to have our lunch on and then started our way back up the beach again as the clouds were continuing to lift and clear. As we were walking along we saw a bald eagle flying in and out of the trees along the beach. They are amazing to watch in flight, we could never get a good photo of him flying but it was just amazing to watch.

After Rialto Beach we discussed whether we wanted to hit up some more beaches, head to the rain forest area or go to Lake Crescent. We had seen and explored a couple of beaches and with our hike through the moss and fern covered forest on the way to Shi Shi Beach the day before we felt like we had hit the rain forest so we decided to head to Lake Crescent.

At Lake Crescent we rented a double kayak and went out on the lake. There was a bit of a breeze so the ranger at the dock recommended not going to far out in the center of the lake because it would be a fight to get back into shore. We were fine with that and just explored up and down the edge of the lake and had a good time. We were impressed that we could actually survive in a kayak together as the last time we were in a double canoe we spent the majority of the time fighting against each other. The views were gorgeous and we had fun.

The skies were clear and so we decided to try and see if we could make it up to Hurricane Ridge and see Mount Olympus since it had been so cloudy the day we arrived. The drive up was gorgeous and it was clear at the ranger station at the top. We talked about doing the 1.2 mile hike up the ridge, but it was so clear and we could see both the coast line and the Mountain ridge with Mount Olympus from the ranger station and the outlook trails nearby that we just stuck with that.

We finished the day off at a local gastro-pub with amazing burgers and fries. It was a great day with a lot packed in.