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Photo Gallery: Backpacking the Wild Olympic Coast

Posted On August 8, 2016 at 4:09 am by / Comments Off on Photo Gallery: Backpacking the Wild Olympic Coast

By Michael Lanza

You can’t order fried seafood or buy a T-shirt anywhere along the 73 miles of seashore of Olympic National Park. What you will find is the longest strip of wilderness coastline in the contiguous United States, home to seals, sea lions, sea otters, bald eagles, tufted puffins, and many seabirds, and humpback, gray, minke, and blue whales. Salmon spawn in wild rivers. Up and down the coast, scores of stone pinnacles—called sea stacks—rise as much as 200 feet out of the ocean. It’s one of the few remaining pieces of ocean-view real estate in the Lower 48 that Lewis and Clark or Capt. George Vancouver would recognize.

On a three-day, 17.5-mile backpacking trip on the southern stretch of the Olympic coast, from the Hoh River north to La Push Road, my family camped on the wilderness beach, explored tide pools and boulders coated with mussels, sea stars, and sea anemones, and walked through one of Earth’s largest virgin temperate rainforests, where Sitka spruce and western red cedar grow to 150 feet tall, with diameters of 10 or 15 feet, and Douglas fir and western hemlock soar well over 200 feet.

It’s still one of my kids’ favorite trips and one of my top 10 family adventures.

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Get a sense of that adventure from the photo gallery below, and then read my full story from that trip, which has many more photos and a video.

See also menus of all of my stories about family adventures, Olympic National Park, and national park adventures at The Big Outside.

Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by a USA Today Readers Choice poll and others. Subscribe for updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story, at the top of the left sidebar, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

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The view from Strawberry Point.
Alex examines a giant tree downed by the ocean.
Nate climbs a rope ladder around Hoh Head on the Olympic coast.
Hiking the overland trail around Hoh Head, Olympic coast.
Mussels on a boulder.
Sea stars and sea anemones on a boulder.
Rope ladder at the north end of the Goodman Creek overland trail.
Toleak Point on the Olympic coast.
Hiking to Strawberry Point, Olympic coast, Washington.

 

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