Now that we live in Washington state, we’ve been wanting to check out the area more. We’ve heard amazing things about the Olympic Peninsula and finally headed out that way for a weekend back in July.
Since we only had two days, we decided to check out only a few areas with the idea that we’ll come back again another time to see more of the peninsula.
We drove 2 hours from Olympia and stopped in Sequim for some lunch and to see some lavender fields. We stopped at Purple Haze Lavender Farm and it definitely did not disappoint! Last summer we went to Sault in Southern France and so seeing all the lavender here in Washington has reminded me of our time abroad.
Purple Haze was the perfect place to stop and let the girls run around a bit. There were chickens, a bunny rabbit, and tons and tons of flowers! We loved walking through all the beautiful fields and gardens and then enjoyed a couple ice cream cones on our way out (lavender white chocolate and mint lavender – both delicious!).
After stopping for lunch in Sequim, we headed straight for Hurricane Ridge inside the Olympic National Park. The parking lot can get full pretty fast, so we actually had to wait in line at the bottom of the mountain while a ranger let cars go up depending on cars leaving. We waited probably around 30 minutes, but both girls were napping so it wasn’t a big deal for us.
Once we made it to the visitor’s center, the first things we saw as we were getting out of our car were tons of wildflowers and two deer! It was so pretty all around us and we loved taking in the views as we headed to the visitor’s center.
The center had a map of nearby trails along with clean bathrooms and picnic tables and benches. We stopped for a little snack while we listened to a ranger presentation about mountain goats.
A map of the trails can also be found here. We started by going to the lookout first and then took the Cirque Rim Trail (where we even saw a patch of snow) over to where it meets with Sunrise Point and were a bit surprised to see several mountain goats! The ranger had mentioned how the goats can be a little aggressive and how they’ll follow hikers waiting for them to pee (the goats like to lick up the salt… so gross!) so we made sure to give them plenty of room and were ready to scoop up our girls if needed. Luckily, none of them ever got too close and we were able to enjoy watching them pass by.
We also saw lots of deer and tons of beautiful wildflowers. One thing that we really liked was that there were signs throughout the path that told us the names and some details about the different flowers. Both of our girls loved being on the lookout for the flower signs and it was a good motivator to help them to keep walking.
From there, we headed back down the hill on the High Ridge Trail where we got excellent views of the mountains and valleys (on a good day you can see the ocean too, but the fog had rolled in on the coast by the time we got on this path). We ended our day with a short little walk on Big Meadow Loop and had a few snacks before getting in the car.
Both girls did great! London walked the entire time with no problem and Adeline walked most of it, with me carrying her in my arms from time to time.
We stayed at Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles. It was a nice enough hotel but I felt it was a bit pricey for what we could have gotten back in Europe. But, everyone slept great and the night was a success!
The next morning we grabbed breakfast across the street at the creperie and then headed up to Lake Crescent for the day.
We originally parked by the ranger station, only to find that it was closed (and has been for the past two summers now). They had a photo of the map of different trails, but it can also be found online here. We checked out the lake (the water was amazingly clear and a beautiful teal color) and then started on the trail to Marymere Falls.
London did great from the beginning, but Adeline struggled the first half of the trail. She was still pretty tired so I ended up carrying her a good amount until we got to the falls.
Other than that, it was a really nice walk. We saw some pretty cool trees and stopped to play by a stream and then crossed over a couple of cool bridges (one was made out of half of a log) before climbing some stairs up to the waterfall.
The waterfall itself was very pretty! We stopped at one of the lookouts for a bit and had some snacks and rested. London found a pretty good walking stick so she was excited to use it on the walk back.
Adeline got a burst of energy at this point and walked almost the entire way back. The girls had fun climbing on (and inside) trees on the way.
When we got back, we got in the car and drove just up the road to the lodge where we had a delicious lunch before renting a canoe and taking our girls out on the lake. The canoe was a lot of fun and Aaron was a trooper doing all the rowing while I kept a very close eye on our kids (Adeline had been scared at the beginning and then continued to get more and more brave the longer we were out there).
We ended with getting our swimsuits on and going for a little swim in the lake before heading home. By this time, the day had heated up considerably so the cold water felt great!
Afterwards, we drove back home while the girls napped almost the entire way. It was an amazing weekend and we can’t wait to head back to the peninsula to experience more!