Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Family Travel: Olympic National Park Part 2: Hoh Rainforest

*Activities in this post are suitable for healthy individuals from 2 years old to 70 years old.  We did backpack carry our 2 year old in a Tula carrier at times on the hikes. 

On day 4, we moved rental homes from the east side of Olympic National Park (Lake Sutherland) to southwest Quinault Rainforest (Amanda Park/ Lake Quinault) area.  On our drive over, we stopped for lunch and some groceries at Forks (biggest town on the way to Lake Quinault), and visited the awesome Hoh Rainforest. 

When people think of Olympic National Park, Hoh Rainforest comes up as one of the top highlights.  I'll let the pictures do the talking :) 

Family Travel: Olympic National Park Part 1: Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Valley

*Activities in this post are suitable for healthy individuals from 2 years old to 70 years old.  We did backpack carry our 2 year old in a Tula carrier at times on the hikes.  We travelled from our rental home on Lake Sutherland. 

Day 2:  Exploring Lake Crescent & Hurricane Ridge, 
Our little hikers - Brian (2) and Alex (2) 
Cousins enjoying the Lake Pleasant area
We began our day with a hike to Marymere Falls, near Lake Crescent  This was a 1.8 mile out and back trail through the forest to a waterfall, which our family greatly enjoyed.  It is mostly flat,  except the final part where you climb some steep steps to view the waterfall. Our 2 year old walked most of the first half himself (0.8miles), and then we put him in the backpack carrier before climbing up the steps.  The other kids (4,5,10) and the grandparents had no problem hiking this. 
After our hike, we went to the Lake Crescent lodge where we enjoyed a nice lunch. The view from the restaurant was beautiful, though I did not get a picture of it :).  The service was a bit slow - but the kids were entertained with coloring pages and crayons. We enjoyed our fish and chips and salmon. 

Family Travel: En route to Olympic National Park: Strawberries, Lavender and Ice Cream in Sequim

PNW Summer 2017 Trip:  Day 1:  Strawberries, Lavender and Ice Cream in Sequim

In late June, we travelled as family of 10 to the Pacific Northwest, in order to visit Olympic National Park. Our group included 2 grandparents (healthy, in their late 60's), my family 2 boys - ages 2 and 4), and my brother's family (their kids -10 year old boy and 5 year old girl).  I planned this trip to include a combination of fun activities, suitable for all ages. We visited the Olympic Peninsula for 5 days, described in the next few posts. You can also find all of our ONP posts under the label "Travel-with Kids"

Since we were arriving from Arizona and California, our family met up at the Seattle Airport - SeaTac. After renting our cars (we booked through Costco), it was already around noon. We decided to grab a quick bite on the road and headed towards our first rental home in the Port Angeles area. For family travel, I like to find houses from airBNB, homeaway/ VBRO because there is more room for the kids, kitchen and laundry access -more on this in the next post.  

We took the route using the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and stopped in Sequim (pronounced "Skwim") on our way, as it seemed like a charming place full of lavender fields and farms.  Since it took us about 3 hours to get there from the airport (with a short lunch & bathroom break), we didn't arrive until 3:40pm. This limited what we could do, since most of the farms close around 4 or 5pm. We were able to squeeze in strawberry picking, a lavender field and ice cream!

Our boys love U-pick, so our first stop was Graymarsh Farm U-Pick, where they happily (and quickly) picked strawberries until closing time 4pm.