10-02-2016 22:16

La Push A few miles west of Forks, SR-110 leads to La Push, home of the Quileute Nation. The shoreline at La Push, and nearby First, Second and Rialto beaches are wonderful. Heaps of silvered driftwood, sea stacks and beautiful hikes are all part of the magic. Quileute Days, a popular Tribal celebration of cultural heritage, takes place in July. The Quileute Nation maintains a comfortable resort on the water’s edge and a restaurant at the marina. Hoh Rain Forest Less than an hour south of Forks on US-101, take the cutoff to the astonishing Hoh Rain Forest, one of the last old-growth temperate rain forests in the western hemisphere. This place measures annual rainfall in feet (14 a year is the average), and the wildlife viewing and birding opportunities are abundant. Several hikes of varying difficulty and length will lead you through the moss-draped canopy; try the 0.8-mile Hall of Mosses trail if time is short. There’s also a visitor center and camping, and an outfitter along the way that offers guide services and raingear. Kalaloch and Ruby Beach US-101 veers toward the coast now, then southward along a chain of beaches within Olympic National Park, some of the last protected wilderness beaches in the contiguous United States. Ruby Beach has a meandering creek, garnet-colored sand and shallow pools to play in during low tide. Kalaloch (pronounced CLAY-lock) is a wide, flat beach with campsites and the popular Kalaloch Lodge perched on the bank above. Bluff-side cabins and a restaurant with spectacular views of the Pacific draw visitors from all over the world to this superlative beach. Quinault Rain Forest At the southwestern edge of Olympic National Park, you’ll encounter Lake Quinault and the Quinault Rain Forest. The pristine lake is surrounded by massive old-growth cedar and spruce trees and is anchored by another historic lodge where Franklin Roosevelt once stayed. Keep on the lookout for large herds of Roosevelt elk (no relation). The protection of their habitat was a primary reason for the creation of Olympic National Park. 

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