Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kaloloch Lodge is gateway to Pacific beaches and rainforest of Olympic National Park

When exploring coastal zones of Olympic National Park a great place to stay is Kalaloch Lodge, located just off U.S. 101 at the southern border of the park’s coastal strip.
Our cabin had 2 bedrooms, living room, and full kitchen--and a
gorgeous view of Kalaloch Beach on the Pacific Ocean.
This rustic lodge is situated on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean and offers excellent views of and easy access to pristine Kalaloch beach—as well as other beaches with numbers instead of names. Nearby you’ll find a marine sanctuary, miles of hiking trails, and the lush, temperate Hoh Rainforest that makes the Olympic Peninsula so special.

Kalaloch's Main Lodge is almost 100 years old.
Kalaloch's Main Lodge is a legend in its own right. Built almost a century ago with lumber milled from driftwood logs that washed up on the beaches near Kalaloch Creek, the Main Lodge offers an environment with very few distractions—meaning no phones or WiFi. That’s just fine because nature is the main attraction at all Kaloloch accommodations.
Clouds reflect in the glassy beach at Kalaloch.

Our party of three stayed in a two-bedroom cabin with full kitchen. Located on the edge of the bluff overlooking  Kalaloch Beach at the point where Kalaloch Creek empties into the ocean, it was an excellent spot for admiring the ebb and flow of ocean water and for walking onto the glassy-smooth sand at low tide.

Sunset enticed many visitors to stroll along Kalaloch Beach
in Olympic National Park.
Gorgeous reflections of sky and clouds shimmered on the mirror-like surface, especially on our last night there. A gazebo and community fire pit on the bluff provided additional family-friendly opportunities. A bonus: cute bunny rabbits frolicked around our back yard, entertaining us with their antics.

Accommodations also include Seacrest House which offers motel-style rooms with private patios and balconies that face the splendid, often thundering, beaches. Nestled in a conifer forest just a short walk from Kalaloch's Main Lodge, Seacrest is the most secluded.

Beautifully weathered driftwood still washes up on the shore, and people still flock to the Main Lodge to see it. The Main Lodge is also a place to meet other travelers, purchase items from the mercantile store, or dine on locally sourced dishes at Creekside Restaurant. At dusk we enjoyed spectacular sunsets and reflections on the slick beach at low tide.
The river winds around and joins the ocean at the beach
just below the cliff where our cabin was located.
After a day spent trekking in the Hoh Rainforest and River region, Kalaloch Lodge was an excellent base from which to explore nearby Rialto Beach, Ruby Beach, and the Quinault Rainforest. There’s a 28-mile scenic Quinault River Road, which is definitely worth driving for a couple of hours (with stops). Despite a sometimes heavy rain the day we visited, the short Maple Glade loop—with magical visions in multiple shades of green—fuzzy, lacey, and furry textured varieties of foliage--was one of the prettiest trails we saw on the trip.

Larry demonstrates the size of the world's largest
Sitka spruce tree in Queets Valley.
Located in Queets Valley, this amazing area is also called “Valley of the Rain Forest Giants” because it contains the world’s largest Sitka spruce, western red cedar, Douglas fir, and mountain hemlock. It also claims the largest yellow cedar and western hemlock in the United States.

Whew! That’s a lot of big trees, but it’s understandable when you consider that the region can get up to six feet of rain a year.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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