1920s Lodge Next to Lake Quinault and Olympic National Park
Washington’s Olympic National Park is so diverse that the National Park Service refers to it as “three magical parks in one.” Spanning nearly a million aces, it encompasses misty Pacific shoreline, ice-capped mountains, and ancient rainforests. Lake Quinault Lodge is surrounded by the forest, providing easy access to the Olympic Mountains and verdant rainforest trails. Three-hour guided rainforest tours leave directly from the lodge, to experience wildlife such as Big Leaf Maple trees, waterfalls, and pools of jumping salmon. Adventurists can also opt to hike of the well-groomed trails suitable for all ages and abilities, or hike one of the winding creeks or seven beaches.
Built in 1926, the lodge still feels like a rustic outpost on the edge of beautiful and unspoiled land.When you’re not exploring the surrounding trails, you’ll find plenty to do at the lodge. Visitors can check out the pool, sauna, and game rooms, which are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Fishing is also a popular pastime—the water is rife with salmon, trout, and sturgeon.
Before turning in for the day, visit the lodge’s restaurant, where you can fill up on fresh salmon, halibut, and crab cakes. Roosevelt Dining Room, named in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1937 visit to the lodge, also offers panoramic lake views.
Quinault, Washington: Glacial Lake and Temperate Rainforest in Olympic National Park
Located near the massive Olympic National Park, the glacier-carved Quinault Valley boasts one of the northern hemisphere’s only temperate rainforests. Massive old-growth hemlocks, cedars, and other conifers up to 300 feet tall create a striking natural skyline, earning the area the nickname “Valley of the Giants.” Frequent bursts of heavy rainfall foster lush vegetation on the forest floor and encourage evergreen growth, causing the canopy to be very thick in places.
The picturesque Quinault Rainforest Loop Drive follows the river and extends around Lake Quinault for more than 30 miles. You can drive past the breathtaking Olympic Mountains or stop to hike to the nearby Gatton Creek Falls, which drop down 60 feet of tiered rocks. Hikes are also a great way to get up close and personal with the local wildlife. As you make your way through the maple-lined paths, keep an eye out for deer and roosevelt elk.