1920s Lodge Nestled 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.” Its vast wilderness spans nearly a million aces, encompassing misty Pacific shoreline, ice-capped mountains, and ancient rainforests. Surrounded by Olympic National Forest, Lake Quinault Lodge overlooks a glacial lake and offers easy access to the Olympic Mountains and verdant rainforest trails. Built in 1926, more than a decade before Olympic was officially designated a national park, 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 still have plenty to do at the lodge. When weather permits, you can paddle a canoe or kayak on Lake Quinault. Intrepid boaters can kayak over to the north side of the lake, where the national park officially begins. Fishing is also a popular pastime on the lake, as 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 while watching the sun set over the lake. The lodge’s guest rooms complement the wilderness with wood furnishings and cozy period decor. On chilly nights, warm up next to a gas fireplace in the main lodge and fireplace rooms. If you’re looking to keep in touch with the outside world, lakeside rooms are equipped with televisions, but most other rooms eschew modern distractions.
Quinault, Washington: Glacial Lake and Temperate Rainforest in Olympic National Park
Located at the southwest edge of 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 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 cascading down 60 feet of tiered rocks. Hikes are also great way to get up close and personal with the local wildlife. As you make your way through the big-leaf-maple-lined paths, keep an eye out for deer or roosevelt elk.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.