If you’re seeking a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventures, look no further than the coastal range of Washington. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, this picturesque region is a treasure trove of stunning tourist attractions that will leave you awe-inspired.
Olympic National Park: A Nature Lover’s Paradise
One of the crown jewels of the coastal range is the Olympic National Park. From lush rainforests to snow-capped peaks and rugged coastlines, this diverse wilderness offers all nature enthusiasts a wide range of experiences. The Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, and the dramatic Ruby Beach are just a few of the park’s highlights that promise to captivate your senses.
Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach is considered one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. Just a few miles long, this hike is flat and leads to sea stacks. One of the sea stacks has a hole the size of a bus you can walk through. Check a tide chart, as Hole in the Wall is only accessible during low tide. If you can, enjoy a Washington Coast sunset from the trailhead.
Coastal Gem – Cape Disappointment State Park
Be aware of its name; Cape Disappointment State Park is anything but disappointing. Perched at the southwestern tip of Washington, this park is a haven for history buffs, hikers, and beachcombers. You can explore two historic lighthouses, embark on scenic hikes, and take in the breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
Leadbetter Point State Park and the Long Beach Peninsula
Only a few hours from Seabrook, Leadbetter State Park is at the end of the longest continuous beach on the West Coast. This location is a halting point for tens of thousands of shorebirds each spring, making it a must-see natural destination along the Washington Coast. Even if you cannot witness the magnificent shorebird migration, Leadbetter and Long Beach offer fantastic museums and attractions.
Quinault Rainforest – A Green Wonderland
Nestled within the Olympic National Park, the Quinault Rainforest is a sight to behold. It’s a temperate rainforest that receives abundant rainfall, resulting in a lush and vibrant ecosystem. You can embark on tranquil hikes through this enchanting forest, visit the iconic Quinault Lake and enjoy the peaceful ambience.
The Spectacular Mount St. Helens
A journey through the coastal range would only be complete with visiting the iconic Mount St. Helens. This active volcano has left an indelible mark on the region with its massive eruption in 1980. Today, you can explore the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, offering visitors a chance to learn about the area’s geology and witness the remarkable recovery of the landscape.
Explore the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
Nestled along the eastern shores of Grays Harbor, this National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to get to know the natural ebb and flow of the region. This wildlife refuge brings in a quarter-million shorebirds each spring and dozens of other migratory and local birds yearly. Short hikes await those who leave their cars, giving them glimpses of eagles, falcons, blue herons, and more.
Lake Ozette and the Ozette Triangle
While it would be a full-day trip from Seabrook to visit, the Lake Ozette and the Ozette Triangle hike is considered one of the best coastal hikes in America. Starting at Lake Ozette, the trail is roughly nine miles in length. It wanders along boardwalks before reaching the coast. Along the beach, you’ll find sea stacks, tide pools, and ancient petroglyphs carved along the rocks. Check the tide charts before you head out, as the hike is no fun during high tides.
Charming Coastal Towns
While natural beauty abounds, the coastal range also boasts charming towns that glimpse Washington’s maritime history. Places like Aberdeen, Ocean Shores, and Long Beach provide a welcoming atmosphere where you can indulge in fresh seafood, explore local art scenes, and bask in the friendly coastal culture.
the Kalaloch Tree of Life & Ruby Beach
When visiting two of Highway 101’s most fantastic attractions, a journey to the Washington Coast is complete. North of Seabrook, in Olympic National Park, lies a must-visit location called Kalaloch Beach. A short stroll will take you to the Tree of Life from the parking area close to Kalaloch Campground. A cave on the bluff is nicely framed and poised dangerously above the tree. Once you’ve seen the tree, get back in your car and head north to Ruby Beach, where famous sea stacks and breathtaking vistas await.
Third Beach and Strawberry Falls
A short walk leads to Third Beach and Strawberry Falls in Olympic National Park, located just south of LaPush, the contiguous United States’ farthest westward zip code. This walk, well-liked in the summer, offers hikers an opportunity to observe a waterfall falling into the ocean below and a pristine beach in the Pacific Northwest.
The coastal range is a sanctuary for diverse wildlife. During your explorations, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, whales, seals, and numerous bird species. It’s a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, offering countless opportunities to capture the beauty of the region’s fauna.
Stroll Through Copalis Beach and the Ghost Forest
A 9.0 earthquake that shook the Washington Coast on January 26th, 1700, altered the area’s geography. A portion of land along the Copalis River became submerged underwater due to one of those alterations. As a result, the trees on the submerged land died, and a phantom forest was formed. The Ghost Forest is now easily accessible through kayak trips offered by Buck Giles at Buck’s Northwest in Seabrook. The other must-do experience is walking the beach to the river’s mouth while exploring Copalis. You’ll find comfort throughout your quick stroll among sand dollars and seagulls while savouring the salty Pacific air.
Take a Gander at Westport Lighthouse and Grayland Beach
The seasonally open Grays Harbor Lighthouse must be visited as part of any vacation to the Washington Coast. You may get a sense of the expansive dunes of Grays Harbor’s south coastline by exploring the tall lighthouse, miles of beach, and paved bike routes.
Whether you’re into hiking, camping, fishing, or simply unwinding on pristine beaches, the coastal range of Washington has something for everyone. Adventure awaits at every turn, and the region’s enchanting beauty will leave an indelible mark on your memory.
In conclusion, the coastal range of Washington beckons with its unspoiled natural beauty, captivating history, and a wealth of outdoor activities. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey through this Pacific Northwest gem. Experience the coastal range of Washington for yourself, and let its charm sweep you off your feet.
Also Read : Best Hikes for Beginners