Thursday, June 30, 2016

Olympic National Park - Mora, 6/23/2016

The Olympic National Park is situated in the middle of the Olympic Peninsula in the State of Washington. Highway 101 encircles the park with multiple spur roads that lead to the mountains, forest and coastal areas of the national park. The center of the park is wilderness without any roads running through it. We have two weeks in our itinerary (one week in Forks near the Pacific Coast and one week in Port Angeles on the Strait of Juan de Fuca) to visit the park.

President Theodore Roosevelt created Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909. It was designated a National Park in 1938. In 1976 the park was named an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site in 1981. There are three distinct ecosystems here: the rugged Pacific shore; the temperate rain forest; and the sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadows.

Our first foray into the park was to the Mora region along the Pacific Coast, not far from the RV park where we were staying. We parked near 2nd Beach (not a very inventive name!) and hiked the .7 mile trail to the beach. 

The well-maintained trail leads through a forest of Sitka spruce, ferns and other plants. 

The root structures of these spruce trees are so interesting...

When we reached the end of the trail at the beach, it was was strewn with large (and small) logs beyond the high tide line. 

And the beautiful, wide, sandy beach...

The sea stacks and rock formations make for picturesque views here. 

Every beach we have been on from Oregon to Washington have fresh water flowing into the ocean, from small streams to huge rivers. 

As we have traveled north along the Pacific Coast from San Diego, CA, to Washington it has been fascinating to see how the coastline changes with the weather and geologic history of the region. Each one is beautiful in its won special way. For information about the huge Olympic National Park, check it out online.


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