I must be just about the worst person on the internet at keeping a journal. Sure, I managed to write for myself every few days for the three months I was in England, but that was when exciting things were happening all the time. Anyone who cares might notice that the last time I posted a journal on here was over a year ago--a really long time ago, in which time I have changed jobs three times (love the one I'm at now) and gotten so busy (mostly with church committees, watch out for those) that I have hardly done any art. I have been developing my calligraphy, mostly through adressing about 200 invitations for
Now, summer is fast aproaching, dispite the unatural snow we got a week ago here in Western Washington, and that always turns my thoughts to camping. I'm going camping a few times this summer with various people, mostly in Olympic National Park. One of these friends, when I asked her where she wanted to go, turned right around and asked me where I would recomend. Having some free time on my hands at work I wrote down all the campgrounds I was familiar with along with a little description. It was then that I realized that I knew quite a bit about the campgrounds in Olympic and had written a nice little mini-guide. This is the sort of information I am always looking for on the internet and never seem to be able to find, so I thought I'd better post it somewhere so that someone who is increadably dedicated in their searching might some day come upon it after about a fortnight of looking through google links. And since I have nowhere else, it gets to be posted here. Maybe someone will be interested in it.
Kiran's guide to some of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park:
Here's a run down of the ones I've been to; let's go clockwise around the mountains.
Kalaloch--The last time I went camping here we couldn't keep a fire going because there was such heavy fog. This campground is right on the beach and fills up quickly on summer weekends (I've only succesfully camped here once, despite trying a couple of times). There's a resort next door, and the beach is nice, but there's not a whole lot else around. Still, it's a cool place to stay, figuratively and literally, and it gets a lot of wind.
The Hoh--Who doesn't want to go camping in the rainforest? (You can read that with or without sarcasm depending on how you feel about camping with the high probability of rain.) The sites here are pretty close together; definitely the most like your stereotypical national park campground. I love going to the Hoh rainforest. There are some nice flat hikes there that are cool for walking leisurely by the river and so forth. Of course, if we don't want to stay at the campground here it's easy to get here from:
Mora--This one's just down the road from Rialto Beach and around the corner from Second (closed at the moment) and Third beaches, which are nice for visiting tidepools. You can walk along Rialto Beach to Hole in the Wall where there is a stone arch or some such thing. I've never been, but I want to at some point. Mora is set along a river a mile or two from the coast, so it's more protected from the weather.
Cape Alava/Sand Point--If you feel like hiking in three miles to your campsite, this is a really awesome place to go! The trail splits and you can go to one of the two places. Usually you can have camp fires at one and not at the other. In between Cape Alava and Sand Point there are some rocks that you can walk out to that have petroglyphs on them. Cape Alava is the westernmost point in the continental US, and the sunsets are really great from here.
Sol DucI haven't gone camping here, just walked through the campground. It's pretty, with lots of white alders, though fairly muddy in some places. It's just up the road from the hot spring resort. On the other side is the trail to Sol Duk Falls which is very nice.
FairholmI haven't camped here either, but I've been there several times because it's on the shore of Lake Crescent. There's a little camp store where you can get a few groceries and rent canoes or kayaks. Going out on the water is amazing because the water is so clear and it's almost like you're flying.
Elwah ValleyThere are two campgrounds in the valley, I can't remember their names, and I've only been to one of them. It's a great campground, small, quiet, with some nice big walk-in sites, and canopied by big leaf maples. The Elwah river is through the woods on the other side of the road. A couple miles down the road one way is a waterfall, the other way is the ranger station. There are several good hikes down at the other end of the valley, including one I never finished and want to go back and try again. Even though it's relatively close to Port Angeles, the valley is relatively unvisited and feels more secluded than the campgrounds out by the coast.
Heart of the HillsThis is a large campground just inside the gate on the road up to Hurricane Ridge. Being just outside of Port Angeles, it gets pretty heavy use. If you want to be up on Hurricane Ridge for sunset it's nice to stay here so you won't have far to go in the dark.
Deer ParkI've never actually been here. It's high up a little dirt road in between PA and Sequim and there is no potable water. It's always intrigued me.