~ Olympic National Park ~
The Rainforests and the Beaches

This page contains photos from the two rainforests of Olympic National Park and the portion that is the seashore.

President Theodore Roosevelt originally created Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 and after Congress voted to authorize a re-designation to National Park status, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the legislation in 1938. In 1976, Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Site. In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.

Here you will find Pacific Ocean beaches, rain forest valleys, glacier-capped peaks and a stunning variety of plants and animals. Roads provide access to the outer edges of the park, but the heart of Olympic is wilderness; a primeval sanctuary for humans and wild creatures alike.

From approximately 70 miles of wild Pacific coast and islands through densely forested lowlands to the glacier-crowned Olympic Mountains, the park protects several distinctively different and relatively pristine ecosystems. These places shelter a unique array of habitats and life forms resulting from thousands of years of geographic isolation. Olympic National Park is a place unmatched in the world.
Interwoven throughout the outstanding and diverse landscape of Olympic National Park is an array of cultural and historical sites that tell the human story of the park. More than 650 archaeological sites document 10,000 years of human occupation in the park's lands.

Mount Olympus receives over 200 inches of precipitation each year and most of that falls as snow? At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Olympic National Park and has the third largest glacial system in the contiguous U.S.


Quinault Rainforest

The Quinault Rainforest is a temperate rainforest, which is part of the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest.
The rainforest is located in the valley formed by the Quinault River and Lake Quinault. The valley is called the "Valley of the Rain Forest Giants" because of the number of record size tree species located there. The largest specimens of Western Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, Alaskan Cedar and Mountain Hemlock are found in the forest as well as five of the top ten largest Douglas-firs. The forest receives an average of 12 feet of rain per year. It is believed to be the area with the greatest number of record size giant tree species in the smallest area in the world. It does have the largest trees in the world outside of the state of California.





He was really trying hard to get it up

Up and away!
This is not the kite of the guy in the photo on the left. Another guy came and got his flying in one try. When I left the first guy was still trying.

Lake Quinault

Into the rainforest




The tree is the World�s Largest Spruce with a circumference of 58 feet, 11 inches, diameter of 18 feet, 9 inches and 191 feet tall for a total of 922 AFA points. A very large tree near Seaside, Oregon claims to be the United States largest spruce tree, it has 902 AFA points. The American Forestry Association declared them close enough to be CO-champions. But a little bigger is still bigger, sorry Seaside.

Animal houses

The top

Another look up

Another interesting tree






I had thought the mountain in the middle with glaciers might be Mount Olympus, but it is much more in the center of the park to be seen from most of the park.


One of two waterfalls I found on my drive through the Quinault Rainforest section of Olympic National Park. The second was too far into the forest to photograph.


Hoh Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest one of the few temperate rainforests in the U.S., and also one of the largest.
Throughout the winter season, rain falls frequently in the Hoh Rain Forest, contributing to the yearly total of 140 to 170 inches of precipitation each year. The result is a lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species. Mosses and ferns that blanket the surfaces add another dimension to the enchantment of the rainforest.












This Sitka spruce is over 270 feet tall, over 12 and a half feet in diameter and is between 500 and 550 years old.


The Beaches



To get to the beach you have to walk through a wonderful forest of burled Sitka spruce. These rounded knobs are tumors caused by damage to a tip or bud of the tree. This damage causes growth cells to divide more rapidly forming a swelling or burl. Burls have been used for centuries by Natives to make bowls and other implements.
Burls are tumors, but not cancers. The chemical composition of a burl is the same as the tree. Burls cause no damage to the tree.
















Beach logs are the bones of a rainforest picked clean by the sea. They begin in river valleys and through acts of nature, they find themselves in rivers and streams to be carried to the ocean.
Others fall from eroding headlands along the shore. Others have numbers on the ends and they originated as tug-pulled log rafts.




Music is "Good Medicine"

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