Olympic National Park is a rare jewel in America’s National Park System and is sometimes referred to as “three parks in one.” The park offers a variety of bioclimatic zones within its boundaries—high mountains with glaciers and flower-laden, sub-alpine meadows, deep river valleys draped in temperate rainforest, and wild, rugged Pacific coast. Olympic’s west side receives roughly 135 inches of precipitation each year, while the park’s drier side receives as little as 16 inches annually. At nearly one million acres, the park is unique in that no road crosses its expanse, and thus, 95 percent of the park is designated wilderness.  In addition to being one of our nation’s only rain-forests, there are eight kinds of plants and fifteen kinds of animals that are found nowhere else on Earth.  There are five lodging options within the park – Sol Duc Hot Springs (which we visited just to take a dunk in the hot springs-if you go, be sure to bring your own towel as none are available), Kalaloch Lodge, Lake Crescent Lodge, Lake Quinault Lodge, and Log Cabin Resort.  We chose Lake Crescent Lodge and fell in love with it the minute we pulled into the parking lot.  They provide a range of lodging types from rooms in the historic lodge to cabins and charming cottages all overlooking the breathtaking glacier lake.  Our choice was a Singer Tavern Cottage.  No amount of blogging I could ever do could even come close to describing our amazing stay here.  I literally think I could have stayed forever.  The lodge itself is like taking a step back in time with its knotty pine and rustic but tasteful lodge decor.  There is a lakeside screened in porch for dining and we thoroughly enjoyed having our dinner and breakfast there.  The menu was limited but everything we ordered was fresh and delicious and they have a very good wine list.  Probably the biggest highlight of our visit was a tour around the lake via kayak and although neither of us had ever done it before, I think we did pretty well.  It wasn’t pretty at the start but we soon found our rhythm and made it across the lake in no time flat.  Another must do is a hike to Marrymere Falls just a short distance away.  I should mention that the cabins do not have either televisions or WiFi (there is WiFi in the main lodge).  That was okay with us as we were there simply to connect with all the natural beauty the park had to offer. Mission accomplished. Of all the places so far on this road trip, this is the one I hope to come back to with Scott.  I know he would love it every bit as much as I did.

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