Just north Olympia the Olympic Peninsula begins. we like to think of Olympia as one of the gateways to the Olympics. We not only recommend it to our guests but we use the National and State Parks, National Forests and the like ourselves. It is a true gem, and although popular with tourists it is sometimes overlooked by them.
One of our favorite places is the Staircase area. Staircase is an entrance to the National Park that is probably the least popular and trafficked. It has a great camping area and easy to difficult trails. In the adjacent National Forest there is Mount Ellinor, which just tops off this area for a great place to visit for a few days.
Staircase is easily accessible and after discovering a half dozen years ago, we have taken international friends, family and just our own family for many hikes around the easy Staircase Rapids hike. The relatively new suspension bridge is a highlight and around that point you can get down to the river to soak your feet.
Mount Ellinor is a special place for us. Forget the amazing views and scenery. It is the first mountain our oldest daughter climbed when she was seven. It was quite the achievement as it is very steep. She got a lot of encouragement from other hikers and in return spurred on people five times her age.
Something we think is true, is that the short easy rapids hike is a kin to the Hoh Rainforest, Hall of Mosses hike. It is better for us though! It only takes just over an hour to get to instead of the Hoh four hour drive. The moss is just as abundant, and with the addition of the bridge and river, makers for a more interesting varied hike.
The olympics has an almost limitless array of walks, hikes, view points and vistas. There is something for everyone, regardless of age and ability. We are just lucky enough to live close enough to explore it, while in an industry that allows us to help share its beauty.
Just a quick note. We support the Wild Olympics. The more we preserve the better it is for the tourism industry. The Olympics is such an undiscovered, unpromoted gem and once seen our guests keep on coming back for more!
The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act would permanently protect over 126,000 acres of new Wilderness areas in the Olympic National Forest, and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and their tributaries as Wild & Scenic Rivers – the first ever Wild & Scenic Rivers on the Peninsula. Designed through extensive community input to protect ancient forests, clean water, and enhance outdoor recreation, the Wild Olympics legislation has been endorsed by over 550 local businesses, sportsmen organizations, outdoor recreation groups, faith leaders, conservation groups and local elected officials; and more than 12,000 local residents have signed petitions in support. Sign the petition and help preserve these amazing lands.