Roadtripping! Camping! Vampires!
When I told my friend Anna I was visiting her neck of the woods in the Pacific Northwest, she immediately recommended we take a trip to Olympic National Park. I upped it by saying we should go camping, even though neither of us have ever put up a tent by ourselves. Growing up, it wasn’t a “thing” for Asians to go camping. When our mothers heard what we were doing, both of them—separately—offered to pay for a hotel and asked “Is it safe? Are there bears or other wild people?” lol—we’ll leave that for another post. We spent three days camping, relaxing, stargazing and making record times for our tent setup! We even visited some vampires in Forks, where Twilight was filmed. It was the perfect three day getaway to get a taste of the park and surrounding towns.
Hoh Rainforest: One of the most enchanting places I’ve ever been, this rainforest felt like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Because of frequent rainfall during the winter season, the forest is covered in lush mosses and ferns that adorn every surface from the trees to the forest floor. A must see if you’re going to be in the area!
Ruby Beach: This rock covered beach is known for the large rock islands just off the shoreline and large amounts of driftwood on the shore. We went during sunset and it was quite windy and misty, as I’ve noticed is a trend in most of these Pacific Northwest beaches! Definitely wear shoes and bring a jacket as it gets chilly.
Forks: On our way to the ferry, we passed by this tiny town that was the inspiration for Twilight. We stopped by the visitor’s center, where everyone was overly nice and let us use their wifi as there was no service in the area. The highlight was taking snaps with the cast of Twilight (as cardboard cutouts), and we learned they offer Twilight tours that showcase spots from the film. Also, I was undecided before, but I learned I sway #teamjacob.
Bainbridge Ferry: To get back to Seattle, we took the ferry across Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island to downtown Seattle. Only about a half hour ride, the views are impeccable and the ride is incredibly smooth. We were able to drive our car onto the boat so that saved us time and gave us a different view of the city!
Where we camped:
Kalaloch Campground: There are only a few campgrounds that you can reserve in Olympic National Park, and this is probably the most popular, as it’s adjacent to the beach. There are tide pools, scenic overlooks and hiking trails all within walking distance of the campground. In addition, the Hoh Rainforest and Ruby Beach are a quick drive away. Kalaloch, meaning “a good place to land” in the Quinault language, was certainly that! I could’ve stayed for days. For reservations, visit recreation.gov.
Willaby Campground: Located along glacier-fed Lake Quinault, there are numerous hiking trails, waterfalls and even a rainforest all within walking distance of the campground. We stayed in Space #9, which had its own path down to the lake with a gorgeous view. For reservations, visit recreation.gov.