- I was here: August 2017.
- Number of days: 4.
- Number of recommended days: at least 4.
- My score: 5/5.
After having toured Vancouver Island for almost 10 days, we arrived at the Olympic Peninsula fearing that the landscapes and surroundings were practically the same as those of their Canadian neighbor. To that I added my reluctance to believe that it was as good as it is said, because when a place is intensely publicized, as with the Olympic National Park, I usually think that it’s about good marketing, and not so much that is better than the surrounding natural parks. After a few days visiting, I came to the conclusion that although similar, and just as the Canadian Rockies are more famous than their American sisters and still worth visiting both, the Olympic wins in some aspects, and Vancouver Island does in others, but if time only allows us to visit just one, I prefer the first, and the key is that it has something exclusive:
Vancouver Island crushes its rival in:
- The Cowichan Valley Trail, a beautiful route that follows the old train track and passes through old restored wooden bridges.
- The coastal tours: the West Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail are much longer and more complete than any of the similar routes we can do on the US side.
But in favor of the Olympic we have:
- The lakes, especially Crescent with its spectacular Storm King Trail, and Quinault, close to rain forest and surrounded by giant trees.
- The large number of mountain routes that cross the central area, around Mount Olympic. Although the mountain landscape is similar to that of Strathcona Provincial Park, they are much more accessible and the forest they traverse is more attractive.
- It is because of it’s rain forest that the Olympic beats, not only of its direct rival, but of any other in the world. Nowhere else does the forest is surpassed in exuberance, greenery, thickness and size of the moss that covers the trees, which is even greater than in fairy tales.
And they tie in terms of giant trees. So both are very complete, very similar, very nice and very large, but if you have to choose, Olympic has the Olympic National Forest, and not everyone else does.
- PORT ANGELES AND HURRICANE RIDGE
- LAKE CRESCENT:
- MARYMERE FALLS
- SOL DUC FALLS
- STORM KING TRAIL
- OLYMPIC HOT SPRINGS
- FORKS, LA PUSH AND RUBY BEACH
- HOH RAINFOREST
- LAKE QUINAULT