Greetings from Olympic National Park

As part of NatureBridge’s Summer Field Research course, I went on an 8 day backpacking trip (my first ever!) through beautiful Olympic National Park. From the Hoh Rain Forest River Center, we followed the Hoh River, passed through the Seven Lakes Basin, and went out the Sol Duc. With my amazing group and instructors, I hiked 5000 feet above sea level, saw four black bears and a million tadpoles at Hoh Lake, and was bitten by even more mosquitoes. We took “nature naps” at various points along the trail and spent a night at Appleton Pass where the moon and stars were super clear and bright. Every night of our trip, we would play games and have two minutes dedicated to complete silence during which we would simply appreciate the beauty around us and lack of human-made noise.

Not only was I able to see a side to nature that I would have never encountered in my normal day-to-day life, I also gained many practical skills (and became more fit from all the hiking!). I began the trip completely incapable of even using a lighter, but by the end of our 8 days, even I could set up our stove and boil water and (sort of) cook.


Olympic National Park

Exploring Olympic’s dynamic landscape is like visiting three parks in one. The high mountains offer snow, glaciers, wilderness and — if you time it right — acres of wildflowers. The lush, verdant Hoh Rainforest is unlike anything else in the Lower 48, and home to Roosevelt elk, black bears and other charismatic wildlife. And the park’s stunning coast offers some of the country's wildest and most spectacular beaches, dotted with tide pools and sea stacks. Visitors can now see where park staff recently removed two large dams, letting the Elwha River flow freely again for the first time in more than 100 years.

State(s): Washington

Established: 1938

“they are breathtakingly beautiful and one of the few places left in the world where one can enjoy nature without the interference of man-made noise. ”

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