Washington State’s Coastal region is home to some amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, Olympic National Park and The Hoh Rainforest. If you love to drive, a trip north along the Pacific Coast Highway is a great way to spend a few days. This 2,500 mile long stretch of highway begins at the southern tip of Baja California and continues north around the top of the Olympic Peninsula showcasing beautiful scenery, some of the best US Salmon fishing locations, an International kite festival and the wonderful Hoh Rainforest.
A few facts about Washington State’s Coastal region:
- The first recorded European landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora. He claimed all the coastal lands up to Prince William Sound for Spain as part of their claimed rights under the Treaty of Tordesillas, which they maintained made the Pacific a “Spanish lake” and all its shores part of the Spanish Empire. (Wikipedia)
- The Long Beach Peninsula is home to The World Kite Museum, the only US museum dedicated to the history of Kite Flying. Every year they museum host the Washington State International Kite Festival during the third week of August.
- Ocean Shores is Washington’s most unique area to watch birds; 290 species have been identified in the area–70 percent of the species that occur statewide. (Washington – Visitors Network)
The Olympic National Park was established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt and originally named Mount Olympus National Monument. The Park can be divided into four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. (Wikipedia)
Olympic National Park:
- Mount Olympus receives over 200 inches of precipitation each year and most of that falls as snow. At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Olympic National Park and has the third largest glacial system in the contiguous U.S.
- More than 650 archaeological sites document 10,000 years of human occupation in the park’s lands. (National Park Service)
- Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world. Olympic was almost named “Elk National Park” and was established in part to protect these stately animals.
- The western side of the park is bordered by a temperate rain forest, including the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, which receive annual precipitation of about 150 inches (380 cm), making this perhaps the wettest area in the continental United States (the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii gets more rain).
To close this trip I leave you with a beautiful sunset view of the eastern shore of the Olympic Peninsula.