Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Forests, Rivers, and Waterfalls

Our hunt for more waterfalls led us to explore the Elwha River, Barnes Creek, Falls Creek, and the Sol Duc River.  Hiking to Marymere Falls gave us our first good look at an old growth forest. Immense, moss-covered trees towered over us, and the incredible assortment of wildflowers varied with each change in altitude, sunlight, and moisture.

We enjoyed seeing all the different ways water crosses the landscape — from tumbling falls to foaming cascades, slow-flowing creeks, coursing rivers, and meandering tributaries.   We stopped to throw rocks in all of them.

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Sometimes hiking with some shorter legs helps you notice things you wouldn’t have before.  Twice, my three-year-old stopped, knelt down, and watched millipedes cross the trail.  He insisted on making sure they got across safely. 🙂

After the long hike to Sol Duc Falls — long, that is, for a three-year-old who had been out hiking a few days in a row already — we found Lake Crescent Lodge the perfect place to unwind, picnic, and throw a few more rocks.

 

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