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Olympic National Park
Port Angeles to Forks
The first part of the journey west from Port Angeles travels along the northern boundary of Olympic National Park, much of it traveling along Lake Crescent. This part of the journey is quite scenic with waterfalls a short hike from the road.
Once the road turns south, the scenery is marred by many clear cuts. This part of the peninsula is neither national park nor national forest and much of it has been and continues to be heavily logged. Forks is an unbashed lumber town and appears to have seen better days.
Just north of Forks is the road to one of the more accessible portions of the Olympic National Park Coastal strip. Most of the coastal strip is National Park, although parts of it are part of Native American lands. Rialto Beach is the most easily accessible beach on the coastal strip.
By far, the warmest welcome we received on the entire trip was from the people of the Quileute nation. They told us of their rich history on that land, showed us where we could see bald eagles, and honored us tremendously by inviting us to an inter-tribal gathering with the Quinault tribe. That gathering was enlightening, enriching and moving beyond words. The Quileute and Quinault tribes shared their spirits, treasured songs and traditions with us and embraced us in a way that endures in our hearts and memories. We plan to return to visit them again. The Bald Eagle shown below is a common sight on the Quileute lands.