ympic National Park
dominates a twoto fou r-hou i ve
northwest of Seattle.
Also a UNESCO World
Heritage Site, this nearly 1-million-acre reserve protects beaches, lofty glaciers and the
best and largest swathe of virgin
temperate rain forest.
Start with a stroll along Dungeness, one
of the longest sand spits. This slender
sweep of land juts out from the northeastern side, facing Victoria,
Canada, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A half-mile trail weaves down a forested
bluff to the shoreline and then extends miles to a lighthouse. First lit in 1857, it
continues to guide vessels today. Members of the public can apply to be keepers
for a week; duties include offering tours to hikers and boaters who arrive between
82 a a
a.m. and p.m., raising and lowering
the flag and polishing the brass
at dusk ($350/adult, $195 for children
ages sleeps up to nine people).
Keep an eye on the tide tables,
as anything above six feet will force
walkers onto the spine, heaped
with rocks and massive drift logs.
Spring and summer provide the best
windows of opportunity. As always
in the Pacific Northwest, pack warm
layers that include a waterproof shell
you may not ever need that
rain gear. The area gets less than 20
inches of precipitation annually!
This drier, sunnier
as Banana up