On my last day in Olympic National Park, I left Forks and drove towards Seattle to catch my flight home. I had quite a bit of time to waste, so I decided to check out the Quinault area of the park.
I started at the Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station and hiked both the Maple Glade Loop Trail (0.5 mile loop) and the Kestner Homestead Trail (1.3 mile loop). I wasn’t sure what to expect from a homestead self-guided tour, but I was excited to find out!
Guess I can’t go that way!
The homestead was very peaceful, but it felt a little eerie walking around it by myself! The barn was very dark inside and I kept waiting for something to jump out at me!
After I was done checking out the homestead, I had hoped to hike the Irely Lake trail, which is 1.1 miles long. I set out driving there along North Shore Road and ended up on a very sketchy dirt road with tons of potholes. Some parts of the road had very sharp turns that only one vehicle could fit on and a huge drop on the side! In the spirit of adventure, I kept going along the road until I got to the trail. When I realized how far into the wilderness I really was, I decided against the hike thinking I could get lost or hurt and no one would find me.
On the way back, I decided to follow the signs to take South Shore Road back to the start, hoping the road was open and I wouldn’t have to completely backtrack my drive. For the record, South Shore Road was a lot safer and in better condition than North Shore Road. I was excited to find a few waterfalls on my drive out of the wilderness and stopped for some photos!
Sadly, this was my last stop in Olympic National Park. I never got a picture entering the park, so I stopped to get a picture of the sign as I was leaving.
I would love to go back someday and hike a few trails again as well as check out some different ones!
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