Tag Archives: bears

The Wondrous Forests of Olympic National Park

Avoiding Bears in Olympic National Park

On our journey from Oregon to Washington, we spent a few days in Olympic National Park. As we began our trek through the western edge of the Olympic National Park, we kept seeing signs touting the largest trees in the world.

“See the world’s largest Spruce”, “See the world’s largest Cedar”, “See the world’s largest Douglas Fir”. Alright, it got our attention, so we stopped and took a few photos.

For a slide show of this trip, click here: http://www.webetripping.com/Gallery_USA_WA_OlympicNationalPark.asp.

The Mossy forests of Olympic National Park

The Mossy forests of Olympic National Park

World’s Largest Spruce

Our first stop was the world’s largest Spruce tree. Accessible via a quick hike, we reached it quickly. It was large. Not as large as some of the Sequoia’s we saw in Sequoia National Park, but certainly respectable in size. Notice closely on the tree, I am standing just above the base!

World's Largest Spruce

World’s Largest Spruce

World’s Largest Cedar

The Cedar was cool, you could walk inside it which offered up a great photo opp.

Worlds Largest Cedar

Worlds Largest Cedar

Worlds Largest Cedar

Worlds Largest Cedar

Along the way, we saw lots of other magnificent waterfalls and trees.

Waterfalls in Olympic National Park

Waterfalls in Olympic National Park

Trees in Olympic National Park

Trees in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Kestner Homestead Trail

We also hiked the Kestner Homestead Trail, it leads back to an old homestead that they are starting to revamp for public viewing. It offered some great views and nice pictures.

As we made our way along the trail, Lynn shouted “bear!”. I turned around to see what the commotion was all about to find out that she had seen a bear cross our path only about 30 yards ahead. We high-tailed it out of there, going back the way we came in! Luckily, we had already made it through the homestead before seeing the bear, so we came back with some pictures to share.

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

Kestner Homestead Trail

We also found a cool beach called Ruby Beach that is a haven for thousands of marine creatures. It also offers up some great views of the Pacific Ocean.

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

As we ended the day, we stopped into Sol Duc Hot Springs to soak our weary bones. After relaxing in the mineral springs, we stopped by Crescent Lake. This pristine lake, created by a glacier, was spectacular. Although the pictures don’t do it justice, you could see the bottom of the lake until it dropped off into a blue hole of nothingness.

Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake

I will leave you with a couple more pictures of Port Angeles. The final one was a hoot — this raccoon was begging for scraps.

IMG_028 IMG_030

Grand Time in the Tetons

Grand Tetons

We spent 3 days in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.  The national park sports a beautiful mountain range, incredible lakes, and great hikes.  It is just miles away from Yellowstone National Park, so if you are visiting Yellowstone, you should plan a few days in Grand Teton.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

If you would like to see a slide show of pictures from this trip, click here: http://www.webetripping.com/Gallery_USA_WY_GrandTeton.asp

Jackson Wyoming

A logical place to stay is in Jackson, Wyoming, just a few miles from the park entry.  This is not far from a famous ski resort – Jackson Hole.  We stayed at the Cowboy Cabins, a cool set of cabins that have flat screen TVs, kitchen, and a comfortable bed.  We also made use of the pool and hot tub.

Cowboy Cabins

Cowboy Cabins

Cowboy Cabins

Cowboy Cabins

Jackson is a cool little town, very western looking.  Reminds me a bit of Golden, Colorado.  They have an incredible breakfast place called The Bunnery — this is the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten.

Jackson Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming

It also has a micro-brewery called “The Snake River Brewery“.    We really liked the Snake River Lager, many of the restaurants also carried this beer.

Snake River Brewery

Snake River Brewery

Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Once you leave Jackson and enter the National Park, the view of the Teton mountain range appear.  Unfortunately, the first 2 days were cloudy, so much of the view was hidden by clouds.  But on the third day, boy did the Tetons show their splendor.  Only a few miles into the park is Mormon Row.  This is a small dirt road where a Mormon family lived in the late 1800’s.

Old Barns on Morman Row

Old Barns on Mormon Row

Old Barn on Morman Row

Old Barn on Mormon Row

Old House on Morman Row

Old House on Mormon Row

Old Barn on Morman Row

Old Barn on Mormon Row

Grand Teton Mountains

Grand Teton Mountains

Grand Teton Mountains

Grand Teton Mountains

Old Run Down Home

Old Run Down Home

The Cunningham Cabin was owned by John Pierce Cunningham, who arrived in Jackson Hole in 1885 and worked as a trapper until he established a small ranch in 1888. Once his ranch was completed, he used this cabin as a barn.

The cabin was the scene of a shootout in 1899 between a Montana posse and two horse thieves, who were killed at the scene. The dead men, who had worked for Cunningham the previous season, were buried in unmarked graves nearby.

Cunningham Cabin

Cunningham Cabin

Jackson Lake is the larger lake in the park. It sports incredible views of the Teton range.

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake

John D. Rockerfeller, Jr. built the Jackson Lake lodge in the 1950’s. To stay here, you must have a reservation about a year in advance. It has a funky grill that has bar seating only. We loved this, it kinda forces you to talk to people around you and has a small town feel.

Jackson Lake Lodge grill

Jackson Lake Lodge grill

Jenny Lake is a beautiful but small lake that backs up to Grand Teton mountain. We took a boat tour of the lake from a guy that has lived there as a guide, ski instructor, and boat captain. He was probably 30ish and had a zest for life. He said if we come back 10 or 15 years from now, he would still be doing what he is doing.   In his time off, he skis, mountain climbs, and hikes.  Now that’s how to live life — enjoying everything about where you’re at and not longing for something different.

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

We ran across this little Cowboy from Florida when visiting Mormon Row. He had 2 other brothers, all dressed up in Cowboy attire — it was great.

Little Cowboy from Florida

Little Cowboy from Florida

On the last day, we saw a lot of people taking pictures. We stopped the car and found that it was a black bear. We snapped the pictures and got out of there!

Bear roaming the park

Bear roaming the park