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My Summertime Destination: Staircase at the Olympic National Park

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Kimberly enjoys sharing her love of camping and outdoor adventures. Spending time in nature is her all-time favorite, happy place!

 Beautiful waters of the Staircase Rapids

Beautiful waters of the Staircase Rapids

A Personal Experience and Recollections of the Rain Forest

This was a long-awaited trip, as for years we had only dreamed of taking off in a camper and sightseeing around our beloved home state. We traveled nearly 400 miles and 7 hours to our first of many vacation destinations. We had to pinch ourselves to believe it was really happening.

My husband was my companion traveler. Together we set out to explore and experience the great forests of the Olympic National Parks of Washington State. We had one week in which to accomplish this mission of exploring the highly acclaimed destination spots along the Olympic Peninsula Loop.

Our first destination happened to be the Staircase Campground located in the southeastern corner of the Olympic National Park. Its location is about a two-hour drive from Port Angeles. With a mid-August arrival, we actually got lucky with reserving a campsite once we arrived. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The campground is home to 49 sites complete with picnic tables, fire rings, accessible restrooms, potable water, and animal-proof food lockers. It welcomes those with tents, camp trailers, and RVs.

Staircase campground

Staircase campground

Our Campsite

We quickly settled into our campsite nestled under a canopy of trees. The campsite felt spacious and roomy. We had plenty of room to spread out and make ourselves right at home. We didn't linger there for long though as the trail was calling to us to make its acquaintance. With a quick change of clothes and donning of our backpacks, we were hastily off to explore the enchanted forest.

Our senses were alive and heightened by all of the mesmerizing earthen smells, sights, sounds, and touch. Yes, I did Hug a few trees!


Hitting the Trail

The first thing that hit our senses upon our arrival was the abundantly fresh air! It was such a welcomed gift to us to be able to breathe pure, clean air. At home, we had been saturated in heavy forest fire smoke all summer long. Next, we were pulled into the inviting presence of lavish greenery and the stunning beauty of old-growth trees. The trees were astoundingly tall and bold and sublime. Many of the trees wore a coat of thick moss. The forest floor with all of its earthen beauty welcomed us wholly into its forest home.

We began our hike from the campground and a mere 1.4 miles in we came upon a "Giant" Fallen Cedar Tree. Its diameter was 14 Ft. It was quite awe-inspiring even in its fallen state. Well worth the look!

Crystal Blue Water

Making our way onward we wove through the thick lush forest of mosses and ferns and came upon the Staircase Rapids. The 2.1 miles of trail creates a loop and follows the North Fork of the Skokomish River. Breathtaking crystal blue water was a sight that drew us into its magical beauty. This made for the perfect spot to stop, gaze and make a wish!

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Even on a hot August summer day, this trail was shaded under the canopy of its old-growth trees of 300–400 years old. The trail itself was well maintained and easy to navigate.


Only One Night

We found our accommodations to be everything we desired. Our stay at the Staircase Campground was only one day and one night. While this was a sufficient amount of time for our quick day hike and explorations of the surrounding forest, we certainly would have enjoyed a longer stay. Day one of our week-long adventures and explorations was a perfect success.

Nature Lovers' Paradise

The Olympic National Park is a nature lovers' paradise. As you arrive, you'll surely find yourself letting go of the many demands of city life. The sights and sounds draw you away from stress and into its most serene calmness.

There are so many ways to enjoy your visit to the Rain Forest. Bird watching, night sky-gazing, biking, hiking, walking, swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, picnicking, and camping just to name a few.

The Staircase Trail

The Staircase Trail

Your Adventure Awaits

Thank you for coming along for the journey. You are most assuredly going to enjoy your own adventures in the forest. Collect your own treasured moments and breathtaking views.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Nana


Nana (author) from Pacific Northwest USA on October 22, 2021:

Liz, Thank You greatly

Nana (author) from Pacific Northwest USA on October 22, 2021:

Peggy, Thank you for commenting and for the appreciation of the photos!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 22, 2021:

Oh, how I would love to follow in your footsteps! The verdant scenery and fresh air must have invigorated you as you enjoyed that beauty surrounding you. Thanks for sharing your experience and those gorgeous photos with us.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 22, 2021:

This is a fascinating and well-illustrated account of your trip.

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