HECK YEAH! ROADTRIP! Over the 4th of July weekend we decided to pass on watching fireworks in the city and opted to spend that time making our way to the coast. We were stoked, we have route planned out and tried to see as much as we could to maximize our time off. We packed up the evening before the 4th and headed out. We were ready to get the show on the road and see the PNW!
Our first stop… Lake Sylvia!
Lake Sylvia is located in Montesano, WA just under a 2 hour drive southwest from Seattle. Montesano is a very small and quiet town, we saw a hardware shop, two gas stations, and a handful of resturants. The lake has a campground available along with fishing and kayaks and a designated swimming area. Campsites need to be reserved online for about 40 dollars a site and you’ll need a discovery pass as well.
Side Note: If you’re hungry the pizza place in town will delivery to the lake!
We got there at about 10:30pm and set up camp right away. Because it was so late, everyone else that was camping was shutting down for the evening and all that was left making noises were the frogs.
We woke up to clean crisp air and to the sound of birds singing, it was perfect. We enjoyed our instant coffee and made our way to the other side of the lake to go fishing.
Just on the other side of the lake, there is a bridge that leads to a trail and a dam, behind the walk way is another trail that leads to the group campsites. Keep an eye out for hawks in the trees and for otters in the lake!
Fishing is fairly popular there and if you’re lucky you can a snag a big boy! Every one there has their method to catching the trout, but I think my family has got it down. We use power bait or worms with a little bit of shrimp juice, we use a weight to bring the line down to the bottom and a 20 foot leader so the power bait floats just at the right depth.
We probably spent a majority of the day there, set up a picnic and waited for the fish to bite. About 5 hours in, we decided to head a lake about 7 miles west of Lake Sylvia… Lake Aberdeen, Aberdeen is the last city before you reach the coast of Ocean Shores. This lake was much smaller but we didn’t leave empty handed.
Around 5pm we decided to call it a day and continue on towards the next destination…
The Coast-Ocean Shores!
Ocean Shores is about 2 1/2 hours from Seattle and about 40 minutes from Aberdeen. We made our first stop to the North Jetty, where you can see far out into the ocean as you try not to slip on the jetty rocks.
Off to the right of the jetty the beach begins and so does the fun! Because of the holiday the beach was packed with people flying kites, skim boarding, and setting up for the fireworks show. You can drive and park on the beach or on the beach pathway or even the street, but be cautious with the beach parking as the sand is soft and we did see plenty of cars and trucks get stuck.
We sat on the and enjoyed a front row seat of the fireworks and the waves…
Needless to say, it was pretty epic. We car camped overnight and set out for our next destination at 5 am.
Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Forest
The Hoh Rainforest located in the Olympic National Forest, is about 2 hours south of Seattle. It’s 30 dollars to get in (the pass lasts for 7 days) and it’s 20 per campsite per night.
Side Note: They do not have showers, showers are available at the Hard Rain Cafe about 15 minutes outside of the National Forest. It’s 5 dollars per a shower.
They have 3 camp lots to choose from and just around the corner is the visitors lot and the rain forest visitor’s center where you can get your back packing permits and talk to rangers if you have any questions. This is also where the trails begin. You can even make some friends along the way!
There are three trails, the Hall of Mosses Mini trail, Spruce Nature Trail, and the Hoh River trail. Our first trail we did was the Spruce Nature Trail which was a mile long loop filled with mosses and nurse logs and streams.
As the trees fall, new trees thrive off of the nutrients that the old trees provide after they fall.
We headed back to camp for the day to set up camp and enjoy a sizzling fire. The campground does have firewood for sale for 8 dollars a bundle in one of the other lots (Lot A).
The next morning we got up and did the second trail, the Hall of Mosses, just roughly half mile loop and the trail lives up to its name. Short, easy, and filled with moss and ferns!
The trees were like skyscrapers, just massive and tall.
Every few hundred feet or so there are information signs posted about the life growing in the forest.
We completed the mini trail within the hour and headed out towards our next destination…
Sol Duc Falls
We made our way through Forks, WA, unfortunately, I saw no vampires or wolves.. *shrugs* We did pass a timber museum though. Almost the same thing, right? With not much to do or see in Forks, besides Twilight stuff, we just went straight to Sol Duc Falls, on the other side of the national park.
The Sol Duc Falls also has hot springs but I think it’s attached to the “resort” and you need to be a guest of the Sol Duc Falls resort in order to use the hot springs. So instead we just opted for the short hike to the waterfall. The parking for the trailhead is rather small and during summer months it tends to fill up quick so we ended up parking along the road a hundred years away from the lot. The trail to the falls, is about 2 miles round trip and can also be accessed through the campground.
It’s an extremely easy hike, with it mainly being flat majority of the way. The trail it well maintained with a couple of small bridge crossings along the way.
Once you reach this shelter, the falls are just a short distance away. You can hear the river and water flowing.
The trail does go up along side the river where it tends to be less crowded.
This is always one of my favorites places to visit because the hike is so easy and the waterfall is so beautiful. You can have some lunch while you listen to the trainquil sounds of the water flowing and just be at peace with the nature around you. The route of this road trip was fairly easy to map out and definitely worth the drive. It’s definite must!
Thanks for visiting and happy road tripping, friends!