Recreation Resources and Tourism in Washington State

Washington State is a splendid place for recreation but no place in the Nation rivals the Pacific Northwest in terms of National forests and parks.  These are great places for recreational activities and the Pacific Northwest has a particularly high volume of these areas including the Olympic National Park.  It is often referred to as “three parks in one” and offers water and winter sports.  The divided areas include the glaciered mountains and high country of the interior, the rain forest, and the wilderness coastline.  Even though the area west of the Cascades is extremely moist the coastal region of the state sports many beautiful beaches that attract many beach-goers.  The official site of Washington State tourism has information on things to do and see through a very thorough listing of available activities including dog sledding, kayaking, paragliding, and llama trekking and there are numerous outdoor activities to be done even in the city of Seattle.

The state of Washington has a particularly large array of possible activities including beaches, snow-topped mountains, and forests for attracting hunters, campers, and hikers.  Few states are able to support both skiing and ocean beach recreation.  The best outdoor activities can be found in national forests and a significant portion the Nation’s supply is in the Pacific Northwest.  Idaho, Oregon, and Washington have some of the largest surface areas of national forests of any state in the country.

The Olympic Peninsula sports many beaches including three that are connected by a triangular trail that includes Sand Point, Cape Alava, and Lake Ozette.  Sand Point is home to a large sea otter population and the area commonly sees whales, seals, and sea lions.  The actor John Wayne believed that Sequim Bay was a perfect place for a marina.  In 1975 the actor donated the land to have a marina built on it and it now displays some John Wayne memorabilia.  Sekiu Trail, also known as One-Mile Beach has many cave opportunities and tide pools.  Fort Hayden, used as a World War II military base, can be visited at Salt Creek on the north end of the Olympic Peninsula.  Two popular beach resort areas along the coast include Ocean Shores and Long Beach, the latter of which is host to the International Kite Festival that happens once a year.

Washington has a relatively large area of national forests making up a total of nine including the gigantic Olympic, which was established in 1938.  The Forest has different regions with different names such as Queets Rain Forest, Wonder Mountain Wilderness, and Buckhorn Wilderness.  It has received recognition for being the best National Park for springtime activity by GORP.  In the northeastern portion of the Olympic National Park lies the Hurricane Ridge Ski Area and in the northwestern portion of the park is the Sol Duc hot springs where one can relax and even enjoy a nice massage from a professional massage therapist.  The Native American Quinault tribe from the southeast section of the Peninsula even offers bird-watching tours by motor-driven canoe.

Mount Olympus National Monument was Olympic National Park’s original name given back in 1909 because of the mountain’s relative bigness.  The mountain is now home to many climbers who like to challenge the 7,965-foot elevation, the highest peak of the Olympic Mountains.  Between late June and early September is the best time to tackle this climb but it is recommended that climbers have practice in crevasse rescue before hand because of the risk of falling into a hidden crevasse.

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