Deer Park sits an astounding 5400 feet above sea level in the Olympic National Park. Just east of Port Angeles, this high-alpine campground is only accessible by a windy, 9 mile single lane gravel road that traverses steeply up the mountainside.
We left Seattle late in the evening and caught the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. After a quick sail across the Sound, and a short drive to the 101, we were headed to Port Angeles.
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes before midnight and were greeted with a crystal clear night sky. Stars stretched endlessly from one horizon to the next. The Milky Way was in full form as well.
After a surprisingly comfortable sleep in our campground, we woke up to breathtaking views of the Olympics and the surrounding areas. It was too late to notice any other campers on our drive in, but after walking around, we were surprised to learn that, other than a loan deer rummaging around, we had the place to ourselves.
After exploring the area, and checking out the wreckage from a fire that scorched the area in 1988, we decided to start heading back out to the 101. On our way out, the clouds started to part and we could see all the way into the Straights of Juan De Fuca.
After a long, windy drive out of Deer park we started north on the 101. After an hour or so, we started snaking along the Elwa River. We found a turnout and, after a quarter mile hike in, we explored the trickling river basin. The fog started to fold in around us and made for classic, Northwest-hazy afternoon.
After the Elwa, we headed to La Push and Rialto Beach. The waves crashed in upwards of 10 feet. We thought about paddling the surf boards out, but decided on some Mexican food in Forks, WA instead. The food was decent, but unfortunately, we weren't greeted by any vampires.
The end of our journey was a four hour drive from forks south along the Pacific coast. The fog broke and a golden hour of sunshine broke through. We pulled over to the side of the road and, standing on the bluff, were able to take a couple final photos.
We did the Olympic loop in 24 hours, including camping time. One could easily spend a week or more, though, exploring the various nooks and crannies of the area.