Olympic Mountains Heatwave

Trip Date: June 27th thru June 28th, 2021

Rough bark of an enormous tree with a glimpse of the mountains behind

Summer was in full swing by late June this year (2021), with many days of Blue Skies and ever warming temperatures getting us in the mood for a camping trip out on the Olympic Peninsula. We anticipated it was going to be hot on this camping trip, but we did not expect a record breaking heatwave. Reprieve from the heat could not even be found deep in the Olympic mountains, where temperatures at our campsite soared above 100°F during the day.

Danny and Emma standing by the river
Gravel road through the campground

After driving around and exploring for a while, we came upon a small free National Forest Campground, deep in the Olympic National Forest, on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. This place was a gem of a campground nestled amongst a grove of Old Growth fir and cedar trees. The campground was decent size, but there were only a few campsites, with each being quite secluded from the next. The huge tree trunks and other forest vegetation helps to isolate the sites and muffle any sounds of others campers.

Danny and Andy trying to stay cool in the summer forest heat

The contrast between bright golden sunlight filtered through the towering trees and shades of green on all the vegetation made for some nice summer photos in the forest. The feel of this campground was quite mystical and magical. Even though it was the middle of summer, there were few other folks out in the campground today; we almost had the place to ourselves the next morning.

We are tiny standing next to these giant trees
Emma in the golden forest sunlight

The summer heat also brought a great show of forest wildflowers for us to see. There were numerous types of flowers along both the trail and the West Fork of the Humptulips River that flowed behind the campground.

I always have a great time when I get walk amongst Old Growth trees, being amazed at not just their visual impression, but also impacted by the smells and sounds from these trees. Listening to the wind blow through these ancient giants and smelling the aromas as the trees live and breath in the summer heat is a wonderful experience that I can’t wait to enjoy again next summer.

Carpets of moss on trees next to the river
Danny standing on a gigantic old growth tree stump

On account of the high heat, we only spent one night out in the forest this camping trip. Watch more about this trip in the Gravel Bound youtube video posted below.

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