Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shades of Grey: A Fall Guide to the Olympic Peninsula

Even though the last warm rays of summer are a thing of the past and leaves are starting to change into beautiful oranges and reds, things are just heating up on the Olympic Peninsula. Fall on the Peninsula is the reason we have lush green mosses and ferns littering the floor of the forest. From the steady dripping of water through the canopy, to the snow packed mountain peaks and rivers running near freezing, fall on the Olympic Peninsula is truly a rainforest. Fall on the Olympics is a wet, wild and cold time, but this doesn’t mean that you should stay away. In fact, despite getting upwards of 100 inches of rain a year and grey skies nearly every day, this area has plenty to do for all levels of explores, hikers and climbers. Below are some opportunities, events and destinations for the fall. Through the 50 shades of grey in the fall and winter sky, tourism on the Olympic Peninsula is an attractive location.

Clam Digging
Razor Clam Season is here!
With clam season just around the corner, there is no better way to experience ce the Washington coast then grabbing a shovel, a pair of boots and a jacket and clamming along the Pacific Ocean. The best beaches are located north of Ocean Shores, making it an easy half to full day trip from Olympia. A permit is required, but can be picked up HERE. The season this year starts October 13th through the 18th and may be extended. A detailed schedule can be found HERE, as well as tide information.

Clamming is a great way to spend a morning or an evening. Sure, it is cold and you might get a little wet, but the experience is one you will remember and enjoy, as you share your freshly caught clams in delicious chowder, regaling your friends and family with the day’s events. Contact EXOTICHIKES today to set up a trip to go clamming.

Storm Watching
Stormy Day from Neah Bay
With up to 6 inches of rain in a 24 hour period and winds sometimes gusting up to 70+ miles an hour, the fall and winter on the Olympic Peninsula can get quite stormy. Your first reaction may be to sit inside drinking tea and reading a book, far away from this area. We ask you to step out of that comfort and come to the coast. The Washington coast during a storm is one of the most magnificent, beautiful, violent and relaxing things one can do. While these words may not seem to all fit together, the Olympic Peninsula and the Washington coast combines wind, rain and waves with beauty and sophistication at many fine establishments.  From Kalaloch Lodge and Iron Springs, to any number of hotels in Ocean Shores, taking in a winter storm with your significant other can turn a romantic getaway into a weekend to remember. If you are single, it provides a great backdrop to get away from it all, kick back with a glass of wine or a beer, and listen to the waves, the rain and the rain all around.

See storm waves crash at the remote Neah Bay or the picturesque Ruby Beach. Collect shells, agates and more during low tide. Contact Exotic Hikes for more information on weather conditions, lodging and transportation needs.

Salmon Season
Salmon in the Rain Forest
With Salmon already making their way upstream, now is the time to walk into the rainforest and see salmon making their way up swollen streams and rivers. Returning to their traditional spawning grounds, Salmon on the Olympic Peninsula provide not only a delicious food source, they also allow one to step back into the past and witness events that have been going on for ages. Exotic Hikes is proud to offer tours into the peninsula to see salmon swimming through the rainforest. Nothing is quite as remarkable as seeing scarlet red salmon swimming up a small stream next to giant cedar trees and ferns. 

From October to December, salmon infiltrate the waters into the rainforest, giving you an experience like no other. This is a great trip for families, couples and singles, so gives a call and we will work with your schedule!

Eagles on the Peninsula
With the salmon come the bald eagles. Believe it or not, locals on the Olympic Peninsula can see a Bald Eagle with little to no effort nearly every single day. This number increases, as the salmon return to spawn and die on the rivers all over the peninsula. Eagles, 10’s at a time, sit along the river banks, catching and eating fresh salmon, as well as posing for numerous photographs. The Olympic peninsula is full of Bald Eagles, but no time is better than during salmon season.

Snowy Owl in Ocean Shores
Eagles are not the only thing to frequent the Olympic Peninsula. Migratory birds, from around the world, travel through the region, giving birders amazing views of everything from geese and ducks to Snowy Owls. Birding on the Peninsula is great, with numerous wildlife refuges and frequent migration areas; this is your place for the birding experience of the year. Contact us for more information!

Typical Trail on the Peninsula
Despite the weather, numerous hikes enter the rainforest, allowing for a somewhat dry hike in the rain. Also, contrary to popular belief, the Olympic Peninsula, with all of its rain, has many great weather days. With thousands of trail options, a hike for your mood and the weather can easily be found. From climbing mountains of anywhere from four to eight thousand feet, to walks in the dense rainforest, your desires can be met. Waterfalls, full of rainwater, cascade down remote rock faces all over the Olympic Peninsula, giving you a myriad of options for great day hikes all over the region.

Pony Bridge, Olympic National Park

No matter what you want this winter and fall, Exotic Hikes and the Olympic Peninsula have you covered. Contact us today for detailed rates. Remember, we are not only your most passionate guides on the Olympic Peninsula, but also able to work with your schedule, making us the most flexible. 

Exotic Hikes
Twitter: @ExoticHikes 

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