Mt. Storm King, Lake Crescent, and Sol Duc Valley

I took full advantage of the incredible extended summer weather we've been having with a trip to the Olympic Peninsula this weekend. The Sound has been smoky this week from forest fires to the East. 

The hike up to Mount Storm King is a tough 2,000 foot climb up steep switchbacks and even a ropes section to get to the best viewpoint. I was hesitant to chase a view at the top knowing the smoke would limit visibility over Lake Crescent and out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but we went anyways. The view was stunning - and definitely worth coming back to see later - but my legs are still sore four days later. 

From the parking lot on Lake Crescent at the ranger station below Mt. Storm King. 

The smoke created some cool effects on the mountains, but obscured our view to the west end of the lake. This picture looks west; outside the frame to the right is the rest of the lake, some hills, and about five miles of land between the lake and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

We rested on the smoky shore of Lake Crescent after our hike then drove to the Sol Duc hot springs to relax for an hour. The hot springs sit in a beautiful valley, and we watched the sunlight leave the east side of the valley. 

I snapped this photo at our private campsite after the sunrise on Sunday morning. We took a six mile hike around the Sol Duc river and falls. We probably saw 40 different types of mushrooms, and at one point found ourselves in a field of bracken ferns that were about as tall as us. A minute later we recognized the smell, and realized that the field was also full of sweetgrass. I wish I took a picture to refer to that part, because the memory is still so strong in my head. 

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