First Day in Forks, WA

Forks, WA

Since Forks is only about 70 miles west of Port Angeles, we waited on Sunday until near the park’s 11:00 check-out time to leave.  We have driven about half of the route on US 101 before so we knew what US 101 was like to our west.

Crescent Lake

About 15 miles west of Port Angeles the road drops down a bit and runs along the south side of Crescent Lake.  Since there is not much room between the mountains and the lake the road is narrow and rough as it twists and turns along the lake.  While the passenger can enjoy some great views of the beautiful lake, the drive only sees the two lanes in front of him, hanging on to the wheel with both hands.

After passing Crescent Lake, US 101 makes a slow turn and begins to head south, crossing a number of narrow bridges.  One of the bridges over the Sol Duc River is getting a face lift, so the road narrows to one narrow lane.

A few miles before the town of Forks we turned west on WA-110 and drove seven miles to Riverview RV Park, our home for the next week.

We are just five miles from the coastal community of La Push (pop. 321), the largest community within the Quileute Indian Reservation.  La Push and the Quileute Tribe are featured in the Twilight series, set mainly in nearby Forks.  The popularity of the books and the related film adaptations, has had a significant impact on tourism to the area.

After setting up in the RV park we drove over to La Push for a visit to one of the nearby beaches.  There are three beach areas separated from each other by high rocky areas along the shore.  The beaches are creatively named First Beach, Second Beach, and Third Beach.  We think there must have been a contest or something to come up with those unique names.  First Beach is right in La Push, while beaches two and three are accessed by a trail through the forest.  We found a parking place in the Second Beach area and hiked the one mile trail to the ocean.  The trail goes through some beautiful old growth forest, with some trees growing up out of a large area of exposed roots.

Approaching the ocean the trail drops steeply down on a narrow path.  Once at the bottom a large area of driftwood makes accessing the beach a bit interesting.

Once on the beach we enjoyed the beautiful views of the cliffs and sea stacks all around us.

We missed the lowest tide but were there soon enough to enjoy some of the sea life uncovered as the tide slowly came in.

Ochre Sea Star

Purple Ochre Sea Star

Green Anemone

There is so much to see here between the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains and the nimble hiker has a number of adventures planned for our week stay.  More on that later . . .

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14 Responses to First Day in Forks, WA

  1. And you had gorgeous sunshine–I love the coast, the Cowboy not so much!

  2. Sue says:

    Poor John, hanging onto the steering wheel with both hands…..I love this tour of the PNW, walking through the beautiful woods and onto the spectacular beaches! I remember scrambling over the driftwood logs, not an easy job but one does develop a method eventually. I’m so glad to see that the sea stars have made a comeback, I especially love the personality of the little orange guy!

  3. You’ll be busy there! So much to see. Hope the weather cooperates!

  4. YAY, tidepooling! May your stretch of beautiful weather continue…

  5. Jeff Pierce says:

    The Olympic Peninsula offers so much although a little bit of effort to reach some of the best attractions. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Adventure 57 says:

    WOW!!! That water is so blue and the trees are so green! What a cool place!!

  7. Gay says:

    The star fish are so amazing…so glad they are making a comeback. Awesome first day!

  8. Jodee Gravel says:

    That drive along the lake is beautiful but definitely a “pay attention” stretch. The oncoming log trucks were the worst! The beach there is so beautiful – love all the treasures you found. That giant root ball on the trail is so cool 🙂

  9. pmbweaver says:

    Oh how I would have hated to cross that bridge.
    Beautiful beach photos. I love see the sea life up close. Looking forward to more of your adventures. I know that will be super!

  10. Laurel says:

    Oh yayyyy tidepooling!!! One of my favorite pastimes, and I know you feel the same. 🙂 I love the orange ochre sea star waving and welcoming you to the beach. We haven’t been to First Beach, so it’s fun to see it. On our list for next time! That road is truly awful. I find myself “helping” Eric drive. He really appreciates my help, hah!!

  11. Sherry says:

    Looks like a bit of a harrowing drive. Glad you arrived safely. Since I’ve never read or seen Twilight I wouldn’t know what all the hoopla is about. Hope the local folks are happy about their notoriety.
    Love the shot of trying to “hike” through the driftwood TREES covering the beach. We had that situation on one of the Olympic National park beaches the year we were there. Beacher that I am, I love your shots of the beach and the its rocks and critters. Looking forward to the hikes. Lots of folks in Washington and Oregon this summer.

  12. Debbie L says:

    You’re so funny-had me laughing thru this!!! Know John saw no humor while hanging on for dear life! My hubby doesn’t have his fortitude-whenever I pass along your great adventures, he turns green! Lol
    But the sea life you saw!!! Wow makes it worth it!!!

  13. geogypsy2u says:

    Spent a lot of time in LaPush during the 90s when it was just a sleepy little Native fishing village. Guess that’s changed a bit. Loved when the storms would rearrange the driftwood “furniture” and it was like walking a whole new beach. I know you’ve moved on from here but I’m trying to catch up.

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