After leaving Cape Disappointment, the dogs and I had no specific plans or lodging reservations for several days. All I knew was that we were staying on the Olympic Peninsula. After spending way longer at the International Kite Festival in Long Beach, Washington, than I thought we would as well as meeting so many very nice people who encouraged us to stay and enjoy more of the festival, we were tempted to continue enjoying the beach. But when the dogs and I left the festival to refill our water vessels, the road was calling. So, I put the top down, slid Brychwyn and Huxley's doggles on and followed highway 101 north to Lake Quinault. This beautiful glacial carved lake has been a favorite place of mine since I was a child. And, thankfully, it hasn't changed a bit!
We arrived at the Willaby Creek campground with time to set-up camp before sunset. It was a weekday evening, so the campground was very quiet. After dinner, we walked down to the day use beach for the sunset and had the whole beach to ourselves. We had scored such a lovely, private campsite with a view of the lake, I decided we should stay here for two nights.
We got a great nights sleep next to the lapping shores of the lake, at this very quiet campground. In the morning, we had some play time at our campsite before heading out for a long hike. The trail head for the leashed dog-friendly Quinault National Recreation Area Rain Forest Nature Trail was just a few hundred yards from our campsite. What I thought would be a four or five mile hike turned into a seven mile hike. We followed the Rain Forest Nature Trail through the Cedar Bog to Cascade Falls then up and to Gatton Creek Falls. We had nice peek-a boo views of Lake Quinault from this high trail before we dropped back down towards the lake and the world's largest Sitka Spruce. On the way back to our campground we carefully trekked a mile on the road to the historic Lake Quinault Lodge where