Hike Distance: 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 212 feet
This was the last day of our vacation and we had to keep in mind that we had a 3.5 hour drive home, so we decided not to venture far from hwy 101. I really wish that the snow level hadn’t been at such low elevations but it’s good that there is plenty of water for months to come. I also wish that Hurricane Ridge had opened, for even one day, but we weren’t that fortunate.
This section of the Olympic Discovery Trail turned out to be much better than expected:) We started out at a parking area across from the Morse Creek trestle. It’s a beautiful trestle with a nice view of Morse Creek. There is also a nice little side trail that goes down to Morse Creek. Just past the trestle the trail had housing on one side and lush green fauna on the other. For some reason the housing wasn’t much of a distraction due to the vegetation. There were benches and even tubs filled with daffodils.
Just short of a mile I started smelling and hearing the ocean, and we broke out into a great view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca! The remainder of our hike was right next to the ocean with a nice breeze and cool temperatures. It wasn’t long before we spotted some sea otters on the trail, and they eventually went back into the water to play and hunt. We watched them for a while, and took plenty of pictures. The amazing part about this section of the trail is that it was primarily below some cliffs, and so felt isolated from the homes above. There is a section of the trail that passes through an old Rayonier Mill that needs to be cleaned up, and has fencing on both sides. We also saw a couple, we believe, homeless people that didn’t pay attention to us. During the entire ocean shore portion of the hike you can see Ediz Hook as it gets closer, while you’re walking west towards town. The hike was special due to the ocean views and sparse people on the trail. If you enjoy rails-to-trails then you’ll enjoy this hike.