Quinault River goes into the Pacific Ocean
Four years as a teenager I hiked in the Olympic Mountains during the month of August. It was planned that way from the very first one on. I was a member of a local Boy Scout troop and our plans each year was to go on a fifty mile hike in the Olympics.
I am blessed to live between two mountain ranges the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. We did only a few small hikes in the Cascades while doing these long hikes in the Olympics. I am not sure why we chose to hike the Olympics more than the Cascades. I expect the likelihood that there are more fifty mile trails in the Olympics than the Cascades or at the very least not as steep.
Mount Rainier that I can see every morning looking east is the second largest mountain in the United States so I expect that the trails are harder to hike than the Olympics. One thing I do know is that the Olympic Mountains are very beautiful. I can see them on a clear day looking west on highway 16.
In the spring we would take at least one short hike to get ready for the fifty mile. I remember my first hike was to lower Lena. There are two trails one to lower Lena and the other upper Lena. Very popular for Boy Scouts to hike because it is only about three miles though the hike is high as I recall. Lena Lake is a very beautiful spot to visit like most of the Olympics. My first experience with it being steep and raining I would not call it the best but what judgement can I have at thirteen years old. Despite the experience I kept going on hikes.
Three of the fifty mile hikes were along the Hoh, Elwa and Quinalt rivers that are all very good to hike. Though there are spots that are steep there are some level areas as well. I remember meeting some interesting people along the way as well.
I remember one year the scout troop took a short hike where we could see Mt. Olympus a very beautiful site. My older brother Dick was in college and he brought a couple of his roommates from back east to see the northwest for the first time. They hiked the same trail we did except coming from the other end. So we traded car keys at the middle of the hike so we did not have to return to the beginning of the trail. The other scouts were picked up by their parents on the other end.
There are more stories and memories I can tell about maybe at another time. There are many trails that can be hiked in both mountain ranges. I recommend doing a search on line for them both. You can order books and maps that shows the favorite trails to hike. I know that you can have a really good time.