Lake Quinault, Olympic National Park, Washington

Located on the park border near the southern entrance of Olympic National Park, Lake Quinault and the homesteads along its banks are tucked into the engulfing forest. Giant maple trees clad in moss arch over the road that encircles the lake.

Maple Glade Trail

The north side of the lake, along the national park, is quieter with less development. Here you’ll find the Maple Glade Trail, a short half mile jaunt through an amazing example of these glorious moss covered trees. A stream runs through the area reflecting the greenness from above on top of the greenness from below the water – a Kelly green water plant.

Loop Drive

The loop drive around the lake and up the river is on good, albeit sometimes gravel, roads. The way is slow, weaving on a narrow lanes through the trees. Late on a Monday afternoon there was little traffic. We saw one other vehicle at the glade and passed just one other on the road.

World Record Sitka Spruce

A mile up the road from Lake Quinault Lodge is the World Record Sitka Spruce. It’s a short walk along a maintained trail through brush to the tree, a lone specimen in a forest of much lesser cousins. Still he is an impressive sight and worth the 10 minutes to see.

Lake Quinault Lodge

Built in 1926 the Lake Quinault Lodge has an old time charm with an expansive lawn that leads down to the lake. The main room is a large yet cozy lounge with high wood ceilings and a massive stone fire place. It’s a great place to hang out but unfortunately all that charm doesn’t extend to the rooms. Our room in the “new” wing was spacious yet dated with no thought given to making the space more livable, just a large room with furniture against the walls. The gas fire place sits alone in the corner without any chairs from which to enjoy it. You can, however, rearrange the furniture. The mattress is old and soft but the room quiet. Trees edge the lawn so views of the lake are limited. This is a very expensive property without the comforts and amenities to match.

Dinner at Lake Quinault Lodge

The cozy outer dining room along a closed-in porch has views of the expansive green lawn out to the lake. Tables are draped in white cloths. The menu has a selection of American dishes – including steak, chicken, salmon and duck. The half chicken seasoned with Moroccan flavors was served over fingerling potatoes. The duck breast, under cooked, i.e. less than medium rare was otherwise flavorful accompanied by dried cherries and tiny onions and was also served over fingerling potatoes. It was quiet on a Monday night at 8PM. There was just one couple left in the restaurant when we finished. Service is friendly and efficient.


Served on the same charming porch as dinner the evening before. The menu offers all the usual American breakfast items. Omelets are served with crispy twice cooked potatoes or fruit salad. The strawberries served with the pancakes were deliciously ripe, a rarity. All in all good but expensive breakfast options. 2 breakfasts and 2 cups of coffee were over $50 with tip.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Pacific Northwest page.

May 13-14, 2019