Window to Another World: Exploring the Coast of the Olympic National Park

Window to Another World.  Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Window to Another World. Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

 Olympic National Park in Washington is a World Heritage Site and is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve.  It’s huge. Fully ninety-five percent of the park has been designated as wilderness area. It offers incredible variety from dramatic and unworldy coastlines, huge trees and rainforests, and mountains and glaciers—all in one area.  I have been extremely busy with portrait sessions, weddings, and commercial work for my clients, and was happy to be able to take a short trip to explore the coastal areas of the Olympic National Park. I spent most of my time in the Makah Indian Reservation area which is home to Shi Shi Beach, Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island.

Shi Shi Beach Panorama. Phase 645AF, Phase One P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Shi Shi Beach Panorama. Phase 645AF, Phase One P65+, Mamiya 75-150

If you are planning on visiting this area of Olympic National Park, don’t expect four-star hotels or restaurants. Visitors to the area come to camp, hike, fish, and commune with nature. I stayed at the Hobuck “Resort” area situated close to the Shi Shi trailhead. No frills, but clean and comfortable. There is not much in the way of amenities in the Makah Nation, although there is one gem that does standout like a sore thumb in this community—which is Linda’s Wood Fired Bakery, offering brick oven pizzas, pastries, and breakfast all made from scratch. Linda also offers new rooms above the bakery. Adding a gourmet french roast coffee (without the Starbucks commercialism) would be the finishing touch to this new bed and breakfast. The facilities are clean and everyone is friendly. The food is excellent. Update the decor and this quaint restaurant could easily be transplanted into a trendier earthy community.

Linda wood-fired oven; Linda's hand-picked chantrelle mushrooms.

Linda wood-fired oven; hand-picked chantrelle mushrooms. Everything from scratch!

First Light.  The sun rays fight to break through the overcast at dusk.

First Light. The sun rays fight to break through the overcast at dusk.

The Shi Shi trailhead is easy enough to get to.  The first part of the trail is well-maintained, though the second half of the trail through the woods can get quite muddy, even during the “dry” season.  The trail is about a three mile hike to the beach.  It was wet.  My pack weighed approximately fifty pounds, all of it camera gear, including my new Arca Swiss Cube!  Along with the virtual horizon feature of the Phase P65+ digital back, the Arca Swiss Cube made it extremely fast and easy to level my camera.  Superb.  At low tides, Shi Shi beach offers fantastic tidal pools.
Four-play at the beach

Four-play at the beach

It was quite misty and wet at times, but my Phase 645AF and Phase P65+ digital back performed well without any problems.
Phase One tough:  Phase P65+ underwater!  *just kidding*  The lense was just really wet...

Phase One tough: Phase P65+ underwater! *just kidding* The lense was just really wet...

Shi Shi Beach is marked by dramatic seastacks rising from the ocean.  Dramatic sunsets can sometimes be witnessed here, but not on this trip.  Regardless, the area is stunning, as if from another world.  Hiking further down the beach is the Point of Arches, the highlight of Shi Shi beach, almost taken directly out of the movie, Lord of the Rings.
Morning at the Point of Arches.  Phase 645AF, phase P65+, Hartblei 45mm t/s

Morning at the Point of Arches. Phase 645AF, phase P65+, Hartblei 45mm t/s

Passage to the Point of Arches. Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Passage to the Point of Arches. Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Cape Flattery. Vertical panorama

Cape Flattery. Vertical panorama

Cape Flattery is also easily accessible from the Makah Nation.  The hike is on a well-maintained trail spanning approximately three-quarters of a mile through the forest.  Cape Flattery is much easier to access than Shi Shi, but also accordingly more suseptible to small crowds of people.
Blue Morning.  Headed back towards Seattle.  Phase 645AF, P65+, Hartblei t/s super rotator

Blue Morning. Headed back towards Seattle. Phase 645AF, P65+, Hartblei t/s super rotator

Backwoods originality

Backwoods originality

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

I enjoyed my short trip to the coastal areas of the Olympic National Park.  I’ll be back.  You can see some more of my landscape images, including some from this trip, on my landscape website House of Landscapes.  You can also visit my boutique studio in the Carmel Monterey area, Ken Doo Photography.  kmd

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3 Responses to “Window to Another World: Exploring the Coast of the Olympic National Park”

  1. Ken – not too sure which I like better; all the images are great and it looks like the P65 is fitting into the landscape role it was meant to be.

    Love the “Four-play at the beach” did ya see sponge bob?

    See ya

    Don

  2. Ken, just great photos. Love the four-play shot. Wow, those starfish are amazing!

  3. My favorite is most definitely “four-play” shot! Awesome shot!! Been to Cape Flattery on my trip up there too….good misty light!

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