A person who loves trees
There's a lot to love about the Pacific Northwest. One of the most impressive is certainly the trees. We've got tremendous ancient giants all around and an incredibly wide variety to enjoy.
Where to find incredible trees
If you're lucky enough to live in Edmonds, or anywhere near Seattle, you have the luxury of living between two massive national parks, the Olympic National Park and the North Cascades National Park.
These two incredible parks and their mountain ranges are home to the Olympic National Forest, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. One could spend a lifetime exploring these three forests alone and we intend to spend a substantial portion of our remaining lives doing that.
National forests are an excellent place to find mind blowingly cool trees. However, they are not the only places. Incredible trees are everywhere. To help you find some of them we offer up this list.
The Olympic National Forest
The thrill of heading out to "the peninsula" when you board the ferry at Edmonds is partly driven by boarding the ferry itself. Walking or driving are equally exciting in their own ways.
Our incredible Washington State Ferries are such a pleasure. Time slows down and you can get a good look at the Puget Sound, the mountains and maybe even some Orca on the hunt.
The ferry lets us off in Kingston, WA. Kingston itself is a cute little town with several fun places to stop for something to eat or last minute supplies before you head out. Good time to make sure the gas tank is full. From here, you can go anywhere on the peninsula.
Sol Duc Hot Springs and Waterfalls
One of our favorite destinations on the Olympic Peninsula is Sol Duc Hot springs. Just 3 hours and 20 minutes from Edmonds, including the ferry time, this is in day trip range or you can stay at the hot springs resort and campground.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
When you see the turquoise water of the lakes and rivers of this national forest you will never forget or regret the trip. Furthermore, it's easy. From Edmonds you can get to Diablo Lake Vista Point in two and a half hours! Definitely day-trippable.
Suspension bridge to the Trail of the Cedars
One highlight of the recent trip was the suspension bridge to the trail of the cedars. This is a great place to stop to take a break from the road, charge up your EV or grab a snack at the store. The real attraction is the trail of the cedars which is a brief but very educational walk around the woods alongside the Skagit river.
We captured several photos and put them in this Google Photos Gallery here are a couple examples...
Howard Miller Steelhead Park (official site)
We take our Roadtrek van Olga wherever we go and she loves this park. If you're looking for really low key camping in the North Cascades we heartily recommend Howard Miller Steelhead Park (Google map). It's right next to the Skagit River and it offers water, electric hookups and a fire pit.
This park is incredibly clean and well maintained. We were there on July 5th and were able to get a spot from the very helpful camp host with no reservations when everywhere else in the Cascades was completely overrun with folks, like us, desperate to get away this summer post 2020 pandemic.
The grass was green and nicely manicured. The restrooms with showers are very clean. Overall, the place is just well kept. It's great for kids with room to safely ride bikes, or electric scooters for the big kids like us. They have lots of kids play equipment and a boat launch. There's even a local bar and grill if you don't feel like cooking.
Here is a link to the map of the campground. We stayed in #27 which was fine and had a peek a boo view of the river. #39 was fully paved (most are gravel) and had a huge green field next to it. The riverside spots, including tent spots look awesome but remember, the closer you are to the river the more mosquitos.
Diablo Lake Vista Point
You're going to see some spectacular views from here. This one spot makes the whole trip worthwhile and if you're not a hiker, not a problem, this viewpoint has a large paved parking lot and very little walking required to see the view.
Show off your inner Dendrophile
Before your next adventure to find some of the PNW's prize trees, why not pick up some dendro style in the form of a Dendrophile t-shirt from Edmonds.Love?