Lodging in Olympic National Park

by Edwin Thomas

Set amid the green forests of coastal Washington, Olympic National Park offers its visitors landscapes ranging from windswept beaches to snow-capped mountains. Both an International Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Olympic National Park attracts visitors from around the world, and not all of those visitors want to "rough it" by camping out in the dampness of the woods. Thankfully, the park has other accommodations available through four separate lodges and resorts.

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Lake Crescent Lodge

Built in 1916, the Lake Crescent Lodge is a large, white clapboard house with wraparound veranda set in the woods at the foot of Mt. Storm King. The lodge also has accommodations in its Roosevelt Cottages, each with wood floors and stone fireplaces, but Fodor's warns that these must be booked a full year in advance. The lodge operates a dining room overlooking Lake Crescent and appointed with fir paneling that serves fare such as steamed Quilcene oysters.

Log Cabin Resort

Set on the northeastern shores of Lake Crescent in a thick cedar and fir forest, the Log Cabin Resort offers A-frame chalets, cabins, wood-and-canvas camping cabins, plus four motel-style rooms in the resort's lodge. Except for the motel rooms, some of which have kitchens, accommodations at the Log Cabin Resort are quite rustic, but they offer a middle ground between camping and staying in a hotel. A-frames are two-story units, while most cabins are equipped with a porch.

Kalaloch Lodge

"Very Highly Recommended" by Frommer's, the Kalaloch Lodge is a complex centered on a two-story cedar building overlooking wide sandy beaches on the Pacific Ocean, and it represents the only oceanfront lodging in the park. The rooms in the main lodge are the most rustic and least expensive, while the log cabins at the lodge, each with either a fireplace or iron stove, are the most in demand. In between are the rooms at the Seacrest Motel.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

The major attraction for this set of lodgings is the hot mineral springs bathing, but the surroundings are pretty attractive as well. The resort dates to 1910 and is set in a thick forest in the shadows of 5,000-foot mountains. The mineral baths are organized into a series of pools outdoors and behind the main lodge building. That lodge building has 32 motel-style rooms. Other accommodations exist in the form of 27 simple cabins, six with full kitchens and the rest without.