Olympic National Park Hikes & Mt Rainier National Park Hikes in 4 Days
We’re taking you up to the Pacific Northwest of the United States to two amazing national parks that you can experience in one trip. Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park are four hours driving apart, but are so different.
Mt. Rainier National Park hikes have its towering volcanic mountain, waterfalls and hikes that give great views of both.
Olympic National Park hikes have different ecosystems within itself including the Hoh Rainforest – a moss covered, vampire lovers dream forest getaway. In this episode we give you the perfect four day trip and all the recommendations for where to stay and what to eat on this journey.
We have a Washington’s 3 National Park Itinerary for sale on our website: Washington’s 3 National Parks Road Trip
Olympic National Park Hikes & Mt Rainier National Park Hikes – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are taking you to Mount Rainier, or as I like to say, Rainier and French and Olympic National Park
1 (1m 8s):
Washington state located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States is home to both of these national parks, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park. And between these two national parks, there are so many diverse, natural landscapes like mountains, glaciers, rain, forest, and some beautiful beaches. So whether you’re coming to see the wild flowers in bloom, chase waterfalls, or explore the tide pools, the state of Washington has so many sites to see and activities to do.
3 (1m 38s):
I’ve been to Olympic National Park before, not on a squad trip, but I was so excited for this trip because we’re doing it as a squad. And because one of my longtime friends, Leah and her son writer who are big fans of the pod, Hey guys, Hey, they just moved to port Angeles, Washington, which is one of the closest cities to Olympic National Parks. So it was going to be able to see them and see this amazing National Park again, as well as Mount Rainier, which I had never been to before You have a big issue with rain. Yay.
2 (2m 11s):
I think it flows beautifully.
4 (2m 13s):
I mean, it is the French way if we’re going to go with the spelling of it. Sure. But I’ve never heard someone describe Mount Rainier as Mount Rainier. So just throwing a backlight, but it’s a, okay, so again, these national parks, Mount Rainier and Olympic are two of the three national parks that are in Washington. And we only did these two as a squad before we dropped off Kim and Zane at the airport before Brittany and I continued on to the third, which is north cascades, but we’re going to get to that in another episode. And right now we’re going to focus on our squad trip to these two national parks, which are musts for anybody that is for sure.
1 (2m 54s):
Why don’t we talk about some tips about going to these two national parks in Washington?
3 (2m 59s):
So tip is something that we did. We flew into Seattle and we rented an SUV. There’s only four of us. We didn’t really need the SUV, but the extra space was really nice because of mountain roads. Jamal’s crazy driving.
4 (3m 12s):
I don’t know if my Bible is really crazy. I would say my driving is superb. I think I can be a race car driver if I wanted. That’s how good my skills are, but that’s a completely other episode, but yes, rent the SUV.
3 (3m 24s):
And then of course all that backseat space for napping,
2 (3m 27s):
You know, whether or not we need the SUV is irrelevant, but at the same time, it is such a huge need for Kim and I. So
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1 (3m 37s):
Another squad tip is to download the offline maps. A lot of these national parks, you’re going to be going off the grid and you need to navigate between the parks or destinations. So downloading the offline maps gives you accessibility within the park.
4 (3m 51s):
Another really good tip is to pack or buy a cooler. So when we say buy a cooler, we don’t really mean by like a full-blown igloo cooler. Like they have, but maybe the styrofoam ones that you can get at grocery stores, they’re really good. So that way you can pack some cold drinks, food to have lunches when you’re in the park, because they are rather remote with not a lot of things by them. And Brittany and I, what we did is we packed a Collapsible cooler and we took that with us, filled it with ice, put an hour lunches and drinks. And it’s definitely a must for you guys.
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If you guys want to check out the show notes, we will link you to where we got the Collapsible cooler. So you can buy one of your own. It came in handy, like amazing
4 (4m 31s):
Kevin, real quick. It was
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Legit somersaulting into the next tip is bring your lunch or snacks into the park.
4 (4m 39s):
And that coincides with the cooler as we were discussing. But realistically, within these parks, there’s not a lot of places to get that food that you want. So you might want to bring it in. I mean, if you’re okay with just knots and a few things that you don’t really need to refrigerate, whatever, but we like to get, you know, meats, cheeses, crackers, or even sandwiches to bring in. So the cooler again comes in handy for that. So bring your own snacks and lunches into the park.
1 (5m 3s):
Also, we stayed at hotels that offered us breakfast bag lunches, and they would also provide like apple juice or orange juice or a yogurt. And so if you didn’t eat them, the Collapsible cooler came in handy. So you could put those things in and eat after a hike.
4 (5m 17s):
You said lunches. I think he meant breakfast is
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With breakfast and fill up your cooler with the ice machine at the hotel.
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So you don’t have to spend money on ice.
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I tell you, we had a lot of apple juices on this trip,
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Of a freezing
4 (5m 31s):
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Freezing cold apple juice. After a long hot hike was so good.
1 (5m 35s):
It was so refreshing. Another tip we have for you is to get to the trailheads early. I don’t know if it’s because we were in the times of COVID and all you could do was go out to these national parks. So I feel like they would fill up quickly. So you would want to get to the trailheads early, so you can have most of the trail by yourself. You had adequate parking and the trails weren’t too crowded.
4 (5m 56s):
Even outside of COVID though. I would say Mount Rainier national park is a very well visited national park. So the early NIS would be very clutch to that. Even outside COVID Olympic. From what I see from the statistics is not very well visited in terms of the numbers as Mount Rainier, but still, you know, you do want to get there early and make the most of your day and who wants to get to the National Park and fight for parking? I definitely don’t. It perturbs me when that’s the case.
3 (6m 23s):
And then another reason why you want to start earliest because it’s probably going to be pretty hot. And so you definitely want to bring sunscreen or hats wear a hat. So you’re protected from the sun. Some of the hikes that we’ll talk about that we did, didn’t have a lot of shade on a lot of it. So definitely put sunscreen on no matter what time of year it is. All right, so you have your tips. You’re ready to lace up your hiking boots and get going on these trips.
1 (6m 47s):
So we started out by flying to Seattle, picking up our rental car and driving to Tacoma because Tacoma is pretty close to Mount Rainier, which is the first national park that we visited during this trip. And I loved Mount Rainier national park, Jamal. And I had had this conversation prior to us going on the trip. And we were wondering which National Park are we going to like more? And we both kind of said, we think we’re going to like a Olympic more, but we were actually really surprised with how beautiful Mount Rainier was. And I think that one of my favorite parts is Mount Rainier. So massive. And it’s just such an iconic focal point for the entire park.
3 (7m 26s):
Yeah. And it seemed like no matter what we did, we could see not right here, driving hiking.
4 (7m 32s):
Yeah. So Mount Rainier is actually a active volcano. Believe it or not. So it’s dormant right now, but it definitely still can be active when it wants to be in time here. So like Brittany was saying, it’s that beautiful focal point. It’s just a beautiful, snow-capped volcanic mountain and everything around it is just beautiful. And I really, really did love it a lot out there. But one thing I did want to say is Brittany mentioned, we did stay in Tacoma, which is the next major city south of Seattle. So maybe not a lot of people know that, cause I think Seattle, but it is close to the National Park. And that’s why we recommend staying there.
4 (8m 11s):
Otherwise, if you want to stay a little bit closer, you’re staying in very low populated towns, maybe not a lot to do or things that you want to see. So that’s why Tacoma,
3 (8m 19s):
I would recommend one thing in Tacoma. And that is where we got coffee on day one.
4 (8m 26s):
I like to call it titty coffee. If I’m going to be real honest about it,
3 (8m 29s):
Shitty coffee is the unofficial name. I think this was actually day two. We found one. Do you guys remember the name of it?
4 (8m 35s):
I don’t remember the name of it, unfortunately.
3 (8m 37s):
Well, it doesn’t matter. There’s a whole bunch of different kinds around the area, but it’s basically a very small coffee shack that you drive up to order from when the window slides open, know your barista looks a little different.
4 (8m 51s):
The Buddhist is wearing straight up lingerie. So depending your barista of the day, you know, you may get a little bit better or worse of a show depending on what it is. You’re trying to see now, granted I’m called the titty coffee. They’re not out here naked. They are in lingerie. So, you know, the first time I was in Seattle on a completely other trip, I was getting coffee by happenstance, came across these with Brittany’s brother who was living there at the time and had no clue that this was a legit thing, but they really do do that up there. They have coffee shops where the girls were straight up laundry. Right?
3 (9m 25s):
Our barista was wearing a mesh long bikini. Very nice lady and good coffee. Yes. So definitely check that out when you’re in Tacoma and you’re going to Mount Rainier,
4 (9m 33s):
It has nothing to do with the national parks, but just in general, if you’re out in the area, I mean, you got to do it. It’s a novelty thing, right? I mean, where else in the world, do you know where your baristas are wearing straight up lingerie? I don’t. The only place I know is in Washington,
1 (9m 46s):
I think it was called ladybug espresso.
3 (9m 48s):
Okay. So if you see one, keep your eyes peeled and this is not something you want to miss.
4 (9m 53s):
They kind of have red lights as if it’s like the red light district to,
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And it’s the best way to get jazzed up for your hikes.
2 (9m 60s):
I remember that when Brittany was asking me if I’m going to get anything, I looked at her and I was like, oh wow, this is really expensive coffee. Cause I think it’s like six or $7 for your small latte. And so then Brittany looks at me and she’s like, oh, but it’s a part of the experience Cena. And when she said that, I was like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re right. Okay. I’ll go ahead and get a vanilla latte.
4 (10m 20s):
It’s like when we were in Hawaii and we went to the St. Regis to watch the sunset, and then they charged us for the drinks and you’re paying $20 for a cocktail. Am I getting screwed? Absolutely. But is it part of the experience? Why? Yes it is.
2 (10m 32s):
I mean, that’s what got me to say. Yes. When Brittany said it’s a part of the experience. I am always about the experience.
3 (10m 38s):
I just remember we were, we were driving and we saw one and Jamal’s immediately Into the dry get this. It was okay. So you have to do it.
4 (10m 48s):
We’re looking for them. And we came across one. But anyway, let’s get back to the parks though. Enough about titty coffee. Although I enjoy Titicaca
3 (10m 55s):
City coffee. Yes.
2 (10m 56s):
The day that we did Mount Rainey eight was my 35th birthday.
4 (11m 2s):
2 (11m 3s):
And I completely forgot it was my birthday too. So when everyone said happy birthday, I was like, oh yeah, that’s right. Anyways. Before we get into it, what I really want to say is that as we were driving to Mount rainy and I’m going to continue to say it like that, because that’s the easier way for me right here. Rainier and mountain
3 (11m 19s):
4 (11m 20s):
2 (11m 21s):
Potato Patato right. So anyways, we’re driving up to it or into the park. And as Brittany had said earlier, you can see it everywhere. It’s a huge focal point. And Brittany made the comment that 50% of people who actually climb Mount rainy, Abe, Mount Rainier, make it to the top. Now we weren’t actually climbing Mount Rainier. So that’s not important. But that statistic is going to be very important. The closer we get to the end of the episode, because in the car ride, we all playfully fought over who would be the 50%
1 (11m 53s):
And immediately I was discounted.
2 (11m 55s):
Yeah. Yeah. I totally discounted Brittany because when we were in the Inca trail, Brittany had the, I don’t want to say biggest issue. Cause it’s not like she had an issue, but like the altitude affected her the most. So I immediately said, Brittany’s out and I’m a part of the 50%. What did you say, Jamal?
4 (12m 11s):
I said, me and Brittany would be the 50% of the top
2 (12m 14s):
1 (12m 15s):
I was like, all right guys. Yes, the altitude did really affect me. So I’ll sit this one out and I’ll let you guys fight it out.
2 (12m 22s):
3 (12m 22s):
You said, I don’t know who the second person would be, but I’ll definitely be up there.
2 (12m 26s):
So keep that in mind. Okay. Because that’s going to have huge significance, the closer we get,
4 (12m 30s):
But I do want to get into the episode, but I want to say something real quick and I’m calling this as final word. I don’t think anybody, but you put you in that 50% for you on top. Just that out. I said final word,
2 (12m 44s):
Whoa, whoa. I run long distance. I do hike. I fucking dominated the Inca trail, but you know what? Jamal, you’re entitled to your own opinion.
4 (12m 53s):
So I think it was everybody’s opinion about
3 (12m 55s):
We’ll put it out for a vote on the day. This episode goes out, you guys tell us who you think would be on the top of the
4 (13m 1s):
Mountain, but legit let’s get into it.
1 (13m 3s):
So the first hike that we did was called notches peak loop trail. And it was 3.3 miles round trip in this loop. And this trail is known for its beautiful wild flowers during the summer season, the Meadows. And of course the beautiful, iconic views of Mount Rainier.
4 (13m 20s):
So squad tip The trail. Clockwise is supposed to get you the best views of mountain Raniere as you’re doing it. And where we parked, we thought we were doing it clockwise, but turns out we actually did it. And counter-clockwise so when you go be sure to do it that way and don’t mess up on the parking like we did, but nonetheless, you know, you just turn it around. You get the amazing views. Even though sometimes our back was turned to mountain run near just the surrounding area. And the wild flowers were just so beautiful. So you really can’t go wrong, but if you can do it in a clockwise fashion,
3 (13m 55s):
Sure. We did this hike, which was a great hike. We drove on to the Grove of the patriarchs, which was about 30 minutes from this trail. And it was kind of, if you remember back to our Sequoia episode where we’re talking about a loop, you can walk through and see these beautiful trees. This was exactly like that. An easy ish nature trail. It goes through thousand year old, Cedar and Douglas fir trees, huge towering trees. You’re in the middle of this beautiful forest. And this trail has a suspension bridge. You have to go across that is spooky as hell. And the, okay, so there’s a sign right in front that says one person at a time to go across this bridge. But while we were going across it, it was literally like person after person on this bridge.
3 (14m 39s):
There was no, there may have been a little social distancing, but definitely not enough.
4 (14m 44s):
Well, they were social distancing in terms of the direction. Like if somebody was trying to cross it one way, everybody was waiting and there wasn’t that cross traffic, but no one was really going one at a time, they were going in groups of five, going in groups of 10 and that causes the suspension bridge to really sway. And so it’s not like it’s super high and all of it busted. You’re in a Gorge and you’re going to fall and die. I mean, it’s like 20 feet up, maybe a little bit less actually from the river that you’re crossing, but it still adds to that craziness of it because no one was really following that rule. But what I really liked the most about this trail, the Grove of the patriarchs, I mean, you really kind of in the rain forest at this, you’re starting to see some of the Moss growing on the trees, these tall towering trees, not as tall as Sequoia and the redwoods, if I may say, you know, just paying homage to our home state of California here, where those are here in beautiful.
4 (15m 37s):
But nonetheless, these were really awesome in the Grove of the patriarchs. So impressive to see.
2 (15m 42s):
So for the first trail that we did the noxious peak loop, you did not need a mask, but for this one that we’re talking about now, I would say where I’m asked, because it gets super crowded when you’re getting ready to cross the suspension bridge and it’s yeah, I think we waited at least 10 to 15 minutes just to be able to cross the bridge. And you’re around a lot of people. So bring your masks.
1 (16m 1s):
And one of the first highlights when you cross the suspension bridge is a tree that’s knocked over and you can stand in the roots and the roots are just like towering above you. It’s like the base of the tree. And it’s a really cool photo op opportunity and people kind of gather around the area. So you do want to wear a mask while you’re there.
3 (16m 20s):
Yeah. I think the trunk of the tree was probably seven, eight feet wide.
4 (16m 24s):
That’s a girth. Huh?
3 (16m 25s):
Oh. So Nasir girth. So get up in there and get your photo with
4 (16m 29s):
All you ladies filling up the girth on that tree.
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It’s all over
4 (16m 33s):
Double hot. I even think I got on it too.
1 (16m 35s):
And from the Grove of the patriarchs trail, we took a drive to neurotic falls, which was a beautiful waterfall. And it’s a short, steep trail down. You definitely don’t want to miss it because it’s just so beautiful to see.
4 (16m 51s):
And it is a 0.3 mile round trip. So less than half a mile. And like Brittany was saying, it is steep going down and where you park, it’s quite deceiving. You don’t really realize where you’re parking and where you start the trail. You can’t see the waterfall, but then you get down to that area after you make that little Trek down and then you can see it. And it’s so beautiful and not to be missed. That is for sure.
3 (17m 13s):
I love that waterfall. That was so pretty.
4 (17m 15s):
That’s about 188 feet. I think it is. And just really amazing for sure.
1 (17m 20s):
You see the water cascading over the rocks and running down. And at this point in time, we took this trip in September and it was a little bit Misty and a little bit eerie. And it was just really added to the ambiance of being at this fall.
2 (17m 33s):
You know, what I really remember about this place is that there was a guy walking around in bike shorts and they were very tight and he was packing.
3 (17m 42s):
I do remember that.
1 (17m 44s):
2 (17m 46s):
Remember that video. Oh my God. This guy was,
3 (17m 49s):
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To see this. You
3 (17m 50s):
Have to see this
2 (17m 51s):
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Tight with some girl.
4 (17m 53s):
I was going to say Zana was impressed by that girth and length and bulge. Apparently.
2 (17m 58s):
I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily wear that to the waterfall.
3 (18m 0s):
I saw it. And I was like, this guy stuffing. There’s no way
4 (18m 4s):
Some people pack.
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So you never know what you’re going to see out at the waterfall.
1 (18m 9s):
Susanna, this was your birthday day. So why don’t you tell us what we did next?
2 (18m 13s):
So from there we drove to crystal mountain and I was super excited about this because you know, I just show up, I don’t really know what we’re going to do until we actually are doing it. But I do remember the squad telling me that we are going to take a gondola ride up and we are going to get drinks at the very top of a mountain. So this was super exciting. So it was about 47 miles from neurotic falls, about one and a half hour drive time. And we ordered the tickets ahead of time. So we didn’t actually have to buy the tickets there. You can do it online. And then you get into a line and it’s about a 12 minute gondola ride up for gorgeous, dramatic views of Mount at ADA,
3 (18m 56s):
By the way, every hike or a point of attraction we went to that had a view of Mount Rainier, always said dramatic views of Mount Rainier, every single one of them, everyone. And they were,
4 (19m 7s):
They are dramatic. That is for damn sure. I mean, that’s what I really liked about it. Several things, one, like we were saying earlier, it really is just such a dramatic focal point. So most places you are in the park, you’re going to see it just because it’s towering. You can tell it’s a volcano is beautifully. Snow-capped, there’s no trees because it’s up so high, but there are some places that you can’t see. But when you do see it again, every place is dramatic. And this gondola ride up to the top to give you even more dramatic views, completely stunning. That is for sure
2 (19m 40s):
Squad tip The entire day we were wearing hiking clothes. But for this excursion, we did want to look cute. So we brought a change of clothes to change in the car before we went up. So that was fine. And they do have bathrooms there on the floor before you go up into the gondola. And we were excited because apparently there was a restaurant at the very top, but it’s limited hours and they announced it at the bottom, but we didn’t pay attention. We didn’t see that. So as soon as we got to the top, they said, oh, the restaurant is closed. But due to social distancing, the restaurant doesn’t have that much space. And there was a huge ass line at the top anyways.
2 (20m 22s):
So it really, I don’t know, the restaurant to me is kind of like it was there,
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But before you go up, if you’re planning on eating there
4 (20m 30s):
And it deterred our plans, we were going to eat up there, have a drink, but we were fortunate enough, even though the restaurant itself was closed. They had vendors outside of the restaurant that were actually selling hamburgers, hot dogs. They were even selling beer. So these were like individual little tents and stands outside of the restaurant on top. So rest assured we definitely got our drinks up there. Unfortunately didn’t get the food that we wanted, but we all had our drink sat and just enjoyed the view from the top. And I think this was at the highest elevation that we really were that day. Just looking out onto mountain Rainier. And again, it was just so spectacular
2 (21m 8s):
Really was. And at one point, as we were sitting there drinking our beer, there was a bird, there was so much wind that there was a bird out there with his wings open and he didn’t even have to flap. He was staying in the exact same place for the longest time because of the wind just held him there.
4 (21m 23s):
It was like a glitch in the matrix, man. Like he was just like literally hovering in one spot, like no movement. I was like, wow, this bird is just in one place. And one place only stuck in time. But I don’t think we mentioned this, the cost of the tickets up our $30 round trip for the gondolas. If you are so adventurous, you can hike it from my understanding, but I wouldn’t do that because you will get the view at the very end, but there are way better hiking trails within the park itself to actually do the hiking and get views of Mount Rainier. So don’t waste your time, hiking that up, just do the splurge. Take the gondolas. You won’t regret it.
3 (22m 1s):
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1 (23m 5s):
Going back to the gondolas and taking the gondolas up and down. I didn’t know. You guys were such scaredy cats until I shook the gondola,
3 (23m 13s):
Oh my God. We’re at the top of this gondola where it’s windy and we’re already like hearing weird noises and Brittany starts shaking her body around. And all of us, the three of us were like, Brittany, what the fuck are you doing?
4 (23m 28s):
I mean, I don’t mind Heights, but then Brittany just goes and does some stupid shit like that? And like, what the fuck are you doing
3 (23m 35s):
Brittany? And the way,
4 (23m 37s):
Well, because we had, because for COVID, I’m assuming they had the windows cracked very slightly in the gondolas, right? And so as we’re getting to the top and we have less cover from the surrounding Hills and mountains, you can see at the very last tail bit, the gondola in front of us is starting to shake a little bit more. You can hear the wind coming through the cracked windows. You can feel it very slightly. Like it start to feel it, have that little bit more of sway. And then Brittany just has to go and be a bitch and be like, oh, I’m going to shake the whole thing side to side. And then she like jumps in almost as like a stop. And we’re like, what the fuck are you doing?
2 (24m 16s):
I am not afraid of the gondolas for the record. I’m not afraid of the gondolas. I’m afraid of someone shaking the
1 (24m 22s):
Well, well, we are also talking about like, if this broke right now, I would have gone to LA fall down the mountain,
4 (24m 28s):
Looked like it would have a bad tumble
1 (24m 32s):
That shake and have just really pissed them off. But it was kind of funny.
2 (24m 38s):
And in the time of COVID, I mean, like Jamal said, the windows were cracked and before you even get in, they completely spray down the seats and everything. So you’re taking care of
3 (24m 48s):
A little bit more about crystal mountain. It has more than just the restaurant at the top. There’s a couple at the bottom. It’s also a really big place for skiing. We had, we saw a lot of ski trails. So if you come in the winter and you want to do some skiing and you can stay there, it’s a resort too. So if you’re coming from more than just the gondola ride, there’s a lot more to see and do.
1 (25m 5s):
This was actually the only place in the park that I had cell reception as well,
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Right on the top of the mountain
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Too. So those offline maps will come and clutch.
3 (25m 12s):
So we did that. We didn’t get our food. So we wanted to find a place to eat. We had burgers on the mind. So we went back to towards Tacoma where we’re staying for the night, we got a halfway decent burger from a local spot, and then we called it a night. I think that’s what we do.
2 (25m 27s):
And so I’m the only one who didn’t get a burger because I saw that they had a fish burrito.
4 (25m 32s):
That was crazy,
3 (25m 33s):
2 (25m 33s):
On the menu. And to me, that sounded dynamite. And let me tell you something, my fish burrito was insane in the membrane. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve said that phrase like
3 (25m 47s):
2 (25m 48s):
Or good. It was so good. It was called a fish wrap, but really it’s a fish breed
3 (25m 52s):
Burrito or the rap from Kauai.
4 (25m 57s):
I will say this though. I did try your fish burrito. I think the sauce is what made it, but me, I’m more of a fish taco type guy.
2 (26m 5s):
I don’t know. I really, really enjoyed my dinner and the squad treated me that night. So thank you since it was my birthday.
1 (26m 12s):
So the next day we went back to Mount Rainier because you have to go back and just enjoy all of the dramatic views. Like Kim said earlier, every hike we research said wonderful, dramatic views of Mount Rainier in the backdrop. So we decided to do one of the most popular trails in the park. And it was called skyline trail. It was a two hour drive from Tacoma, but it was so worth it. And the first part of the hike is paved, but it is pretty steep. So it can be a little bit challenging.
4 (26m 45s):
That shit was Steve.
3 (26m 46s):
The reason it’s called skyline trail is because you hike like vertically to the skies line.
4 (26m 53s):
I mean, this is the highest you’re going to get on Mount Raniere. Skyline trail is on Mount Rainier and this is the highest elevation you’re going to get without actually climbing to the summit itself. So do keep that in mind. But as much as we’re saying, it’s very steep. The initial ascend, it is paved, but it is very, very worth it. This hike, maybe one of my favorites, if not the favorite hike of this whole trip
2 (27m 18s):
Before you start, they do have bathrooms there in the parking lot. And those were decent bathrooms.
3 (27m 24s):
Give it a eight out of 10 for bathrooms.
2 (27m 26s):
Yeah. Flushable bathrooms. So that’s nice. And they were pretty big. And then the trail starts right there next to the bathrooms, like they said super, super steep. So even though the squad was talking shit about me making it to the top of Mount , I still love to run uphill. And I began this Trek with an uphill run and I told Jamal film me so we can put this on the gram. And at one point I was running so fast that I got to Brittany and Kim, cause they were a little bit ahead and I stick my hands out like Rocky to high five them and they both left me hanging,
4 (28m 2s):
Oh, I, I just want to say you’re running. And you only caught up to Brittany and Kim who were walking. So how good was your run?
2 (28m 10s):
Stop, stop. This is a little bit more higher up when eventually they passed us. But no, you and I were leading the trial,
4 (28m 17s):
3 (28m 18s):
You guys were lagging behind us.
4 (28m 19s):
Are we giving you a hard time? But no, I really love this hike a lot. Again, this gets you the closest to the summit of Mount Rainier without really doing it. And this trail again, you get above the treeline, it’s at such a higher elevation. The trees don’t grow anymore. So you just see the beautiful snow-capped Mount Rineer, it’s your iconic focal point for the entire trail. You have beautiful green lush, foliage growing and amazing wild flowers. And I was so impressed by the wildflowers. I think that was my favorite part. I just really wasn’t expecting it to be so green and so many wild flowers on this trail. That was the best part for me
2 (28m 57s):
When they said it was the most popular trail. Like they’re not kidding because we started pretty early. And when you’re walking up, once you get rid of the paved portion and you’re actually on the gravel portion of the trail, like you are in a line walking up, like literally a line. So if you need to take a break, you have to step to the side to get out of the line. So there are times where you don’t even want to stop because like literally 50 people are going to pass you because it’s such a condensed line.
4 (29m 27s):
The trail is narrow.
2 (29m 28s):
1 (29m 29s):
Yes it is. And a few squad tips, Hi, kit clockwise for the best views. And it’s going to take about four to five hours even though it’s only a six mile trail because it is pretty steep and you’re going to stop for photos and to rest and all of that. And then you’re also going to stop to take an offshoot to Myrtle falls. And it’s a very beautiful viewpoint of a waterfall with Mount Rainier in the background. However, Kim might tell you otherwise
3 (29m 59s):
What a beautiful scene that was.
4 (30m 2s):
So pretty much when you’re done with the hike, then you get to Myrtle falls. You’re literally like half a mile, if not less away back to the parking lot when you’re at Myrtle falls. And I still can’t even believe this. Kim, tell us about what you thought Myrtle falls was because my mind still fucking blown
3 (30m 19s):
Did this offshoot. There’s a huge line to get in, to just see a picture. So you basically get in, see it, take a picture and get out so people can go in. So that’s what I did. I saw the waterfall, I got the picture and I left not seeing Mount Rainier in the background. So all my pictures of the waterfall are of the waterfall without Mount Rainier in it. I didn’t even know it was there.
4 (30m 41s):
I mean, it’s just like right above it. You didn’t even pay attention to the volcano. That was snow-capped at the top. Yeah,
3 (30m 46s):
Certainly not. Cause then they were talking about it as we were leaving. And I’m like, what are you guys talking about? I didn’t see that. And then they brought up their pictures and like, wow, how did I not see that
4 (30m 56s):
You were so focused on the waterfall? You didn’t even realize the mountain near in the back.
3 (31m 0s):
I was just trying to get in and get out.
1 (31m 3s):
My favorite part too was Jamal and I are owners of the travel stamp booklet. And we bought the Mount Rainier stamp. And it is exactly that Myrtle falls with Mount Rainier in the background. So I think I took a screenshot of that or a picture of that and I sent it to Kim and I was like, does this look familiar?
4 (31m 20s):
It’s funny. Because again, Kim only took a photo of the waterfall without Mount Rainier in the back. I took an elongated vertical that showed the entire waterfall and Mount Rainier. And then guess what? That exact photo that Kim begged me to send to her, that included it was the exact photo of our travel stamp, National Park book that Bernie’s talking about. So very iconic spot.
2 (31m 42s):
You know what Kim, I feel for you. I totally get it because all we were talking about was a waterfall, a waterfall. How are you supposed to know? It’s above Mount Rainier? The other thing too.
4 (31m 52s):
Oh, because it’s just right behind it. That’s how you’re supposed to know. Cause it’s like right there,
2 (31m 56s):
I got you back then. You gotta think too, is that like it legit is aligned. Even be able to see the waterfall like you are in line on stairs, descending down, maybe like five people can actually see the waterfall at one point. And so you’re quickly taking a picture and then you’re walking back up the stairs. So the next people in line can get their picture. Like it’s not a big space to lounge around and view and enjoy it.
3 (32m 22s):
Not like neurotic falls, whereas a much bigger viewing space where you can take in all the sites.
1 (32m 27s):
So squad tip, If you’re short on time, or if you’re looking for a shorter or less challenging hike, consider the Nisqualy Vista trail because it’s in the same area of the park and it would also give great views of Mount Rainier,
3 (32m 42s):
1 (32m 42s):
Views, dramatic views. It did say dramatic views. And I actually told Kim, I don’t know if we’re going to do this 1.2 mile loop because it said it offers dramatic views, but I don’t know how they can be more dramatic than this. Right.
4 (32m 55s):
And we were pretty much on Mount linear on the skyline. So how could it be any more, but rest assured you know, Brittany easy day, this was on the to-do list, but we did not do it because we were completely satisfied with the skyline. So if you don’t want to do six miles to do this one,
3 (33m 11s):
I think that’s part of the reason I didn’t notice not Rainier in the background. I was exhausted from the skyline trail that I was like, cool waterfall. I’m getting my pick and getting out.
4 (33m 20s):
Cause you’re 30. Now
2 (33m 22s):
There was no shade on this trail. That’s another thing that you should note too. Like it is steep. There there’s no shade. However, it was hot. I I’ve never injured myself on a hike. And I injured myself on this hike because at one point I don’t know what the hell happened, but I lost my footing and I flew in the air and thankfully Brittany broke my fall.
1 (33m 45s):
I sure did.
2 (33m 46s):
I don’t even know what I think. Like I Claude Brittany, I scratch. I don’t know what, even what happened. Like it was so crazy, but like, yeah, I twisted my ankle. I was fine to walk, but like my ankle was really sore. And the only reason I didn’t fall to the ground was because Brittany broke a really tough fall.
1 (34m 3s):
You’re welcome. Thank
2 (34m 4s):
1 (34m 5s):
Okay. So from this trail, we were debating which way we should go to port Angeles. And we were debating. If we wanted to make a pit stop at a place called high steel bridge and continue on to port Angeles, or if we wanted to drive straight through
4 (34m 20s):
And keep in mind, we’re going to port Angeles now, because we’re done with Mount Raniere, port Angeles, you may recognize the name of your Twilight fan. I’m not, I just know it from the girls, but you may recognize the port Angeles from that. It is the nearest big town to Olympic National Park on the west coast of Washington, close to the Canadian border, close to the Pacific coast.
2 (34m 43s):
I mean pre COVID, you could take a ferry across to Canada.
4 (34m 47s):
Yes. To Vancouver or Victoria. Canada. Yes. So we were debating which way we wanted to go to port Angeles, which we were staying that night. That’s where Kim’s friend and our friend Leah lives. And obviously this is where we’re going to be staying, going into Olympic. And why don’t you tell us why there was a discrepancy or thought process on which way we’re going to go, Brittany?
1 (35m 8s):
Well, if we wanted to drive from where we were to port Angeles direct, it was like, I want to say about three hours or so. But if we wanted to make the pit stop at the high steel bridge, it would be about five hours. And so we were wondering, should we invest the extra time? Is the stopover going to be worth it? And what do you guys think
2 (35m 28s):
Worth it? So worth it? You know what? I actually really didn’t think anything like going into the bridge. I was like, yeah, whatever. It’s going to be a bridge. I’m so glad, grateful that we stopped here because like this bridge was so fucking cool.
4 (35m 42s):
And so what, this is the high steel bridge it’s off of the main road. So that’s why it adds the extra time if you’re going to be going to port Angeles. But what it really is is it’s the highest railway arch bridge ever built in the United States. It’s 360 feet above the Skokomish river, I think is how you pronounce it. Very tough to pronounce. It’s a native American name. So forgive my mispronunciation. I’m sure of it. But the bridge is no longer used for trains or railways. And it’s now pretty much a narrow one-way road bridge. And by one way, I don’t mean you could only go one way across it, but it’s only enough, pretty much for one car.
4 (36m 23s):
So really from one side to the other, you gotta be mindful, Hey, as a car come in, because there’s not a lot of way for cross traffic on it, but it’s just spanning these two opposing mountain tops and just lush green trees around it. And the river below, it really is a sight to see.
3 (36m 40s):
We probably only spent like maybe 15 minutes, 20 minutes here, because once you see it, there’s not much else to see. But what we would recommend to get a cool photo is to sit on the edge of the bridge. And yes, it’s safe because there’s a kind of like barrier Reeling barrier. So you’re not going to fall off, but dangle your feet, point the camera down and get a picture of your feet hanging off from 360 feet up saying they didn’t want to join
2 (37m 4s):
Kim and I in that picture, no, you know what? That causes too much anxiety for me. And they do have signed the, now of course we were not actually descending from the bridge, but what’s crazy to me is like they do have signs saying, do not descend from the bridge, do not climb down to the bottom because people have tried this and they do and will die. Like it was dramatic. That is
3 (37m 26s):
Dramatic podcast episode when we were there.
2 (37m 29s):
So yeah, that was so crazy. So then when you actually walk out to the bridge and you see down, you’re just like, holy shit, this is really, really high. So I did not opt to hang my feet over, but instead I did race Jamal across the bridge and I gave him the big w
4 (37m 46s):
I don’t know if you gave me the big w more so than I earned it. I like to think you think you’re athletic and you are a runner what you are, but I put the jet burners on, on that one and I smoked you if I’m being honest.
3 (37m 59s):
Yeah. I was rooting for using it, but it was a lost cause
2 (38m 2s):
At one point I even almost gave up and then like, as you can see me slow down, like, oh, there she goes. She gave up. And I was like, no, I can’t give up. And then I completely, like, I sped up again. So I raced you until the end. I like to think of Jamal as the hair and me as the tortoise. So you do get that headstart, Jamal, you, you got that in Boise as well, but I do think I’m that tortoise, that chugs along. And
3 (38m 28s):
Can’t wait to see how this race ends.
4 (38m 30s):
Oh, we’ll see. But see, we didn’t even drive across it because like I said, you can drive across it. It’s very narrow, but we parked before the bridge and just walked across ourselves. And what I really liked about the bridge too, is a lot of people go out there and if you want to call it street, art, graffiti, whatever it is. But a lot of people are spray painting or painting photos SANEs on the bridge. So it really is its own like historic art piece also. And I found that to be fun, just looking at the artwork on the bridge.
1 (38m 60s):
So from there we continued on to port Angeles and we stayed at the Riviera in motel and we met up with Leah and writer and Kyle for dinner.
3 (39m 10s):
And we ate dinner at Sohn Goku hibachi, which was a really good sushi and hibachi teppanyaki type of restaurant that I enjoyed the meal there. So I would recommend,
4 (39m 21s):
I really enjoyed it. Actually. I enjoyed the sushi. It’s been awhile since I’ve had Japanese food. I’m still not really going out to eat food locally here in San Diego. Only when we travel in my going out to eat sometimes because I’m forced to, so it was nice to be out, but it was very, very nice,
2 (39m 38s):
I think is that port Angeles at the time was at 50% allowed capacity in any given restaurant due to COVID. And this restaurant was like 110%.
4 (39m 48s):
Yeah. I will say this. They probably weren’t limiting capacity. So that sketched me out at first.
2 (39m 53s):
I was freaked out the entire time during,
3 (39m 55s):
Well, we all survive, so don’t worry about it. And at this point anymore, but it was something to know about port Angeles is that it is a small town. So they do have plenty of restaurants to choose from, but it is a small town. So you’re not going to have everything that you’d find like Seattle for exam.
1 (40m 10s):
Right. And what is also really nice about it is it’s right next to the water. So you can get water views too,
3 (40m 16s):
And a seafood
1 (40m 17s):
And lots of seafood.
3 (40m 18s):
Cool. So we, that was our night. We called it a night. We woke up bright and early the next day to hit a Olympic National Park.
2 (40m 24s):
I don’t even think it was bright when we woke up yet,
3 (40m 26s):
But no, I don’t
1 (40m 28s):
Sorry, guys. We got to keep on schedule. So we headed over to Olympic National Park and it is a little bit of a dry from port Angeles. It took about two hours to get to the Hoh rain forest, which was going to be our first stop. And we wanted to do a trail. That was a combination trail is called the spruce nature trail and hall of mosses, a loop, which together made about three miles. And when you enter a Olympic National Park, you’re imagining just lush green vegetation growing all over the trees. It almost looking like Narnia kind of eerie
3 (41m 4s):
Moss is covering everything.
1 (41m 6s):
It’s covering everything. It’s just so beautiful. And that’s exactly what you get when you go to Olympic National Park in the whole forest,
3 (41m 15s):
The whole rainforest. Oh my God. It’s so cool. It was a little warm on the day that we went, but I had been before and it was Misty and eerie and foggy and so cool. It’s like not a place that you’re going to find just everywhere. It’s, it’s really unique.
4 (41m 30s):
That’s what I was hoping for when we had gone was you had the first time when you went on the non squad trip, Kim was just that foggy rainforesty vibe where you can see mist in the air, you know, there’s precipitation and moisture. It’s a rain forest. Just give it that extra vibe. But even though it was sunny when we were walking through there, I mean, you could still just really see all the green round, not just talking about the tree and the foliage on the tree. It’s covered in Moss, all the tree trunks. Even when we crossed a little bridge that went over a Creek, even the rocks in the Creek, the water is so clear, but you see to the bottom and it’s green because there’s Moss growing on the rocks within the water.
4 (42m 12s):
And so it just gives you this whole ambiance. That’s just absolutely hard to describe you have to be in it. And when you’re there, you just feel some sort of like magical feeling because I’ve never been in an environment quite like that. And what I really liked about just even Olympic National Park in general was that, you know, here in California and other places, when you go to the mountains, you see the mountains. And at some point the treeline actually stops because they can’t grow above a certain point. But here in Olympic National Park on the Pacific Northwest, even though it’s very mountainous, the mountains, aren’t very tall. So where there’s not trees at the top. So I feel like even of all my traveling I’ve done, I’ve never really been in a place where at the top of mountains, I see just tree after tree.
4 (42m 57s):
Like there was no blind spot of trees where I just saw bare rock. And I thought that was absolutely amazing.
2 (43m 3s):
One of the really cool things that we did with this is like closer to the end of the trail, but I guess a tree had fallen. And so the roots obviously were just there cause the trees on the ground. And it’s not just like your average tree, I would say that you could climb the roots and it’s 20 feet high
3 (43m 23s):
And an wide.
2 (43m 24s):
Yeah. Like it was so huge. And so Yeah.
3 (43m 29s):
2 (43m 31s):
Massive girth. So I was wearing a short skirt, so I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to climb the roof
4 (43m 38s):
On prepared again.
3 (43m 39s):
You wore a skirt that day.
2 (43m 41s):
I did. And I didn’t have any underwear. Yes. So I’m just like
3 (43m 46s):
You shake yourself three times a day and that’s what happened.
2 (43m 49s):
I didn’t so
3 (43m 53s):
Okay. Bring, okay. We, now we can take Zayna off. She did not write, bring extra underwear on the show note cause she didn’t bring any underwear.
2 (44m 2s):
No, but you know what? You also didn’t need like hiking clothes. Cause this wasn’t,
4 (44m 6s):
Well, this is more trail that these ones that we did at this point were trail. So I agree, but still I would not wear a skirt into the rainforest,
3 (44m 13s):
2 (44m 14s):
Well, I did I’m adventurous. And so I couldn’t climb the roots there. So luckily if you go around, this is a big ass tree, but if you go around, you can climb the tree from the bat. And since
4 (44m 28s):
There was actually climbed the trunk and the girth, hon.
2 (44m 30s):
Yeah, you could. So since there was no one back there, I was like, oh, okay, perfect. This’ll be great. So I climbed there and then I walked up the trunk of the tree to the back where you guys were. And so I did make it to the top. I just actually didn’t climb. I walked
4 (44m 46s):
In climbed the routes.
2 (44m 47s):
I did not climb the reps. I climbed, I wa I jumped onto the stem and I climbed the stem
4 (44m 54s):
Dominated the girth. Well, the
2 (44m 56s):
Other thing too is yeah, because the girth is so big that it’s just like, it’s not exactly like a balancing game. You’re walking a 10 foot wide stem to the top
4 (45m 6s):
And shout out to Leah Ryder and Kyle again, going back to what we were saying earlier, Kim has known Leah for a really long time, really good friends from our hometown of Woodland, just as well had recently moved there. So they came with us exploring the whole rainforest and Olympic. And so we had a really good time out there. I loved it. You know, and again, this goes back to something we’ve said in other episodes before, and we’ll say it again, not all national parks require extensive hiking. You can do things that don’t necessarily. Yes, we climbed and mounted the tree. But this trail here and the whole rain forest that we did, it’s not very long mileage wise.
4 (45m 48s):
It’s relatively flat, so easily accessible. If anybody is legitimately mobile, no physical exertion needed to complete this.
1 (45m 56s):
And also the spruce nature trail also towards the end gives you views and you can go down to the whole river and touch the water as well, which is really nice and refreshing before you head on out.
3 (46m 7s):
I think these trails too, there’s a few different ones. We mentioned a couple, the Hoh river trail is another, they all start in that general area. And the whole rainforest is just one part of the climate systems that Olympic has. But it’s definitely one that you’ll want to take your time exploring. I think my favorite part about this area of the park, all the ferns it’s just covered in Fern trees everywhere. And they’re so beautiful.
4 (46m 31s):
I felt like I was in a drastic park movie in here because of all the ferns. It’s not rustic like old prehistoric foliage. That’s out there too. I forgot about the friends. Yeah. There are a lot of ferns just lining the floor. So like when we think of forest, at least I do, because not that I had the misconception of how different forests can look, but being here in California, you know, you just really see trees here. There’s really stuff all over the forest floor too, from ferns and other types of small plants. So just to completely different ambience. But after we were done with the whole rain forest, we stopped in forks, Washington, which is a small town by Olympic National Park. And why don’t you ladies tell us a little bit about forks.
4 (47m 12s):
I think Kim was probably more excited about this one. Cause I think she’s team Edward.
3 (47m 17s):
I am team Edward and I was a big TWI hard when the movies, when the books came out, love them. And this is where it takes place. Forks. Washington is where Bella lives and where she met Edward. And it was filmed in the area too. So they have Bella’s truck from the movie there. So you can go and take pictures with it. They have the welcome to fork sign right there, which we definitely got a picture by. It’s just a quick stop, but it’s one you have to do since you’re there. Anyway.
1 (47m 41s):
And forks was a small little town where we could pick up a, to go lunch. And our idea was to pick up a subway sandwich and head to Realto beach so we can enjoy our lunch at the beach,
3 (47m 54s):
Not LA push
4 (47m 56s):
Rialto and Rialto beach is a beach that is part of Olympic National Park. So when you get into forks, the town, you know, that is not part of the National Park, but then they have section of the beach area in the coastal area, which is now again, part of Olympic National Park. So we said to ourselves, let’s pick up our subway sandwich for lunch, put it in that cooler that we talked about earlier. Maybe get a few beers at the gas station to go to the beach, have an amazing lunch and drink, which is exactly what we did. And I really loved Rialto beach because if you can envision it in your mind, if you have the stereotype of your thought of what you would think the beaches look like in the Pacific Northwest, just really not Sandy at all, Rocky big boulders out in the water or close to the edge of the beach itself through that driftwood yeah.
4 (48m 46s):
Sea stacks. This is what Realto beach looked like.
2 (48m 49s):
In fact, we sat on a very big log with big girth to eat our subway sandwiches. And I just got the hugest craving to put my feet into the water. So I took my shoes off so I could walk down and I probably took about five steps before I turned around and I was just like, fuck this. I grabbed my shoes and I wore my shoes down because it was way too painful to walk along the rock
4 (49m 15s):
Because these are really Rocky, even though some of them are rather small, the rocks that are along the beach here, there is no sand. It’s just straight up rocks. So maybe you’ll have some pebbles. Maybe you’ll have a little bit larger size ones. So that’s what Zane is talking about. So do keep in mind, you know, not to say you can’t come out here and enjoy beach weather, but don’t think you’re throwing out a towel and can lay down and be comfortable and enjoy it. This is really a beach to enjoy just the, the rustic scenic view of the,
2 (49m 44s):
No, I did put my feet into the water. I made it down there. I wasn’t saying that I was giving up. I was just saying that I couldn’t walk down there. And once I actually had my feet in the water, it was for reasons
1 (49m 55s):
My feet went numb after staying in the water for probably like less than five minutes.
4 (50m 1s):
Amen. You’re a few miles from Canada. What do you think the water is going to be like in the ocean up
2 (50m 5s):
3 (50m 6s):
4 (50m 7s):
While they’re in what suits?
3 (50m 10s):
We also just took a walk down. The beach with our shoes on to where they had a bunch more wood that had washed up. And do you guys remember how windy it got? Yeah.
4 (50m 18s):
All of a sudden it got so windy Zaina and I were standing on some of the driftwood and you guys were more down on the beach. And I don’t know if you guys were protected because you were a little bit lower at the driftwood blocking the wind, but Zana and I were standing out there and we honestly couldn’t move. It was like, shit. If we take a turn in the wrong direction, like the wind could carry us some, blow us over. And it was really strong up there and it looked like you guys didn’t really feel it by the time it settled. And we got off, something kind of happened.
3 (50m 48s):
We definitely felt it because we were standing on the rocks down on the shore and we’re just standing there. And this gust blows in and literally blows Leah to the ground. She’s standing one second. She’s on the ground laying down the next. And all of us are just laughing. None of us even helped her up,
2 (51m 8s):
But it was so like, even when Jamal and I were on the wood, you know, like we were trying to turn around, but it’s like, I can’t turn around. Like I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. So I feel
1 (51m 18s):
So keep this in mind how windy it is. Cause it leads into the next part of our story, which is us leaving Realto beach and heading over to Seoul, duck falls.
4 (51m 27s):
So soul duck falls is about 52 miles, maybe about an hour and 15 minutes away from Realto beach. And again, Seoul, duck falls. We’re working our way back to port Angeles. Cause he knows the squad. We’d like to start in deep and then come out and going our way back to where we’re staying for the night and our hotel. So we work our way to Seoul, duck falls and we get to the turnoff for the soul duck. And then keep in mind, we forgot to mention this to Rialto beach, even though it’s part of the National Park, they don’t charge an admission fee to that portion of it. So do keep that in mind. So when we were getting into soul duck, they do charge an admission fee to that portion, inland of the national park and the park ranger had told us and said, well, where are you going in through here?
4 (52m 14s):
And I said, we’re all we’re going to soul duck falls. And she said, well, if I may advise you, I wouldn’t necessarily go. We’ve had some serious high winds. It’s blown down. Some trees blocked the road a little bit and we’ve actually had some trees blow down on the trail. Didn’t hurt anybody, but do you really want to be out there when trees are falling? Like literally that’s what she said to us of how windy it was. And there was a little bit of a discussion Zayna likes to think she’s a danger ninja. Really wasn’t being a danger ninja. Didn’t want to do it, but she got majority overruled. And nonetheless we persisted.
1 (52m 50s):
So when she said that we were in different cars, myself, Jamal and Zayna were in one car and Kim was in the other car with Leah, Kyle and writer. So we were like, okay, well the car behind us is with us. So we were able to pull off to the side, we had a group chat, like, are we going to do this? Are we going to risk our lives? Is it going to be worth it?
3 (53m 9s):
And the wind had calmed down by this point. So that’s what played into our decision to go forward.
1 (53m 13s):
And so we’re like, you know what? Fuck it let’s risk it. So we did it
3 (53m 16s):
Calculated risk because the wind died down. It was still a drive to get to the trail head to do soul dock fall. So we had moments more to consider the danger,
4 (53m 26s):
But I will say this, I did see park Rangers and park crews cleaning up fallen trees off of the road. And they had cones out. You had to go around it. So it really did happen. But by the time we got to the trail, I felt safer than ever. But tell us about soul duck falls. Brittany
1 (53m 41s):
Soledad falls, nature trail is a 1.6 mile round trip out and back trail. And you go through the dense forest canopy and you walk over a small stream and the rocks are covered with Moss. And you see all of the greenery that you were seeing kind of like in the whole rain forest. And then you arrive to just this beautiful area with the cascading sole duck falls and you’re on a bridge and you can just really take in all of the scenery and the falls around you
3 (54m 11s):
4 (54m 11s):
It was really nice. There was one part of the trail to where a bridge crosses a Creek. But at the same time, I’m sure probably during wetter season, you couldn’t do it. But we were able to bypass the bridge and take our photos like within the Creek, because we were able to stand on top of the rock. So there is a lot of cool features that you can come across. One of the random features. Do you ladies remember? They had that built up shelter that was out there right by the falls. And it literally said shelter this way. And we were thinking to ourselves like, is this shelter here? Because it really gets so windy and ship falls all the time and you need to be like in a strong shelter. So they had that. So do keep that in mind. But that was one of the weird things out there.
4 (54m 52s):
But soul duck was really, really cool to see. I don’t want to say it’s a typical waterfall because it’s not, but you know, you’re going to spend a little bit of time there looking at it and join it. The trail itself is cool. Not very strenuous itself, but after you spend your time there, you know, you’re going to be heading back to port Angeles like we did, which is about an hour away back to home base.
3 (55m 12s):
You know what I think the shelter might be from it rains a lot there. So maybe it’s to take a break from the rain if it gets too crazy.
1 (55m 20s):
That’s true. Yeah. And also this area has some natural hot Springs. We weren’t able to experience them because we didn’t stay at that specific resort, but there are hot Springs in the area. So if you do stay at the soul duck resort, I think you’re able to access those Hotsprings.
3 (55m 36s):
I would love to go back and do that. So we drove back called it a night, but that wasn’t the end of our experience in Olympic National Park. We had another day
1 (55m 44s):
Vena. Why don’t you lead us in to Olympic National Park day two.
2 (55m 50s):
Okay. So this one is about 5.3 miles round trip and fee day. It was the easiest day by far.
4 (55m 60s):
Well, before we get too far into it, it’s about 16 miles from port Angeles. And we specifically chose this one to do last because you ladies were leaving this evening. So we didn’t want to have to venture too far into Olympic National Park. So it’s only about 16 miles, 30 minutes away from port Angeles continuing.
2 (56m 19s):
So it was close. And I just know leading into this, Brittany was saying, how hike has a rope? So you’re going to have to use the rope at the end. Jamal were like, bring in gloves so they can use that on the rope. And there’s a tunnel where you can walk under the highway to get to the trail. And it was super early and no one was out there. And all I could think of was a bear was going to come get us. I always thinking about bears. And Brittany was like, no, no, no, this is a popular one. And I’m like, are you sure? Like we had the trail all to ourselves.
1 (56m 51s):
What was the trail called?
2 (56m 52s):
It was Mount storm king. Now I’m so grateful. I didn’t look this up before, but I did look it up afterwards. And people’s reviews are crazy. It is so steep to get to the top. That’s fine.
3 (57m 5s):
2 (57m 6s):
Yeah, no, I don’t mind the steepness to me. Like that’s whatever. So we finally got to the, well, what Jamal fought was the top because he’s
3 (57m 13s):
Leading. I want to reiterate Steve.
4 (57m 16s):
Well, when you first start off you actually the parking lot to this trail as by a lake really pretty, then you start off flat for a good little portion. But by the time you see the sign St Mt. Storm king, this way you just look up and there’s like, fuck, this is a sheer cliff. And let me tell you something, you are doing switchbacks pretty much all the way up to the top. And when you think you get to the top, like I thought we got to the top and I was ahead of the girls and I yelled, Hey, we’re at the top. I misled them. Cause we definitely were not at the top. We had more to go.
2 (57m 46s):
All I heard was we’re at the top and I don’t see the rope.
4 (57m 49s):
1 (57m 50s):
And like Jamal and Zayna said it is steep and you’re on the forest floor to start. And then you end at the top of a mountain overlooking the lake.
4 (57m 60s):
Really cool forest though. I mean, I just can’t understate how cool the greenery is there and different than any other forest you’ve really ever been into. And I really enjoyed it a lot. So even though it is steep, I very much enjoyed this hike and the scenery that’s around it. If I’m being honest, as much as I enjoyed the day before and the whole rain forest, I found this part of Olympic National Park and the forest area that we were in to be prettier than the whole rainforest. That was my opinion. At least that is a bold statement, but that was my opinion.
3 (58m 31s):
So after you get to the top, while the very steep switchbacks, there is a sign that says end of maintained trail, but that’s not the end of Brittany’s trail. You keep going. And then you’re kind of on the edge of the mountain side. There’s very little space between the trail and the sheer cliff down
4 (58m 51s):
To your death.
3 (58m 52s):
2 (58m 54s):
I remember. Okay. Cause you guys w we’ll get to this point where you guys continued on and Kim and I did not, but when we turned around, what I remember Kim saying over and over was like my goodness. Look at the view, look at the view. And I had to tell her, stop saying that because it was too, cause I, I was freaking out and it was really intense. Like you’re walking a two foot wide trail with no protection whatsoever. The wind is until
3 (59m 20s):
Wind picked up. As soon as we got to this point started getting very windy
2 (59m 24s):
And it was just so
4 (59m 25s):
Freaky every time.
2 (59m 27s):
Yeah, seriously, every time she said, look at the view, I would look at the view cause that’s like your natural instinct and you just realize, holy shit, I’m on the edge of death. And my birthday took place two days earlier and people tend to die within the time of like two weeks of their birthday. And I was like, not today, not here, not in Washington. I’m not done yet.
1 (59m 50s):
My favorite part about this is leading up to this trail. Kim had looked this trail up and she was telling everyone the rope sections don’t look that hard. It doesn’t really look like you have to repel much. Like it’s not a big deal. And then we get to the rope section
2 (1h 0m 5s):
And we couldn’t even find the ropes. And
1 (1h 0m 7s):
We had a hard time finding the ropes. And of course I’m like pretty adventurous. So I start grabbing onto the rope and I’m going up. And I think Jamal follows behind me. And
3 (1h 0m 17s):
When yelling the whole time, Brandon,
8 (1h 0m 18s):
Are you serious? You really going to do this? Brittany? No one wants,
4 (1h 0m 22s):
Because we didn’t mention Aliyah. And rider came with us. Kyle did not. He had worked that day. So our friendly and her son rider came and Zayna and Kim decided, I think that they weren’t too sure that they were going to do it. Once we really saw the role,
3 (1h 0m 39s):
Xena was crying, Ryder was crying. And I was like, no, I think I’ll stay with them. And
4 (1h 0m 46s):
Pretty much Brittany went on and I said, Brittany, are you serious? Like, no one really wants to do it. Like, I’m good at this point. But you know, but you know what, Brittany, Brittany continues on. So I’m just like, you know what? I can’t let Brittany go alone. I got to go. And then when Ryder was staying behind and Leah knew that Kim and Zayna were there, Lee was like, you know what? I’m gonna continue on to
1 (1h 1m 8s):
What a bad-ass she did this whole hike in these hiking sandals.
4 (1h 1m 15s):
They were sandals. And I was shocked, but she claimed that they were hiking sandals. So it makes sense that she was able to do it. But nonetheless, Leah, when you’re listening to this, cause I know you do shout out proud of you on that.
2 (1h 1m 24s):
So wait before you guys tell about your continuation up, let me just real quickly say so at this point, it’s Kim. So obviously there’s six of us there. So now Kim writer and myself are turning around to go back. Now, the thing about where we got to was it ascended? So now we have to descend again on, this is a two foot wide trail. There’s pretty much nothing on one end, but there’s like a rock there on the other side of it. And it’s strong wind,
4 (1h 1m 54s):
Sorry. And you can’t really stand up straight because it’s kind of jagged. You really have to tilt to the edge to like brace yourself on the rock. Because if you stand up straight, it’s not really conducive to the balancing act. Yeah.
2 (1h 2m 7s):
So I am legitimately hugging this cliff crying hysterically and writer is right next to me, hugging the cliff crying hysterically. So I take one hand and I rub his back and I’m like, are you okay? And he’s in tears. No, I’m hanging off the side of a cliff. Like, yeah we are. We, I didn’t say that to him, but oh my gosh. So cannon turns like Kim starts to lead us down. I have writer go in front of me so he can be between Kim and I, and I couldn’t even walk it. I got down and I was on my butt sliding down because I didn’t trust myself to walk down it and descend on such a narrow area with the wind.
2 (1h 2m 49s):
And I completely scratched myself up. I definitely started to bleed because it was very rough. And at the same time, I kept telling myself, get it together, get it together. Because your belief in yourself on getting down is going to determine whether or not you will get down. So you already got up. You have to get down. So I just kept taking deep breaths and sliding and I’m pretty sure that my shorts red up and everyone could see my crotch who were coming up and who were passing me. It was
4 (1h 3m 18s):
3 (1h 3m 19s):
Were you wearing underwear on this day? No,
4 (1h 3m 23s):
2 (1h 3m 23s):
Was wearing Nike shorts like basketball shorts maybe. But anyways, like I’m talking, we saw men pass us who were basically saying that no way. I’m not going to go to the top.
3 (1h 3m 33s):
People that passed us, came back and didn’t do the
4 (1h 3m 35s):
Rope. So we continued on wait,
1 (1h 3m 38s):
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait,
2 (1h 3m 40s):
4 (1h 3m 40s):
2 (1h 3m 42s):
We finally, Kim gets to where the end, where the sign is the end of the trail maintain trail. Because once you pass that sign, then the trail expands a little bit more. And then we were able to sit down. So Kim says that Leah just texted her, that you guys got to the top. So Kim Ryder and myself are sitting there waiting. Luckily there’s some trees now to where it’s blocking the wind. And I just remember asking rider, are you okay? And he’s like, yeah, I’m fine now. And I asked him, did you enjoy yesterday more or today? More? And he looks at me and he’s like, so sassy yesterday, because yesterday I wasn’t hanging off the side of a cliff, just like you and me both feared.
1 (1h 4m 25s):
I agree. So being the adventurous, one of the crowd I repelled up the ropes. Jamal is reluctantly behind me. Think pretty, no one wants to do that,
4 (1h 4m 36s):
But you know what? But I followed, I followed on and I just want to say what that sign means by maintained trail is the national parks no longer doing shit to maintain anything there. The ropes that we are using are not put there by the National Park. These are people who are free climbers. They’ve put the ropes there. They’ve tied them to trees, tied them to branches. They’ve even put theirselves little knots in it. So you have grip as you’re pulling yourself up. So, I mean, you’re really, when you’re doing this trusting the faith of the person who put it out there, that this is going to hold me.
2 (1h 5m 9s):
Basically the national park service said at your own risk, we’re not going to take the liability if you continue to choose to like to go on. And
1 (1h 5m 16s):
So it’s not just one rope, it’s probably five or six ropes. And every time you get to the top of a rope, you see the next rope to grab on to
3 (1h 5m 23s):
What I, I kept calling Brittany is, is that the top is at the end of the rope. And you were just like robes more ropes. Like I’m not doing it.
1 (1h 5m 31s):
It’s like six of them. And they’re so steep. Like if the ropes were there, I don’t know if I would be able to do
4 (1h 5m 37s):
It. It’s slippery. And
1 (1h 5m 39s):
3 (1h 5m 40s):
The edge of a cliff top of a windy cliff.
1 (1h 5m 44s):
But like Xena said, if you’re imagining yourself going down, I have imagined myself going up and getting the perfect iconic shot. And I imagined myself at the top of this mountain and I wanted to do that. And I knew that I could. So I finally get to rope five or six, make it up. And you think that would be the end, but it’s not. You can’t really see the lake at this point. And then you see this pile of rocks and you’re like, oh shit, I have to climb up that too. So I start to climb up that, describe
2 (1h 6m 17s):
The rocks though, take us through it.
1 (1h 6m 19s):
It’s just like, you’re truly at the peak of a mountain and there’s nothing else to grab onto, but just the rocks in front of you, there’s nothing on either side. If you fall, you’re going to fall to your death. You’re just climbing up this like granite protrusion.
2 (1h 6m 35s):
So it’s not like rocks that you can grab one and the rock is going to fall like,
4 (1h 6m 41s):
And she says rocks. It’s not even like a pile of rocks. You’re at the top of the mountain. So it’s one rock, but it’s like jaggedy at its slope on how you’re going to climb. And again, if you fall, you’re going to fall over because you can’t even see the lake of that point because the way the rock is formed gets blocked in your view, down to the lake. So you could only see the other side. So Brittany is going first, she’s climbing to the top, I’m behind her, Leah’s behind me. And then I get halfway up to the top finally of Mt. Storm king on that rock face as Brittany’s already up there. And I say to myself, how the fuck am I going to get down this with the wind?
4 (1h 7m 20s):
Like I couldn’t visualize in my head the way that I was coming down. So I was literally about 15 feet from the top, but that last 15 feet up didn’t scare me. It was my visualization of how am I going to do that? 15 feet down and beyond. And so I just turned around. Didn’t do at least like, you know what, I’m a try. And she made it to the top. So Brittany and Leah are the only ones at the
2 (1h 7m 44s):
Top. So quickly before you get to the top,
4 (1h 7m 46s):
2 (1h 7m 47s):
Two questions for you though, before we hear about the top one is how steep would you guess the incline of climbing up those rocks and to when Jamal, when you decided that like I’m not going to do the final 15 feet, where did you just like sit there, hanging on the rocks? Or like, how did those,
4 (1h 8m 6s):
I was visualizing even how I was going to turn myself around because I didn’t even like back down like backwards. Like if I’m going down a ladder or something, I literally turned my body around and like shimmied kind of on my ass. And I didn’t know how I was going to do that for that top 15 feet because the wind’s blowing it’s the cliff. And that’s what really kind of scared me as I didn’t have it in terms of the angle, the angle up wasn’t really bad. I would say maybe it’s 45, a little bit steeper than that. Maybe up to like 60, but again, it’s the wind and it’s the cliff with nothing. Not that you couldn’t hold on to the rock itself, but it just seemed a little too slippery and not a lot of grip for how I would have to shimmy it down for my liking and even going down the ropes itself, by the time we were going, like, all right, fuck, I didn’t make it to the top.
4 (1h 8m 53s):
Now I got the ropes even going down the ropes was hard, like holding, going that way. I even had to like shimmy on my ass for that. And like, hold on to the rope too, because normally like if you have ropes and you go back down, you’re supposed to walk backwards down it and do it that way. But it was just so steep that that didn’t even seem plausible. So I just, I just shimmied my, all my ass. Yeah. Good for you.
2 (1h 9m 16s):
I can’t wait to hear more about that. Wait, but real quickly, where did you wait while you were waiting for Brittany and Lee?
4 (1h 9m 21s):
Yeah, I waited between the, the mountain with no rope and then the first rope.
2 (1h 9m 26s):
And there is space for that
4 (1h 9m 28s):
2 (1h 9m 30s):
Okay. Brittany, take us to the top.
1 (1h 9m 31s):
So here I am climbing at a 45 degree angle on this jagged rock and I feel the wind pickup and I’m like, oh, am I going to be able to make it to the top? And then I was like, you know what, I’m going to sit here for a second. Let the wind died down because I didn’t come this far to only come this far. So when do I down and I make it over to the very end and you just get these amazing views of the lake below you, and then just the forest beneath you and surrounding you. And it was just so magical. It was exactly everything I envisioned and I am so glad that I stuck it out and I turned around and there Leah is right behind me.
1 (1h 10m 14s):
And I’m like, what happened to Jamal? She was like, he chickened out. I was like, okay. And so we were celebrating girl power, woman power being the only two to make it to the top and like how amazing that is. And we take all of these cool pictures and we turn around and we’re looking for Jamal and he is already descending the rope section. He didn’t even wait.
4 (1h 10m 39s):
Well, it was a narrow spot. So why would I wait? And secondly, I just want to throw out, I mean, again, I was like 10, 15 feet away. And in hindsight I probably should have continued on obviously, but I just want to throw out in my own defense. I’m taller than you guys. I don’t have as much of a good center of gravity to do the shimmy down the rocks like you shorter ladies do. So in my defense, it would have been more risky for me to do it. So just, you know, in all honesty, throwing out science and facts,
2 (1h 11m 5s):
I’m proud of you, Jamal. Like, I really am proud of you for not pushing yourself to do something that you didn’t feel
4 (1h 11m 11s):
Disappointed in myself in hindsight
2 (1h 11m 12s):
Now. I mean, you third farthest out of everyone else in the group, but Brittany tell us like how big was the Mount on top? Was anyone else there?
1 (1h 11m 23s):
My self and Leah and I was comfortable with the two of us up there and there was space for more. So the squad could have been at the top together and I’ve seen pictures of more people at the top, but I’m really glad no one else was there when we were there.
2 (1h 11m 37s):
And how is the wind? It
1 (1h 11m 39s):
Came and went. So we would have sections where we’re like, okay, like let’s not take a picture. Let’s hold off for a minute and let the wind died down. And then we’d be able to get our shot and then be able to descend down safely.
3 (1h 11m 50s):
I would have been more upset that I didn’t make it, but the view from where the trail stops being maintained is really beautiful. And the day that we did this hike was a little hazy from the fire. So the view from the very top wasn’t as good as it could have been true. I have no regrets.
4 (1h 12m 7s):
Well, even the spot where I thought it was originally the top. And I said that I don’t see the rope yet, had a good view too, to see the lake at that point. So, I mean, you can see it on it if you don’t make it past the maintain point, if you’re not being a danger ninja in that regards, but it’s definitely a good hike. And I did really love the whole atmosphere of the forest on Mount storm king. Like I said, I thought it was even better looking than the whole rainforest in my personal opinion. And I really did like it. So you won’t regret this hike at all. And if you want to do something very challenging, this is the one for you.
1 (1h 12m 43s):
So when, and I got to the top, I noticed that we also had reception and I said, Leah, you should text Kim and let them know where we are. So they’re not wondering what happened to us. So that’s when she texted and then we were able to make our way back down and Dana is like,
2 (1h 12m 59s):
Oh wait, tell us about your experience coming down though.
1 (1h 13m 2s):
So our experience coming down, it’s intense because you really are repelling down the side of a cliff. And to truly repel down, you are supposed to repel down backwards and kind of lean your body back so that you’re not slipping. And so I think that’s probably the challenging part is because your natural instinct isn’t to lean your body back, to give yourself that counterweight, it’s trying to stand up straighter, which will make you slide down. So I think
4 (1h 13m 31s):
That’s your little center of gravity. That’s why I had to shimmy on my butt.
1 (1h 13m 34s):
So I think that’s why it was more challenging for Jamal, but I actually did pretty good. It was, it was challenging, but I felt confident that I had made it up and I could make it down.
2 (1h 13m 43s):
Well, I guess the Marusha is think alike because I shimmied down on my ass too. So there is Kim, myself and writer sitting, chilling, waiting for you guys. I do have to tell you about while we were waiting for you. I texted my mom and I asked my mom to pray for us. please send all the brands that you can run a very dangerous mountain. I’m really, my mom said she was afraid. And then finally you guys came and go ahead, let everyone know what you said.
1 (1h 14m 20s):
So I immediately came up to Zaina who discounted me the day before and said, I would not make it to the top of Mount Rainier. And I said, you know what, Cena, I would be part of the 50% that make it to the top of Mount Rainier.
4 (1h 14m 34s):
And I think we can definitively say now Zana would not be on that 50% list to make it to the top. I mean, we saw from this one, I’m going to go highly in my favor, given the fact that I did chicken out, even though, but I’ll push myself to the limit.
2 (1h 14m 51s):
I’m not going to climb up those ropes, dude. I mean, I guess it just really depends on with you. I made it through the Inca trail. I mean, I did that, but I dunno, this mountain
1 (1h 15m 1s):
In your face was priceless. Like you wanted to say something in defense and then you thought about it and you’re like to Shea,
2 (1h 15m 9s):
You just made it to the top. You were the, what is it? If we’re six people, you were the 33% that made it to the top. That’s less than 50%. Yes.
4 (1h 15m 17s):
And so that was really our adventures in the two national parks, Mount Rainier and Olympic, like I said earlier on and trowing this episode, this was the extent of the trip for Kim and Zayna. So after we were done at Olympic National park and storm king, we ended up taking them to the airports to drop them off because they were flying home and Brittany and I continued on, but again, we are going to get to that in our next episode, but any final thoughts for you ladies on these two national parks that we talked about?
2 (1h 15m 49s):
I wouldn’t do storm king ever again.
3 (1h 15m 51s):
That’s true. I wouldn’t either, but I definitely would do these national parks again and they’re close enough to Seattle. I think it’s an amazing trip. It was a four day trip for us. Zaina and I, and so I, I would highly recommend it. We’ll do again.
2 (1h 16m 3s):
Yeah. I mean, up until we got to the point of the end of the maintenance trail, perfect trip,
4 (1h 16m 9s):
I would go to the top. That’s my final thought. I’m regretting it in hindsight, but you know, in the moment I felt like I made the right decision.
2 (1h 16m 17s):
3 (1h 16m 17s):
Of, there you go.
1 (1h 16m 18s):
I was just really impressed with both of these national parks. And if you guys haven’t been, I would highly encourage you guys to go to Washington and see both of them for yourself
4 (1h 16m 27s):
And sorry, one quick, final thought. I mentioned this a little bit earlier when we were talking about Rialto beach and how the National Park didn’t charge a fee at that point, even same with Mount Rainier at some points. And our first hike that we did, they did not charge us a entrance fee because we were actually going on a highway that goes and cuts through the park. But certain trails that you do within each of these, both parks, then they do charge you. So do keep that in mind, depending on what you do, you may or may not have to pay an entrance fee.
3 (1h 16m 56s):
Wonderful. Well, that sums up this week’s episode. We don’t have any questions of the week, so please email them in and thank you for tuning in and listening this week. Keep the adventures going with us though, Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast. Find us there, subscribe, tag us in your adventures and send us in your questions.
2 (1h 17m 15s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please make sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too.
4 (1h 17m 22s):
Please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. And don’t forget to go on YouTube. Give us some lessons on there as well. Give us some likes and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.
1 (1h 17m 32s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you specifically in north Pakeha and glacier national park
4 (1h 17m 45s):