Mount Olympus – what a great name. Sounds strong and majestic. It does not disappoint. Olympus and its five glaciers are at the core of the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park in Washington state. The national park maintains plenty of trails that lead to and fro through this wilderness at 5000 feet. I wonder if any of them lead to the glaciers…? Not that I’d ever do it. I don’t mind a little adventure, but not on this scale. I am quite content with a leisurely 17 mile drive through the cloud cover to Hurricane Ridge to view Mount Olympus and its surroundings. The guide books promised it would be spectacular, and I concur!

I just love clouds moving through mountains

More clouds to enjoy

Ok, I'm cloud obsessed

Arriving mid-June to several feet of snow, the roads were only open to traffic up to the snack bar and gift shop at the start of the ridge. The road beyond was plowed but not yet open for vehicular traffic. Hiking – yes. Cars – no. We started to hike down the road, then thought better of it because we really couldn’t see past the snow drifts anyway. We returned to the welcome center just in time to see two black tailed deer entertaining the small crowd that had braved the fog like us.

A little entertainment

After gawking at the beauty of clouds floating through snowy mountains, it’s time to taste the local wine. Next stop: Olympic Cellars. Not a very imaginative name, but conveniently located right on the main road (route 101), with welcoming grounds and about 15 wines to choose from. I was tempted to buy some of the local foods available for pairing, but settled for a bottle of shiraz and some small gifts to take home to friends and family. We wanted to check out some other wineries but the ferry in Port Townsend was calling our names. And we made it just in time. We hadn’t considered making a reservation (I know, silly, right?). My first experience on the car ferry was welcomed with a little stress as we waited for the staff to determine if our rental would fit on board. Alas – we made it on with the last 10 cars and were on our way to Whidbey Island…ready to return to the Olympic Peninsula to explore another day…

Our car is down below while we enjoy the scenery

Want to know the impact of these mountains holding back the clouds on their easterly journey from the Pacific Ocean?  Check out day 2 of this amazing road trip.

I’m glad you came along for the journey. Did you like it? Please comment below to let me know your thoughts!

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4 Comments on Olympic Peninsula day 3 – mountains, wineries, and ferries

  1. Mack Reynolds says:

    really nice photography. some of them even look like paintings. i love the black skies and grey clouds. very good change from the normal views. good job capturing them like that.

  2. Mary says:

    It may be a little out of the way but definitely worth the trip. Going in shoulder season (late spring) was great…daytime temps in the mid 60s and we often felt like we had the place to ourselves.

  3. Sid Vic says:

    I’m in love with clouds through mountains too…you’re not alone!

  4. I’ve always wanted to visit there! After reading this article and looking at your pictures I feel even more inclined to go :)

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