Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Olympic Peninsula Getaway: Overnight at Lake Crescent Lodge

Although it's just a ferry ride and a couple hour drive from Seattle, Lake Crescent Lodge in Olympic National Park feels a world away in a quieter time. During the recent frenzy of the holidays, we snuck over there for an overnight. I wish we could have stayed longer.

I'm in love with the historic early 20th century lodges scattered around many of our national parks, and Lake Crescent Lodge is one of the earliest, built in 1916. Give me a rustic lodge with wood-beamed walls and ceilings, a big  stone fireplace with a crackling fire, comfy chairs, and a good book and I'm happy for the night.  

With a stop in Port Townsend for lunch, we don't arrive until later afternoon. The drive there is always spectacular, especially after swinging south and west out of Port Angeles towards the lake on Highway 101.

 After skirting along the lake for a mile or so, we turn off into forest toward the lodge complex. Because I booked late, we're not in the lodge or prized Roosevelt Fireplace Cottages but in a modern lakeside unit (clean and comfy).

The main lodge is just a short distance away, where we check in. The guy relaxing on the porch has the right idea.

With the waning light just past the winter solstice, I run out to shoot some photos of beautiful Lake Crescent, just yards away from our doorstep.

Early evening we dine in the main lodge, where I'm pleasantly surprised at the excellent meal.  Sweet winter vegetables were roasted to perfection along with a couple chicken legs, a nice change from the usual breast and more flavorful and succulent. (BTW I asked that the rich-looking sauce with bacon fat be served on the side and didn't use it.)

 And then we settle into a sofa and read in front of the fireplace under the gaze of some big elk heads mounted on the walls.  A glass of wine from the bar across the room was tempting us until at just 9:15 we're told the lodge is closing, which seemed too early.

Lake Crescent Lodge decked out for the holidays.

After a dark and quiet night void of city sounds, the morning brings what looks to be clearing skies across the lake. Although breakfast in the lodge doesn't meet the quality of dinner, we're fueled and ready to go hike/explore.

In the summer I've kayaked on the lake and hiked on some nearby trails, but this trip we head back west for Hurricane Ridge, next blog post!

In between blog posts check out Pacific Northwest Seasons on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter for regular photo updates.  Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons!

When You Go
If you're seeking downtime or a base for exploring the lush forest and craggy peaks of the northern Olympic Peninsula, this is a prime spot for laying your head at night. The lodge is closed for the winter now and will reopen in later spring, but check their website. I got on an email list for specials and got the room for $82/night + tax. Expect to pay more in the summer.


JoJo said...

I never got up as far as Lake Crescent. There was something about it that just creeped me out for some reason. Remember several years ago when they found that car that went in the lake in the 1920s?

Suezy P said...

We've stayed at Lake Quinault Lodge several times just for the same reasons Jill. Like Lake Crescent Lodge, you can stay in one of the original rooms in the lodge or in a newer wing. It is my favorite lodge. Kalalock Lodge is cool, but their beach cabins are the big draw for us. We pack our own groceries and cook all our own meals while there. They perch above the ocean beach with easy access trails to the beach....awesome on a full moon low tide night. :-) Thanks for the pics and the dinner description and photo.

jill said...

Hey JoJo, Happy new yar! Yes, I remember about that car. But nothing to be creeped out about, it's a lovely place/lake. I think it is very deep and that might add an aura of mystery.

Suezy, thanks as always for your informative comment! Love Lake Quinault Lodge too, a more majestic lodge than Lake Crescent. Did a blog post about a trip there in January 2012, good time to go for the quiet and rates. Stopped by Klaloch but never stayed there.

Alpine Lily said...

Love your photos, it's so cozy there! I also enjoy the old lodges and their fascinating history. In fact, today I just booked at the Quinault Lodge for a spring getaway. I got a groupon getaway deal, I see them quite often for the Lake Quinault lodge in the off season... Happy travels!

Jennifer said...

Good for you for getting out on such a regular basis! I have been here a few times; stayed once for a 3 day botany trip, and again I think on an SER-lead field trip (Clay Antieau, great botanist and grass/sedge/rush specialist in particular). But I haven't been here in years! Really nice to see that the character of the old lodge remains as I remember it - and nice that they are open through christmas! This is a beautiful area - thanks for the reminder, and glad you had a nice trip! Great pics as usual!

jill said...

Thanks for the comments Alpine Lily and Jennifer! I'm thinking about heading back to Lake Quinault too, love that place and see lots of deals on Groupon this time of year. Jennifer you're always an inspiration with your science + arts mind.

Ron Mitchell said...

Jill, never hesitate to order wine!