Backpacking the Olympic Peninsula (Summer 2016)

This post is way over due but either way, the story goes like this…

When we returned from our first failed attempt at backpacking, Nate and I decided that we should try this backpacking thing again but this time by ourselves.  So we did.

Backpacking the Olympic Peninsula

We had heard wonderful things about Lake Ozette on the Olympic Peninsula and the more we learned about it, the more we wanted to go there.

Coastal Trails, WA

It was going to take some good planning since we had never gone to the Peninsula.  We were determined and so very excited to go.  We purchased a topographic map at REI and a few other things we were missing from our previous backpacking experience and we mapped out our trip.

We decided to drive all the way around instead of taking the ferry (since it was Labor Day weekend and we did not want to risk waiting in line to get on the ferry and missing the Ranger Station and not getting our backpacking permit).

The day came and I picked up Nate from school and we went on our way.  After a very long drive we made it to Port Angeles just in time to get our permit and answer a few questions from the park rangers (who were super resourceful and friendly).

Port Angeles Ranger Station

We immediately left to find our hotel but ended up not staying there due to the suspicious characters we came across with as we pulled in to the parking lot, so we looked for another one and stayed there instead.

The very next morning we woke up at 4:30 AM, gathered our stuff and were on our way to our destination!

We did get “lost” a bit because of the lack of cell service but thanks to the topographic map we had purchased, we found our way to the Ranger Station.

Once we arrived, we got our backpacks ready and started our hike.  We got to the point where we had to decide if we were going to do the whole loop or just go straight to our allowed campsites.

Loop Trail, WA

Given our lack of backpacking experience, we decided to not hike the whole loop.

Once we found a good place, we set up camp and went exploring.  The beach was literally within a few steps of our campsite.  It was breathtaking.

Sand Point Campsite

Nate being the inventor he is started building this cool sculpture but then a younger boy who came to hang out with us kinda destroyed it.  Nate had a great time despite that little incident.  He continued to play in the sand while I just laid there, doing nothing, just soaking it all in, all that beauty nature has to offer, all that fresh air, ALL that sun!  Yes, I did nothing and I am proud of it.


Sand Point

Ozette Lake - Sand Point

We may have encountered a few issues like bringing the wrong propane gas (again) or over-packing our backpacks (like CRAZY OVER-PACKING!!) or crying like a baby for thinking that I was letting my son down and making him cry because I was crying.  Other than that, we really liked it and honestly, we laugh at all of our hiccups now.

We played cards before we went to sleep and he beat almost EVERY TIME!  Then it was time to sleep and we couldn’t help but be silly.

Backpacking bedtime

Backpacking silliness


I was worried about bears and other critters coming to our campsite to visit while we were sleeping but I guess we were not cool enough for them.  It was so soothing to sleep to the sound of the waves though the lack of “meat on my bones” made it a little challenging to sleep comfortably.  Next time, I will purchase a better sleeping pad (and leave my very thin yoga mat at home).

Morning came and before we packed up, we decided to go on a walk.

Sand Point, WA

After packing, we started our hike back to the car with a few stops here and there.  We couldn’t help it!  The view was just beautiful!


On our way back we took the ferry and despite the many people coming back from their Labor Day Weekend adventures, the wait wasn’t all that bad.  And you really can’t beat the view!

Edmonds Ferry

Though at that time we didn’t think we ever again wanted to do the backpacking thing, EVER, we will be going on another backpacking adventure next summer.

If you have places to recommend, please do share!  Nate and I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!


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