Discover Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park
Utah is known for its Mighty 5 National Parks, but full campgrounds and busy trails make it difficult to explore the parks during peak season. Thankfully,
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Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse national parks in the country, made up of four distinct geographic areas: the Pacific coastline, western Hoh Rainforest, central alpine area, and eastern drier forests.
The park lies in the center of the Olympic Peninsula in Northwest Washington and covers nearly one million acres. Its four geographical zones give visitors nearly endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.
Waterfalls, lakes, and rivers are spread throughout the park. Some of the top sights include Hurricane Ridge, Hoh Rain Forest, and Sol Duc Falls. If you’re planning an itinerary, check out our in-depth guide of the 8 Best Things to Do in Olympic National Park.
Keep your eye out for the wide array of wildlife that calls the park home. Olympic wildlife includes:
The park is prime for just about any outdoor activity imaginable. Hike, camp, and paddle amongst overgrown emerald forests, crisp rivers, and unique ecosystems full of flora and fauna. Several interesting towns are scattered around the peninsula, including Port Angeles and Port Townsend.
Cabins in and around the park are great for diving into nature. They serve as a cozy place to return to after a long day of adventuring, or a serene haven for relaxing in the woods. Cabin rentals are perfect for a romantic getaway, a solo adventure, or a fun trip with family and friends.
Below you’ll find some very rustic and simple places that are well maintained but stay true to their original construction around a century ago. Other cabines offer a more modern experience in nature.
Compared to camping, staying in a cabin or lodge provides a worthy outdoor experience with an added touch of comfort. Enjoy a kitchen for cooking and a solid roof over your head in case intense weather hits, while still hearing and seeing the natural surroundings. These options are great places to slow down, forget about time and make a hot meal over a crackling fire.
Several historic cabins are nestled in the forests of the peninsula, providing visitors with a tranquil place to enjoy nature. These snug getaways are maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and have basic amenities and plenty of privacy. Wake up to the noises of wildlife and streams, and venture out to the forest only a few steps away. These cabins lie in Olympic National Forest, which borders the national park. They are surrounded by plenty of nature to explore and are good bases to visit destinations around the park.
First built in 1907 by a newlywed forest ranger, Interrorem has served many purposes over the years, including as a fireguard station and housing for Forest Service volunteers. It sits near the eastern edge of the park and is great for visiting the Brothers Wilderness, Hood Canal, and much of the national park.
The one-story dwelling is built from peeled logs and sits in a small clearing surrounded by lush green forest. It has a kitchen and propane cook range, lights, and a pump for non-potable water. Visitors must bring their own water for drinking and cooking. There is a fireplace inside, and outside there is a fire ring for barbecuing and campfires. The closest town, Brinnon, is about 20 miles away.
The cabin is very close to the Ranger Hole Trailhead but still provides plenty of privacy and peace. There are also numerous nearby day hikes as well as opportunities for fishing and birdwatching.
Built in 1912 in the northeastern area of the peninsula, the Louella Cabin was used as a fire station and eventually as a camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The cabin lies in an open meadow surrounded by towering pines and overlooks a fruit orchard and valley. Surrounded by more than 50 miles of trails, the cabin is close to the Dungeness and Gray Wolf Rivers. Visitors enjoy lounging, exploring the surrounding forests and mountains, fishing in the rivers, viewing wildlife, and much more. The nearest town, Sequim, is 10 miles away; Port Angeles and Port Townsend are close enough for day trips.
The cabin has a kitchen, electric lights, a stocked propane heater, and basic bathroom facilities. Visitors must bring their own potable water. There is a fire ring outside the cabin for campfires and cooking and a covered picnic table.
Hamma Hamma Cabin was constructed in the 1930’s as a guard station and administrative site for Forest Service fire and trail crews. It sits in a meadow surrounded by firs, dogwoods, and rhododendrons on the southeastern edge of the park. The hexagonal single-story cabin has a bay window overlooking a nearby creek and has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places for its unique architecture.
Hamma Hamma Cabin lies next to a creek and the Living Legacy and Lena Lake #810 trails. It is near The Brothers Wilderness, Mt. Skokomish Wilderness, and the Hood Canal. The location is great for hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, hunting, and walks along the river. The nearest town of Hoodsport is 20 miles away.
The cabin has propane lights, a kitchen, toilet plumbing, and a propane heater. There is an outdoor picnic table and fire ring. Guests must bring their own water for drinking and cooking.
For those looking for the privacy and comfort of a cabin with more amenities and convenience, there are plenty of cabins available at the park’s lodges and resorts. Lodge cabins still provide ample privacy and comfort along with beautiful views and easy access to nature. Lodge cabins also have the advantage of being inside the national park, which will minimize your drive time.
The Log Cabin Resort sits lakeside on the northern shore of Lake Crescent, surrounded by cedars and fir trees. The seasonal resort operates between late May and late September and offers a variety of lakefront cabins with views of the surrounding mountains. There are a plethora of hiking trails and other activities around the lodge, including boating, paddle boarding, and fishing. The nearby Olympic Discovery Trail goes around the lake and other trails branch off into the forests and mountains.
The location offers easy access to day trips around the park, including hiking hotspot Hurricane Ridge. Port Angeles is 20 miles away, and the beaches of the northern coast are about an hour away.
Cabins have their own bathrooms, and some have kitchens. The resort has a deli, general store, and communal spaces to relax.
Lake Crescent Lodge lies on the southern side of the lake and has lakefront cabins and cottages. Nearby, there are several hiking trails that run along the shore of the lake, to Marymere Falls, through the nearby forests, and even up the mountains around the lake. The location of the lodge is also prime for taking day trips deeper into the park.
The most popular accommodations at the establishment, the Roosevelt Fireplace Cabins, are listed on the National Register of Historic places and do in fact have fireplaces and other rustic charms. Some cabins have full bathrooms and others have shower-only bathrooms, beds, microwaves, and mini-fridge. The lodge also has a restaurant and bar.
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is about five miles south of Lake Crescent and 12 miles into Olympic National Park. Situated next to the Sol Duc River, the lodge cabins provide ample comfort and come with private porches and bathrooms. Some of the rooms have kitchens. The lodge has a restaurant, hot spring facilities and a spa for guests can enjoy.
There are numerous hikes nearby through the surrounding old-growth rainforest, including a short hike upriver to Sol Duc Falls. The Famous Lover’s Lane 6-mile loop is accessible from the back of the resort, and there are other hikes to Mink Lake and Deer Lake. The resort is also conveniently located for going deeper into the park to the Seven Lakes Basin.
Olympic National Park extends down the Pacific Coast on the western edge of the peninsula, where you’ll find a very different environment and experience. The Kalaloch Lodge offers cabins overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Kalaloch Creek. Cabins have private bathrooms with showers, a range of kitchens, and sounds of the oceans. The lodge itself has a restaurant and shop.
There are considerable activities available in the area including whale watching in April, May, October, and November. The lodge is near some of the best coastal hikes at Olympic National Park, including the South and North Coast Routes and the Shi Shi Beach Trail. It’s a good place to venture into the interior to access the lengthy Hoh River Trail. Tide pools dot the coast and are interesting places to see sea stars, rock crabs, wolf eels, pricklebacks, brittle stars, barnacles, clams, sea snails, and more. Popular Ruby Beach is also a 10-minute drive away.
Olympic National Park is a truly magical place with nearly endless opportunities for exploration. These cabins can be a terrific way to experience all the park has to offer while staying in a cozy and secluded location.
Featured image by: Danita Delimont.
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