Summer in Seattle means time-to-go-camping! Last year we only got out twice, but both times were awesome.
The first camping trip we did in July. Dayne and I headed out to Lake Quinault and the Willaby Campground. Neither of us had been before and it ended up being a great choice, we just loved it out there! The campground is so green and lush and right on the lake. We found the best site, down a set of steps and completely private from the other campsites, but the whole campground seemed very nice.
The area has lots of hiking option ranging in difficulty and distance. The trails go through amazing forests of huge, old growth trees, as well as next to the lake shore, over waterfalls and past the Lake Quinault Lodge. You can see the largest spruce on one trail, and the largest cedar on another. It's all really beautiful.
After a morning of hiking, we inflated the raft and went for a float on the pretty and serene lake in the afternoon. We saw others fishing, paddle boarding and boating.
Our second trip last summer was back out towards Salmon la Sac for a group camping weekend. This time Jen and I weren't as lucky and all the sites were booked by the time we arrived. We scrambled around with Gary and Elisabeth and finally crossed the river and grabbed an unofficial site. It ended up being great because 1) there was a fire ban and you just can't sneak a tiny fire while in a regulated site and 2) it was during the Perseid meteor shower and without lights or neighboring campfires we could see an amazing site!
The weather that weekend was so hot that we all took our rafts to Lake Cle Elum and spent the entire day floating and swimming in the lake. I can't remember the last time I swam, not just waded around, in a lake and it was awesome. We all felt like kids again!
Next weekend will be our first camping trip of the season, bring on the s'mores!
Lake Quinault camping photos here.