Video Tour of Lake Quinault Region of Olympic National Park
Take a few minutes out of your day and enjoy a 5 minute video tour of the Lake Quinault region of Olympic National Park. We start with a look at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Manager Dave Huber gives us a look around and describes some of the more interesting aspects of the lodge's past. Next, we catch up with Roger Blain, a former ranger with the Park Service, he now provides interpretive tours of the area with the lodge. Roger leads us through the Maple Glade trail, a short nature loop near the lake that contains quite a lot of green hanging moss and lush sword fern. Along the way, we catch sight of an Osprey, Roosevelt Elk, and even a couple Banana Slugs.
The video for this production was shot in early June.
[DAVE HUBER] My name is Dave Huber, I'm the General Manager of Lake Quinault Lodge located on the Olympic Peninsula within the Olympic National Forest. Special features of the lodge: it's a historic building, built in 1926. It replaced an old log structure that had been here since the late 1800s. In 1924, they started construction with our annex building. Within the annex building, we housed some of the artisans and craftsmen who worked on the main lodge construction. Construction started in the summer, and within 53 days they had gone from ground up to being open. So, it's a very unique building. Originally, it had 32 guest rooms, public bathrooms, very much in the historic lodge style, similar to Yosemite, or what you might find at Crater Lake. Over the past 20 or 30 years we've added two different buildings, extending our units up to about 92. So, currently we offer a wide range of unit types, ranging from historic lodge type feel with claw foot tubs, to more modern hotel type rooms with TV.
[HUBER] I think the valley is special. For one, the climate is so much different than you will find in almost anywhere in the lower United States. Hiking trails range from very low impact half-mile interpretive loops with signage and information about the rain forest, to the most rugged climbing type trails that you'd like to go see - Colonial Bob is located two or three miles down the road. You can explore the park, which is on the North side of the lake. (There are) options for all abilities, ages, and walks of life.
[HUBER] A great time to visit is end of May going into summer. You're coming out of that rainy winter season, everything is really turning green, and starting to brighten up. Even when our rhododendrons aren't blooming, and there's not a lot of color, there is still an amazing different varieties of green that are here and present, from our landscaping to the natural environment as well.
[ROGER BLAIN] Hi, I'm Roger Blain, I work at Lake Quinault Lodge. I'm sort of the Director of Interpretation and Activities for Lake Quinault Lodge in the Quinault Rain Forest of Washington state.
[BLAIN To Group] … it's chartreuse green, and the little ferns that you see growing out of the mosses, that is the licorice fern …
[BLAIN Narrating] I worked for the Park Service for 26 years in numerous different National Parks, and I retired here at Lake Quinault, in the rain forest, because from my point of view, it's a pretty ideal place.
[BLAIN] I think that the Maple Glade Trail typifies what people expect from the rain forest. That particular section of the forest here was homesteaded, and a lot of the trees were removed because that was a requirement of the government in order to receive your homestead. And when that happened, it opened up the canopy and allowed Big Leaf Maples and Vine Maples to grow in. Those are typically the trees that the long strands of moss hang from. That combined with a little babbling brook and crystal clear pond in the glade that I think makes it a very special spot.
[BLAIN To Group] We've got the normal banana slug and the bruised banana slug.
[Group Participant] Did you guys train them, that they stay here for the tourists?
[BLAIN in response] Yeah, I pay them later!
[BLAIN Narrating] We have the magnificent Roosevelt Elk here in the rain forest. We have about 1,500 or so living in this valley alone. I believe the park has somewhere around 6,000 in total. [pauses … laughs] Ah! We just had an Osprey fly over our heads here and distract us. [laughing] But, depending on the time of year that you come here, you'll see a somewhat different forest. If you come in the Fall, in September or October, you're very apt to see the Roosevelt Elk in the rut. Some folks take picnics that time of year and go up to various fields and meadows and just watch the Elk for an afternoon. It's fun.