Olympic National Park, Washington
Before the National Park
Service built a road up to Hurricane Ridge so that visitors
could see the interior of the Olympic National Park from
their cars, people did this at Deer Park. Now this
campground is often forgotten. It is a favorite of mine,
offering the camper spectacular views of the Olympic, Puget
Sound, the Cascade Range and the Strait of Juan De Fuca.
The road to Deer Park begins about five miles east of Port
Angeles on Highway 101, near the "C'est Si Bon" French
restaurant. About 17 miles of at first paved then gravel
roads will take you to the campground at 5400'. You can
continue another mile up to Blue Mountain. The beauty of
Deer Park lies in the ability to car-camp at this altitude
in the Olympics. There easy access to hiking trails down to
the Three Forks Shelter in the beautiful Gray Wolf River
Valley or along the ridge towards Elk Mountain on the trail
to Obstruction Point.
In August of '03 I went there again for a few days to camp and hike. It was still a beautiful spot with no crowds. The hiking was fun, but the clouds came in and so we missed the spectacular views. The first evening, before the the eather changed, I hiked to the top of Blue Mountain (6007') and took this panorama facing south. On our way out, my friends rode their bicycles down the dirt road and had a marvelous time. They hardly had to pedal the whole way back to 101.