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Lake Quinault Loop

Day Trip

From Ocean Shores WA and back.

Old Growth Forests

There are not a lot of places in this world where you can drive right up to ancient trees that have trunks that are larger than eight feet in diameter.

The Olympic Peninsula is one of those places where you can see old growth forest right from your car.

The Beginning of the Loop

One of our favorites is the loop road around Lake Quinault.The north shore road begins on US Highway-101 at milepost 125 which is 43 miles north of Aberdeen on Washington's Pacific Coast. On this trip you not only see Old Growth Forest but you enjoy a wonderful trip around a beautiful lake in the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic National Park

I believe all of the Old Growth Forest located in this area lies within the Olympic National Park, however, some of it may also lie in the Olympic National Forest. Both agencies have forest in this area. We believe the National Park lies along the North Shore and the National Forest lies along the South Shore of Lake Quinault.

Along the north shore of theLake Quinault you will find many private residences and resorts. All of these uses are on private property and not part of Olympic National Park. You will find several park borderline signs as you travel down the north shore road.

July Creek Picnic Area

Three miles east of US-101 on the North Shore Road you will find the July Creek Picnic Area.The photo shows the trees in the parking lot. This is a great spot for a picnic lunch and a wonderful place for a respite in your travels.
We begin in Ocean Shores

We begin this day trip in the City of Ocean Shores only because it has the greatest concentration of oceanfront accommodations in the area. On the mile by mile listing below we start in Ocean Shores, go north on WA-109, then east on the Moclips Highway to US-101, north for 5 miles to the North Shore Road, east on the North Shore Road to the bridge over the Quinault River, west on the South Shore Road, and then back to Ocean Shores by a different route for variety.

Milepost 3

City of Ocean Shores

State Highway 115 northbound from the city

Milepost 2

Quinault Beach Resort and Casino

Milepost 1

Ocean City State Park (149 Camping, 29 RV utility spaces, dump station)

This park accepts reservations at 1-888-226-7688

Milepost 0

Junction with Hwy 109 at Mile Post 16

Turn north (left) onto Highway 109

Milepost 16

State Highway 109 Northbound

Milepost 18

Ocean City

Milepost 21

Copalis Beach - this small village has a tavern and no other facilities

Griffiths-Priday State Park (day use only)

Milepost 29

Pacific Beach This village has food, groceries and other facilities

Pacific Beach State Park

(32 camping & 32 RV utility sites on the beach)

This park takes reservations 1-888-226-7688

Milepost 31

The Small Village of Moclips

There is no fuel, food, or grocery facilities

Moonstone Beach Motel 1-888-888-9063

North of Moclips on Highway 109

Quinault Indian Reservation boundary

Junction with Moclips Highway to US Highway 101

Moclips Highway

Turn east (right) onto Moclips Highway

Milepost 0

The Moclips Highway to US-101

Moclips Highway headed east This highway was improved in 2001 and paved. This is the straightest, most comfortable road to travel from State Highway 109 to US Highway 101 and is your last opportunity to head east. The highway mainly runs through managed forests which range in age from freshly cut to 40 or 50 years old.

Milepost 20.3

Intersection with US Highway 101 at Milepost 121

Turn north (left) onto Highway 101

U.S. 101

Milepost 121

northbound on Highway 101

Milepost 123

Neilton Just a post office and no fuel.

Milepost 124

South Shore Road on Lake Quinault.

Milepost 125

North Shore Road on Lake Quinault Turn east (right)

North Shore Rd

Mile 0

North Shore Road on east bound

 The beginning of our tour around the

Lake Quinault Loop

photo shows signs at the Junction

Olympic National Park Boundary

Camp Kiwanis

The land along the edge of the lake here wanders in and out of the Olympic National Park. Where private facilities or residences are located they are not on Park lands.

0.2 miles

Mile 1

Mile 2

 Lake Quinault Resort

The trees along the road here are probably over 700 years old. The one shown at left has a diameter of around 8 feet..

Mile 3

 The July Creek Picnic Area is a must stop spot and we highly recommend you pack a picnic lunch and plan to eat it here.

This picnic area is located is a grove of old growth forest along the lake where a stream enters the lake and its natural beauty is everywhere. Even in the parking lot as you can see by the vehicle parked by a huge old Douglas Fir.

Mile 4

 Locharie Resort This wonderful resort has cabins that were built in the 1920s and still maintain the 1920s atmosphere.

The firewood and boats are free when you rent a cabin. All you have to bring is your food and the time to relax. Dont even think about TVs and telephones.

Mile 6

Quinault River Ranger Station

Olympic National Park

913 North Shore Road

Amanda Park, WA 98526


Ranger Station A short road goes off to the left across a field to the Ranger Station. They have local information on hiking and camping.

You must stop here to get back country permits if you plan to do any hiking.

Mile 7 - 13

The road here changes to a single lane gravel road with turnouts and wide portions for passing oncoming cars. The road is well maintained but slow because the road curves around the old growth trees.

The photos above show the road winding around an old growth tree, the Quinault River from the bridge that crosses the river at the half way point, and someone standing in a grove of old growth trees.

Mile 14

Back on pavement for crossing the bridge over the Quinault River and heading back toward the Lake on the South Shore Road

Mile 15-19

The next five miles of road winds right along the river bank. One of the things that impressed us the most was the amount of trees on the gravel islands in the river that had been washed out of the river bank and sometimes stacked like cord wood. In a flood this river could turn into a river of logs and tree stumps.

Along this stretch of road there are several waterfalls on the forest side of the road.

Mile 20

Grays Harbor County Line back on paved road

Mile 25

Rain Forest Resort Village There is a general store, cabins, motel, and a restaurant lakeside.

Quinault Ranger District

Olympic National Forest

353 South Shore Road

Quinault, WA 98575


Mile 26

Lake Quinault Lodge

Lake Quinault Lodge A privately run lodge on Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Park south of Kalaloch.

Mile 28

Junction with Highway 101 at Mile Post 124

The end of the Lake Quinault Loop

Turn south (left) onto Highway 101 to return to Ocean Shores

Mile 124

Headed south on US Highway 101

Mile 123

Neilton Just a post office and residences, no fuel.

Mile 121

Junction Moclips Highway to the west (right turn)

Turn here if you want to return the way you came here but if you are adventurous follow our route below to take an alternate route back to the ocean.

Mile 109


Fuel, groceries, post office, and church

Copalis Crossing Road

Road to Copalis and the Ocean Beaches. Turn west (right)

Mile 0

Westbound on Copalis Crossing Road

Mile 12

Copalis Crossing There is a fire station and post office here.

Cross road is Ocean Beach Road that goes from south of New London on Highway 101 to Pacific Beach.

Continue to right on Ocean Beach road then left on the Copalis Beach road.

Mile 22

Junction with Highway 109 at Pacific Beach. Left onto highway 109

Mile 21

Copalis Beach on Highway 109 southbound

Mile Post 16

Junction with Highway 115 to Ocean Shores. Turn west (right).

Mile 0

Southbound on Highway 115

Mile 3

The City of Ocean Shores, you have returned to the beginning of the trip.

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