The Pacific Northwest is a treasure trove of historical sites that tie the early years of this untouched land with the new. In the more rural areas of the state, such as the Olympic National Forest and Park, history can be found around every corner intertwined with pristine wilderness that hold a story of its own. Located deep in the forests of Grays Harbor sits the beautiful Lake Quinault Lodge, one of the County’s most historically relevant locations that offers an opportunity to stay overnight and embrace every corner of its charm.
Visitors first flocked to Lake Quinault around the 1880s. The first hotel in the area was humble, but served its function as a place for crowds from Grays Harbor and the surrounding towns to gather on weekends to dance, dine and socialize. After a massive fire burned the original structure in 1924, an opportunity arose to construct a larger, more elaborate lodge to better accommodate the growing popularity of the region. After meticulous planning and just 53 days of nonstop labor, the new and improved Lake Quinault Lodge was unveiled.
As time progressed and the popularity of the Lodge continued to grow, it caught the attention of President Roosevelt. On October 1, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Lake Quinault Lodge during a research trip around the Olympic Peninsula. While on his trip, the idea of establishing a National Park was discussed and, nine months later, the President signed a bill establishing the Olympic National Park we all know and love. After this visit, the dining area inside the Lodge was officially named the Roosevelt Dining Room.
Visiting Lake Quinault Lodge Today
Today, a step into the Lake Quinault Lodge takes visitors back in time to a bygone era. The large open lobby is equipped with a roaring fireplace, Native American decor, books and comfortable chairs, giving both overnight guests and visitors a serene retreat nestled in the forest. For those staying overnight, take a dip in the indoor pool or visit the sauna and game room that the children will love. Although there are plenty of modern amenities, be prepared to fully unplug with the absence of radios, in-room telephones, and televisions in many of the property’s guest rooms.
Be sure to enjoy a romantic dinner or hearty breakfast in the Roosevelt Dining Room to help fuel your adventures in the Park that wouldn’t be possible without the President’s visit over 80 years ago.
When you book a stay at Lake Quinault Lodge, you’re not only immersing yourself in history, but also positioning yourself in the ideal location to appreciate the area’s surrounding beauty. Visitors from across the globe marvel at the many wonders that the Olympic National Forest and Park hold that can only be fully appreciated with an extended stay in the area.
Things to Do in the Olympic National Forest
On a warm day, head to the banks of the glacier-carved lake and take a dip in the refreshing waters. For the more adventurous travelers, consider renting a canoe, kayak or paddleboard from Lake Quinault Lodge. Enjoy a leisurely paddle on the waters offering unparalleled views of the towering trees and mountains. While the water is usually calm mornings and evenings, be aware that it can get rough if the wind picks up, usually midday.
If you’re hoping to get on the water without providing your own equipment, relax aboard one of Lake Quinault Lodge’s comfortable tour boats for a scenic cruise. This hour and a half cruise gives visitors a chance to see native wildlife such as bald eagles and river otters splashing near the shoreline. On a clear evening, take in a marvelous sunset before settling back into your comfortable room at the Lake Quinault Lodge.
A trip to the Lake Quinault Lodge would not be complete without hiking a few of the nearby trails. No matter your skill level, there’s a perfect trail calling your name. Take in the world’s largest Spruce Tree on an easy one-third of a mile trail that will leave you gawking at the size of this massive tree and the many others surrounding it. Another trail that’s fit for all skill levels and ages is on the half-mile Maple Glade Trail. Feel as if you’ve been transported straight into a Jurassic Park film as you wander through the winding trails dripping with moss and speckled with wildflowers. Connected to this trail is an access point to the 1889 Kestner Homestead that once housed the first European settlers in the area. To find the perfect hike for you and your family while visiting the Olympia National Forest, check out this guide.
For those hoping to experience more of the history of the area, consider booking a trip through Lake Quinault Lodge on a guided Rainforest Tour. This four-hour journey brings guests into the depths of the Quinault Rainforest following the narrow road surrounding the entire lake. This road can be difficult to maneuver on one’s own, making this tour an ideal option for many as they can board the comfortable 14-passenger coach stress free. Listen to the many stories of the area including those passed down from members of the Quinault Indian Nation. Guests also receive the opportunity to disembark and take photos of the many flowing waterfalls and wildlife throughout the tour.
A visit to the Lake Quinault Lodge also puts you within walking distance to the Lake Quinault Museum. Formerly the Old Quinault Post Office, the museum now holds two Quinault 24-foot cedar dugout racing canoes as well as exhibits of photographs depicting the Quinault area from the 1920s through the 1960s.
Spend multiple days exploring the entire Olympic National Park by using one of the many sample itineraries that will help you make the most of your journey. With an overnight stay at the Lake Quinault Lodge, you’re positioned in the ideal location to appreciate the natural beauty of this unique corner of the world. To book your trip, visit the Lake Quinault Lodge website.
Lake Quinault Lodge
345 S Shore Road, Quinault