The Olympic National Park is sort of like a cereal bowl surrounded by clouds. You can drive around it but it is realy hard to see in it. There is only one way in through the north entrance where you go up and up and up and finally get over the rim where the clouds finally go away and you see snow covered peaks. If you want to go and look closer at the mountains you better know something about climbing in snow, have a great deal of patience and wait until July or August. Otherwise you are stuck on the rim looking in.
The mountains are nice enough, not very high, Mt. Olympus tops out at 7980 feet and it is deep in the park. I don't know where you can drive it you do want to look at it close up, from Hurricane Ridge you can only see it way off in the distance.
I could have just snapped some pics from my car and driven away like any smart person, but I don't count myself in that group. No, I had to go get myself a back country permit for a backpack at Elwha, Boulder Creek. There were only a few places to backpack because of the snowpack so I figured I would do some hiking and then wash off at the hotsprings, at least that was the big plan. I hiked up to the Boulder Creek hot springs and saw all sorts of funky pseudo-hippie wannabees. The place smelled rather rank and there was a whole organized campground up there. I was waiting for the RVs to pull up.
So I continued on up the trail and made way to Boulder Lake. Boulder Lake looked like a dot on the official park map, but I figured there would be one or two other people up there since it was Saturday. As the trail climbed it got colder. I might also add that this place is a rain forest and in NEVER stops raining. About 1/2 mile from my destination I got hungry so I reached into my pack for some food, but there was none. I forgot to put the food bag in the pack. It was too late to head back so I decided to go hungry instead. I figured I would try my hand at Survivor Man and looked for some bugs to eat, but the place was too cold and there was too much snow for good-eating bugs. I was a little hungry but no worse for wear. Nobody else ever came by.
I don't know whether I reached the lake or not, everything was covered with snow. I found the last remaining potential camp spot on solid ground and tried to set up my tent. Unfortunately my tent is 6 feet long and there was only 4 feet of flat space on the ridge. So I put my pack under my feet and everything else under my head to even it all out. I braced the tent against a tree so it wouldn't fall down the hill. See the tent pic for a looksee. There was supposed to be a cougar up there and there were big signs not to hike alone. I was very quiet so I was hoping I would see the big cat but no cat was forthcoming.
Luckily, I brought rain gear because it rained the entire time. It is still raining and I am here in Aberdeen, WA right now.