Apart from sitting on the veranda of beautiful Lake Quinault Lodge, staring blissfully at the lake, there are other things to do here, for all levels of activity. There’s plenty of hiking (obviously), some old growth trees, some waterfalls, and you can actually drive around the lake (although I’ve never done that, since all the places of interest seem to be concentrated along the south shore).
I visited Lake Quinault in August 2020 as part of my Olympic loop drive.
I’ve checked the most accessible old growth trees off my list a long time ago. I love them, but I can’t keep going to the same places – this time I wanted to see something new, so I went on a short hike to Gatton Creek Falls.
The short (0.6 miles) and easy trail brings you to the wooden bridge over a lovely creek with a series of cascades. The weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot, so I really enjoyed the walk.
Then I came back to the lake, parked at Falls Creek (where there’s another tiny waterfall right off the road) and just strolled along the lake, following the footpath to Lake Quinault Lodge (my stop for the night).
Next morning I drove a bit further along the south shore, past the lake and into the valley, to see Merriman Falls. It’s a beautiful mid-sized waterfall right off the road – there’s no signs, just a little pullout area, but I saw it and didn’t miss it. Entertained myself for some time playing with my tripod, then turned around and went back to highway 101. I still had a long day ahead of me and a long drive to Port Townsend.