In Quinault there two general stores. One by the Lake Quinault Lodge and one just up the street by the Rain Forest Resort. They both have basic supplies and some really nice local crafts. I love to buy local.
And the local team won a state baseball championship...way to go!
There are so many places to hike around the lake, all of them providing something unique and beautiful. One of the easier trails, but certainly one with lots to offer is the Rain Forest Nature trail. It begins soon after you enter the south shore area. Large trees, moss, waterfalls. It was quiet and peaceful. Other popular trails are the Falls Creek loop, or the Trail of the Giants.
This is a temperate rain forest. Subject to over 144 inches of rain annually, the trees grow large and the moss grows heavy. Sitka Spruce, Douglas fir, Western Hemlock and Red Cedars dominate the forest. Maple trees and vines are also prominent. Waterfalls are common and always rimmed with mosses, herbs, flowers, ferns and shade.
It doesn't take much to experience this, just park the car and take a short walk into the shade.
Unfortunately we were unable to participate in the main lake activity. We were late in the season and the boat rentals were closed. But I wanted to mention it as possibility that given the time one could do.
Each shore has their own big tree. The north shore has a very old and large and probably dying-but-still-has-some-life Big Western Red Cedar. The South Shore has a large Sitka Spruce. Each are easy to get to and see, and each are worth the effort.
The South Shore of Lake Quinault is National Forest, and the North Shore is a remote part of the Olympic National Park. The lake itself is owned by the Quinault Indian Tribe. The single National Park Ranger who occupies the small visitor center on the North Shore has to enjoy the solitary life. In the summer guided tours of Maple Grove and the Big Cedar, clearing roads and trails keep him/her occupied. In the winter the visitors center is closed.
The drive around the lake is essential. There are waterfalls, mountain views, dirt roads leading to major hikes into Olympic National park and its peaks. And on the north shore you will find the small park visitors center, old homestead, largest, and oldest Cedar tree and the most perfect picnic place (July Creek,,, one of the top 10 for sure). It was on the Maple Grove nature trail that I first began to sense what the forest was trying to tell me- go slow, breath deep, listen to the forest song. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the Roosevelt Elk here, but they eluded us.