Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Washington

State 42:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is


Washington became the 42nd state on November 11, 1889. The Capital is Olympia.

Our first journey through the state of Washington began when we crossed the state line from Idaho heading west. After a quick night in Spokane we drove across the plains of south east and central Washington. On both sides of the highway were fields of sweet corn, alfalfa, potatoes and spearmint. Later in the day the flat land changed to rolling hills.  We stopped at the Columbia River Gorge for a look before crossing the river.

Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge

After another quick stay at a campground outside of Seattle, we drove through Olympia and began our journey on Hwy 101 to the Olympic Peninsula. For many miles we traveled along the Hood Canal before arriving in Port Angeles to explore Olympic National Park.

Hood Canal beside Hwy 101

A drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge was the first thing on our agenda. It was sunny when we started the ascent up the winding road but it wasn’t long before the snow started coming down. When we arrived at the top the snow was deep and there were snow boarders and cross country skiiers enjoying the snow. The view of the mountains was spectacular.

Driving through snow on the road to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
Deer beside the road on the way to Hurricane Ridge
On the way back down we stopped for a view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Canada on the other side

Another day we drove by Crescent Lake on the way to the Hoh Rain Forest. When we arrived at the National Park entrance we were disappointed to find it closed. After making a few purchases at a small store a few miles from the entrance we found out there was a trail head just outside the park so off we went to explore the trail. There had been a big storm the previous year and there were many trees down.

Crescent Lake
Hiking in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park
Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington
Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington

After our hike, we passed by a field with Roosevelt Elk on the drive back to the campground.

Roosevelt Elk in Olympic National Park
Roosevelt Elk in Olympic National Park

Dungeness Harbor was nearby so one night we went for dinner at the Three Crabs (the restaurant is now closed). There was a great view of the New Dungeness Lighthouse and were able to watch the sun go down.

New Dungeness Lighthouse
Sunset at Dungeness Harbor

Leaving Port Angeles in our rear view mirror we continued our journey through Washington on Hwy 101. As we drove south along the coast we caught our first glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. Hoping to find a parking space big enough for our truck and fifth wheel, we turned off the highway into a parking area at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. Success! It was a little tight but there was space to park and turn around to get back to the highway. After going down a short path to the beach we enjoyed our first walk beside the Pacific Ocean.

Our first view of the Pacific Ocean was Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach

We continued down the coast to our next stop, Cape Disappointment Sate Park on the Long Beach Peninsula. It quickly became one of our all time favorite state park campgrounds. Our site was spacious with with a path behind the site. Inside the state park there were trails to explore, beautiful beaches, two lighthouses, magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean from high atop cliffs, and a Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The first order of business to walk down the path and we were thrilled to step out onto a beautiful beach with a view of the North Head Lighthouse.

I loved this view of the North Head Lighthouse as we walked out on the beach from the trail behind our campsite
A short trail behind our campsite at Cape Disappointment State Park led us to this beautiful beach
Sunset at Cape Disappointment State Park
High above the Pacific Ocean at Cape Disappointment State Park
Boat washed up on the beach at Cape Disappointment State Park

Lewis and Clark first spotted the Pacific Ocean while in the area and there is evidence of the their presence in and around the state park. We learned a lot about their journey at the excellent Interpretive Center in the state park.

We explored some of the nearby towns and beaches on the Long Beach Peninsula. We ate our fill of local seafood at some of the restaurants in the area. Blondie loved running on the dog friendly beaches.

Blondie loved the dog friendly beach at Long Beach

We loved the two lighthouses at Cape Disappointment State Park.

North Head Light
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Our first Washington adventure ended when we crossed the Columbia River into Oregon. Several years later we returned to Washington on our return trip from Alaska. After a couple of nights in Orroville just south of the border from British Columbia our route took us past more beautiful scenery and the Grand Coulee Dam.

Driving along in northern Washington after our trip to Alaska in 2013
Near the Grand Coulee Dam
Grand Coulee Dam

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina     South Dakota     Tennessee     Texas     Utah     Virginia

22 thoughts on “Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Washington

    1. We were there in April. The only snow was on the the road to Hurricane Ridge as we got to higher elevations and we were not towing the fifth wheel. We did not want to leave Cape Disappointment!

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  1. Such beautiful diversity there as shown in this post. Wow, we must get there one day. You are so blessed to have been able to explore it as you have. Thank you once again for keeping our dreams fueled to see the wonders of this great United States.

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  2. I sure enjoyed this tour of Washington State, WD. You took me past some favorites I have visited and enjoyed (Columbia Gorge, Hoh), as well as places I have never heard of. Cape Disappointment SP looks really lovely. And always fun to be on Lewis and Clark’s tracks. Wonderful post.

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  3. We spend a month to 6 weeks in Seattle each year since my son & his family live there. Love Washington – beautiful state! Have not stayed in RV on the beach yet, but may just have to check that out next time!

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