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Book Review: Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula, 2nd Edition, by Craig Romano

mountaineers books, review, craig romano
Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula Cover

Mysterious, deep, ancient forests. Coastal beaches and headlands. Alpine meadows with far-reaching views. Lakes and rivers, wetlands and surf. The Olympic Peninsula has a diverse range of habitats and areas to explore. You can research your next adventure to this wild corner of the country by using Craig Romano’s book, Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula. This is the Second Edition, with corrections and updates as conditions have changed.

Families will find a lot of choices to explore in this book. Many hikes are short and sweet, and suitable for even the youngest hikers. Some hikes even take place on boardwalks, such as the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Salmon Art Trail (Hike #8.) Each hike has an overall rating for how great the hike is (how the views are, how much bang for your buck, how beautiful it is) and another rating for how difficult it is. Craig points out trails that are specifically kid-friendly, and even where dogs are allowed or not allowed. You’ll find the driving directions are accurate and straightforward.

I haven’t explored very many part of the Olympic Peninsula yet, so I have a long list of spots I want to get to. This book is going to be an invaluable planning aid as I put together trips for next summer for our family. We’ve never been to the Staircase area, Wynoochee Lake, Hamma Hamma or Lena Lake, or much of the rugged coastline. I aim to remedy that next year; this book will be an important companion as we plan and explore. I know I’ll get up-to-date information about passes and permits, as well as which maps I need to buy and which trails are within our capabilities.


Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

Tolmie State Park, TR 3/17/17

I recently had the chance to drop my kids off with Grandma in the South Sound, and I had the afternoon free to do a hike by myself. Since I was already down there, I thought I should check out a new trail for the website. I picked Tolmie State Park, northwest of Olympia on…Continue Reading

Semiahmoo Park – Trip Report, 3/10/17

We recently took an afternoon and drove up to Semiahmoo Spit near Blaine to do some birding and check out a new-to-us trail. Semiahmoo Spit is a long sand spit that protects Drayton Harbor. Historically this area was used by Native Americans for harvesting natural resources, and it became an abundant salmon canning area after…Continue Reading

Larrabee SP and Whatcom Falls Park – Trip Report

On Friday we made a quick afternoon trip up to Bellingham to visit Larrabee State Park and Whatcom Falls Park. We tried real hard to miss the rain showers, but ended up getting caught in a few. It was worth it anyway! We didn’t get started until a little after noon. I should know better…Continue Reading

Winter Camping – Salt Creek Recreation Area and Dungeness Spit

Camping in February? This was a first for my family. I don’t think I’ve ever braved late winter/early spring camping before, but the weather was looking so nice, and we had two bonus days off from classes, so I thought we’d give it a try. We had heard good things about the camping at the…Continue Reading

Guemes Channel and Ship Harbor Trail, Anacortes

A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of a warm afternoon to hike a new trail to us: Guemes Channel and Ship Harbor Trails up in Anacortes. We found these little gems in Craig Romano’s newest hiking guide for the San Juans and Gulf Islands. Leaving from a cul-de-sac, the trails go off in…Continue Reading

Cranberry Lake/Cama Beach State Park

Last Friday we were able to squeeze a quick trip in between morning and evening commitments.  We’ve had many Fridays like this lately – seems we haven’t had the time we are used to having!  We took a little drive up to Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island.  I had never been there before,…Continue Reading

Washington Park, Anacortes – Trip Report

Sometimes we don’t really feel like hiking on a particular day.  Sometimes we’re tired, we’ve been running from one thing to the next and the next with no room to breathe.  We face a choice – continue to be busy and go hiking (with all the preparation and energy exertion that requires) or stay home,…Continue Reading

Stalking Snowy Owls

OK, well, maybe we didn’t really need to do any stalking, but we had a neat trip last weekend to go see some visiting snowy owls.  Some of you might remember last year when we had a record number of snowy owls visiting the lower 48.  Last year was an irruption year, when conditions are…Continue Reading

School at the Beach

We had plans yesterday to go to the Seattle Art Museum for First Thursday, when it’s free, but with a forecast of warm sunshine, I just couldn’t bear to be inside all day.  I wasn’t feeling up for a hike, though, and we hadn’t spent much time at the beach this summer, so we all…Continue Reading