Living in the Pacific Northwest, especially on and near the Olympic Peninsula, we are lucky to have access to some of the scenic drives in the country. From old growth forests housing elk, bear, bobcat and deer to coastal vistas that are wilder than anything seen along competing coastlines, the scenic beauty in our neck of the woods offer great opportunities for exploration. While many know that all you need to do is drive along Highway 101 around the Peninsula for fantastic views and experiences, few know the joy of experiencing a remote forest service road.
The remote roads around Grays Harbor not only show us the beauty of the region, but they also give us a glimpse into our shared history and culture. Driving along a dirt road in the middle of the woods, it is easy to see what drew so many settlers to this area and why the native populations have called this place home for millennia. On your next day off, pack a picnic, hop in your car and explore these nature drives around Grays Harbor.
Car Type: Any
Road: Sections of Paved and Maintained Gravel
Best Season: Summer and Early Fall
Many forest service roads are known for being rugged and far off the beaten path, but the Donkey Creek Road to Wynoochee route is special. The road is known for bear sightings, deer and grouse constantly crossing the road, and sections of old growth forests along sublimely beautiful rivers and creeks of the southwestern Olympic Peninsula.
With bridge crossings over Donkey Creek, the Humptulips and Wynoochee Rivers, this trek follows old logging routes that have been used for more than 75 years. There aren’t numerous picnic or hiking trails along this route, but traveling from Highway 101 to Wynoochee is something everyone should experience. Crossing the southern end of the Olympic Peninsula, the dirt road weaves and meanders along waterways and through forests home to various woodland creatures. Perfect for both sunny and rainy days, this drive is one best taken in the early morning hours or late evening, as that is when the animals are most active. Read more here: www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/04/18/5-scenic-nature-drives-grays-harbor/