Fantastic Fungi to Flavor Festival at Lake Quinault


Quinault Mushroom Festival
Fantastic, flavorful fungi can be found all over Olympic National Park! Photo credit: Douglas Scott.

Perched on the hip of the Olympic Peninsula, the historic Lake Quinault Lodge is famous for stunning vistas, soaring evergreens, and its verdant rain forest setting. The lodge is also known for special events like its annual Quinault Mushroom Festival. Set for October 21 – 23, this year’s festival is brimming with a wide variety of taste and instructive opportunities for fungi fanatics and anyone who wants to savor the unique world of flavorful fungi.

“The Quinault Mushroom Festival is in its 14th year,” says Sandra Miller, Activities Manager for the lodge.

This year’s festival will serve up are a variety of indoor and outdoor events as well as educational opportunities. Explains Miller, “We have field trips, big mushroom displays to view and the possibility of picking mushrooms. Mushroom guides determine where people will go to pick mushrooms according to where the mushrooms are. We have sign up sheets available so people can sign up for a field trip in advance.”

mushroom festival lake quinault

Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes! Photo credit: Kristine Lowder.

“People come because they’re mushroom enthusiasts. They’re primarily from the Pacific Northwest,” says Miller who expects the largest crowd on Saturday, October 22. While some visitors come just for the day, others make a weekend out of it, enjoying mushroom talks, displays, and guided field trips hunting for elusive chanterelles. Enthusiasts who stay through Sunday get an added bonus. Says Miller, “The lodge chef does a cooking demonstration on Sunday as part of the event.”

An important part of the ecosystem in and around Olympic National Park, mushrooms are the reproductive structures or fruit of certain fungi. According to the Washington National Park Fund, mushrooms and truffles are important wildlife food consumed by deer, elk, bear, small mammals and mollusks.  Read more here:

The Seasonal Delight of Salmon Fishing in Grays Harbor

Coho Salmon
Catch a Coho or a King this year on the rivers of Grays Harbor. Photo courtesy: Bureau of Land Management.


As daylight begins to dwindle and the gray slowly starts replacing the blue skies, an excitement builds among residents of Grays Harbor. With each raindrop that falls, we inch closer to a time of the year that defines who we are and a seasonal event giving many locals a sense of pride.

Life comes alive in the fall. Early in the morning, standing on the shorelines or waist deep in the rivers of the region, anglers connect to a historical salmon run that has provided culture and survival for millennia. Our home and our backyard is one of the best salmon habitats in America, giving those of us who head out to the waters a chance to witness and experience a timeless tradition.

The return of the salmon in Grays Harbor brings together our community and shapes our culture. Photo Credit: Douglas Scott.
The return of the salmon in Grays Harbor brings together our community and shapes our culture.
Photo Credit: Douglas Scott.

Salmon runs around Grays Harbor have been a cornerstone of life in the region since the first humans called this place home. For thousands of years, salmon returned upriver in staggering numbers, so thick that it is said you could walk across the river on their backs. The healthy salmon population, as well as numerous other resources, led settlers to relocate to the area at the end of the 1800s.  Read more here:

Grays Harbor Tourism Announces 2017 Grant Program





Tourism in Grays Harbor County brings

in more than $260 million in local revenue



ELMA, WA – Oct. 11, 2016 – The Grays Harbor County Department of Tourism is now accepting applications for three tourism-related grant programs.


The grant programs and their deadlines:


  • Festival and Event Grants (deadline Oct. 31, 2016)
  • Tourism Services and Projects (deadline Oct. 31, 2016)
  • Special Marketing Project Funding (for consideration at Jan. 2017 LTAC meeting: Dec. 31, 2016; for consideration at May 2017 LTAC meeting: April 29, 2017).

Under State law (RCW 67.28) Grays Harbor County receives funds from room taxes imposed on lodging facilities. These funds can be retained and utilized by the County for tourism promotional operations, or expended for projects and activities established by an eligible entity under State law.

Grays Harbor Tourism Grant Applications will be accepted from qualifying non-profit entities organizing tourism based activities within Grays Harbor County, except those municipalities that are allowed by law to collect and manage 3% lodging tax revenues generated within their corporate limits. Grant funding is provided to increase tourism activity within Grays Harbor County.

Full details regarding what is a qualifying organization, and/or expense, is available on the appropriate grant application. Applicants with additional questions can contact the Grays Harbor Tourism Office, which allocates more than $200,000 in grant funds annually.

“We are very fortunate that our County Commissioners have continued to support the funding of this grant program. They understand that tourism is vital to Grays Harbor’s economic success,” said Kelly Peterson-Lalka, GH Tourism Public Relations/Office Manager. “Tourism results in more than $260 million of revenue and over 5,000 jobs for Grays Harbor County. When we support tourism, our local communities reap the rewards in tax revenue, jobs and community infrastructure. It is a win-win.”

Applications for grant funding are available from the Grays Harbor Tourism office. For more information, contact Kelly Peterson-Lalka at 360-482-2651 or