Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Geography/History Lake Quinault Rain Forest


I had all sorts of plans to have a wonderful informative post about Lake Quinault, the Rain Forest, and it’s history for this week. While I will touch on some of it’s rich history it is not what I expected to have. With Selena not feeling well, and a full day spent at the church helping to clean some of the storage areas that I don’t think have been deep cleaned in ages, not much got done around home. Do any of you remember the little metal boxes that held our watercolor paints and brushes? We found about 60 of those stuffed in one of the storage closets at church. Now my question is, can we still find refills for them? On to my geography/history post.


Lake Quinault is nestled in the Olympic National Forest. The lake itself is owned by the Quinault Indian Tribe, the trails and grounds are maintained by the US Forestry. The Lake is in a glacial carved valley, it is very deep and well known for it’s fishing. Many people visit Lake Quinault for it’s hiking trails, some of which are for experienced hikers only, while others range from moderate to the inexperienced. Many campsites are only attainable by hiking in, and all hikers must register with the ranger station. There are some campsites down along the South shore of the lake. Many people that go to stay at the lake stay in the famous Lake Quinault Lodge.


The Quinault Indians are coastal Indians, they settled in this area for the ease of access to the ocean by water, as well as the abundance of resources the land offered. Trees for making tools, canoes, and plenty of berries, and other vegetation, what more could they ask for.

The first white man to see this area actually boated in with the Indians from the Ocean. He homesteaded there through one winter, in 1888/1889 making a living as a trapper. The second white man to homestead this area actually came from our town, Montesano. He traveled the 9 day trek over land. He quickly staked out a homestead, and settled there with his wife in August of 1889. More homesteaders were to follow.

One homesteader who chose to build on a piece of property on the North side of the lake, and this homestead still stands today as a reminder what the life of the homesteader looked like. His wife and two boys joined him the following year by boat, a three day journey up the river and across the lake.

In 1891 the first hotel was built. It was located where the current lodge sits, but was only a one story building. It was chiefly used for homesteaders to stay while waiting to move onto their claims. That hotel eventually burned, and replaced by the existing lodge.

Though our area is known for its timber industry most of the homesteaders did not settle in this area for the timber but more for its serenity, using the trees only for their homes and necessities.

The Quinault Rainforest is a temperate rainforest. The definition of  a temperate rainforest truly ranges from one country to another. Here it is a forest that receives an annual precipitation of 200 to 400 cm, has climates of 39 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. The forest has a closed canopy of trees that excludes at least 70% of the sky. The trees and plants are composed mostly of species not dependent on fire for regeneration but by seedlings able to regenerate in shady and in natural openings. (definition from Wikipedia)

We are planning another trip up there soon. We will at that time visit the homestead, and get pictures to share, as well as the worlds largest Spruce Tree. I hope I have spurred your interest enough that you will do some research, and teach your children about the beauty that can be laying in their back yards. Look for another post down the road when we can share some more fun and exciting pictures from this area. For now I will leave you with a taste of the true beauty up there, through the water fall.


Now it is your turn what is your family learning through geography or history this week? Link your post below and we will be sure to come learn something from you.

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  1. Amazing! I will mention this to my husband and maybe we can visit for ourselves someday!

  2. I am always amazed by the fact that WA has rain forests. It looks like an amazing place to visit.

  3. What a beautiful place! Too bad it's nowhere near me!

  4. Sounds like you made some progress today at church and were able to get in eventually.

    I think it's the little stories like the one you wrote in this post that make history interesting.

  5. Thanks for sharing so much interesting information! I know you said you planned to write more, but this was great!

  6. Just find this from the Mouse Learns Mouse Grows blog, hope to link up next week with you!

  7. okay, just realizing this is an old post, do you still do these link ups? I can't find any more recent ones. :D