Last week we had several “hot” days for the Olympic Peninsula (anything over 80 degrees is considered extreme). I have to admit when the temperature hits 80 degrees, it is too hot for me any more, especially when we are doing anything physical. Our hiking group elected to walk a shaded trail near the water to keep cool. If we really overheated, this path, the Spruce Railroad Trail, has one of more popular swimming holes known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl. We did not swim, but we watched plenty of others keeping cool in the water. Lots of kids were jumping off the rocks into the deep pool (see picture at right below).
The Spruce Railroad Trail (sometimes called Lake Crescent Trail) is a rail trail located on the shores of Lake Crescent about 20 miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. The trail follows the former Port Angeles Western Railroad grade along the shores of Lake Crescent. Built during World War I for the Spruce Production Division to transport spruce from the western Olympic Peninsula for the aircraft industry, it was completed in 1919, a year too late for its intended purpose. The trail is approximately 4 miles one way, and trailheads exist at both ends. We parked at the East Beach location.