Norwegian Memorial — Saturday, Jun. 12, 2010
The trail into Norwegian Memorial is not officially recognized but it seems everybody knows about it. On either side of the access road are parking stalls and we met lots of day hikers and backpackers. The trail is short from parking to the beach - only about a mile. It is a mile of mud, roots, mushy puddles, and thick vegitation. The reward is a stunning stretch of beach with lots of incredible sea stacks, eagles, seals, and otters. There are many very good camping spots and it appears that the beach rangers have been busy collecting up all the trash and fishing gear that has washed up on the beach. It is even whimsical. Campers have decorated the trees with various flotsam. It really is a fun destination. It wasn't so much fun for the 18 Norwegian sailors who lost their lives here in 1903. There is a very solemn memorial to their name and campers have added bits of flotsam and a Norwegian flag out of respect. Getting there is tricky. Turn off highway 101 at the La Push road and then take the Quillayute road to Mina Smith road. At a half mile, turn left on road D5000. This bumps along on gravel through a gate about 4.5 miles to road D5600. This follows another dirt road about 3 miles to a bridge over Cedar Creek. The next left is a short uphill and look for parking spots on the right side of the road and some trees on the left splashed with blue and red paint. Believe it or not, that's the trailhead. There was a sign this weekend about toxic mussels.