Surrounded by breaking waves, stunning rainforests, wild rivers and breathtaking views, the landscape of Grays Harbor makes for incredibly scenic adventures. And, we try our best to capture those adventures with our cameras and phones. Like all adventures, they must come to an end, however our pictures will help us relive our experiences, sharing them with our friends on social media. While some share their wanderlust on Facebook or Twitter, the go to app for seeing the very best of a region is Instagram.
Used by nearly a billion people worldwide, Instagram connects us with others who share our love for the quirky, fantastic and beautiful. Throughout Grays Harbor, popular Instagram destinations await your discovery. Here are nine areas for Instagram worthy photos in Grays Harbor County.
Far from the highway, tucked against the southern boundary of Olympic National Park and Forest, Wynoochee Lake awaits your selfie. On rainy days, when exploring the Pacific Northwest may not seem ideal, Wynoochee Lake is transformed into a mysterious looking waterway with clouds hovering over the tops of stunning stands of trees. Wisps of white contrast against the greens and blues, turning this oft-overlooked lake into the perfect place to capture the soulful mood of the rainy, soaked Olympic Peninsula.
Just north of Montesano, between Aberdeen and Olympia, Lake Sylvia State Park offers lake and creek views, as well as five miles of trails. The trails lead to beaches, covered bridges and breathtaking outlooks. The park is ideal for a selfie or perfect for catching views of eagles, ducks and geese reflecting off the shimmering, shining water. While popular in the summer months, a spring or fall trip will leave you with images that will be the envy of your followers.
Sandwiched between the Chehalis River and Lake Quigg, Friends Landing is an ideal stop while driving between Olympia and Aberdeen/ Hoquiam. During sunrises and sunsets, salmon season, wet rainy days and every time in between, this small park southeast of Montesano is one of the hidden gems of Grays Harbor. As eagles soar overhead and blue herons stand stoically along the muddy banks of the river, this 152 acre park is perfect for your camping, paddling and dramatic sky pictures.
Kurt Cobain Memorial Park
Nirvana shaped the musical landscape in the 90s, forever putting Aberdeen and Hoquiam on the map as one of the birthplaces of the grunge scene. While the music is now as timeless as the vinyl records we listen to, the legacy of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain lives on. The Kurt Cobain Memorial Park, which is set along the now famous muddy banks of the Wishkah River, is most often photographed under the Young Street Bridge, which is said to be the inspiration for the song “Something in the Way” and a place were Kurt slept.
Find more Kurt Cobain Instagram hotspots in this article sharing a walk through Cobain’s history in the area.
Lake Quinault Lodge
Full of stunning sights, history and culture, the Lake Quinault Lodge is an Instagram favorite for those visiting the breathtaking area around Lake Quinault. Built in 1926, this lodge has seen visits from sitting Presidents, famed authors, average hikers and hopefully you. Offering numerous places for classic pictures, including the beautiful fireplace adorned with an elk head, the ridiculously awesome rain gauge out back and even the world’s largest Spruce tree just a short hike away, post a photo journal of your trip here and see your likes and comments skyrocket.
Maple Glade Trail
Along the north shore of Lake Quinault, a grove of trees sits along a lazily flowing creek, surrounded by moss, ferns and herds of elk. Weaving though huge maples, the half mile Maple Glade Trail is flat, gorgeous and offers hundreds of unique and inspiring picture locations to fill up your Instagram feed. Your best pictures will be found during the fall, as the leaves on the maples dangle and fall, creating a tapestry of color browns, yellows and oranges against the impressive green of the rainforest.
Colonel Bob Peak
If you have ever wanted to take a selfie of yourself standing above a rainforest, gazing out toward the Pacific with a stunning lake glistening in the sun a few thousand feet below you, Colonel Bob Peak is the perfect place for you. Sure, you’ll need to hike a somewhat difficult eight mile round trip hike with 3,500 feet of elevation gain, but the view is worth the sweat – and so are the selfies. Best hiked during the late summer and fall months, Colonel Bob is a classic hike offering some of the best views on the entire western Olympic Peninsula.
This easy-to-get-to roadside waterfall may not initially seem like a great stop for pictures, but within minutes of exploring the creek coming down from the falls, Merriman Falls will become an insta-classic. Plunging down 40 feet through ferns, moss and other rainforest plants, the falls are easily missed by the masses driving out to Graves Creek. However, those who do stop consider it one of the prettiest and best roadside attractions in the region. It is best seen in the fall and spring, especially during or right after heavy rains.
With stunning sunsets, the epicness of sea stacks and waves at Ruby Beach and the world famous Tree of Life, the beaches at Olympic National Park’s Kalaloch region are some of the most iconic on the west coast. Best seen a few hours before and during sunset, Kalaloch Beach’s two can’t-miss Instagram stops are found at Ruby Beach and near the campground. At Ruby Beach, stunning sea stacks stand tall against the eroding forces of the might Pacific, giving you a sunset destination that will leave your followers in awe. Close to the campground, the Tree of Life hangs on against the eroding forces along the bluff, showing the strength and resilience of nature in the face of the harsh elements. These two stops aren’t technically in Grays Harbor, but they shouldn’t be missed.