A skipping stone from Olympic National Park, Lake Quinault Lodge regally sits on the shores of its namesake in the Olympic National Forest. As a bonus it’s a historic property featured on the PBS series Great Lodges of the National Parks. With resort activities and amenities that most national park properties lack, Lake Quinault Lodge offers families a refined national park adventure.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park offers over 900,000 acres to explore in Washington State. A year-round outdoor destination boasts rugged Pacific coasts dotted with tide pools, hidden trails meandering through dense rain forests and accessible mountaintops with inspiring views.
Olympic National Park offers three distinct ecosystems to explore. For this reason, The United Nations designated Olympic National Park a biosphere reserve in 1976 and later proclaimed it a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
What I loved at Lake Quinault Lodge
- The secluded setting along the lake allows families time to reconnect.
- Kids can play games on the lawn or game room.
- The heated pool and sauna are luxuries in an historic property.
- In-room coffee maker features Starbucks coffee.
What could have been better Lake Quinault Lodge
- Parked cars crowd the entrance of the lodge and distract from the building’s architecture.
- Inconsistent bathroom renovations
Constructed in 1926, the main building at Lake Quinault Lodge features cedar shakes and original divided light windows. The evergreen shutters match the towering centuries-old spruce trees that surround Lake Quinault Lodge, adding charm to this hidden gem.
The front of the main lodge is understated and a bit crowded with the guest cars. To get a true appreciation for this historic lodge, walk around to the back of the building.
A large, gracious lawn slopes towards the Lake Quinault, during the summer mature hydrangeas soften the lines of the hotel. Adirondack chairs dot the lawn, an ideal place to enjoy a book, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Guests gather here from sunrise to sunset to decompress.
A white gazebo sits at a corner of the expansive lawn and overlooks the lake. When not hosting a wedding ceremony, guests watch the sun set over the lake.
Lake Quinault Lodge features 91 rooms plus one suite across six buildings centered around the historic two-story lodge. Perched on a hillside on the shores of Lake Quinault, families can enjoy water sports as well as rainforest hikes during their stay.
Inside of the Lake Quinault Lodge, guests relax in over-sized leather chairs next to a roaring fire, year-round. Steps away, I found a lobby bar, covers every thing from cocktails to Starbucks coffee.
Next to the lobby, I found the Roosevelt Dining Room that welcomed Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. FDR visited Lake Quinault Lodge when he toured the area before creating Olympic National Park in 1938.
With historic rooms in the lodge to modern rooms with fireplaces and balconies, Lake Quinault Lodge offers lodging to accommodate most guests. Conveniently located on the southern end of Olympic National Park, it’s a couple of hours to drive from Seattle.
I enjoyed Lake Quinault Lodge for the rustic lake scenery, the refined common areas of the historic lodge and the rain forest hiking. My kids, 8, 12 and 13, enjoyed the rental boats, a heated pool and a game room.
My Room at Lake Quinault Lodge
During my stay, I enjoyed a room with two queen beds dressed with white linens and a pink coverlet in the Lakeside Building ($$). The lakeside rooms offer modern furnishings and a balcony overlooking Lake Quinault.
In my room, I found a TV along with a chocolate-colored pull-out sofa, a convenient option for families. My room also featured an armchair upholstered in hues of the lake along with a coffee table. My room didn’t include a phone.
I found the granite bathroom counter with a white vessel sink and upgraded vanity lighting outside the rest of the bathroom. The room with the tub and toilet was a tad small. My room didn’t have a closet but had a handy coat rack next to the front entrance. I use the closet in hotel rooms to keep the kid clutter to a minimum.
The balcony overlooking the lake offered a perfect spot to enjoy the in-room Starbucks coffee and I found two chairs and a small table. The siding glass door remained open my entire stay so I could hear the lake.
I entered my room from an outside corridor and parking was convenient to my room.
Family Activities at Lake Quinault Lodge
Lake Quinault Lodge features a heated indoor pool along with a men’s and women’s sauna. Features I don’t find in many national park properties. My kids found a game room stocked with a pool table, Ping-Pong and foosball.
Lake Quinault Lodge rents kayaks, small row boats and stand-up paddle boards along the shore. On the lawn, my kids found a basket with a football, a baseball, bocce balls and a Wiffle ball plus the bats.
In the evening, Lake Quinault Lodge lights a fire pit on the lakeshore and the gift shop sells s’mores kits for $4. Toasting a marshmallow while the sky glows like a campfire ember really can’t be beat.
Lake Quinault Lodge is located on South Shore Road, next to National Forest Information Station. The lodge is within walking distance of hiking trails and the general store.
Lake Quinault Lodge’s Roosevelt Dining Room
The historic Roosevelt Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a kids’ menu. Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. and the dining room closes at 9 p.m. during the summer.
The Roosevelt Dining Room features tables overlooking Lake Quinault and offers traditional selections for breakfast, like omelets and eggs benedict. For lunch, diners can choose from resort-inspired offerings. The dinner menu features Pacific Northwest seafood along with traditional favorites like Roosevelt’s Classic Pot Roast.
Family Hiking in the Lake Quinault Rainforest
During our visit, I took my kids on a hike. Hiking trails start on property and vary in length and difficulty.
- Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop, a .5-mile trail that partially accessible, an option for strollers
- Lake Quinault Loop Trail, an .9-mile accessible section along the lake
- World’s largest Sitka spruce, a .3-mile trail located close to the post office
Excursions at Lake Quinault Lodge
The Lake Quinault Lodge features a couple of excursions that depart from the property.
A four-hour guided bus tour takes visitors to the best photo opportunities in the Quinault Rainforest and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of an animal. The knowledgeable local guide discusses the history of the area along with the Quinault Indian Nation. This tour includes short hikes into the rainforest to see the magnificent Western hemlocks and Douglas firs up close.
A Lake Quinault Boat Cruise departs from the lodge’s dock three times a day. Scenic tours offer passengers a sunrise, afternoon or sunset cruise.
The third weekend in October celebrates the mushrooms of the Olympic Peninsula with the annual Mushroom Festival. Guests can learn how to forage for wild mushrooms and the Roosevelt Restaurant’s chef creates a special menu for weekend featuring mushrooms.
Disclosure: My family was hosted by Lake Quinault Lodge. The opinions are my own.
KnowBefore You Go:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi available in the common areas.
- Lake Quinault Lodge doesn’t have air-conditioning, though I didn’t need it during my July visit.
- Lake Quinault Lodge is a pet-friendly property.
- If your kids require a bathtub, request one. Not all rooms have a tub.
- Just need to feed the kids? The Quinault General Store makes pizza to-go along with sandwiches and ice cream, located across the street.
- Paddle the lake in the morning for calmer water.