Looking for an idyllic lodge perched over a shimmering lake nestled in a majestic forest with cool summer temperatures and lots of activities for the family? During a recent visit to Olympic National Park in Washington, I stayed at Lake Quinault Lodge and found all that. Featured on the PBS series, Great Lodges of the National Parks, this historic lodge features family activities that kids will love along with all the quaint details that Moms crave.
Lake Quinault Lodge sits on the shores of Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Forest, a stone’s throw from Olympic National Park. With resort activities and amenities that most national park properties lack, Lake Quinault Lodge offers families a refined national park adventure.
Olympic National Park offers over 900,000 acres for families to explore in Washington. A year-round outdoor destination boasts rugged Pacific coasts dotted with tide pools, hidden trails meandering through dense rain forests and accessible mountain tops with inspiring views.
Lake Quinault Lodge
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 rain forest hikes during their stay.
Inside of the lobby, guests relax in over-sized leather chairs next to a roaring fire while enjoying a cup of coffee and a book. Outside, a deck outfitted with umbrellaed tables invite guests to enjoy a glass of wine and the lake view.
Next to the lobby, the Roosevelt Dining Room welcomed Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. That fall, FDR visited Lake Quinault Lodge when he toured the area before creating Olympic National Park in 1938.
Hits of the Lake Quinault Lodge
- The secluded setting along the lake allows families time to reconnect.
- Kids can play games on the lawn or in the game room.
- The heated pool and sauna are luxuries in an historic property.
- In-room coffee maker features Starbucks coffee.
Misses of the Lake Quinault Lodge
- Parked cars crowd the entrance of the lodge and distract from the building’s architecture.
- Inconsistent bathroom renovations.
Lake Quinault Lodge is located on South Shore Road, next to National Forest Information Station and across the street from the Lake Quinault Museum. The lodge is within walking distance of hiking trails and the general store.
With historic lodge rooms 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.
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 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; a popular spot to celebrate weddings. The main building at Lake Quinault Lodge features a ballroom that accommodates 125 guests.
My Room at Lake Quinault Lodge:
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 great option for families. My room also featured an arm chair upholstered in hues of the lake along with a coffee table. My room didn’t have a phone.
The balcony overlooking the lake offered a perfect spot to enjoy the in-room Starbucks coffee where I found two chairs and a small table. The siding glass door remained open my entire stay so I could hear the lake.
The granite bathroom counter with a white vessel sink and upgraded vanity lighting is outside of the enclosed bathtub and toilet room. My room didn’t feature a renovated bathtub area or a closet but had a handy coat rack next to the front entrance.
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 see 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, kids can play football, baseball, bocce ball or Wiffle ball while adults sit in Adirondack chairs watching the sun set.
In the evening, Lake Quinault Lodge lights a fire pit on the lakeshore and the gift shop sells s’mores kits for $4. Watching my marshmallow toast while the evening sky glowed like the campfire was a highlight of my stay.
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 offers the opportunity to catch an animal sighting. The knowledgeable local guide discusses the history of the area along with the Quinault Indian Nation. Short hikes take guests into the rainforest to see the magnificent Western hemlocks and Douglas firs up close.
The 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 Dining Room’s chef creates a special menu for weekend featuring mushrooms.
Family Hiking in the Lake Quinault Rainforest
While staying at Lake Quinault Lodge, take the kids on a hike. Hiking trails start on the property and vary in length and difficulty.
My kids, 8, 12 and 13 enjoyed the Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop, a .5-mile trail that’s partially accessible, an option for strollers. The Lake Quinault Loop Trail offers an 0.9-mile accessible section along the lake that kids enjoy. Be sure and hike to the world’s largest Sitka spruce on the .3-mile trail, located close to the post office.
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.
Tips from a TravelingMom:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.
- 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 pizzas to-go along with sandwiches and ice cream, located across the street.
- Paddle the lake in the morning for calmer water.