So many people think that they cannot travel to beautiful locations because they don’t have the time or the money for it. I used to be one of those people, but this past year I have started to do my research and saying yes to the most random adventures, finding myself in places I never knew excited and having my friends thinking I’m going to crazy places far away when really they’re all in the same state of which I live!
I used to live about two hours from this place and never realized the beauty of this place.
Shelton is located in a region called the Hood Canal, about 45 minutes from Olympia and just left of the Olympic National Park. The place I stayed was right outside of Shelton, a small town called Potlach. We camped at Potlatch State Park, right next to the ocean.
Here we woke up every morning at sunrise and did yoga on the bay, we wanted to soak in every bit of beauty this place had to offer.
The main reason I wanted to come to Shelton was the see Vance Creek Bridge, also known as the Pacific North West Bridge (PNW Bridge). This bridge is an abandoned railroad above 347 feet above Vance Creek. This excursion is found off of NF-2341/2199, there is a gate blocking the way and a ditch blocking the path to get on the trail, which trees have been knocked down to still make it to the path.
This bridge is worth the trip and worth the risk, having it be considered trespassing just makes it all the more exhilarating. Many signs say that you are under a criminal offense and are trespassing, most of these signs have been knocked down and has a lot of graffiti by tourists coming to see the bridge. I was scared at first, but after seeing people coming back from the bridge on the way there and some when we got there, I felt more comfortable.
It is such a feeling of freedom and adrenaline to walk across this incredible bridge and soak it all in.
Yes, PNW Bridge is reason enough to visit Shelton, WA. But I wanted to go further, I wanted to explore every day I did not have a work schedule to worry about and my love and best friend by my side.
The first thing we did was go to the local visitor’s center and asked for several maps, all the maps we could get. This is a travel step I highly recommend, because there are many things we found on these maps that we did not find on the Internet.
We visited four waterfalls, all within an hour of our campsite, though there are many more within the area of the Hood Canal.
- Rocky Brook Falls
- Murhut Falls
- Hamma Hamma Falls
- Vincent Creek Falls (High Steel Bridge)
All of these waterfalls were absolutely stunning, some including hikes and others a very short hike (if you don’t like hiking). Most of these places are in or very close to the Olympic National Forest.
But the entire purpose of travelling is to go off the trails, like we did to find discoveries of waterfall tiers, pools and gorgeous rivers further down.
Murhut falls leads into a clear, blue river called Dosewallips River, where we found two rope swings under a bridge. We spent a good amount of time there.
We spent a total of one week in Potlatch, though we could have easily spent a month to travel further into the National Park and I highly recommend it. It was like paradise to us, just in Washington state.
You’ll be surprised what you can find on an old school map. Once you start really looking into places near you, more than just pictures and the internet, you might find your own little paradise very close to you.
If you’re considering a trip down to Shelton, WA, feel free to message me about any questions or recommendations you have about your travels.