For the absolute nicest place in Quinault, you’ll have to travel to the other side of the lake. This is the quieter, less-developed side and home to Lake Quinault Resort (314 N. Shore Rd., 360/288-2362 or 800/650-2362, www.lakequinault.com, $169–199 d), which rents out sparkling clean and very updated townhouse and kitchenette units facing the lake. Units all line up along a picturesque deck overlooking the property’s lawn and the lake. This is a primo spot to watch the winds whip up the water in winter or sailboats lazily float by in summer. Across the road, a trail leads to the world’s largest western red cedar—63 feet in circumference and 159 feet tall.
The rambling Lake Quinault Lodge (345 S. Shore Rd., 360/288-2900 or 800/562-6672, www.visitlakequinault.com, $143–300 d) sits in a magnificent throne of grassy lawns and lakeside shores near the shroud of Quinault’s old-growth forests. This is how a lodge should look, with a darkly regal lobby interior and a big central fireplace surrounded by comfortable couches and tables. There are activities galore, with an indoor pool and sauna, lodge-led tours of the Quinault area, and seasonal boat rentals on the property. Inside the rooms, though, the lodge shows its wear as a “classic” lodge with tight quarters and less than luxury furniture that may make some guests feel taken aback by the premium prices. Visitors who go into a stay with the understanding that the premium is for the location and the history will likely come away much more satisfied than those expecting a four-star resort experience.
Those looking to get a bit more bang for their buck will feel more comfortable in the fireplace cabins offered at Rain Forest Resort Village (360/288-2535 or 800/255-6936, www.rainforestresort.com, $149–199 d), just a short way up South Shore Road. This nice little property also sits on the waterfront with its own banked lawns. Cabins are a bit rustic, but updated and roomier than lodge rooms. The resort also has some run-down motel rooms ($95–105 d) that will do in a pinch for those who won’t spend much time there. There’s also a good restaurant and lounge, a general store, laundry, RV hookups, and canoe rentals on-site. Whether you stay there or not, be sure to wander on the grounds and spot the world’s largest Sitka spruce. This thousand-year-old behemoth is more than 19 feet in diameter and 191 feet tall.
Between north and south sides of the road in the little town of Amanda Park, Quinault River Inn (8 River Dr., 360/288-2714, $105 d) offers clean and comfortable rooms convenient to the highway and to all of Lake Quinault’s destinations. This is a favorite spot of anglers, who enjoy access to launch boats on the Quinault River, which flows behind the property. But new owners have given this place quite a face-lift, so it is nicer than many peninsula motels catering to the fishing and hunting crowd.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition