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Grays Harbor County Attractions

Parent Category: Washington Counties
Created: 09 May 2014

Population: 71,078

Area: 2,224 square miles

County Seat: Montesano

OVERVIEW

Grays Harbor County is located in the center of the State of Washington on the Pacific Coast. The county has more than 50 miles of the most beautiful ocean shore, dense rain forests of the Olympic National Park and numerous opportunities for recreation. Grays Harbor County is a great place to run away from big cities and enjoy quiet weekend near the ocean. The largest city of the county is Aberdeen and the county seat is Montesano. The county received its’ name from a large bay near the city of Aberdeen. The climate of this coastal region is temperate, which is characterized by mild temperatures all the year round. Even in winter, the temperature usually doesn’t fall below freezing level.

HISTORY

Grays Harbor County was created out of Thurston County in 1854. Originally it was called Chehalis County, but in 1915 was renamed into Grays Harbor. Original inhabitants of this land were the Quinault Tribe, but here also lived the Queet Tribe, Humptulip, Satsop, Wynoochee and Copalis tribes. It should be said that these tribes lived in permanent villages that were situated along the rivers and lakes. These people fished salmon, whales and seals. Summer was the main season for the hunters who hunted in the Olympic Mountains. The tribes were able to make canoes from cedar trees.

The first white people showed here in 1792, but the growth of the settlers in this region happened in the 1850s.

COUNTY SEAT

The city of Montesano is the county seat of Grays Harbor County. The population of the city is about 4 thousand people. Montesano is located in about 10 miles from Aberdeen and in about 40 miles from Olympia. It should be also mentioned that Montesano is situated closely to the best beaches of the Pacific Coast and the most gorgeous Olympic Peninsula.

Farming and timber are important parts of the city’s economy. Montesano and the region has given birth to tree farming, but nowadays the farms grow and produce a great variety of crops, including corn, tomatoes, squash, Finnish yellow potatoes, natural raised beef, yak and buffalo, as well as strawberries, blueberries, etc.

Montesano manages its’ own city forest that is adjacent to Lake Sylvia. There are over 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. Lake Sylvia State Park is a very popular place among hikers, bikers, campers and fishermen.

ATTRACTIONS

Olympic National Park

This famous park was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. The president was so impressed with the beauty of nature of the old trees and the magnificent wildlife within the forest so that after visiting this area he decided to declare this area a national park.

The Hoh Rainforest  is a part of the most beautiful and fabulous place of the Olympic National Park that stretches from the mountains to the shore.

The Hoh Rainforest is located beside the Hoh River, which was formed by glaciers many years ago. The Hoh Rainforest as every rainforest receives quite a lot of rain each year. Rainfall accumulates in the region between 140 to 170 inches per year.

What is special about the Hoh rainforest is that trees there may be more than 1000 years old, and every tree is covered with its own plant life. This fact makes it an individual small microcosm.  The most predominant species of the Hoh Rainforest are: Sitka Spruce, Coast Douglas-fir, Western Redcedar, Vine Maple, Red Alder and Black Cottonwood. As for the species of the fauna, the most dominant are: Olympic Black Bears, Raccoons, Northern Spotted Owls, Cougars, Bobcats and Black-tailed Deer.

Grays Harbor Lighthouse

The Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport is one of the tallest on the West Coast. This lighthouse also serves as a maritime museum and home for a great umber of skeletons of aquatic animals. Visitors will also enjoy the exhibits that are dedicated to the work of the Coast Guard.
This lighthouse marks the entrance to Grays Harbor.

Ocean Shore

This town should be visited by the beach lovers who are fond of beach recreation and activities. This town provides a wide variety of activities.

Lake Sylvia State Park

Lake Sylvia State Park is a 233-acre camping park with great opportunities for biking and hiking. The park is located between Olympia and the Pacific shore. Lake Sylvia is good for fishing and boating. The park is open year-round for camping and day-use.

Information: Marina Petrova

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