The Ghost Town of Port Crescent

Port Crescent’s prosperity and future, like so many others on the Olympic Peninsula, was depended on the placement of the tidal exodus of the railroad terminus rumored to built on the peninsula.

Port Crescent - Now and Then

I’ve been coming up to camp and explore in the area west of Port Angeles for over thirty years and I still am finding new things every time. An area that’s popular with surfers and where I’ve launched my kayak is Crescent Bay. It’s a long stretch of moon shape beach. A county park bookends the east side with private property on the west side. In the middle is an old cemetery which is all that’s left of the once-thriving community of Port Crescent.

Port Crescent was first envisioned as a deep-water harbor for ocean-going vessels, particularly for timber cruisers for the loading of logs to be shipped to foreign ports. There was news of railroads building northwest from Tacoma into the Olympic Peninsula, which fanned rumors of a coming boom for the area.

A promotion company was formed in 1892 and laid out an ambitious townsite consisting of 20,000 lots on 166 blocks in a neat rectangular pattern. The town had two saloons, the Markham House, a modern hotel at the time, the Port Crescent Hotel, stores and all the amenities of a frontier town. The town had a few more ups and downs during the early 1900s until the late 1920s.

The hoped-for railhead never appeared and when the highway was placed south of the community all the residents eventually moved toward the commerce. Once abandoned the Army razed the town during WWII as part of its coastal defense system against invasion.

The old cemetery is all that is left, but it’s worth a visit. Some of the graves are dated back to the mid-1800s before Washington was granted statehood.

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Our mission is a labor of love, but it does come with overhead. If you’d like to support our efforts we’d certainly appreciate it. Currently, we’re actively participating in the following field research:

  • COASST Beached Bird Surveys
  • Wild and Scenic River Project

Thank you.

Lake Crescent - North Shore

Another wonderful area to explore is Lake Crescent which is nestled in the Olympic National Park. This area is full of waterfalls, old forests, and enough trails to get truly immersed in all of the above.

One of our favorite places to visit is the old Spruce Railroad trail which runs along the north shore of the lake. As I write this there is a notice on the Park’s website about the closure of the trail from March 2020 through November 2020 for maintenance.

Port Crescent’s prosperity and future, like so many others on the Olympic Peninsula, was depended on the placement of the tidal exodus of the railroad terminus rumored to built on the peninsula.

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Looking out over Crescent Bay from Tongue Point. We recently experienced the lowest tides in a decade here in Washington. ...

Did our #COASST bird survey this weekend during some of the lowest tides in a decade. We could have walked out to the sea stacks off shore which I’ve never seen exposed like this. Of course, what goes out must come in…so we didn’t. ...

Red Sky in the Morning... it's supposed to be a warning, but I'll take it. ...

Wild and Scenic Rivers Project - Getting the collection gear and probes ready for tomorrows survey. Looks like we’ll get a break in the weather during the morning hours so that’s when we’ll be heading out. Looking forward to seeing what changes Mother Winter has wrought on the Suiattle River. ...

Headed back to the North Cascades to resume our Wild and Scenic River Surveys. ...

We’ll be shortly resuming our data collection for the #getwildandscenic project on the Suiattle River. Sensors have been calibrated and sent to us along with all our water sample collection bottles and chemicals. Looking forward to getting back out into the North Cascades. ...

We just received our collection kit from #adventurescientist. We’ll shortly being heading back out to the Suiattle River to start another season of data collection. ...

⁠ View of the south rim of the Dusty Lake region just to the east of the Columbia River near Vantage, WA. Here a small waterfall drains into the lake. ...

You never know what a simple hike through the woods will yield. Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. I'm guessing that at one time it was used by a hometead to hold water during the summer months.⁠ ...

Some of the lush green and waterfalls to be found on the Olympic Peninsula. ...

South shore of Dusty Lake just north of Vantage, Washington. We recently spent a night hoping for a shot of the Milky Way. That didn't happen as hoped, but we had quite the adventure nonetheless. ...

Just published our latest adventure - "A Visit to North Cove" - You can find the link in my bio up top. https://buff.ly/3KFAQB8 ...

Tongue Point on the Strait of Juan de Fuco. This was a negative tide and I’ve never seen so much of the reef exposed. ...

Never seen the tide so low here at Crescent Bay. Getting ready for this weekends #COASST bird survey. ...

⁠ Theresa doing her best to imidate the North head Lighthouse.⁠ ...

We’ve hiked the trail from its east end many times, but have never had the time to explore the trail from end to end. That changed this time due to brining along our Rad Power Bikes. I love the range and mobility that these bikes give us and this was trail played to their strengths. We were able to explore the trail’s west end which as a real treat. I’d highly recommend a visit if you’ve never had the chance.

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