Million Acre View

Olympic National Park Panorama : Click For Better Detail

I love the scale of our national parks, some of them are just huge. There are currently 12 parks with an area greater than 1,000,000 acres (only 5 of which are not located in Alaska). When I daydream of escape, I think of these wide open parks where my feet would have plenty of room to roam. The photo above is of Olympic National Park. The panorama is taken from a beach on Whidbey Island, looking SW across Puget Sound. In this photo, Port Angeles would be near the point where the mountain range would touch the water on the right, and Staircase would be near the left side of that mountain range, a span of almost 50 miles. Olympic actually misses the million acre mark by approx. 40,000 acres, but who's counting?

For another perspective on the size of the Olympic National Park, have a look at this landsat photo taken a few years back. I love this photo for a few reasons. 1) You can easily pick off the park from the rest of the map. The park appears as a darker shade of green because it contains thousands upon thousands of acres of uncut old-growth forest. The light green area outside the park are the logged over areas of state land, private land, and Forest Service land. 2) The other reason I love this shot is that, again, you are made aware of the massive size of the park, especially when compared to the combined size of the nearby cities of Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma (which appear as a gray blob near the right side of the image).
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