The world is a hectic place, with the noise of uncertainty distracting us from our own needs. We are stressed as a society, running full speed in the rat race of life, hoping our hard work is rewarded with a lot of cheese. We are often overwhelmed by the sheer responsibility of “adulting,” finding solace in binge watching shows and a release by screaming our lungs out for our favorite sport’s team. We have pushed for the legalization of marijuana, while creating more and more craft breweries and distilleries, helping us escape into substances. Millennials drink more wine than any other generation, downing half of all wine consumed each year. Washingtonians have spent $637,295,296 in three years on marijuana. We long for distractions from our jobs and responsibilities, turning to anything we can to numb the monotony. It seems that we are dying for an escape from reality, hoping to find meaning somewhere, somehow. In the northwest corner of Washington State, far removed from the interconnectivity of society, there is another remedy. Each day on the Olympic Peninsula, wilderness is quietly and beautifully changing someone’s life. Standing on a mountain top, as all of humanity expands out beneath your feet, the trivial day to day matters of life fade away. Out along the coast, as endless waves break against piles of driftwood and slowly erode sea stacks, your stresses disappear, replaced with a soothed spirit. It is in true wilderness, far from cell service, that one can meditate and remember the important things in life.
The Olympic Peninsula is home to inspiring natural wonders and considered by most to be the epitome of American wilderness. There are roughly 1,000 miles of hiking trails in the region, with almost all leading to silence, solitude and soul nourishing sights. While anywhere quite is a fantastic place for meditation, there are seven destinations that are the ultimate meditation spots in the Olympics. These seven hikes are good for both your mind and body, leading to destinations of wonder and amazement, far from the daily grind of life. These trails are where we go for relaxation and comfort, helping us stay centered during times of uncertainty and worry. Like most things in life, these locations of solitude are tough to get to, requiring an afternoon or a full day to escape society. The hikes will push your limits, often times both mentally and physically, but are always worth the effort.
Cub Peak is a tough hike both physically and psychologically. Gaining nearly 4000 feet of elevation in 3.4 miles one way, the hike to Cub Peak is the steepest hike from a parking area in Olympic National Park. Best for intermediate to advanced hikers, this trail ends at a jaw-dropping panorama atop a rocky summit. Surrounded by wilderness on all sides, few people ever make the trek up to Cub Peak, despite the short distance. Those who do will find two mediation locations. The first in on the plateau that you reach after climbing up from Wagonwheel Lake. This is a great place for those who don’t want to make the scramble to the true summit, which is the best mediation spot. The true summit of Cub Peak is my favorite spot to sit and relax, as the views of the surrounding Olympic Mountains are inspiring and breathtaking.