Olympic Peninsula Adventure: Regenerate Salmon Habitat and Experience Tribal Culture
Global Family Travels and First Nature Tours have partnered with several organizations on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, including the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe river restoration, to host this unique, family-friendly adventure that focuses on salmon habitat recovery and tribal culture, blending education, service, recreation and cultural immersion components.
Each of these 3-day adventures, offered twice monthly from May – October, include a Northwest inspired welcome dinner at the beautiful, new 7 Cedars Hotel, 4 hours of service learning work on one of the nearby rivers that focuses on salmon habitat recovery with facilitated discussions with our community partners about the recovery work, an afternoon of cultural activities with tribal citizens, and a guided hike to take in the nature of the Olympic Peninsula.
Family discounts of -$140 off if adults and children share a double room - please ask us about this! (This adventure is ideally suited for kids 10 and over.)
Click on the LEARN, SERVE & IMMERSE elements in this experience to see all the details, and once you pay your $250 deposit, you will be able to secure your spot, and choose the date you are interested in participating!
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS
With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the health and safety of Global Family Travels and First Nature travelers, community partners, colleagues and guides are of paramount importance to us.
Please see our COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS documents, found under the Tasks section, which outlines our commitment to mitigate and manage the risks associated with COVID-19 when you travel with us. Please also refer to the tasks which has specific details for your activity and destination.
Thank you for helping to keep yourself and fellow travelers and guides safe!
GLOBAL FAMILY TRAVELS
Global Family Travels’ vision is to unite humanity and inspire travelers to take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities facing our increasingly interconnected planet. Our mission is to Learn, Serve and Immerse, using travel as a means to build cultural bridges and to foster global citizens. Using tourism to help solve community challenges, we organize sustainable travel opportunities in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations and support many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Through partnerships with many Seattle-area non-profit organizations that address community challenges, our one-day educational outings in Seattle are designed to create meaningful connections and support Destination Stewardship, including the preservation of diverse and native cultures, conservation, education, and economic growth of Greater Seattle.
Learn more here: https://www.globalfamilytravels.com/our-company
About First Nature Tours
Based in Portland, Oregon, First Nature Tours is a custom private group tour operator that specializes in facilitating outdoor adventures and immersive experiences in the Pacific Northwest. Their professional naturalist guides aim to educate the intrepid traveler by exploring the beauty of the region through the lens of sustainable tourism and visit the naturally and culturally unique places that make the Pacific Northwest so special. Our foundation is built on increasing knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of the world around us through meaningful travel experiences.
Overview of our Adventure
Global Family Travels and First Nature Tours have partnered with several organizations on the Olympic Peninsula, including the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, to host several weekend trips, blending education, service, recreation and cultural immersion.
Each of these 3-day adventures, offered twice monthly from May – October, include a Northwest inspired welcome dinner at the beautiful, new 7 Cedars Hotel, 4 hours of service learning work on one of the nearby rivers that focuses on salmon habitat recovery with facilitated discussions with our community partners about the recovery work, an afternoon of cultural activities with tribal citizens, and a guided hike to Lake Crescent & Marymere Falls or Hurricane Ridge. Please see each weekend package for specific cultural activities offered and volunteer activities that involve either tree planting on the Dungeness River, or invasive species removal along the Elwha River.
About S’Klallam Tribe
“S’Klallam” derives from “nuxsklai’yem,” the original Salish language name for the S’Klallam people meaning “strong people.” The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is one of three S’Klallam bands; the others are the Lower Elwha Klallam and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes.
Inhabiting this area for more than 10,000 years, the S’Klallams possessed a rich social and religious culture based on the abundant natural resources of the Northwest Coast. They moved from village to village in their traditional territory during the spring, summer and fall, for fishing and resource gathering, and settled into more permanent longhouses for the winter months. The inhabitants hunted game and subsisted on the wealth of shellfish, herring, and salmon. They were craftspeople skilled in woodcarving and basket making, and they fashioned ceremonial masks, serving dishes and utensils, and storage boxes from cedar, and woven mats, rope, and clothing from cedar bark.
Learn more here: https://jamestowntribe.org/
North Olympic Salmon Coalition
The mission of The North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) is to promote robust wild salmon stocks for families, fishers, and local economies by furthering habitat restoration and education on the North Olympic Peninsula. NOSC is one of 14 Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) in Washington State working on wild salmon recovery through collaborative partnerships and community volunteerism.
About the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is a sovereign, federally recognized Indian Nation, with its own constitution and government. Not only does the Tribe govern itself, but many Tribal administrative departments oversee the everyday function of the reservation and provide for Tribal members.
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe resides in the Lower Elwha River Valley and adjacent bluffs on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula just west of Port Angeles, Washington. As recognized by the United States in 1855’s Treaty of Point No Point, the Tribe has lived in this area since time immemorial.
The Tribe's mission is to ensure that the Lower Elwha Klallam people can pass on their way of life to their children, and their vision is to build a strong and healthy sovereign nation where Tribal members live their values and culture. This means enhancing the lives of the Lower Elwha Klallam people, both both physically and spiritually through social well being and economic independence while preserving and enhancing our natural resources and cultural heritage.
The Tribe’s current land base was initially acquired by the United States in trust for the Tribe in 1935-36 and these lands were proclaimed as the Lower Elwha Reservation in 1968. Today tribal lands include about 1,000 acres on and near the Elwha River.
Learn more about the tribe here: https://www.elwha.org/.
About Olympic Hiking Co.
We believe the most powerful way to learn is through hands-on community-based travel experiences. We let the destination and its people be your teachers, and supplement experiences with reading lists, informal discussions, and a pre-trip orientation to better equip participants with the practical information needed to understand the culture, history, and community challenges of our destination.
This unique community-based experience in the Northern Olympic Peninsula provides participants with the opportunity to learn and grow by working on a regenerative project to help rebuild salmon habitat along the Dungeness River, as well as learning about the history and culture of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. This tribe has long been recognized as a progressive Tribe, now wholeheartedly rooted in the 21st century, but with a deep connection to their traditional resources, history and culture, which inform the present and serve as the foundation of their success.
- Learning themes unique to the educational experience with the community partners include:
- Learn about the history, culture and traditions of the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe
- Learn about salmon recovery on the Olympic Peninsula and how public lands are managed,
- Land stewardship, including salmon habitat rehabilitation practices
- The environmental impact of the removal of dams on important rivers for salmon and river restoration.
- Develop knowledge and skills about tree planting and invasive species removal.
- Understanding salmon habitat ecosystems, and the intersection of human needs and natural cycles.
Salmon are in trouble. This critical species faces many threats including extensive habitat loss. Many of our streams, rivers, estuaries, and coastal environments are in a state of decline due to decreased water quality, less vegetative cover, less spawning gravels, increased shoreline armoring, higher temperatures, higher silt, and higher fine sediments. Today, we are facing a dramatic decline in the number of salmon in our region.
Guests will spend a half day of service learning with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and Elwha River Restoration, working to help the salmon habitat recovery along the Dungeness and Elwha rivers, you will hear stories and perspectives of local citizens and organizations working towards restoring vitality to the region.
Our travelers become immersed in the culture of the communities we visit by experiencing daily life with the locals! By authentically engaging with our host communities, we learn to honor and respect diverse and traditional cultures and bring those cherished memories home with us.
On this unique experience on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, guests will enjoy enriching cultural experiences with our hosts, the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.
Various activities will be offered by tribal citizens, including nature walks to learn about the local plants and how they are used in the tribal traditions of food, storytelling, and practical uses. Can you imagine taking a plant and turning it into a walking stick? How about following the cedar story and learning how to make a “cedar rose” – something that can be worn as a lapel pin, a decoration or more.
In addition, by working to help the salmon habitat recovery along the Dungeness and Elwha rivers, you will hear stories and perspectives of local citizens and organizations working towards restoring vitality to the region. Participants will also connect to the beauty of the natural environment by hiking among the stunning Olympic Peninsula landscape.
About Kieron Weidner, First Nature Tours (Lead Guide)
A born naturalist, Kieron’s fascination with the natural world has led him from a childhood exploring rural Wisconsin to college study abroad trips to Costa Rica and Europe and eventually a career in Restoration Ecology. Since he began working in tourism in 2007 Kieron has been helping visitors to Portland, Seattle, Central and South America fill their trips with memorable experiences and outright adventure. His tourism career includes work for some of the top luxury travel companies in the world, such as Cruise West, Adventures by Disney and EverGreen Escapes. His experience leading groups through all corners of the Pacific Northwest have made him one of the most recognized guides in the region. On a private tour of the Olympic Peninsula with Kieron you will get more than just an education, you’ll rediscover the sense of wonder that many lose with the onset of adulthood. For Kieron guiding is more than a career, it’s a passion, and nothing makes him happier than providing people with new ideas, new adventures, and new life experiences.
About Ben Wheeler, Your Tour Guide
A Seattle native, Ben Wheeler has worked as a secondary school educator and administrator. Ben gave the keynote and endnote at the 2008 Global Citizenship Summit in Bali, Indonesia, and was the World Affairs Council’s 2009 World Educator. He authored the high school textbook It's All Connected - a Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions.
From 2012 to early 2020, Ben taught Geography and Civilizations courses for middle schoolers at The Bush School in Seattle, and also taught a wide-range of elective and experiential courses, including the following: Art in Public Places, Sustainable Design for Urban Living, Seattleness, Urban Forest Stewardship, Food Awareness, Oral History with Elders, Backpacking the Olympic Coast, and Stehekin Multi-Adventure.
Ben loves running, biking, fly-fishing, jazz and classical guitar, cross-country skiing, and backpacking. In addition to guiding numerous wilderness adventures in California and Washington, Ben has led international tours in Italy and India, most recently two weeks of cultural immersion in Ladakh, India, on the Himalayan Plateau.
About Tommy Farris, Olympic Hiking Co. (Your hiking guide)
After growing up on the Olympic Peninsula, Tommy Farris’ passion for the outdoors and entrepreneurship inspired him to launch the Olympic Hiking Company in 2016 based in his hometown of Port Angeles, WA. In what started as a college project at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, Tommy built Olympic Hiking Co. from the ground up, scaling his business into a commercially authorized guided hiking tour and shuttle company that operates throughout Olympic National Park. Each year, Olympic Hiking Co. facilitates group hiking tours, backpacker trailhead shuttles, custom private tours, and corporate events for over 1,000 clients and businesses. Tommy employs a team of experienced naturalist hiking guides and is an active Board Member with the Washington Tourism Alliance and Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. During pockets of free time, Tommy enjoys hiking deep into the interior of the Olympic Mountains and capturing photos of the most rugged and remote areas of the park.
Logistics (Safety, transport, parking, etc.)
This adventure is quoted as a self-drive to the north part of the Olympic Peninsula, beginning at 7 Cedars Hotel in Blyn (near Sequim) Washington. This allows you to come early or stay on the peninsula to enjoy all that it has to offer! If you need transportation, we have offered it as a separate option with an added cost.
The capacity of each adventure weekend is limited to12 participants. If the tour date you would like to book is full, we will add you to the waitlist, or contact us as we can also create a small group custom dates.
Global Family Travels and First Nature Tours follow industry-standard COVID-19 protocols according to the criteria established by the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Guides are wilderness first responder certified and will take proper precautions to ensure the health and safety of the tour participants.
Participants will receive training and orientation by volunteer coordinators and will be presented with an overview of safety protocols and are required to sign a liability waiver as an official volunteer with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and the National Park Service.
Packing List: Please refer to packing list under separate tab called Packing List. We will also email participants prior approximately 1 week prior to trip departure.
Location Information: About the Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is a large arm of land in western Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle, and contains Olympic National Park. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the east by Hood Canal. Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the contiguous United States, and Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point, are on the peninsula. Comprising about 3,600 square miles (9,300 km2), the Olympic Peninsula contained many of the last unexplored places in the contiguous United States.
Named after the Olympic Mountains it encompasses, the park was established on June 29, 1938, by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to preserve the area's unique wildlife and landscapes. There are few parks with such diverse ecosystems and varied geography.
About Lake Crescent
On weekends during the months of May, June & October, we will enjoy hiking excursion to Lake Crescent & Marymere Falls
Our guided hiking tour with Olympic Hiking company takes us to the shoreline of Lake Crescent. It is a stunning glacier-fed lake, outlined by a forested mountain range, and the waters are so pristine, visitors can see over 60 feet down into the lake. Nestled in the northern foothills of the Olympic Mountains, Lake Crescent is known for its brilliant blue and exceptionally clear waters. While most lakes grow algae, Lake Crescent lacks nitrogen, which makes its waters crystal clear. Visitors can kayak, sail, swim or enjoy the lake’s beauty from numerous picnic areas and scenic viewpoints.
After some initial explorations around the Lake, our guide will lead a hike into the surrounding old-growth forests, eventually reaching the picturesque 90-foot tall Marymere Falls.
About Hurricane Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula
July & August Hiking Option: Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge is a mountainous area in Washington's Olympic National Park. Approximately 18 miles (29 km) by road from Port Angeles, the ridge is open to hiking, skiing, and snowboarding and is one of the two most visited sites in the national park (along with the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center).
At an elevation of 5,242 feet (1,598 m), Hurricane Ridge is a year-round destination. In summer, visitors come for views of the Olympic Mountains, as well as for hiking. During the winter months the small, family oriented Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area offers lift-serviced downhill skiing and snowboarding.
Hurricane Ridge is a top-rated half-day hike in Olympic National Park and for good reason! In just over an hour, you drive from sea-level in Sequim to 5,242 feet elevation at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, giving our hiking tour a 5,000 foot head start! On a clear day, sweeping vistas of the subalpine terrain, glacier-capped peaks, and Strait of Juan De Fuca make Hurricane Ridge a truly remarkable half day adventure. From ADA accessible paved pathways to more moderate gravel trails, our Hurricane Ridge private tour is a great experience for all varieties of travelers.
Sequim, WA, USA