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2023 Olympic National Park Yoga, Meditation, Hiking, Backpacking Retreat
August 13| $975
Amazing combo of yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming and backpacking in Olympic National Park. $975 Includes five nights camping (two car camp and three backcountry backpacking), one hotel night at a beautiful two-house lodge on Lake Quinault, about 15 healthy, love-cooked meals (to your dietary needs, if not too complicated), camp cooks and fuel, guided yoga and meditation, Sol Duc hot springs entry, and all park passes and permits.
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown: for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir
What Will We do?
Liz and I are happy to offer this amazing annual Olympic National Park adventure for the fourth time. Our first four trips in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 were amazing, so much beauty! Trip includes virtually all meals (about 15), permits, guided hiking, backpacking, meditations (walking and sitting), forest bathing (soaking up prana from the rainforest), beach yoga, river yoga, yoga in a studio (in Pt Angeles), camping, one night in a comfy riverside hotel, swimming and community. We will visit some of the most beautiful beaches, forests and mountains in the world.
Who should attend?
This is a unique trip, with yoga, meditation, hiking and backpacking. What is the difference between hiking, car camping and backpacking? We do some short hikes without packs, as well as two nights car camping in a campground, with bathrooms available, and with our vehicles. Backpacking is more challenging, leaving the cars and crowds behind and carrying our food and overnight equipment (backpack, tent, sleeping back, pad, etc.) on our back. Though these backpack trips are not very long or steep, this is not for everyone.
Note: We now require a ZOOM meeting to meet you and discern if you are a good fit for this trip. While the backpack hikes are not long (under 5 miles a day), we have found that some people are just not suited for this type of trip. We also need to assure that you are community minded, and can carry your share of the gear.
Snoring Note: Due to the unique aspects of this trip (both camping and lodging), we have found by experience that medium to loud snorers are not a good fit. It is just not fair to our other campers and room mates. If you do snore and really want to attend, we may ask for an additional $100 to cover a private room (for our hotel night) and extra campsite. Let’s talk; there may be a way to make it work.
What is Forest Bathing?
This is the healing way of soaking up the rainforest prana, chi or life force energy, with the negative ions (the good ones!). In Japan it is called Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care in Japanese medicine. But of course, it is not limited to Japan, as we have some of the most amazing ancient old growth rainforests in the world.
Why Olympic National Park?
Quite honestly, the Olympic National Park is my (Roy) favorite place on Earth. I am not exaggerating. I have had a passion for the Olympics since the first time I visited back in 1996. I have travelled and backpacked all over the world, but there is something about the Olympics, with its old growth rainforests, stunning beaches, alpine meadows, majestic mountains, river valleys and amazing wildlife that stirs the soul. So, we decided to combine the inner with the outer, the hiking with the meditation, the forest bathing and the yoga, the community with the solitude, and it has been an awesome combo.
Cost & What is Included
$975 for the 6 night, 7 day trip includes five nights camping (two car camp and three backcountry backpacking), one hotel night at a comfy hotel near Lake Quinault, about 15 healthy, love-cooked meals (to your dietary needs, if not too complicated), camp cooks and fuel, guided yoga and meditation, Sol Duc hot springs entry, and all park passes and permits. Extra costs: optional meal out, gas and ferry costs (shared). Note: Transport is not included, but we usually have enough local drivers participating, but there is a chance that some of you will need to rent or borrow a car, as we travel around the entire Olympic Peninsula to visit all the coolest places.
IMPORTANT: Each member of the group must be willing and able to carry your own backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad, water, clothes, and personal items. In addition, each person will be asked to carry about 3 pounds of community gear (food, fuel, filter, etc.) on the overnight backpacks. We will have a ZOOM video call to discuss all details regarding gear and what to bring.
Need Gear? We now have gear to rent for the week: backpack ($20), tent ($20), sleeping bag ($20), sleep pad ($10). If you buy, rent or borrow elsewhere, do look for lightweight if possible (often called ultralight).
Is there a Theme?
We will weave a theme of “Stretching the Comfort Zone”. This trip itself might be a bit of a stretch for some of us, with yoga and hiking and backpacking. There is tremendous value in stepping out of our boxes and living a little larger.
What else is there to know about this trip?
Liz and Roy have visited the Olympics for the last twenty five years, and know some of the best places to visit, many of which are well known, some lesser known. We will be traveling one way counter clockwise around the Olympic Peninsula, starting in Pt Angeles, finishing at Quinault Lake. See below for the itinerary. We will include car camping, back country (forest and beach) camping, yoga (in studio and beach), meditation walks, some meals (camp cooking). We will soak in the Sol Duc natural healing pools, and visit the Sol Duc waterfall. We will drive up to the amazing Hurricane Ridge for a stunning view of the Olympics and Mt. Olympus. We will visit one of the world’s biggest Cedar and Spruce trees.
Side-note on Car pooling, Gear sharing, Alcohol:
We will need a couple of you to drive, and others will kick in for gas and ferries. NO SOLO DRIVERS, as there is limited parking at trailheads. To better understand, we ideally arrange car pooling from Seattle area, and then all the cars meet in Pt Angeles Sunday. We drive to various areas each day, working our way counterclockwise around the Olympic Peninsula, driving an hour or so each day, then hiking and playing and spending the night, then finishing in Quinault area at a beautiful lakeside lodge (with actual beds and showers!), kayaks available (included in price) and then continue counter clockwise back to Seattle via Olympia and Tacoma. In other words, we do not return to Pt. Angeles.
If you are willing and able to drive one other person, please take off $50. If you can drive 2 or more others, please take off $100. As far as car pooling, we will work this out. We also ask riders to kick in for gas and ferry, to your driver. We ask that no one drive solo, as this complicates things for everyone, with parking, etc.
To maintain a sacred and safe space, we ask that we refrain from alcohol at camps, but you are welcome to consume alcohol in moderation when we dine out (there will be a couple meals eaten out). This way we keep the camp space clear for meditation and deeper connection. We have found that this balance works for maintaining a yogic environment and the holding of intention for healing, awakening and breaking habitual patterns.
We will discuss details on gear, how to pack your pack, etc.
What to Bring:
We will discuss this in detail later, but some things to keep in mind: Three nights will be short backpack trips. Although relatively short and easy–about three to four miles one way each–everyone should have access to the proper gear (we can guide you what to bring, buy or borrow). You will need a backpack, sleeping bag, tent (you can share with someone), sleeping foam or blow up pad, hiking boots or shoes or even good sandals. You will not need to bring a stove, fuel, water filter, or first aid kit, unless you prefer your own gear.
Yoga is about unity and oneness, not divisiveness and polarity. All are welcome on our retreats. We do not discriminate for any reason, including sex, gender, race, age, vaccinated or unvaccinated, masked or unmasked. We trust you to take care of yourself, and to decide first, if this trip is for you, and second, how to take care of yourself. We will do our part to keep everyone safe and honor all our needs, but ultimately, your health is your responsibility. May this retreat be a healing experience for all.
Payment and Refund Policy
It may be advisable to purchase Travel Cancelation insurance, as there is much uncertainty and change these days (you may have noticed!). We request a $500 deposit ($100 for Washington Retreats), balance due 30 days prior to trip–when possible. Note: Deposit is generally nonrefundable. 3/4 of later payment may be refunded if you cancel > 30 days prior to trip, 1/2 refund if you cancel 15 – 30 days prior to trip (depending on retreat center refund policy), no refund under 15 days prior to trip–unless I can get some money back from hotels and retreat center.
Note: In these wild, COVID times, we do our best to expand our refund policy, being fair to all involved.
“Roy and Liz provided a unique and spectacular retreat on the Olympic Peninsula! They cooked delicious meals and shared a “locals” experience amongst the most beautiful nature on the continent. They were very helpful teaching us the basics of backpacking and how to camp gently in the rainforest. We especially enjoyed the yoga and meditation sessions surrounded by giant trees and along side ocean waves. We saw whales and eagles and small forest creatures. Roy’s retreats have always been fantastic, but this retreat is now my favorite!!” – Rosalie, Utah, who attended August 2019 trip
Dates: August 13th – 19th, 2023
About the instructor: Roy Holman & Liz Gross
Roy Holman: I am a 500 hour Certified Yoga teacher, in the Viniyoga tradition. I teach a safe, gentle, body-friendly, grounded, breath-connected, meditative, flowing traditional hatha yoga – a meditation in motion really. I like to move slow, give time to breathe deeply and savor the poses. I also teach breath-work (pranayama) and meditation, and also try to incorporate the many aspects of emotional healing and balancing I have learned. The meditation is a mindfulness style, with focus on breath awareness, heart opening, body senses, emotional clearing, and connection on all levels (body, breath, emotions, Earth, Spirit).
Liz Gross: “I believe all healing involves alignment of the soul with the body.” Liz is a gifted sound and vibration healer, and teaches with Roy on retreats. Liz teaches yoga, meditation, Oneness and often does some of the cooking on our retreats. “When you’re consciously in touch with the life energy within yourself, you have awareness & communication with the flow of energy that connects you to spirit. I feel very passionate about Vibrational Medicine and love working with others in this way & helping others to connect with their purpose and passion in life. Vibrational Energy Medicine brings the physical, emotional, mental, & spiritual bodies back into balance, which opens the way for rebuilding the healing systems of the body.”