My husband and I, both in our late 60's and in good health, are flying to Seattle
for 12 days in early-mid August 2014. Our main focus is to see Mt. Rainier
and ONP with one day side trips to Victoria and Seattle. We are experienced hikers
but would like to restrict our hikes to less than 5 miles round trip. We recently
hiked in Glacier and found the 10 miles r.t. to Iceberg Lake wonderful, but
exhausting. Seeing as much scenery and wildlife as possible is our goal.
Would love advice on our itinerary.
Thursday Day One Arrive SEA 11am, rent midsize car, and drive to Packwood
via east side of Mt Rainier. On the way, do Grove of Patriarchs and pick up trail maps at
visitor center in Ohanapecosh. Check-in Mt View Lodge for 3 nights
Friday/ Day Two Pack lunch and spend most of day in Paradise area hiking Nisqually
Vista trail and Myrtle Falls. Do Ricksecker Pt, Christine Falls, and Trail of shadows
in Longmire. On way back to Packwood, stop at Reflection lakes, and if time and energy
allows, hike all or part of Bench and snow lakes. Should we skip Trail of Shadows to
have energy for Bench and Snow trail?
Saturday/ Day Three Sunrise area hiking. Sunrise nature trail 1.5 m r.t..
Is this part of Sourdough Ridge Loop trail ? ( the descriptions are unclear)
Also hike the Silver Forest trail as far as Emmons Vista , 1 mile r.t.
If we missed Bench and snow trail, do that before returning to Packwood.
Sunday/ Day Four Check out of lodge and drive to Quinault area of ONP
Pick up trail maps at visitor ctr. Drive up Higley Peak for overall view of area.
check into Quinault River Inn for 2 nights. After supper, look for elk in Bunch field
and hike big Cedar Trail.
Monday/ Day Five Spend day on Quinault Loop Drive concentrating
on south shore's short hikes. Also Irely Lake trail , 1.1 mile (not Skyline Trail)
on north side.
Tuesday/ Day Six Check out of Inn. On the way to forks, go to Ruby and Kalaloch
area beaches. Since we will be there at low tide, will concentrate on tidepools.
How should we dress for this, especially our feet? Check into Forks Motel
for 3 nights.
Wednesday/ Day Seven Full day at Hoh R.F. Since the 10 mile r.t. trip to the Hoh
River is quite far, would it be worth doing only only half way in and back, for 5 miles r.t.?
We'll also do the shorter trails
Thursday/ Day Eight Spend most of day at Upper beaches like Rialto and Hole in Wall
enjoying wildlife and tidepools( low tides only) If time allows possibly visit timber
museum and do the mill tour in Forks (my husband ran a sawmill operation for
many years so we'd enjoy these)
Friday/ Day Nine Check out of motel and visit Sol Duc Valley including Merrimere and
Sol Duc Falls,and Salman Cascades viewing platform. Then Crescent Beach area and
Elwha Madison Falls . Check into Aircrest Motel in P. A.for 3 nights.
Saturday/ Day Ten Take 8:15 am ferry to Victoria,BC (should we walk from motel or
park near ferry?) Walk around Inner harbour area and up to Government street as far
as Chinatown, stopping for lunch along the way. Take water taxi to Harborside Gardens.
Walk to Fishermen's Wharf and then walk Breakwater at Ogden pt. Walk to Beacon Hill
and on to Christ Church Cathedral for the 4pm recital (every Saturday) Walk back
to Inner harbour, stopping at Empress Hotel and Miniature World if we have energy left.
Relax by the harbor and eat supper while waiting for return ferry at 7:30
Sunday / Day 11 Concentrate on Hurricane Hill area hikes, drive to Obstruction Pt.
Visit Elwha to Observation Point if missed on Day Nine. Depending on tides,
visit Murdock Beach( aka Round rock beach) and/or Purple Haze lavender Farm.
will be filled with our luggage, either at airport or the Burien Transit Center Park and
Ride for the day. We will take bus or light rail for day trip to Seattle. We have 11pm
red eye flight home so we'll drop off car to rental agency near airport around 7-8pm
While in Seattle will walk to Smith tower and Chinese room, Klondike
gold rush N.P., monorail to Seattle Center, Olympic Sculpture Park and Pike's Market
and Waterfront. Will probably buy senior bus pass if take bus from Burien and possible
bus rides downtown.
We have flights booked and have lodging reservations. We could still change the order
of our itinerary as well as time allotted each day. Did we schedule too little or too much
time for some of the day trips? Too short or too long at each lodge?
We are not fussy about food and have no allergies, but advice on restaurants
at each location would be wonderful. We will only eat out for supper each night.