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Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

Austin
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Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

Hi everyone,

First time to post on the ONP forum and I'll say thanks in advance b/c TA folks are the best for answering questions!

We are staying in Seattle (actually, with friends in Redmond) and will rent a car for a couple of days/nights to travel to see the ONP. Our friends recommended the Kalaloch Lodge and it appears to be just what we want. So here's our questions:

1. How long can we reasonably expect it to take us by car from Seattle to the Kalaloch Lodge?

and could we ask some driving advice?......

2. from Seattle, it appears that we must catch a ferry...is this correct? probably to Bremerton? if that is correct, what's the best way to catch 101 from Bremerton? I'm assuming we would want to go through Port Angeles and not south through Olympia (that looks like a much longer route) to reach Kalaloch Lodge? I love ferries but I know that timing can be everything. By the way, if we go by Hurricane Ridge, we would stop, but it's not a "must see" of our trip.

3. While at Kalaloch Lodge, we want to visit the Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rainforest and probably check out Rialto Beach. Are both these locations close enough to Kalaloch that we can go for just a short amount of time, or do we have to plan a 1/2 day for each?

We mostly want to relax and enjoy the mellow surroundings so we would like to find out how rushed we would be if we included these side trips. In addition, our daughter has motion illness so the least amount of driving, the better. Any help or suggestions y'all have would be most appreciated!

2. Once

Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

We need to know when you are planning to visit. Right now, the Hood Canal Bridge is down; this has a huge impact on your route and on the time it will take you to get to Kalaloch. Your route via Port Angeles is probably not a good choice, anyway. You would be better off going via Olympia. You won't pass near Hurricane Ridge, but you will get there faster. You also won't need to take a ferry.

If your daughter has motion sickness, you will have a problem as, under the best of circumstances, it will take three and a half hours to get from Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge. Do ginger capsules work for her?

The Hoh Rain Forest is less than an hour from Kalaloch. It is in a remote area with few services, so plan accordingly. What kind of hiking do you want to do? There is one very short but lovely hike, the Hall of Mosses, and there are longer, wilder, and even more beautiful choices as well.

Rialto Beach is about an hour from Kalaloch and well worth a visit. There are places to eat not far away.

The OP is enormous, so driving cannot be avoided. It can be hard to get a good meal west of PA, although I have fond memories of the blackberry pie at Kalaloch Lodge. Stick to fish prepared as simply as possible, and you should be ok.

Bellevue, WA
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2. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

The ferries would not save you any time. The quickest route is via Olympia and Aberdeen: 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Avoid traveling that route on Friday afternoon. If you do travel at rush hour, take 167 south from Renton and 512, avoiding Tacoma on I-5.

First of all, you have spectacular beaches right there at Kalaloch and 7 miles north at Ruby Beach. You might not want to leave. The biggest beach logs you will ever see litter these beaches - washed down the Hoh River.

Plan to spend a day driving around Lake Quinault and hit all the highlights: the 1,000 year old Big Cedar, July Creek with its panoramic view, the 100 year old Kestner Homestead, the Maple Glade trail, the beautiful upper Quinault River valley, the 1,000 year old Big Spruce, the Rain Forest Trail, and the historic Lake Quinault Lodge with its excellent restaurant.

Seattle
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3. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

As noted, it's important to find out when your trip is due to the closure of the Hood Canal Bridge.

I personally find Kalaloch to be too far west and south to be a good base for visiting ONP but if you're going to limit yourself to the Hoh and Rialto beaches then maybe it'll work well for you. Also be prepared for extremely basic accommodations, and not so great food.

Plan on at least an hour to get from Kalaloch to either the Hoh Visitors Center or Rialto Beach.

It'll take you at least 4-4.5 hours to reach Kalaloch from Seattle whichever way you drive around so you might consider staying at Lk Crescent instead to minimize the driving a bit (assuming you're visiting after mid-June so the bridge will be re-opened).

Austin
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4. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

Thanks for the feedback. I thought I posted a reply but cannot find it anywhere, so here goes:

We are traveling during the 3rd week of July.

My husband likes the mountains and I like the beach, and our daughter loves nature, so we thought ONP might satisfy us all!

One of the reasons we felt that Kalaloch Lodge suited us best is that they advertise kitchens in some of the cabins. Our daughter has an eating disorder so we usually travel with food and choose accommodations where we can cook some basic meals.

I could be very happy with the beaches near the Lodge and am excited about tidal pools, which you don't see on the Texas Gulf Coast!

But wow, 4 - 4 1/2 hours one way from Seattle to Kalaloch? We were going to leave Seattle/Redmond on Monday morning to drive to Kalaloch, and our return flight home leaves mid-afternoon on that Wednesday. If we spend 1/2 of Monday getting there, and all of Wednesday driving/flying home, are we going to be able to relax and enjoy ourselves or is it going to feel like we barely got out of the rental car? I think we could spend one more night and return home on Thursday, but don't know if the lodge has availability.

We went to Mt. Rainier NP several years ago and loved it. We almost decided to go back there this visit but then thought we'd like to see a different part of the state and the parks. I am very undecided about what to do at this point.

Any advice would be very much appreciated! thanks!

Bellevue, WA
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5. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

You might enjoy being based on the ocean at Pacific Beach or Moclips. There are many choices of houses and cottages here with kitchens. You've got the ocean beaches (30 miles of sand in that county), seastack rocks at Point Grenville and Copalis Beach, and Lake Quinault a half hour away with its rain forests and beautiful mountain backdrop.

I've written about the area here:

http://www.NorthBeachVacation.com

The drive from Redmond is 2 3/4 hours via Olympia/Aberdeen, not counting stops and assuming you pick a time to avoid bad traffic.

Port Angeles, WA
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6. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

Unfortunately, if you want to stay at the Pacific beaches, you are going to have a four hour drive from Seattle. Alternatively, you could check the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce website, www.portangeles.org(NOT .com), and look for a house rental. There are some really good places for rent, although I am not sure how many will be available in July. PA is about three hours from Seattle and an hour and fifteen minutes from LaPush and its glorious beaches. It is also right at the foot of Hurricane Ridge. You would have many choices for food shopping in PA as well, including the local Farmers' Market that runs on Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon.

Seattle
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7. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

With only 2 nights, Kalaloch is just too far to go, IMO. And you may have trouble finding a rental house that will allow just a 2 night stay, but if you can find something in the Port Angeles area then that would be my suggestion as well.

You might look at the Juan de Fuca Cottages near Sequim--I think they have kitchenettes but not full kitchens.

In any event, the ferry you want is the one to Bainbridge, not Bremerton.

Green Valley...
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8. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

I agree, it's an unrealistic trip in that short a time. And to skip Hurricane Ridge? Shame. :)

So here I go again, suggesting Whidbey Island as an alternative... You'll have beaches, beautiful state parks, Deception Pass SP and bridge, et al, but much closer to Seattle and the airport.

Whidbey Island (Great day or more getaway that is iconic of the Pacific NW, with key websites.)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58824-s2/Whidbey-Isl…

Austin
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9. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

Thanks to all who have helped us with your great suggestions and realistic facts! At one time, we had considered Whidbey Island and we had wondered if we would regret missing Hurricane Ridge. I also peeked at your journal regarding the Pacific Beach area, and we will now spend some time talking our Redmond friends into a joint vacation in one of those fabulous rental houses for a future trip to Washington. We knew that there is so much to see and do in your lovely state b/c our transplanted Texan friends are always sending us email pics of their latest weekend jaunt around the state! Unfortunately, we only have 1 week of vacation to spend.

With that said, we have decided to stay with Kalaloch Lodge and deal with the 4 hour drive -- remember, we are used to driving great distances in Texas for a change of scenery! We have booked a 3rd night with them, and will probably limit ourselves to the beaches near the lodge and Ruby Beach, and a 1/2 day to explore the Hoh Rainforest, since my daughter is so excited about it. Also, the maps show that we will drive right by Lake Quinault on the way, so we may decided to stop and have lunch and stretch our legs on the way in to Kalaloch.

Any other advice or tidbits of knowledge is always appreciated regarding the lodge and surrounding areas. Since our trip isn't until the middle of July, you may see more questions on this forum! thanks again!!

Seattle
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10. Re: Seattle to Kalaloch Lodge + day trips?

Good, I'm glad you've added another night out there!

I would definitely complete the loop around the Peninsula since Kalaloch is about halfway, rather than going via the southern route both ways (plus IMO the northern route is quite a bit more scenic).

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