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5 day national park trip

sf bay area
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5 day national park trip

We are planning a 5 day trip to the national park in July, starting from Seattle. Does this sound reasonable? Day 1 and 2 - drive to Port Angeles, Stay at the Olympic Lodge. Visit Hurricane Ridge and other points. Day 3 and 4 - drive to Lake Quinault and stay at the Lake Quinault Lodge. Visit Hoh rainforest and Ruby Beach. Day 5 - drive back to SeaTac and go home. My question is, how far is it from Lake Quinault to Hoh/Ruby, and should we just go from Port Angeles to Forks, stay in Forks and drive back to Seattle forgetting about Lake Quinault. I really want to see the Hoh and Ruby beach. Any ideas/info on a good 5 day visit?

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1. Re: 5 day national park trip

The drive from seattle to PA is only a few hours depending on traffic. You can see/do more then you list in 5 days.

Amsterdam, The...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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2. Re: 5 day national park trip

It's maybe an hour or hour and a half from Lake Quinault to the Hoh. Staying at Lake Quinault will be much more satisfying than staying in Forks.

sf bay area
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3. Re: 5 day national park trip

Anything else to suggest seeing? I just didn't know how long we would take hiking hurricane ridge, Hoh rainforest and seeing Ruby Beach. So you think 5 days in ONP is too much?

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Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach
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Olympic National Park, WA
seattle
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4. Re: 5 day national park trip

I could suggest you take a day trip and take the ferry to Victoria BC or spend some time exploring the city of Port Townsend, old victorian homes on the water or Fort Worden where they filmed an Officer and a Gentleman.

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Victoria
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Port Townsend
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5. Re: 5 day national park trip

The HOH and hurricanr ridge are perhaps several hours each

Port Angeles, WA
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6. Re: 5 day national park trip

If you enjoy hiking, you should take the four hour roundtrip hike along the River Trail to 5 Mile Island at the Hoh Rain Forest. You might want to spend more than 4 hours, in which case you could linger over a picnic at 5 Mile Island and explore the sandbars on the river, or you could hike farther along the River Trail. Take your time and savor the Hoh Rain forest. Not only are the trees incredible, but the river itself is magnificent.

You also might want to see Neah Bay, both for the views and for the Makah Museum. Perhaps you would like to try for Shi Shi Beach.

Ruby Beach is lovely, but you should also visit Rialto Beach, Second Beach, and perhaps Third Beach as well. If you are up for a four hour to five hour hike at what seems to be the end of the world, try the Cape Alava/Sand Pt. loop.

There are several extraordinary trails around Hurricane Ridge. By late July, Obstruction Point Rd. will be open, and you can hike the Lillian Ridge Trail at the end of Obstruction Pt. Road. If you are a strong hiker, you can make this an all day affair and hike down to Grand Lake. If you prefer a shorter hike, you can keep it to two hours by just going to the start of the switchbacks down to Grand Lake. You won't be sorry for doing Obstruction Point Road. It takes you into the heart of the mountains, and the views, the light, the flowers, and the glacial tarns are unforgettable.

You can make a two hour hike out of the lovely Switchback Trail about fifteen minutes below Hurricane Ridge. The trail is a good workout, but the views make every huff and puff worthwhile. This is another hike that can be extended easily; just walk along the ridge and continue as far as you like.

With these hikes, and the shorter but rewarding Hurricane Hill hike, you can easily spend two days enxploring Hurricane Ridge alone.

Don't forget Lake Crescent. You can swim at East Beach or hike the Spruce Railroad Trail. If you decide to swim in the Devil's Punchbowl, be prepared for VERY cold water. I swear there is a cold spring at the bottom of the bay; it's the iciest spot on all of Lake Crescent. However, once you see Lake Crescent, you will want to get close to it.

The Sol Duc Valley has several attractions, too. You can hike up to Deer Lake and stretch the hike another six hundred feet up to see the potholes. You can continue on if you want to make this an all day affair. Deer Lake is gorgeous, but the alpine meadows and little lakes in the Potholes are even more so. With luck, the huckleberries will be ripe, but if they are, watch out for bears. They love huckleberries, too.

All these trails, and more, are described in detail at www.kaleberg.com.

Finally, if you want to see the Olympic Peninsula from a different vantage point, contact Adventures Through Kayaking, (888) 900-3015, about a sea kayaking trip. They are a great outfit.

You can easily spend five days here and still have lots to see and do. Don't cut your trip short. Port Angeles and Lake Quinault Lodge are good bases for seeing everything.

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7. Re: 5 day national park trip

Agree with Kaleberg not to cut your trip short if you have the time.

This is clearly a huge park with a ton to see (and do and drive to). We're a little sorry we didn't tack on an extra day or two now that we have a better sense of it all.

Have a great time whatever you choose (really depends on your fitness level and so forth as well--Kaleberg is a hiker and I imagine a younger one at that, although I could be wrong).

I'm fairly sure it would take me longer than 4 hours to do a ten mile hike, but I tend to linger a lot, especially as a first timer somewhere.

Something there for everyone regardless.

Hope you report back as to how it went.

sf bay area
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8. Re: 5 day national park trip

This is all very good information for me - thanks! We have 2 kids, ages 9 and 11, and so we aren't what I would consider "major" hikers, but we have done 6 mile hikes in Yosemite. But from what you all have described, hikes in Hurricane Ridge is do-able. I've heard the beaches (Ruby/Rialto, etc) are great to see.

So I think I'll go ahead an keep to my itinerary and stay for 2 days in PA, 2 days in Lake Quinault and attempt the areas in between from those basepoints. My 11 year old would've loved to stay in a twilight-themed room in Forks, but maybe a quick visit to the town will do. Too "cheesey" for me.

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sf bay area
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9. Re: 5 day national park trip

Kaleberg, I have a quick question for you....I went to your website and found your driving time/distance chart - wonderful!! But I was wondering why you didn't list any of the southern points of the park? Not worth going to, or is your prime focus just the Northern part? Is the distance from Lake Quinault Lodge and Olympic Lodge in PA about the same?

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10. Re: 5 day national park trip

My kids just drove out to Forks just to say they had been there. They spend about an hour and a half there, part of the time eating at Subway. "So lame" is their description. Of course, that was a boy, but the girls didn't have much better to say. They loved La Push, though.