We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time visit

Reno, NV
Level Contributor
68 posts
49 reviews
Save Topic
First time visit

Hello we will be visiting ONP at the end of May 2010. We will be camping in a tent trailer and were wondering where the best central location for seeing all the sights would be? Were coming from Nevada and need some advice on what campground would be the best. Thanks so much for your advice.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,388 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time visit

Your question is too broad to answer. ONP is enormous; there is no one central location from which to see everything. The park is roughly divided into a northern and a southern section. The south is much rainier than the north, so for a trip in May, which is still in the damp springtime, I would suggest concentrating on the northern half of the peninsula. That being said, what are you interested in seeing? Your answer will guide me and my fellow TAs so that we can suggest appropriate campgrounds.

Vancouver
Level Contributor
6 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time visit

Hi there,

If you are visiting the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula, I would highly recommend the Dungeness Spit County Park. Here is a link: clallam.net/Countyparks/…parks_dungeness.htm

This is a beautiful, forested park overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and it has lots of beach access and places to walk. You will be within easy driving distance of Port Townsend, Port Angeles and Sequim. All of these towns have their own ambience and charm with Port Townsend being the most charming.

At Dungeness Spit, you are also within easy driving distance of the northern accesses to the Olympic National Park which includes Hurricane Ridge. I have not actually camped within ONP so cannot speak to the camping experince there. However Dungeness Spit gives you the ocean with easy access to the mountains! :) Have a great holiday!

Edited: 07 March 2010, 18:57
Reno, NV
Level Contributor
68 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time visit

Thank You all for your timely response and much needed advice. We would like to see some beatiful beaches, the rainforest, Huricane Ridge, visit the San Juan Islands, the hotsprings, and of course do some great hikes. We have two weeks to enjoy all WA has to offer. Of course im open to suggestions on things not to be missed.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,388 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time visit

OK, this gives us all something to work on. For starters, check out www.kaleberg.com and look at the entries under the park heading. Sueinbc's suggestion to base yourself at the Dungeness Spit is a good one. Another lovely camping spot is the Salt Creek Recreation Area, a Clallam County park with magnificent campsites right on the bluffs overlooking the Straits of San Juan de Fuca. You can look it up at www.clallam.net. The Sol Duc campsites inside Olympic National Park have excellent facilities and are right next to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. You mentioned you wanted to see the hot springs. There are two. Sol Duc Hot Springs are not wild; they are piped into a series of swimming pools at the rustic Hot Springs Resort, and you must pay to use them. Olympic Hot Springs are wild. They require a hike, and they tend to have fairly high levels of coliform and other bacteria, so use them at your own risk.

Any of the above camping areas will be well within a two hour drive to the Hoh Rain Forest, Rialto Beach, Second Beach, and Hurricane Ridge.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First time visit

"We have two weeks to enjoy ALL WA has to offer." Sadly, not a chance.

But, you'll have a great visit given your post.

The following is critical to the success of your trip.

Here is the ferry schedule information, including the route map.

Ferry Routes and Schedules, WA State Ferries (Beautiful views, ride at least one, perhaps Bainbridge Island).

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

You'll see that access to the islands, by car, is via Anacortes. There is no direct route to the Olympic Peninsula.

So, you might see the islands first, then return to Anacortes, drive south (very worthwhile across Deception Pass Bridge) to Whidbey Island and the Keystone - Port Townsend ferry and from there travel to ONP. Lovely all the way.

NOTE: You will need reservations on this ferry, but not others.

Here is an Inside Page created for the San Juan Islands; it will help you to choose your base and what you might wish to see on neighboring islands, but you'll need a car.

San Juan Islands (Information on the several major islands, with key websites.)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

http://www.nps.gov/sajh/index.htm

Everett, Washington
Level Contributor
2,409 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First time visit

As noted driest would be in the rain shadow areas like Sequim or Port Angeles. But by May the rains in the area are not as much from the SW flow as from pop-up daytime heating showers due to stonger sun. This can mean the Pacific Shore areas can be less rainy with onshore winds moving the pop-up showers away. Even so visiting the Pacific beaches and the rainforests would not be a long drive for day trips from a base camp.

Another thought....the Olympic Mts. are set more on the eastern side of the penninsula so tend to rise more dramatically from Hood Canal. From the Pacific beach areas the foothills obscure the higher peaks. Scenic Beach State Park near Bremerton has camping spots and offers some really nice views (weather permitting) but would not make a good base for ONP areas. Nice picnic spot.

Also near Hood Canal is Mt. Walker which has some really good views of both the Olympics and across Puget Sound to Seattle.

fs.fed.us/r6/…MtWalkerViewpt.pdf

Do it with the trailer parked elsewhere due to condition of the road to the top.

7. Re: First time visit

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 September 2010, 05:21