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Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

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carrollton, ga
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Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

My family (Myself, wife, daughter age 8, son age 6) are planning on spending a week in Washington July 24-July 31. Currently my itinerary looks like this:

Sat - Arrive in Seattle 2:30 - rent car and drive to Port Angeles (undecided about using Ferry or taking Tacoma narrows bridge)

Sun - Ferry to Victoria - Whale watching - Return to port angeles and drive to LaPush and stay at Quileute Oceanside resort. If time hike on beach that evening (Sunset is not until almost 9 pm)

Mon - Hike around Hoh River (we considered a rafting trip but I think it may be a little cold for the kids) in morning and then spend time at Rialto beach/second beach etc... in afternoon evening.

Tues - Leave for long drive to Mt. Ranier in am but plan on stopping to hike around Hurricane Ridge on the way. It sounds like a beautiful spot and it would break up the drive a little. Plan on staying at the Paradise Inn that night.

Wed-Thursday: Hike around Mt. Ranier National Park. Leave Thursday late afternoon and drive back to Seattle. Possibly go to Space Needle that evening.

Friday - Spend time in Seattle. I am planning on taking them to the museum of flight but have not decided on other activities.

Saturday - fly out at 1:30 pm.

We love to hike although with the kids we can't do extremely long ones. I appreciate any advice but have two main questions.

First - given the long drive to mount Rainier is there some change to the itinerary that may break that up some. I thought about trying to do the beaches and hoh river in the morning on Monday and then heading and going to hurricane ridge in the late afternoon before driving part of the way to Mt. Rainier. I was not sure if that gave us enough time in the west end and also did not have a great place that was worth stopping on the way down. I don't want the trip to be anymore rushed than necessary so it seemed taking a couple days at La Push would give us a nice break.

That leads into my second question - Is it even worth going to Hurricane ridge given that we are heading to Mt. Rainier? There seems to be so many places to hike around at Mr. Rainier that I am debating just going straight there Tuesday morning. We would get in by lunch time and would have the afternoon to hike around some there.

Any thoughts would be helpful. I really just need about three weeks to see everything :).

Amsterdam, The...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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1. Re: Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

I think skipping Hurricane Ridge is a viable option that helps keep you from trying to do too much. Your best bet is probably driving around the south end to get to Rainier anyway.

You're on the right track. Have fun.

chuck.

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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2. Re: Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

I agree with my friend Pala. As beautiful as Hurricane Ridge is, you will get fabulous views from Paradise. After 30 years of camping at Mt. Rainier, my wife and I stayed at Paradise last summer for one night to see the alpine wildflowers in the meadows. I will send you a photo. Getup early and beat the crowds for quiet viewing. There are paved paths from the Lodge so it is easy for the kids, and a short walk to a pretty waterfall. You should consider returning via 101 thru Aberdeen and Olympia and not hassle with the ferry. Your time doing this will not be any longer and it will be a better aproach to Mt. Rainier from Tacoma. Also consider Pt. Townsend for whale whatching. Some friends from the East did this last year and saw plenty of whales as there is a cruise co. there which goes to the San Juans. This would be easier then Victoria if you are not going there to city the City. We always camp above the beach at Rialto, but we had other friends that we visited at the Quileute Resort. I agree with your decision not to do the raft trip. It would be fun, but I have Kayaked that part of the River, and I feel walking amongst old growth Rainforest is better time spent.

Port Angeles, WA
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3. Re: Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

I agree with Chuck and Glacier. Much as I love Hurricane Ridge and its trails, I think it's the wrong choice on the day you are driving to Mr. R. Whatever you do, don't shortchange the Hoh Rain Forest and the beaches; you won't see anything like them anywhere else.

Poulsbo, Washington
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4. Re: Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

I also second what Kaleberg said: the Hoh is very special. Do not be surprised by all the clearcuts outside of the Park; once in the Park it is Magic.

Seattle
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5. Re: Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

Even with skipping Hurricane Ridge, that is quite a long drive you're planning from La Push to Mt Rainier especially given the age of your kids. Consider breaking it up at a place like Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal.

6. Re: Advice on time in west end and ONP vs. Mt. Ranier.

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