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3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

Happy Valley, Oregon
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3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

Hi all,

My husband and I are planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest in July 2014. After staying in Seattle for a couple of days, we plan to head to Port Angeles/Olympic National Park. I'm a bit intimidated by the size of Olympic NP and the driving distances, so I was wondering if I could get some feedback on our itinerary.

Day 1: Leave Seattle early in the morning and head to Port Angeles/Olympic National Park. Stop at Hurricane Ridge and possibly do a short hike there. After Hurricane Ridge, we'd drive to Lake Crescent and hike to Marymere Falls, then we'd drive to Forks and stay there for the night (I'm looking at Manitou Lodge).

Day 2: Drive from Manitou/Forks to Hoh and do the Hall of Mosses and Spruce Nature Trails, then drive back to Forks and explore Rialto Beach (and possibly some others) in the late afternoon/sunset. We'd stay the night again in Forks at Manitou Lodge.

Day 3: If we end up not spending much time at the coast on Day 2, we'd visit the coast in the morning, then drive back to Seattle from Forks.

The only thing I'm not sure we'd be able to squeeze in that I would like to do is the hike to Sol Duc Falls. I thought we could maybe do it on Day 3, on our way back to Seattle.

Is this too much??

Any input/feedback is much appreciated!

Thanks,

Jenn

Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

I'm going to give you some driving times. Keep in mind that I live in Port Angeles and that these estimates are based on many years of experience.

Seattle to Port Angeles via the Bainbridge Island Ferry is 3 hours, allowing for a modest wait in the ferry line. If you are traveling early on a Saturday morning in July, the trip will take longer as the ferries are very crowded then.

Port Angeles to the Hurricane Hill Trail at the summit of Hurricane Ridge is 45 minutes. The Hurricane Ridge parking lot itself is only 40 minutes.

The Marymere Falls Trail starts at the Barnes Creek entrance to Lake Crescent. It is an 80 minute drive from the Hurricane Hill Trail to Barnes Creek.

Manitou Lodge is roughly 30 minutes from the Barnes Creek entrance to Lake C.

Manitou Lodge to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is roughly 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Rialto Beach is only about 15 minutes from Manitou Lodge, maybe even less.

Forks to Seattle via the Bainbridge Island Ferry is 4 hours plus, allowing for a modest ferry wait. It can be more on a Sunday afternoon in July.

Do you want the hike times?

Poulsbo, Washington
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2. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

You will enjoy your visit to Olympic if you can add another day. I personally like the cabins at Huckelberry Lodge, Cabins at Beaver Creek and Quillayute River Resort better than Manitou. If you get an early start you have plenty of daylight your first day. I would pick Sol Duc Falls over Marymere if I had to choose. If you do not care what time you return to Seattle you could visit Marymere on your way back to the city. You certainly have the time. It is not that long a walk.

I think the main river trail at the Hoh is more interesting than the Spruce Nature Trail. Like any nature trail in the Park, you will run into more people on one being so close to the visitors center and the parking lot.

Port Angeles, WA
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3. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

I could not agree more with Glaciermeadows' recommendation of the Hoh River Trail over the Spruce Nature Trail. I was keeping quiet about trail choices for my first post, but now that the topic has been broached, I can say that the Hoh River Trail is so beautiful and so unusual that missing it would be a sad mistake. Not only does the River Trail showcase some magnificent trees, it runs along the beautiful Hoh River. Because the river carries suspended minerals ground out of the mountains by the Blue Glacier, its water is an unusual milky teal. When the trail runs down to the river, you can look up along the valley and catch glimpses of the distant mountains. The 6 mile round trip to Tom's Meadow and the 10 mile (largely flat and easy) round trip to 5 Mile Island are two of the choicest day hikes in the park. Please take a look at my website, www.kaleberg.com, for pictures and trail descriptions.

Happy Valley, Oregon
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4. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

Kaleberg, Thank you so much for this! Somewhere in my planning I overlooked the fact that we have to take a ferry from Seattle. Who knows when I would have found that out if it weren't for your reply, so thank you! Your breakdown of the drive is very helpful. Looks like it's a lot of time in the car, but there also isn't really a way around that, it seems.

glaciermeadows, Thanks for recommending the cabins at Huckelberry Lodge, Cabins at Beaver Creek and Quillayute River Resort. I will check those all out. I also like your suggestion about Sol Duc Falls rather than Marymere, and possibly hitting Marymere on the way back to Seattle. We'll also end up doing the main river trail at Hoh rather than Spruce, most likely.

Again, thank you for the helpful tips. We're very much looking forward to our trip.

Jenn

Happy Valley, Oregon
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5. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

We do have the option of doing this trip in June rather than July-- would that be a wise choice to avoid the crowds? We are also going to Mt. Rainier and hope to do some hiking there. I was afraid of roads being closed in June due to snow, though.

Port Angeles, WA
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6. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

No, please come in July. The truth is, ONP is so huge that crowds are never a problem. In fact, if you have been to places like the Grand Canyon, or even beautiful Lake Louise in August, you will find the so-called "crowds" at ONP to be a mere handful of people in comparison. You are going to have a wonderful time, and you really do not need to worry about crowding.

Poulsbo, Washington
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7. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

I prefer the rainforests in June, but weather is never a concern for me. I agree go for July, especially if you are visiting Rainier. Chances are you will se more sun in July and June is early for the mountains.

Banks, Oregon
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8. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

Hi TeamJT------I stayed at the Huckleberry Lodge once a while back-really nice-----but just one little warning-I can't remember the exact name of the cabin but it was the closest one to the main house-----it has a big stuffed cougar mounted up high near the ceiling near the bed. I woke up in the middle of the night and boy is that scary! Just a thought :). they do serve a really nice breakfast in the main house-enjoy!

New York City, New...
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9. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

thinking of olympic park at the beginning of March!2014. Too terrible weather wise? rsvp

New York City, New...
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10. Re: 3 days/2 nights in Olympic, looking for itinerary feedback

WE are thinking of Olympic Park visit at the beginning of March 2014. Too terrible weather wise? Any suggestions? thanx

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