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ONP Itinerary Help

uk
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ONP Itinerary Help

Have gone through loads of posts on this forum and get more confused the more I go on with which parts of ONP to visit where to stay etc.

Can anyone help with the following. We plan perhaps to visit a part of ONP we know we will only scratch the surface) from Seattle before travelling down to Portland area.

We want to avoid the ferry to ONP from Seattle so what is the best way to drive, what parts of ONP should we aim to see and what is the best way to drive from there down to Portland without backtracking a lot. We would probably spend 2 nights in the area. We don't want to do big hikes but like walking, scenery etc. We also like nice accommodation. Thanks

Mukilteo, Washington
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1. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Two ways to avoid ferries to visit Olympic Park from Seattle:

1. From Tacoma take hwy 16 across the Tacoma Narrows bridge through Gig Harbor and then continue north on hwy 16 to Port Angeles (northern side of the park), or south on hwy 106 to Hood Canal along the eastern side of the park (this accesses the eastern side of the park). 106 connects to hwy 101 and then hwy 12 which you could take through Aberdeen/Hoquiam (accesses southern end of park).

OR

2. From Olympia take hwy 8 connecting with hwy 12 to Hoquiam/Aberdeen and then follow hwy 101 north (accesses the southern and Pacific Coast areas of the park).

The big sights in the park include (from south to north); Lake Quinault, beaches starting at Kalaloch, Hoh River, beaches near La Push outside of Forks (Beaches #s 1, 2 & 3 plus Rialto), Solduc Hot Springs (north side), Crescent Lake, Hurricane Ridge (outside of Port Angeles).

So, with a couple days you can hit all these places either north to south, or south to north. You could do a complete circle around the park by following hwy 16 north to 101, then follow 101 all the way around to hwy 12 and back to interstate 5 (or do it in the reverse direction).

uk
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2. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Thanks so much for the info. That is a great help. If we were doing north to south which may be more appropriate if we are eventually travelling south where would be the best places to stay for 2 overnights?

Mukilteo, Washington
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3. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Actually - we're doing just that with some friends visiting from out of town, BUT we're starting in Mukilteo (north of Seattle) so first night in Forks and second night in Olympia. Also, our trip will involve lots of driving starting with the ferry crossing from Edmonds to Kingston.

You could spend the night in those places too, but for your trip I'd recommend first night in Port Angeles (or Forks) and second night in Lake Quinault (or Kalaloch). An alternate could two nights at the Kalaloch Lodge (since they require a two-night minimum stay in summer) BUT they may be already sold out for the summer.

Poulsbo, Washington
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4. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

With only two nights my advise would be to stay both nights at Lake Quinault. That will involve some backtracking, but save on a lot of driving. Concentrate on many lovely hikes through the Quinault Rainforest and the beaches thirty minutes North. Ruby and Beach Four are beautiful. This way with such a short time you can concentrate on one area of the Park and make the most of it. Quinault has a terrific Lodge and some terrific rentals if the dates are available. The Lodge has good food, which is lacking in the Forks area.

uk
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5. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Thanks for that guys. Yes saving on the driving is a bonus. Coming from UK it is always stressful for a while to get used to driving on right. Had a look at accommodation and would definitely book in advance. I agree that perhaps doing that one section would be fine for us as we also are wanting to do Mt. Rainier and St. Helens on our trip.

Am I right in thinking that if we go via Port Angeles we need to go by ferry which we are not keen to do so our best route would be as CascadeBob said go towards Aberdeen and then Hwy 101 north?

Poulsbo, Washington
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6. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

You do not have to take a ferry if you want to drive by way of the Northern section of the Park. You can drive by way of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The problem is if you want to stay in the SW section of the Park you are driving a ways out of your way.For the most part the only scenic part is a small section along the coast and the drive along Lake Crescent.

The Drive by way of Aberdeen is very boring, but it will get you quicker to the Quinault area if that is where you choose to stay. Much of it is four lane driving which you will probably find less stressful. I am spending three weeks in the UK in September and have not driven there since the 70's so I can relate.

uk
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7. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Where are you going in UK?

Poulsbo, Washington
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8. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

I had lined up a housesitting situation on the West Coast of Ireland, but it just fell through this morning. I am hoping Ireland, maybe Northern Scotland or the Cotswolds. Where do you live?

Edited: 05 May 2014, 23:32
uk
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9. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Cotswold are lovely. We were there a couple of weeks ago for short trip. We are West Scotland but go to north a lot. What type of trip are you looking to do and I could advise on some areas.

uk
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10. Re: ONP Itinerary Help

Cotswold are lovely. We were there a couple of weeks ago for short trip. We are West Scotland but go to north a lot. What type of trip are you looking to do and I could advise on some areas.

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