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1 Day in Olympic National Park

Neutral Bay...
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1 Day in Olympic National Park

We only have 1 day spare in Seattle and would love to head out the Olympic National Park, I have read a few reviews of people who have done it in 1 day and those who would recommend not tackling it in 1 day! So I am not sure what to do, do we skip it completely or make the effort?

The main draw card for me was that I have always wanted to go to the beaches along the coastline because of the dramatic scenery.

I also wouldn't mind stopping in Aberdeen (Nirvana fans) and also Forks (boyfriend is a Twilight fan). The forests look nice, so does Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge.

We have been to the US Rockies & Smoky Mountains before & we are doing a month long trip around the US taking in many National Parks including the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier NP, Arcadia NP so we obviously want to see things in Olympic NP that we cant see or are far superior to what we can see in these parks.

We are used to doing alot of our National Park touring via car with minimal hiking only really to lookouts or short walks etc. due to time limitations.

Our other consideration if this seems too far out of reach for a daytrip is to go to Mt Rainier NP however I am not sure if we will be seeing anything that we won't see at the other parks.

The last alternative if none of this works out is to just spend the day in Seattle however we have spent a lot of time there before or head onto Vancouver which we have already been to before. Really just looking for something off the beaten track to do which is why I have leaned toward ONP.

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Neutral Bay...
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1. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

I should also mention that this would be for Sunday 28 September.

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

What else is your itinerary?

You can do it in one day---but its crazy.

2 days is much more mangeable.

distances:

Seattle to forks is about 4 hrs one way---this is going either way---going to the South to aberdeen then north or going west via ferry/tacoma narrows bridge then drive. thus 8 hours round trip drive.

To do anything inside Olympic national park involves spur roads into the park at different points which takes time. End of September you only have 12 hrs of sunlight so this limits what you can do.

This is why I suggest doing it in 2 days with an overniht in forks...then you can see the park.

for example:

on day 1 drive south then to Aberdeen, stop by Quinault and the coastal park of 101 to Forks, sunset at Rialto beach. On day 2, do hoh rain forest in the aM, then drive by Crescent Lake, in the afternoon drive up to Hurricane ridge. then return to seattle at night.

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Poulsbo, Washington
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3. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

One day for Olympic does not make very good sense. A fair amount of effort with little in return, Some people go to Port Angeles for the day to visit Hurricane Ridge or Lake Crescent. If you can spend one night get back to us. Even spending the night trying to visit Forks and Aberdeen could mean 8 hrs in the car with very little to see and experience.

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4. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

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Port Angeles, WA
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5. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

Go to Mt. Rainier if the weather is good. It is nothing like the other destinations on your list. You will be amazed at the sight of that giant volcano, covered with snow and looking exactly like a giant meringue looming over Western Washington. Really, it does look like some kind of mammoth dessert.

As for ONP, don't go if you only have one day. As Dan P pointed out, daylight is limited at the end of September. The beautiful beaches in ONP are, obviously, all the way west of Seattle. Rialto Beach is about 4.5 hours minimum, with no stops, and in late September it may well be rainy or foggy at the coast. It is possible to visit Hurricane Ridge in a day trip, but it is a 3 hour and 45 minute drive from Seattle each way, and most of the drive is only so-so in terms of scenic beauty. Moreover, Hurricane Ridge, although lovely and the site of many wonderful hikes, will not be that different from the other mountain destinations you plan to visit. It does offer gorgeous views of both mountains and sea, but it is not like Mt. Rainier, which really looks nothing like the Rockies, the Smokies, or the Grand Tetons.

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Neutral Bay...
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6. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

Thanks for all your feedback, I was thinking I might be a bit too ambitious in thinking this was possible!

Such a shame, hopefully I will get back to the Northwest again to experience ONP!

Maybe Rainier would be the best alternative as we do only have 1 day spare, there is no way we can squeeze another day into the itinerary.

7. Re: 1 Day in Olympic National Park

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