16 days in Washington state

Feb 21st, 2011, 08:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
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16 days in Washington state

Hi, my girlfriend are in the UK Armed Forces and we are both deployed away from each other for the next 6 months, we are planning a 16 day trip to Washington state in Aug 11 flying in/out Seattle. We want to road trip around the state, taking in national parks and anything of interest. We are both outdoorsy people and are up for any challenging activities that may be on offer in the area. Oh we also like good shopping preferably outlets!! Lol. Just looking for ideas on an itinerary and helpful local knowledge and tips on making this a fantastic trip to remember.
monkeysailor is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Well, first, how challenging? Want to climb Mount Rainier? Or wind surf in the Columbia River Gorge? Kayaking in the San Juans? Or just canoeing through the bulrushes on Lake Washington in Seattle? In August the list is long indeed.

Basically I'd be looking at a big "loop" around the state. From Seattle head north up Whidbey Island and cross to Port Townsend. Visit the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula, including Hurricane Ridge and Crescent Lake in Olympic National Park, then down the coast for beach hikes or camping, plus hikes and explorations in the Hoh or Quinault valley rainforests, much of the area also inside Olympic National Park.

Then follow the Columbia River upstream from Astoria to the Columbia Gorge, for more hikes or for the above-mentioned windsurfing around Hood River. Maybe hike up the sides of Mount Adams to pick huckleberries. Keep going east to US Hwy 97 and go north all the way to Lake Chelan. Take the Lady of the Lake to Stehekin and hike into North Cascades National Park. Continue north on US 97 to Washington Hwy 20 and cross over the mountains on the North Cascades Highway, back to Interstate 5 near the town of Mount Vernon. Head south for 30 min. to the biggest outlet mall in the northwest at the Tulalip Indian reservation. Then back to Seattle.

One of many, many alternative routes giving you a portrait of the state.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 21st, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Gardyloo's suggested route is a good one. But I'd make one change, after the Olympic Peninsul, turn east at Aberdeen then go from Olympia to Mt. Ranier and then to Mt. St. Helens. From there go south to the Columbia River gorge and pick up Gardyloo's loop again.
boom_boom is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 04:14 PM
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Hmmmmmmmmm, 16 days all "IN" Washington State is going to be a mental challenge not all of us ever get to contemplate.

The definites are:

Olympic Peninsula loop
North Cascades Hwy
Columbia Gorge
Mount Rainier

Some maybes are:

Chinook Pass toward Yakima
Lower Yakima Valley
Palouse Falls
Grand Coulee

Vancouver, Canada - if there is time
Portland, Oregon - if there is time

If we add just one or two more, there will probably be exactly one path/order in which they can be accomplished, and it will take hours or months to figure out the one possible order in which you can cover most of these.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 04:32 PM
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Gardyloo's suggestion and boom boom's revision are good ones - where you stay and what you do partly depends on budget but lots of great outdoors activities available on the suggested route. Some of our recent vacations took us to the above mentioned areas, a few highlights:
Elevated ice-cream in Port Townsend; Ruby Beach on the Washington Coast; our stay at Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park and the guided rainforest tour and swimming in the lake, beach fires and horseshoes on the gorgeous lawn; jet skiing on Lake Chehlan; picking blueberries at Blueberry Hills in Chehlan; wonderful berry pies nearly everywhere we went; exploring remote Stehikin (my husband remembers several terrific hikes but the little ones were not ready yet); Methow Valley; lots of people rafting on the river as we drove along; Washington Overlook and hiking Rainy Pass to a gorgeous lake; the tourist towns of Winthrop and Leavenworth but be prepared for summer crowds - best viewed as a stop along the way for a meal; Greenbank Farms (more great pie) and Langley both on Whidbey Island.

Of course, Seattle and Portland have much to offer as well.
POlson is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Loved, loved Vancouver. Queen Elizabeth Park rivals Butchart Gardens in Victoria and you can visit for free.
If time allows go see the real deal near Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Must see Mt. St. Helens...very amazing.
Lots to see and do in Seattle.
Olympic Peninsula loop
Didn't make it to Mount Rainier but would like to do that next time.
Deb15July is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 06:30 AM
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Nearby also is the spectacular Oregon coast. You might want to consider exploring it at least as far as Florence.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:50 AM
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In the interest of accuracy, weatherbase.com says that the average Seattle precipitation in September is 1.6 inches. November is 5.1, December is 5.4, January is back down to 5.1.
Bobmrg is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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On the way out I-84 toward Hood River, be sure to stop at Multnomah Falls (left exit to parking). Take the paved path/steps all the way to the top of the falls for a great view of the Columbia Gorge.
Near the Promenade in the small town of Seaside, Oregon you can see the site of Lewis & Clark's saltworks. They boiled seawater to make salt to preserve meat for their return trip.
tomfuller is offline  
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