First Time Hikers - ONP

Old Jun 16th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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First Time Hikers - ONP

I'm re-posting this specifically in the WA forum....

My hubby and I are planning a trip to ONP in September. We have never done day-long hikes and am wondering what advice fellow Fodorites have. Also, besides convenience stores, are there any grocery stores in and around the area where we could stock up on stuff for lunches and snacks? I'm a hiking newbie, so any advice - even small - would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Def break in your boots beforehand as suggested in the other thread. What kind of footwear are you planning on bringing?

You want to be sure to carry water--I use a Camelback that also has room for some food and at least some of the ten hiking essentials (do a google search if you don't know what those are).

ONP is pretty big and spread out--there are grocery stores in the bigger towns.
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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Do you have boots yet? If not go to a store such as REI (not just any sporting goods store) and get fitted. For myself, I swear by Lowa's.

As NWW said, Camelbak's are great and the 10 essentials are, well essential

Trekking poles are a lifesaver for your knees. Again, REI is a good place for those.

Not to scare you, but vehicle breakins at trailheads are annoying, so we always take our vehicle registration in our packs with us and leave nothing, absolutely nothing in the vehicle. This is not specific to ONP, just hiking in general.

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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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NWW - Thanks for the tip on the 10 essentials - I googled it. Great information!

Regarding footwear...I had read that we'll need several pairs of shoes. I'm counting at least 3: slip ons for the flight over, hiking shoes/boots, and a pair I don't mind getting wet or ruined for the beach walks. Am I missing anything?

mss - very interesting about the breakins! It will be a rental so not like they'll get anything out of it. This might sound like a dumb question, but if we store everything in the trunk are the thieves less likely to break in?! (thinking if they can't see it they won't want it?)
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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A good pair of hiking boots will suffice for along the beach as well. We Nikwax ours every so often and it keeps them water repellant.

As far as keeping things in the trunk, personally I would not do that. You mention you are day hiking, so I would just leave everything in the hotel. I will say that we have never had a problem with theft at ONP, but I would not chance it.

Do you know what hikes you plan on doing yet? A nice one that would be good for a newbie is the Cape Alava-Sand Point Loop. It is 9 miles and makes a triangle. Be sure to check the tides as you do not want to be on the beach area during high tide. The trail s tarts near Ozette Lake.
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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I was hoping to find a good book about ONP and the various hikes, but haven't started that search yet. So, no, I really am just 'winging it' when I get there.

Regarding the Cape Alava-Sand Point Loop, I did read about that on another site and bookmarked it. The ONP visitor center gives out info on the tides, correct?
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Two good websites for local hiking are www.nwhikers.net which has great forums, and then www.wta.org. I assume the visitors center has the tide info, but you can look it up online as well. As far as books, do you have an REI near you? They have a good selection usually. You can look online as well. I personally like books by William Sullivan as well as The Mountaineers.
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Thanks mms for the websites. I do not have an REI - but will check out their website. Thanks again for all your help!
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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You should write or email ONP. The Park will send you a packet of information including a park map and a list of day hikes. Have you checked out the park website? There is a lot of information on the site.
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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y lou - I did check their site and they have downloadable pdf copies of brochures, so I'll check those out. Didn't see anything specific about them sending out a packet of info so maybe they are cutting costs by having you do it yourself, which I don't mind. Thanks!
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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As mentioned already, the ONP is a large and spread out area. There's various towns with stores for supplies.

As far as shoes, I also always travel with my gym/running sneakers (Brook or Nike Air). Since you mention you're new to this, & if you've never hiked in hiking boots before, they might be overkill for your needs on some days.
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Buffy--If you do the Cape Alava hike, you will not want tennis shoes. There is a boardwalk that can get quite slippery and you will want shoes with some good grip. There are so many styles of hiking boots, so find what you like. I prefer mid ankle, which keeps a lot of stuff from getting down in.
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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mms - I have several pairs of Merrells which I believe are specifically geared toward hiking, although they aren't boots. I used them for a lot of my walks/hikes in Maine and northern Minnesota. I definitely won't be bringing tennis shoes -- those are my shopping shoes and I don't plan on doing much shopping on this trip! The hubby will be happy about that!
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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The park still sends out information packets. I have addressed many of them when I volunteer at the Visitor Center. I did notice the downloadable files but the day hiking list was not available on line. It is a very handy list that is organized by area and gives a brief description of the hike. If you have time when you pass through Port Angeles be sure to stop at the Visitor Center. We love to answer questions!
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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Buffy--Sounds like you are set for shoes
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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y lou - I emailed the park directly for that day hike list you recommended. Thanks for the info! Also my hubby and I are staying in Port Angeles the first night so we'll be sure to stop at the Visitor Center. We can never have too much information! Thanks again everyone!
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Old Jun 16th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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I don't know if you need suggestions on where to stay in PA, but the Best Western Olympic Lodge there is very good.
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Old Jun 17th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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mms - I read wonderful things about the Best Western Olympic Lodge so I booked our first night there. Based on another Fodorite's suggestion, I asked for a room facing the golf course (supposed to be a great view). I can't even tell you how excited I am for this trip! September can't come soon enough!
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Old Jun 18th, 2008, 06:27 AM
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Buffy--We have had rooms facing the golf course and they were very nice.
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Old Jun 18th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Isn't this the day-hiking list?

http://www.nps.gov/olym/day-hiking.htm

You have to click on the "more information on day hikes" to get the list. I couldn't link to the pdf itself.

Do head up to Hurricane Ridge (on a clear day) and take some of the short walks up there., such as to Hurricane Hill.

For longer hikes, here is a link to the guide for mountain trails:

http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisi...ain-trails.htm

If you like hikes with some elevation gain, Heather Park is really nice:

http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisi...park-trail.htm
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