Help with trip to Olympic National Park

Old Apr 15th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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Help with trip to Olympic National Park

I am currently planning a trip to Seattle, ONP, and Mt Rainier - having never been to the northwest before. The first two days will be in Seattle and then I plan to spend a few days at ONP before finishing up with Mt Rainier and heading back to the airport. I was wondering what would be the best way to see the parts of the park I am interested in (Hurricane Ridge, Crescent Lake & the falls, Hoh Rain Forest and Ruby Beach) that would involve the least amount of driving and good hiking/walking opportunities. I will have 3 days, the morning of the 1st will involve traveling from Seattle and probably the evening of the 3rd will involve getting off the Penninsula and on the way to Mt Rainier. Any suggestions on itinerary, lodging, and places to grab a good meal? Thanks!
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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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You can start with : http://www.nps.gov/olym/
and:
http://www.olympic.national-park.com/
You can stay at Sol Duc hot springs or Port Angeles or Lake Crescent. Port Angeles has the most hotel rooms. You can also look up Lake Crescent on trip advisor and see if anything appeals to you. Forks is also by rain forest and ruby beach so that might work for you. Driving directions depend on what day of the week you are driving and time of day because the ferrys can be 2 or 3 boat wait.
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/index.cfm

and pick ferry cams and you can determine if you want to take ferry or drive around. I live near Olympic national park so I don't know about hotels. In Sequim you can get dungeness crabs fresh during the year. Also lots of fresh clam and oysters in different towns.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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Hmmm, only three days including travel time? Here's how I would plan it...

Day 1: Get up VERY early (4:30/5:00 am) and get out of Seattle. Take the Bainbridge Island ferry and head over towards Port Angeles. Go up to Hurricane Ridge and take a short hike up at the top. Overnight at Lake Crescent if you can, otherwise stay in Port Angeles.

Day 2: Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls (2 mile round trip hike) early lunch in Forks, Hoh rain forest, sunset at one of the beaches and overnight at Kalaloch Lodge or Lake Quinault/Amanda Park.

Day 3: Take the back road from lake Quinault to Moclips then down to Ocean Shores. Head towards Mt Rainier by going through Hoquiam & Aberdeen (birthplace of the band Nirvana) This will lead you to Olympia and back to civilization!

Having said all that, this will be an extremely fast paced trip and I wouldn't recommend it. You could easily spend three days exploring between the Hood Canal and Port Angeles. I would allow around 5 to 7 days to see ONP properly.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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I don't think that is enough time to do the plan comfortably (although I love the itinerary directly above). It may not appear that way on a map, but these are some LONG distances, many stretches with a "middle of nowhere" kind of feel. While personally I love living in Seattle, for you I'd skip Seattle entirely and put all your time into this route.

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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 05:58 PM
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That 3 day route is doable, but skip Ocean Shores-it's the most tacky and developed, least scenic part of the coast. Just head from Klaloch or Quinalt (or where ever you stay the night) to Rainier. Also, day 2 is pretty packed-I'd skip the Marymere Falls walk in favor of more time at the Rainforest or the beach.
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Yes its an ambitious itinerary but doable.
Follow John's advice, but
I would also try to add Mt. St. Helens since you're fairly close.
It is worth taking 1/2 day away from Seattle to see it.
Ocean Shores is totally fine although it is touristy.
But then you will be a tourist when there so you will fit right in
Do skip its neighbor Moclips, its quite sad, almost scary.
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Old Apr 30th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Skip Moclips?!!!! Now I'm scared! I've booked there in July!!!! Is it just boring, or something more sinister?!!!!!
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Old Apr 30th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Sojurner, Where are you booked exactly?
Moclips is right on the water and at one time might have been a hip place, but now it consists of only a few motels and small places to eat, all mom and pops.
In a word it is D E S O L A T E. Unless its changed in the last two years.

And I don't mean it was un-touristy.
It was just plain desolate, empty and lacking people and places and things to do.
Except for a county cop who waits patiently at the road into town.

If you need to stay in that area I would definitely check other places, maybe Ocean Shores, which also has empty store fronts but has chain lodging, restaurants and generally, has a bit more *life* to it.
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Old Apr 30th, 2005, 10:31 PM
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How much time do you have for the Mt. Rainier part of the trip? I don't see how you can fit Mt. St. Helens in unless you have 3 days for Rainier, as Rainier deserves at least 2.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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We are booked at Ocean Crest. I realize that this is a desolate area but the place seems really nice and we are only there for 1 night, on our way to Oregon coast. We have a FULL schedule, allowing only one full day on the OP and 2 days on the OR coast. Other days we will see Mt. St. H., Crater Lake, Redwoods, Columbia Gorge, then East toward Rocky Mt. NP. We want to see Hurricane Ridge, Hoh Rain Forest and Ruby Beach on the OP. How is the weather, generally, this time of year?(July). Thanks!!!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:22 PM
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Visited the Hoh rain forest this last weekend. (5/1/05)

Stayed in Forks at Forks Motel (clever name) $61.95 + tax...less than $70 total.

Clean, adequate motel. 2 restaurants next door.

Also contact Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce. Or go by there if you go to Port Angeles, they have lots of info about area.

LaPush is just down the road from Forks (14miles). Pretty view of the ocean.

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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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Sojourner... don't worry, Moclips was never hip. And, in my opinion, it is a much nicer place to stay on that part of the NW Washington coast than Ocean Shores... but I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a vacation. OS is flat and sand dune-y and more touristy. It has the usual stores, beachy themed shops and even a McDonald's. Moclips is up the highway a ways, on a rocky cliff and it can be very pretty.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:14 PM
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Oh, and one day on the OP is really short. But you do what you have to do.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:53 AM
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Thanks, Maifun. Yeah, I would love more time on the OP but we are driving almost across the US for 16 days so we have a lot to crowd in. It's the way we always travel, though, since we are not retired and don't have a lot of time. We try to see everything intresting when we go somewhere in case "we may never pass this way again"!!!!!
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