Hiking suggestions pacific northwest


Jun 9th, 2014, 05:40 PM
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Hiking suggestions pacific northwest

My husband and I will be traveling to the Washington/Vancouver area for the week of August 17th. I am trying hard not to overbook us with activities. We like to hike but are older so no really steep trails (though we are in pretty god shape so uphill is OK). I wonder If anyone would be willing to share your opinion of the hikes we are considering. I feel we need to eliminate at least one park. They are: Mt Rainer Natl Park Skyline trail or Trail of shadows, Olympic Natl Park Hoh Rain Forest with Lake Quinault if time, Whidbey island Deception Pass State Park and Vancouver Island Cape Scott Provincial Park for the San Joseph Bay trail. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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Olympic and Rainier are awesome. It would be a shame to not spend enough time in Olympic though. I really like Hoh Rain Forest Trail, Sol Duc Falls Trail, Hurricane Ridge trail. You might skip Hurricane Ridge if you are considering Rainier. Both are nice, but somewhat similar(since they are higher up), Rainier is just spectacular. In mid-August, I would think wildflowers would be at peak. I've never seen anything like them at Rainier. Skyline Trail isn't a cakewalk, but probably the best all around trail there.
Consider walking Hole in the Rock(might have been called Hole in the Wall) beach hike at Olympic. Best at low tide, so you can see all the sealife/tidepools.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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In the Olympics spirobulldog is referring to the Hole-in-the-Wall which is a rock formation at Rialto Beach in the National Park. It is a nice mile-long easy hike up a sandy beach.

Deception Pass though dramatic is just a highway bridge over a gorge where the waters of the Pacific pour in. There really isn't any hiking there except under the bridge to see the turbulent water (and seals playing in it as they were last weekend). The state park at Deception Pass gives access to beaches near the pass there - that could be nice.

Another idea for easy, nice hikes in Mt Rainier is driving up to Sunrise Lodge off of hwy 410 - lots of short nature walks in alpine areas with magnificent views of The Mountain.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 06:12 AM
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Ditto on Rainier and Olympic, both amazing. An abundance of riches all around there for easy hikes. You could spend your entire week in the area with no trouble. The Sunrise Lodge area mentioned by CascadeBob is really nice.

Not sure how you are getting up to Cape Scott Provincial Park. It looks fabulous there, but it seem like that could eat up a lot of your week. I know there are some hikes on the southern coast of Vancouver Island, along the road to Port Refrew. I passed them on the way to hike the West Coast Trail two years ago. Perhaps these could save you time? Also Ucluelet and Tofino are good hiking base towns.

Anyway, sounds like you have a great trip planned out. Have fun.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 06:22 AM
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Are you going to the City of Vancouver or Vancouver Island/Victoria? In the city I like walking along the seawall in Stanley Park.
Have a great time wherever you decide to hike. Be prepared with rain gear as storms can roll in quickly.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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We visited Mt. Rainier for the first time last September and absolutely loved it! We hiked the Skyline Trail and I didn't find it to be a strenuous hike. It was a beautiful trail and even in mid-September there were still a few wildflowers, so in August there should be tons of wildflowers. During our hike, the clouds around Mt. Rainier opened up and we had an amazing view of Rainier.
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Jun 13th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Wow! You've mentioned a lot for a week IMHO, but then we like to stay longer in places. Would definitely do Mt Rainier Skyline Trail. Even if it's foggy, the wildflowers just burst out with color.

In Olympic National Park, it's nice to get at least a brief impression of the three areas that encompass it--beach, rain forest and mountain. You could probably do the first two in one day and go up to Hurricane Ridge on another and maybe combine that with a move to another area.

As Cascade Bob said, Deception Pass is really just a bridge over a gorge. I'm not familiar with the other places you mentioned, but between Painier and Olympic, that is more than enough to cover in a week. There are many great trails (some quite easy) in both parks that you could do.

Do you have reservations anyplace yet? If at all possible, I'd really try for Paradise Lodge. So nice after the day trippers leave and it allows you to pick and choose hikes without having to "rush up the mountain."
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Jun 15th, 2014, 08:36 PM
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Jumping in here - if you had to choose, would you choose Rainier or Olympic?
horlander is offline  
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Jun 16th, 2014, 03:32 AM
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It would depend on what you like.
For Mountain and Wildflowers Rainier can't be beat
Olympic does have very nice mountain and wildflowers too(maybe an 8 where Rainier is a 10), but it does have very nice beaches, lakes, and Sol Duc Area is interesting. Plus the best rain forest in North America. Rainier needs 2 days to really see it and Olympic needs 3 or even 4. You can do both in a shorter time, but would miss a lot.
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Jun 17th, 2014, 04:50 PM
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Thank you so much everyone for your thoughtful replies. I had originally considered skipping Ranier to save time but now know that would be a mistake! I will look over all the suggestions again when deciding what to trim.
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Jun 18th, 2014, 04:19 AM
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I think I would skip Vancouver and Deception Pass. Hard to pick, lots to do in PNW.
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Jun 18th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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I disagree about Deception Pass. That is a place that we love and there are a bunch of hiking trails in the park, nearly 40 miles worth. Many people just stop at the bridge, and maybe go down below it a bit, but there is so much more to it than that. Go to the back side of it, go to the area around Cornet Bay Marina. Anyway, just wanted to clarify that there is a lot more to it than what most visitors think.
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Jun 18th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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Sorry for jumping in but I will be in WA on July (my first trip) and wanted to do a backpacking trip in Olympic NP. I am an experienced backpacker. Could anyone recommend a 2/3 night backpacking trip (starting point and things to see)? I have been researching online but would love to hear from people who have backpacked the area in the past and can make recommendation. Also, since I will be backpacking solo, can I obtain a walk in permit if there are no permits available to reserve in advance? Any info would be greatly appreciated!
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