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Hiking trip from Seattle

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Mar 8th, 2013, 08:21 AM
  #1
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Hiking trip from Seattle

Planning an 8 night trip, leaving SEattle on August 18, 2013. Love to do hiking, biking, and just be active. Had been told to do a loop from San Juan Islands to Olympic National Park to Mt. Rainier, but not sure that will work as I don't think you can ferry from the Islands to the National Park without having to go back through Seattle ( way to long a drive).
Looking for alternatives and suggestions for a different loop or trip. Want to hit Kalaloch so maybe other places in the park? If choosing between the islands and Mt. Rainier, which one? (I realize it's a matter of taste, but just curious if folks who have done both have favorites). Love to hear from Fodorites!
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Mar 8th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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If choosing between the islands and Mt. Rainier, which one?

If forced to choose, Mt. Rainier is the more spectacular of these two.

Want to hit Kalaloch so maybe other places in the park?

When choosing among lodges at Kalaloch, Lake Crescent, and Lake Quinault, I would choose one of the last two.

HTTY
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Mar 8th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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I live in Colorado and am also big into hiking, and have been to both Kalaloch and Rainier. I've ferried through the islands en route to Victoria, but not stopped.

Rainier is awesome, Himalayan in scale. Kalaloch is also fantastic. Both of these are like little or nothing else in America, IMHO. And very different from each other. I'd go to those two.

Have fun deciding.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Ahhh. Maybe just a day trip by ferry, without car to the Islands and the majority of the time in Olympic and Rainier. Sounds like a plan. So glad you both think Mt. Rainier is not to be missed. Any suggestions about where to stay? Someone mentioned Paradise Lodge?
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Mar 8th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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HTTY, why do you like the other lodges better? Thought the location at Kalaloch was not to be missed. And how long would you stay? One night, two, three?
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Mar 8th, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Kalaloch has a pleasing setting on a cliff high above the ocean. We always stop to take in the view, but when we want to stay in a room on the ocean we prefer the many options available in Oregon and California.

On the Olympic Peninsula, we prefer a Marymere room on the shore of beautiful Lake Crescent or a Fireplace room with a balcony at Lake Quinault, and these lodges have better restaurants than Kalaloch. We also like the rain forest walks we can take from them.

We also like the rooms with balconies overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the Red Lion in Port Angeles.

HTTY
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Mar 8th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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I stayed at Lake Crescent Lodge - it was a great place to stay. We rented kayaks and did a nice kayak day.
They have a nice restaurant. There is a short waterfall hike you can do from the lodge. We also drove to Hurricane Ridge and hiked to the top- fabulous hike! From the top you can see to Vancouver Island. Its a beautiful spot.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 01:37 PM
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I would not go out of my way to visit Kalaloch. We did one overnight there and wondered why we bothered.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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That's funny, I really hated Kalaloch. Granted I was dragged there on a family trip again my will, but I just didn't get the draw.

I've only been actually on Mt. Rainier one time. But at least it's closer and easier to get to. And I know has some pretty hiking if you have good weather.

My favorite directions from Seattle are east. Snoqualmie Falls closer in. Then over the No. Cascades highway to the Winthrop/Mazama area is absolutely spectacular.

I also like the Washington coast a lot. Out thru Aberdeen then onto Ocean Shores, Graylands, etc.

Maybe it's living here in Seattle but the rain forests just don't float my boat.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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I think Olympic National Park has all the variety you'd need. Kalaloch itself isn't much, but there isn't much else along the national park Pacific strip between Forks and Quniault.

But overall, Olympic NP has so much going for it - wonderful hikes along wilderness beach - Ruby, Rialto, others; alpine vistas and high-country hiking at Hurricane Ridge, the not-to-be-missed rainforest in the Hoh and Quinault valleys, beautiful lakes (Crescent and Quinault) and potentially more wildlife than Rainier, especially the huge Roosevelt elk that hang out around the Hoh visitor center.

Rainier IS awesome, but Olympic NP has big mountain scenery and so much more.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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Your ferry will take you from the San Juans to Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island. From there you drive down Whidbey Island to Coupeville and take another ferry to Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula..no need to go back to Seattle.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 06:15 PM
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We went to Seattle/Washington for 8 days last summer.
We spent one day in Seattle. Did Market for a few hours, had meals at Cafe Vivace, Salumi, Top Pot Doughnuts, Dahlia Bakery, and many places at Pike Market. Chowder at Pike Market is the best ever.

Did a day trip to San Juan Island and went Whale Watching With Maya Whale Watching-Fantastic.

Spent one night at Lake Crescent, one night at Kalaloch, one night at Sol Duc Lodge. We did eat a meal at Quinault. I think I like Kalaloch the best actually. Really liked Rialto and hiked all the way to Hole in the Wall. Hiked with goat along Hurricane Ridge and was very nice. Maple Glade Trail was good. Sol Duc Falls was spectacular. I liked the Hot Springs, wife didnt'. Marymere Falls and Madison Falls were both nice ones. Olympic is very diverse. You can choose between Mountains, Rivers, Lakes, and Rainforest.

We spent one night and one day in North Cascades National Park. Hiked Cascade Pass. I had read a lot about this hike. Very nice, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped.

Spend 3 days and 2 nights at Mount Rainier. Absolutely my favorite. Wildflowers are beyond description. Mountain is very impressive.

I would also like to say we really enjoyed fish at Anthony's right in the airport. We had Halibut that had a cream sauce and then a fresh peach salsa. I think perhps the single best fish dish I've ever had.

Here is a http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...tching.cfmlink to my trip report and photos.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 06:22 PM
  #13
 
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If going to the San Juan islands, check out north cascades.
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