National Park trip/What's realistic???


Jan 11th, 2019, 01:42 PM
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National Park trip/What's realistic???

We are planning on visiting the last week of May. We will fly into Seattle and spend 1 or 2 nights. From there I think we are most interested in visiting North Cascades NP, San Juan Islands for whale watching and kayaking, and Olympic National Park. Is this doable in 1 week? How much time should we allow for each location? Could we fit anything else in? It may be possible to extend the trip by a day or two. I would love suggestions on highlights to see and lodging as well. Thank you!
kdkerr is online now  
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Jan 11th, 2019, 02:54 PM
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No this is not doable in a week. Besides, this is way too early for the North Cascades so cut that then it works much better. You really want at least 3 full days for ONP.
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Jan 16th, 2019, 12:04 PM
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Sorry, no definitely not doable in only 1-week, especially with 1-2 days dedicated to Seattle proper. No way can you do the other 3 areas in only 5 days! Many first time visitors make the mistake of not realizing how BIG things are in the PNW.

In May I would pick Seattle + either the San Juans or the Olympic peninsula (also note there are other places you can go outside the actual national park, like driving out to the coast and around, cute small towns, beaches, etc.
suze is online now  
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Jan 16th, 2019, 03:35 PM
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suze--What cute small towns? That is definitely not anything I have ever seen on the Olympic peninsula.
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Jan 16th, 2019, 05:24 PM
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North Cascades will be snowbound and probably socked in anyway.

You can do the San Juans and Olympic NP in a week.

Day 1 - Seattle to Anacortes via Whidbey Island
Days 2-3 Friday Harbor
Day 4 - Friday Harbor to Port Angeles; PM to Hurricane Ridge
Day 5 - PA to either La Push or Hoh rain forest, overnight Forks
Day 6 - Forks to either Hoh or La Push, back to PA
Day 7 - PA to Seattle, fly home.
Map - Google the places shown.

An easier but still rewarding time could be had by swapping Whidbey Island for the San Juans, and doing whale chasing (if you must) from Port Townsend or Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. There are kayak rentals in Langley and Coupeville (both very pretty little towns on Whidbey.) Revised map -

Note the last week of May (Memorial Day weekend in particular) is VERY busy in the San Juans, and ferries in general tend to be crowded. It's very important to book space on the San Juan boats and on the Whidbey-Port Townsend boat.
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