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Olympic, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades NP in 7 dayss

Olympic, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades NP in 7 dayss

Old Jan 16th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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Olympic, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades NP in 7 dayss

We are a family of 4 flying into Seattle in August for 7 days. First time to that part of the country and I wish we had more time. We would like to see the 3 National Parks, but is 7 days enough time? I am trying to decide how many days at each park and in which order? Our main interests are hiking and exploring with the kids.
Thanks for the help
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Old Jan 16th, 2018, 01:55 PM
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North Cascades NP is the outlier here; the park really doesn't have any visitor facilities and requires fairly serious backpacking to see properly. Frankly I'd take it off your list, concentrate on Olympic NP and Mt. Rainier NP and call it good. Even so, a week isn't a lot of time.

Here's a route to follow, in either direction. https://goo.gl/maps/Sy3wQJVezS82 Note Google maps won't let you plot roads that are closed at the time you make the map, but google "Stevens Canyon Road" which allows you to circle the park between the alpine visitor centers at Paradise and Sunrise. Stevens Canyon Rd. is drop-dead gorgeous, e.g.



I would allocate one night for Seattle, three on the Olympic Peninsula, and two at Mount Rainier, plus one to allocate. You might even think about adding a night to Olympic NP and take one away from Rainier; ONP is so diverse and spread out that more time is better. It's pretty stunning.
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Old Jan 16th, 2018, 02:11 PM
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I agree. Those 3 together are too much for 7 days.

I LOVE the north cascades most of all (Mazama, Winthrop, Methow river valley) myself, but the other two places would make a better trip in your time frame.
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Old Jan 17th, 2018, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for the advice. How would you divide 3 or 4 nights in the park? A night in Port Angeles, 2 nights at Kalaloch, something else?
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Old Jan 17th, 2018, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by brooksey View Post
Thanks for the advice. How would you divide 3 or 4 nights in the park? A night in Port Angeles, 2 nights at Kalaloch, something else?
If you can get into Kalaloch, great; however it tends to book up pretty quickly.

Although it's not very attractive, Forks is a convenient place to stay on the west side of the peninsula; you can get to the beautiful beaches around La Push, or to the Hoh rainforest easily from Forks. Doing both in one day is a bit of a stretch, however.

Another option is Lake Quinault. The old Lake Quinault Lodge is wonderfully located and has a lot of charm (if also a lot of shabby-chic) and is well located to visit the Quinault rainforest as well as Ruby Beach, a little north of Kalaloch.

So I'd look at two nights on the west side. If you're coming from Seattle and plan to go to Mt. Rainier after Olympic NP, spend one night in Port Angeles in order to see Hurricane Ridge, then a second at forks; look at Crescent Lake and maybe Marymere Falls on that day and hit one of the La Push beaches (Rialto, maybe) before an overnight in Forks (or Kalaloch if you can get there.) The last day, visit the Hoh rainforest, Ruby Beach, and end at Lake Quinault, or even someplace farther south such as Ocean Shores, possibly at the Quinault tribal casino/hotel. That will set you up for a straight shot through Olympia toward Mt. Rainier.

If you do Rainier first, then reverse this route.
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