Olympic National Park

Feb 13th, 2019, 04:45 PM
  #1  
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Olympic National Park

Hi. Planning a summer vacation, mid July, for my wife and I (late 50's) at Olympic National Park. Although we will have a total of 7 or 8 nights we also will be spending some time in Seattle with family. I'm expecting that we will spend 3 or 4 nights in Olympic. Could use some advice on where to stay and where to go. We will have a car and driving from Seattle. We are good with Seattle since we have visited there several times and also had the opportunity to visit and stay at Mt. Ranier and Port Townsend.

In a perfect world we would get to see the Hoh Rain Forrest,Rialto beach, Sol Duc Hot Springs,Lake Crescent, Ruby Beach, Hurricane Ridge, and Lake Quinault. We prefer to stay right in the park and enjoy moderate to easy hiking.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, W
WarrenWST is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 04:59 PM
  #2  
mms
 
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Those are all great ideas. You will want to stay in at least two different locations though as the park is so spread out that it is not feasible to stay in just one place.

We do do a lot of hiking over there and can make some personal suggestions but what do you consider moderate etc?

Lodging fills up fast for the ONP so get that booked ASAP. Three locations is better than two to cut down on backtracking.
mms is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 01:55 PM
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We stayed at the Lake Crescent Lodge for a couple of nights and enjoyed it. Beautiful lake and some nice hiking, including a hike to a waterfall. They had good food; you have to make a reservation for dinner if you want to eat in the dining room. We didn't know that our first night, and they told us they were booked up so we could eat at the bar. Food is good there. The rooms in the lodge do not have private bathrooms so we booked in a Pyramid Mountain Room. It was easy to get to Hurricane Ridge from there. There were canoes and kayaks available for rental at the lake. Lots of deer around. We paired it with a trip to Friday Harbor.
volcanogirl is offline  
Feb 16th, 2019, 03:21 PM
  #4  
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Hi. Thanks.
For hiking, we are looking for anything between 1-4 hours and isn't all uphill on tough terrain. We have done our share our hiking at Glacier, Banff, Mt. Ranier and have had plenty of difficult but not extremely difficult hikes. In terms of lodging, one of the places that looked appealing to me was Lake Quinault lodge which currently has availability for our dates. What do you think about this? And if so, if we should also be staying somewhere else, based on the above, where would you recommend? The Hoh rain forest is a must for us and I value your opinions on what are some other must sees and how to coordinate amongst our time. Thanks again, W.
WarrenWST is offline  
Feb 17th, 2019, 05:25 AM
  #5  
 
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This is a common problem in visiting ONP. You need to choose between easy access to the main visitor attractions vs. long drives between them. If it was me with 3 or 4 days (from Seattle) available, I'd do something like this -

Day 1, Seattle to Port Angeles via Hurricane Ridge. With a morning departure from Seattle you could spend some time in the afternoon around Hurricane Ridge, then spend the night in PA.

Day 2, PA to Forks. Depending on whether you have three or four nights available, you could take your time and visit Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls and Sol Duc (note the hot springs generally get a big thumbs-down from locals - not very appealing.) Or (and this is what I'd do) visit Marymere Falls, drive along Lake Crescent, but then head to Rialto Beach or one of the other beaches near La Push. Spend the afternoon (or indeed, up to a glorious sunset) then spend the night in Forks. As long as you book ahead, arriving in the evening in Forks isn't much of a loss; it's not like you're going to hit the sights in the (somewhat depressing) little town. Get a meal and conk out.

Day 3, Forks to Quinault. Up early and head to the Hoh rain forest. Do the Hall of Mosses or Hoh River trail, then continue south. Stop at Ruby Beach for another beach walk, maybe have a late lunch at Kalaloch, then continue south to Lake Quinault. Depending on your time, drive up into the rain forest for another short hike, then return to the lodge for the night.

Day 4, Quinault to Seattle. Another morning in the rain forest, then a noon - afternoon drive (around 3 - 4 hours) back to Seattle. You might consider returning to Seattle via either the Bremerton or Bainbridge Island ferries for a scenic finale.
Gardyloo is offline  
Feb 17th, 2019, 07:22 AM
  #6  
mms
 
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You will want at least two different locations to stay as the way the park is laid out you just canít stay in one place and use it as a base.

We love Lake Quinault Lodge.

Lake Crescent or Port Angeles are good options for seeing the north end. Definitely go to Hurricane Ridge. An easy hike there is Hurricane Hill. Then right by Lake Crescent is Marymere Falls which is very pretty but very easy.

The Hoh River Trail is great. It is 17 miles one way but most people just go 5 miles to 5 mile island. This is a great hike but at 10 miles it is more than what you are looking for. So I would do maybe just a tad of that but definitely do the Hall of Mosses and the Spruce Trail there. Very short both of them and easy.

mms is offline  
Feb 18th, 2019, 11:34 AM
  #7  
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HI. Thanks so much. We really appreciate all the great advice. We understand in an ideal situation we would stay at multiple places. Considering from experience the time it takes to check in/out we would like to keep it to two places. I love the idea of staying at the Lake Quinault Lodge the last two nights and then head back to Seattle. A four hour drive is nothing for us. We may consider the ferry as well. We have taken the ferry before between Bainbridge and Seattle from a way back from Port Townsend. So, maybe 1 or 2 nights in Port Angeles in case we arrive late on our first night. From there we'll plan a long drive to Lake Quinault and stop and see whatever we weren't able to from Port Angeles. With all things considered, Hoh Rain Forest and Hurricane Ridge would be our top 2 sites we would like to experience. If time permits, the beach front would be our 3rd. We are not much into the hot springs other than to look at them. So I'll see if there is a way to drive from Port Angeles to the beach area(s) and then to Lake Quinault in one full day.

Thanks as always; honestly your advice is so much appreciated in helping us finalize this.

W
WarrenWST is offline  
Feb 21st, 2019, 03:21 PM
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Hi. After much more research I realize it isn't practical to drive all the way to Lake Quinault Lodge from Port Angeles.
I like all of your thoughts. I think Gardyloo's plan sounds really good. The question is whether we have 3 or 4 nights. Another thought was to stay 1 night in PA, 2 nights at Quileute Oceanside Resort (based on another recommendation) and then either head back to Seattle or spend the one night at Lake Quinault. This, if we hustle somewhat should allow us to see Hurricane Ridge, see Lake Crescent on our way to Quileute Oceanside Resort and make day trips to both the Hoh Rain forest and one of the beaches. I hear that third beach, if you only have time for one, would be the choice. I hope I have this right.

I also heard that if we do stay at Quileute Oceanside Resort we should plan on bringing food from PA to cook because restaurants are sparse if at all.

Final thoughts?
WarrenWST is offline  
Feb 21st, 2019, 03:56 PM
  #9  
mms
 
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There is no need to shop in PA. There is a large grocery store in Forks which is much closer to Quileute. You are right in that restaurants is this area are far and few between and pretty dismal when you do find one.
mms is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2019, 10:17 AM
  #10  
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Thanks everybody. I'll let you all know how things turn out. W
WarrenWST is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2019, 11:44 AM
  #11  
mms
 
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Warren--It sounds like you have a good plan. Please do let us know how it goes
mms is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2019, 12:02 PM
  #12  
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HI. Sorry to bother you but you seem to be more where we think we want to be. We are thinking 4 nights at ONP.

Based on wanting to see the main sites you mentioned, i.e., Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls, Sol Duc Hot Falls, Rialto Beach, maybe first second and third beaches as well, Hoh Rain Forest, and Lake Quinault, would you stay 2 nights in the Forks/La Push area and 1 in Lake Quinault or vice versa?

I was thinking for PA we would stay at either the Olympic Lodge or Red Lion; in La Push stay at Quileute Oceanside Resort, and Lake Quinault Lodge.

Thanks again, W
WarrenWST is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2019, 12:21 PM
  #13  
mms
 
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Oh it is not a bother at all

I would only do one night at Lake Quinault. It makes more sense to spend more of your time in the other areas where there is more to do. In PA, do not even think about staying at the Red Lion. It is a total dump, and that is being kind, truly. The Olympic Lodge is what you want. We have been staying there for over 20 years and one time we deviated and stayed at the RL. OMG, huge mistake!!! I stayed at the OL 6 times this past summer and never even considered staying anywhere else, as the OL has everything I need and is reasonably priced.

Your other lodging choices are spot on
mms is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2019, 04:28 PM
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Yes, there is so much to see in Olympic Park and rather spread out. Our last trip there we stayed in Forks for 4 nights at Manitou Lodge https://manitoulodge.com and found it was a good place to visit other parts of the park. Very relaxing and close to the beach away fro the little town which didn't seem to have much to offer. From there we moved on to Squim and backtracked to Olympic Mt. Easy trip back to Seattle from there. Enjoy a very varied park.

Clousie is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2019, 04:29 PM
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Oops, of course I meant Hurricane Ridge.
Clousie is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 08:45 AM
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Thank you for all the information above; we plan to visit Olympic Park the first week of May. Considering the winter storms this past year, would you revise any previously mention advice for this time of year? It will be our first visit and we plan to stay in the area 3 days.
gailscout is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 09:43 AM
  #17  
mms
 
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Hurricane Ridge will still have snow, and the trails will still be covered in snow and you will probably need to park at the main parking lot at Hurricane Ridge and have to walk to the trailhead at Hurricane Hill. We have had a ton of snow this year, and even in other years we have had to walk as the trailhead has been under a lot of snow. Otherwise, the coastal areas will be fine in early May and that is a good time for the Hoh and the beaches.
mms is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Hurricane Ridge has some easy ranger led hikes; we happened to arrive just as one was starting, and the ranger added a lot to our time there.
volcanogirl is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 03:15 PM
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At this time we are not sure we want to enter on the coast side of Olympic National Park (the 1st week of May) - do you think Mt Rainier, for easy hiking, would have the same situation, a lot of snowy trails? We are coming from Lopez Island on our way back from Portland & San Francisco, and wanted to visit a National Park for a few days. We have recently visited Seattle, Widbey Island, Vancouver and Victoria and don't wish to return on this excursion. Thanks for your advice.
gailscout is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 03:41 PM
  #20  
mms
 
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Mt Rainier will have even more snow covered trails. Those trails don't melt out until July, and this year it might be even later.
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