Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   olympic national park (

gaila Apr 14th, 2010 02:51 PM

olympic national park
Planning a fall trip to Washington state in Sept. and am trying to plan out how many days we will need for everything . What is a good amount of time to allow for ONP if this is the first time traveling there? Also thinking of Vancouver and Mt Renier(not sure thats spelled right lol) We can take up to 10 days but definitley want to see the park and Twilight spots the most! Thank-You!

china_cat Apr 14th, 2010 03:10 PM

We did a 10 day trip to Seattle and the Olympic peninsula a couple of years ago. What we did was go direct from the airport to Paradise lodge at Mt Ranier. We spent 2 nights there, so that we would have 1 full day (it's good to have a little time there if you have hopes of actually SEEING the mountain. It did not appear until the morning we were going to leave, I was so glad we didn't miss it!) after the 2nd night, we drove to ONP, and stayed near the coast at Kalaloch Lodge for 2 nights. Then we went to Lake Crescent for 3 nights. Finally, we ended in Seattle for 3 nights.

Maybe 5 days in the park seems like a lot to some, but it worked for us. We spent a day exploring the Hoh rainforest, and Lake Quineault. then a day driving up the coast checking out the beaches. We spent a day hiking up on Hurricane Ridge. We spent a day around Lake Crescent, taking a hike to a waterfall, and taking a rowboat out on the lake.

We came back to Seattle by way of the Bainbridge Ferry.

I couldn't possibly fit in Vancouver, as I think that needs 2 or 3 more days at least. If I had shaved a day off somewhere, I think I would have added a side trip to see Mount St Helens. I'ts not that far from Mt Ranier, but its so different.

happytrailstoyou Apr 14th, 2010 05:01 PM

It is always better to have more time than less time; however, unless you will be doing a lot of hiking, you can get a good Idea of the Olympic National Park and Forks in three days, giving you plenty of time to take the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria and from there you can go to Vancouver.

You can visit Mt. Rainier as a day trip from Seattle. I have been to Mt. Rainier many times over the years enjoying it greatly without spending the night there. Enjoy.


cjmck058 Apr 15th, 2010 10:29 AM

We went to ONP last year and had the best time with our Family. We spent 7 days in and around the park and wished we would have had more. You have to spend a couple of days in the rain forest (Hoh, Queets, Quinault), a few more exploring the beaches, at least one night to soak in the hot springs, another 2 days to see Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge. There really is so much to do. We did a hotel package with Lake Quinault Lodge, Kalaloch Lodge, and Sol Duc Hot Springs that was totally worth it. We started at Quinault in the rain forest and stayed our way north during the trip, the hotels were on a couple of hrs away from eachother which was great. The hotels were great and put you right in the middle of all the activities you want to do. We have already planned our return for this summer to do almost the same trip.

boom_boom Apr 15th, 2010 11:02 AM

You can do the highlights of ONP in 3 days and, IMO, you'll feel like it was a good experience. That would allow you time for Mt. Rainier, at least another 3 days and maybe a side trip to Mt. St. Helens

Pegontheroad Apr 15th, 2010 11:32 AM

If you plan on seeing Mt. St. Helens, I'd check the mileage AND the driving time needed to get there. My memory of visiting it was that it was quite a long drive on some two-lane roads. It was impressive, though. It was rather reassuring to me to see that much devastation while knowing that mankind had no hand in that disaster.

mms Apr 15th, 2010 05:17 PM

Peg--You are right, it is a ways from the freeway, but sooo worth it! It is 49 miles from the freeway up to Johnston Ridge Observatory and it isn't a fast drive.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:34 PM.