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Olympic Pennisula: Quinault/Ruby Beach vs. Hoh Rainforest/Rialto Beach

Olympic Pennisula: Quinault/Ruby Beach vs. Hoh Rainforest/Rialto Beach

Old Jun 30th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Olympic Pennisula: Quinault/Ruby Beach vs. Hoh Rainforest/Rialto Beach

We're going to have a one night stop on the OP, and will be staying at the Lake Quinault Lodge. From there, we will be driving north through Forks to PA and back down to Tacoma (in one day).

Here's my question. Ideally, I'd like to see at least one beach and one rainforest, and (I think)Rialto Beach and the Hoh Rainforest are the best (please correct me if I'm wrong). But the drives to get to those places (they are a bit off highway 101) does add time to the trip that I don't know if we can afford. The alternate I see is maybe doing the Quinault Rainforest and Ruby Beach (which is pretty much on highway 101). We will also be checking out Hurricane Ridge for sure.

So, would Quinault/Ruby Beach be a nice alternative to Hoh/Rialto?
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Old Jun 30th, 2010, 05:20 PM
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well, there are cooler beaches imo than rialto but you have to hike into them...so for drive up and see purposes, yes, rialto is probably the nicest. but ruby is quite nice also. the hoh is definitely more intensely rainforesty than quinault. so if you find you can take the time to visit the hoh and rialto, i'd do so. too bad you only have one night, that's for sure!
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 09:40 AM
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The Maple Glade Nature Trail on the north shore of Lake Quinault is our favorite rain forrest trail in the ONP, and a good alternative to the Hoh. The trail is located about five or six miles off 101 and it is very much worth the drive. (The "Homestead" trail at this location is not as exciting as the name implies.)

As you continue on 101, the overlook at Kalaloch is a pleasant stop and, a little farther on Ruby Beach, near the highway, is a great alternative to Rialto Beach.

If you would enjoy a beautiful and easy one-mile hike, park at the Storm King Ranger Station on Lake Crescent and take the trail to Marymere Falls.

After your visit to Hurricane Ridge, consider driving back to Tacoma via 101 as it skirts the west shore of Hood Canal. Driving from Port Angeles to Tacoma via Quilcene, Hoodsport, and Belfair will add an hour to your drive time, but it is well worth it for the scenery.

HTTY
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 09:44 AM
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PS I forgot to mention that while you are at Lake Quinault Lodge you can visit the neaby Quinault Rain Forest. Also, driving east along the shore of the lake you will come upon the world's largest Sitka Spruce (beautiful) and two waterfalls--the first about four miles from the lodge and the second six miles farther on.

HTTY
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 12:11 PM
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Hey, thanks guys. NWW, yes, I wish we had more than one night on the OP, maybe next time. I think we'll just check out Ruby instead of Rialto. Still hoping we can include Hoh, but need to look for alternative just in case.

HTTY, I'm much more heartened that it seems like Quinault will give us a nice taste of the rainforest if we cannot manage Hoh. I will definitely check out those hikes! We are planning to do the Marymere hike as well. Can't wait!
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 04:15 PM
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HTTY, I've started to REALLY look around Lake Quinault, and I think this will give us a good feel of the rainforest for sure. I wasn't aware there were so many hiking alternatives. The kayaking looks like fun as well.

But I also see there are much more lodging choices than I thought. In your opinion, is the Lake Quinault Lodge the best one? Thanks.
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