Seattle to Olympic National Park

Old Jul 8th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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Seattle to Olympic National Park

Thanks to the responses to my earlier post on trips from seattle with kids. We've decided to go to ONP, leaving Seattle on a Mon. and arriving back Thurs. evening so we can have a couple of days there before our Alaskan cruise. Now I need help with a more specific itinerary so I can figure out where to book accomodations and when. My kids are 8 and walks have to be limited. We 're planning on Hurricane Ridge, maybe Hoh Rainforest, though it was suggested we can get the same flavor walking to Marymere Falls (from Lake Cresent?) Since we're soooo flexible, I'm having a hard time planning when we might arrive at different spots.If we can break up hours long drives with neat stops, that would be great. Thanks.
Also it looks like this may not be posting under Washington, just U.S.
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 07:09 AM
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First, there are no separate "state" boards. The "select a state" feature is only there to help you search and sort through the posts on the general US board that are in regard to some particular state.

I think your agenda will be set to some extent on where you locate accommodations. For Hurricane Ridge, it makes sense to stay somewhere around Lake Crescent or in Port Angeles itself; for the Hoh valley (and nearby beaches) Forks and vicinity (or the few places actually on the coast, like Kalaloch) will be more convenient. If your trip is in peak visitor weeks, any of the above (except Port Angeles) are going to be tough to book. Forks itself has some motel accommodations, but the town is IMO quite charmless and nothing much to entertain kids.

The good news is that the drives really aren't all that long. It's around 3 hours from Seattle to Forks via the Bainbridge ferry, the same via the highway to Quinault or the southern stretch of US 101 north of Ocean Shores (no beach in this area, just lots of young and middle-aged trees.) On the north and northwest parts of the Peninsula, there are plenty of diversions - the national park valleys (including Sol Duc - they might enjoy the hotsprings), up toward Neah Bay, etc. On the west and south coast, the rainforest valleys (probably big animals around too) plus beachcombing ought to be entertaining.

However, don't expect much development and/or tourist facilities. Not that kind of area.
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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When my wife was briefly stationed in Seattle, I flew out to visit her and our first destination was Hurricane Ridge and it was wonderful. We ended up staying at a small motor motel about fifteen minutes east of Forks, close by the Olympic National Park. Not fancy but OK. I remember the breakfast at the motel's diner being especially tasty.
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Log Cabin Resort on Lake Crescent is a nice little spot and my kids always loved it.
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 01:00 PM
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I am doing the same area this week, and have had a similar difficult time picking out what to do when it sounds like there is so much to choose from. I picked out a whaling trip from Port Townsend, walking the Dungeness Spit, visit to lavender farms near Sequim, Marymere Falls and Hurricane Ridge hikes, walks along Ruby and ? Third Beach, and a day trip to Victoria as possibilities for a 4 day agenda. I had planned on doing all of this based out of Port Angeles (except one night in Port Townsend), as it seemed most of the resorts (Lake Crescent, Sol Duc, Kalaloch) were booked all week. I hope this sounds do-able.
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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You have a great list of things to do but I want to warn you about the Dungeness Spit. It is an interesting strip of land on a map but it is a boring walk compared to the others you have planned. The first 100 yards is just about the same as the last 100.
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 10:07 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I am a little strapped for time, and really want to be able to get to the Pacific coast (Kalaloch/Ruby Beach) so that (Dungeness spit hike) may be a good choice to leave off.
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 11:38 PM
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Philsbert1, I'd love to hear how your trip went when you get back. We're going to Seattle the 17th, and haven't booked anything yet. Wher are you satying in Port Angeles?
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Either the Red Lion Inn or Best Western. There are lots of neat-sounding bed & breakfasts in the area, but we are going to be gone so much of the time, we are just looking for nice beds/good showers if you know what I mean. I would love to tell you about my trip, but won't be returning until 7/19, and won't have access to a computer. Jimshep, Gardyloo and the rest of the Fodors.com group have been most helpful with getting ideas and recommendations! I've already screwed up, though, by not getting reservations to the Boeing Tour in time, and doubt I can get a ticket the day of. Oh well, lots to see and do.
Phil
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Phil, unless its totally changed, you CAN get a ticket to tour Boeing on the day. Just go EARLY, very early. It is soo worth it!

Also to janey: Don't miss Hoh Rainforest. It is IMO way different than Marymere Falls. Also, there is no food inside the rainforest so plan accordingly. There's a mom & pop burger joint just down the road, called the 'Hard Rain Cafe' that did have good food....or maybe we were just hungry.... Also, instead of pt. angelos, check out pt. townsend, a delightful victorian town that is very tourist friendly without being 'touristy', if you kwim!
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 07:25 AM
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Port Townsend is interesting, but it is very inconveniently located for seeing ONP for those "strapped for time."
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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Ruby Beach is the most accessible with great rock formations. Time your beach visits to coincide with low tide so you can take long walks, investigate tide pools, and so on. See
http://www.olypen.com/cgi-bin/tidetables

Ruby Beach is littered with huge driftwood logs. If you are traveling with somebody who has difficulty climbing over big logs, follow the rocky path to the left when you hit the beach.
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 03:16 PM
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Phil, have a wonderful time. Ellen, we definitely will go to the Hoh rainforest. Still don't know how much ground we'll cover. I think we'll stay in Port Angeles because I'm tired of planning and still have no concept of how long it will take us to do things. Is it worth driving to Quinault if we're not staying at the lodge I've read so much about?
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Old Jul 10th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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Ellen...thanks for the thought about the Boeing tour (and the lunch packing tip for Hoh), but we won't be getting into SeaTac until late AM, and wouldn't be able to get to Mukilteo until ~ 1, which only leaves the 2 PM and 3 PM tour times, and I figure no spots open by then, though we may still drive by. My fault for not getting set up ahead of time. Jimshep, thanks so much for the tide table...I made a copy and looks like we will need to make it to La Push for an afternoon visit to catch the low tide. Perhaps we can visit Hoh earlier in the day, and hit Ruby beach after that. It may even make sense to try and stay at Forks if we are that late in the day. I wonder too about Quinault. All-in-all, so much sounds so great---so difficult to see everything we want in one week. We would probably have loved to spend 3-4 days just in Port Townsend, and had toyed with learning some sea kayaking while on the trip.
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