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Seeking advice on where to stay in mts near Seattle for 2-3 days in July.

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Apr 1st, 2013, 07:36 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Seeking advice on where to stay in mts near Seattle for 2-3 days in July.

My wife and I have two daughters ages 8 and 11. We are going on an Alaskan cruise on the last week of July that departs from Seattle. We are arriving 3 days early and we would like to stay in the mountains and sightsee. My wife and I use to live in California but we now live in florida, so we sorely miss hiking and being outdoors in the mountains. Furthermore, our daughters have never been in the mountains or experienced snow at all.

Therefore, we are looking for some recommendations and local information regarding Mt. Rainer National park and Olympic National Parks. Which would be better if we were wanting to be in the snow (if its even possible in late July)? Also, which would be better for hiking with kids? Finally, any recommendations regarding accommodations, clothing, driving conditions, etc... Would be greatly appreciated

Thank you in advance
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Apr 1st, 2013, 08:17 AM
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LOL. There is always snow/glaciers on Mount Rainier. To me, it is best in Late July or August when the flowers are blooming. There is nowhere else better for flowers. Mount Rainier is a fantastic place to visit. Stay at Paradise INN

Olympic NP has 3 distinct area. Ocean/Beach, Rain Forest, and Mountains. Hurricane Ridge(mountainous area) would likely still have snow. It is a really awesome place too. You could see Sol Duc Hot Springs too. The walk to Hole in the Wall and seeing tidepools is great on the beach. Finally, The Hoh Rainforest is spectacular. If you go here, I would stay at one or two spots. Sol Duc(also has hot springs fed swimming pools that are about 90 degrees) and Kalaloch Lodge. Lake Crescent Lodge and Quinault are nice too.


Here is a link to a Trip Report and photos of my trip to the area last year. This was a 10 day trip, so you won't be able to do all.
http://fodors.com/community/united-s...e-watching.cfm
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Apr 1st, 2013, 08:20 AM
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There are many good short 1 to 2 mile trails in Olympic. There are all kind of trails in Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier has to be one of the prettiest places on the planet. Olympic is very diverse and offers something for everyone while being very pretty too. Super pretty beaches. Rain Forest is very interesting. It's hard to believe you can have all of this within a 1-2 hour drive in the park.

You can't go wrong with either. Get your lodging ASAP
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Apr 1st, 2013, 08:47 AM
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There is no lodging inside Mt. Rainier NP. This is the website with lodging near the park. http://www.visitrainier.com/pg/lodgi...FWunPAoda1kAyQ
If you can stay in Packwood, you could also take the Forest Service road south from Randle on the east side of Mt. St. Helens. You can take this road on south coming out at the Columbia Gorge in Carson WA.
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Apr 1st, 2013, 09:00 AM
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tomfuller,

what do you mean no loding in Mt Rainier? What about Paradise Inn and National Park Inn?
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Apr 1st, 2013, 09:07 AM
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Lodging in Mt. Ranier:
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

I think Mt. Ranier or maybe North Cascades would fit what you're looking for. Olympic is great with the 3 distinct areas, but if you're looking for snow/mountains then you wouldn't be interested in the beach/rain forest.
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Apr 3rd, 2013, 09:56 AM
  #7
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Thanks for all the great advice. Based on the information, we narrowed it down to Mt Ranier. Now if anyone can give us specific lodging recommendations, we would appreciate it. Ideally we would like to find some sort of cabin that is both rustic and modernized. (Meaning a fireplace, but not where we have to cut our own wood I guess. I like rustic, my wife likes luxurious). Ideally inside the park at some elevation if such a thing exists.

Additionally, driving directions for driving up the mountain as high as we can go.

Thank you!!
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Apr 3rd, 2013, 10:05 AM
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You're not going to find a cabin inside the park. I gave the link to the in-park lodging, neither looks like they have cabins and are probably more rustic then your wife would like. No tv, internet, shared bathrooms in some cases....lodging inside national parks is typically more historic and less modern than outside so you'll either have to adjust to that or stay outside the park and drive every day.
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Apr 3rd, 2013, 12:52 PM
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Paradise Inn would get my vote. You might want to eat one meal at the entrance at Copper Creek Restaurant. Maybe go over to Sunrise area of the park for a lunch meal.

Tell her this will be rustic and the cruise lux. I have a hard time convincing my wife too. Not all of the rooms have private bathrooms, btw.

Get your reservations now. It is a possibility they are already full.
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Apr 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM
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The wildflowers alone more than make up for any inconv.
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Apr 3rd, 2013, 12:55 PM
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http://www.greatgetaways.com/mtrainierlodging.html

I haven't stayed at this one--This is at the park entrance(I think). I still think I would prefer Paradise Inn. I enjoyed PI, just fine.
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Apr 3rd, 2013, 12:58 PM
  #12
 
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http://www.mtrainierguestservices.com/

There is the link to Paradise Inn and National Park Inn. National Park Inn is a the entrance and Paradise Inn is up in elevation(where all the action is). The best I remember its a 30-40 minute drive from the entrance to PI.
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