travel time from Seattle to. . .

Old Dec 28th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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travel time from Seattle to. . .

I'm trying to plan a trip to Washington and I've just started my research. I've read a lot on this message board, but I still have a lot of questions. We will base out of Seattle and want to take a side trip to San Juan. I have no clue how far that is or how difficult it is to get to. We will have a car. Can this be a day trip, or should we plan on spending a night there? We also plan on spending a few days in the Olympic Peninsula and I wondered if we should go to San Juan and then on to Lake Quinault?? Or should we go to San Juan and then return to Seattle and then go to ONP?? Any help would be appreciated on how to make this work out the best. We are planning on about a week in the area and also plan a day trip to either Mt. Ranier or Mt. St. Helens. Thanks!
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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 06:52 PM
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The RandMcNally website (the Atlas people) will have all your answers as to distance and time, I think.

I'm planning to do a day trip from Seattle to the San Juans (Friday Harbour only) next April, via Whidby Island and Anacortes. I think the Olympic Peninsular is too far for a day trip.
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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 07:25 PM
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You need to go by ferry to get to San Juan Island and also to the Olympic peninsula, so a lot will depend on the time of year and ferry schedule. Probably, you will drive from Seattle to Anacortes (1 1/2 hrs), cross over to San Juan Island (70 minutes) and take the ferry back. That is a long day, especially if you have to wait for the ferry, which is likely in the summer. It would be more relaxing to stay on San Juan Island for the night. you might want to visit Orcas Island, as well.
You need to return to Anacortes and can drive to Keystone, on Whidbey Island, to get the ferry from there to the Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula (or take a ferry from Edmunds and Seattle to the OP). You can explore the OP from there (spend the night at Lake Quinault and visit Hurricane Ridge the next day.) I think you'd need to spend a second night on the OP.
Then, you can skip any ferries coming back by going directly to Mt. Rainier. The drive will be several hours (maybe 5?) So, you'll need a night at Rainier, also. I think Rainier is about 3 hours from Seattle.
With a week, I'd suggest:
Seattle 2 nights
San Juan Islands 2 nights
OP 2 nights
Rainier 2 night
Do you have weekends around your week, so this 8 night week is workable?
If you really only have seven days, you might consider dropping something. I think I'd drop the OP, but I'm sure others would drop the San Juans. I like the idea of mixing the islands with the Mother of all Mountains in the PNW. I would not skip Mt. Rainier. Of course, it you're coming in April, when it might be overcast, I might say something different. When is this trip?
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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Thanks for the info. Our trip will be the end of June and beginning of July. I probably wasn't totally clear on how we plan to do this. We DO plan on spending a few days in the ONP. We had planned on about 3 to 4 days in Seattle and we would do a day trip to Mt. Ranier. Is that possible? Then, while in Seattle, we planned to do a day trip to San Juan. But it sounds like we should spend the night there and then go on to the ONP. Does that seem to make more sense? The only problem is getting back to Seattle to fly home. Not sure of the drive time from Lake Quinault, where we plan on staying, back to Seattle.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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I'd drop Lake Quinalt and stay at Lake Crescent. Quinalt is too far and not nearly as scenic as other parts of the Olympics; Lake Crescent is prettier and closer to Hurricane Ridge (a destination for most tourists to the park), closer to the ocean beaches near Lake Ozette and closer to Seattle and the San Juans.
Yes, a day trip to Rainier, to either the Sunrise or Paradise areas, is quite doable.
I agree with Orcas' advice about going right from the San Juans to the Olympic Peninsula. Not only does that make sense in terms of time but its a nice scenic trip. Don't go to the San Juans on a weekend-you'll have to wait for ferries. I think Orcas meant stay at Lake Crescent and visit Hurricane Ridge-Quinalt is nowhere near the ridge.
If you get a map this will make more sense to you. It sounds like you could use a guidebook, too-this would answer some of your basic questions. You've got a lot packed into a week.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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I think San Juan islands is too much for a 1-day trip. I'd stay over at least one night. With only one week I would choose either the various islands to the north or heading south to the rain forest, not both. Especially if you say you'll spend 3-4 days in the city. The remaining 3-4 days is definitely not sufficient to see Mt Rainier, San Juan Islands, and the Olympic Peninsula (in my opinion). These are BIG distances out west, an atlas or map as suggested by others will help you understand.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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Just some random thoughts here.

Is your interest in the OP the rain forest or Hurricane Ridge? There is a great rain forest at Mt. Rainier at a place called Ohanapakosh, which might fulfil that need. It is around on the southeast side. I think you would want to enter and drive to Paradise, then drive to Ohanapakosh and Sunrise, on the east. If it is a normal year (unlike last year), there will still be lots of snow at Paradise Lodge, so you won't be spending a lot of time at that level. There is a much better chance of really seeing the peak from Sunrise in late June, than from Paradise. Often the west side of Mt. Rainier is in the clouds and the east side is clear. Sunrise is at the timberline, as is Paradise, and you can easily walk the trails there, get some bad food at the little restaurant there, and be wowed by the mountain. It would be a long day, especially if you were driving from the OP. We do have long periods of daylight in the summer, but you'd be pushing it to do this in a day and get back to Seattle.

Hurricane Ridge, on the OP, is truly beautiful, with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and over to Vancouver Island. I'd say it is a similar experience to Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier doesn't have the views across the Strait, of course, but is truly spectacular, and really worth the entire trip (if it's not socked in).

We haven't even talked about Mt. St. Helens. While it is very interesting, with only a week, and having to pick between it and Mt. Rainier, I would pick Mt. Rainier, for its unparalleled majesty.

The time to get to the OP and San Juan Islands is longer because of the need to connect with ferries. (You can get to the OP by going around Puget Sound to the south and avoid the ferries, but this is out of the way and puts you in very heavy traffic, and is not recommended except when you are going directly from the OP to Mt. Rainier, as Mt. Rainier is south)

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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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As it probably shows, I have just started doing my research on this area, so there's a lot still to do. Everything all of you told me has been very helpful. We will be taking a day trip from one of our days in Seattle to go to Mt. Ranier. We will then drive up to Anacorte and take the ferry over to San Juan (not on a weekend) and spend the night there. We will then take the ferry back over and drive to Keystone and take the ferry to Port Townsend. Per the advice on here, we will stay at Lake Crescent rather than Lake Quinault. I don't have a preference since I'm not sure what either of them are like. I've just been doing a lot of reading and this area sounds like someplace we would love. I love mountains, lakes, rustic, quaint, rainforest, the whole bit. I can't get enough (I live in Texas!!). I plan on getting a map and really doing further research, though. Thanks for all the great advice. One more thing, has anyone stayed at the Lake Crescent Lodge? Not looking for luxury accomodations, but would like to know if it's decent. Thanks again.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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You can read a lot about Lake Crescent Lodge by running a search on this website.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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I just found a very cool website:

http://virtualguidebooks.com/Washing...ParadiseL.html

There are lots of photos in 360 degree panarama shots of Mt. Rainier. You can find scenes of other places in Washington, also. This might help you in planning your trip, and will certainly whet your appetite!
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