Washington/Oregon in June

Nov 7th, 2019, 06:37 AM
  #1  
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Washington/Oregon in June

We are considering two weeks in the Pacific Northwest in June: Seattle, Olympic National Park, the Pacific Coast. We are not hikers but want to see the beauties of nature. Our timing would be sometime in the first three weeks of June. Is this a good time, or should we consider postponing it until September/October?

Thanks.
Greenway is offline  
Nov 7th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #2  
mms
 
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June is much better than September or October for ONP as far as seeing the rainforests, but September/October are much better for Seattle and in general the rest of the coast. I would say early October though, as about mid month is when the rains typically set in. Also, hotel rates for later September/October are much better, and of course the later you go the fewer visitors. So it just really depends on what you are looking for. You mention PNW, but have only mentioned WA. Are you looking to head down the OR coast at all? If so, then I would definitely try for later as it tends to get really crowded in the summer. Also, Mt Rainier is a must if you want to see nature, and for that September into October is ideal as in June there is still a lot of snow. Even for non hikers, Rainier has endless opportunities.
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Nov 7th, 2019, 08:08 AM
  #3  
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I would like to hit at least one beach in Oregon, but it depends on how our time works out. We prefer to stay in one place for 2-3 nights (if not more). Is there somewhere on the Washington coast where we could make comfortable day trips to HOH Rainforest and Quinaultl?
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Nov 7th, 2019, 08:24 AM
  #4  
mms
 
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For ONP, the hard part is that things are really spread out, so it is better to stay in at least 2 places vs one. That though is for basically from Hurricane Ridge on down to Lake Quinault. Are you planning on seeing Hurricane Ridge and the northern area? If so, do consider staying in Port Angeles or Lake Crescent. For a place to stay between the Hoh and Quinault, we like the cabins at Kalaloch. There is a lodge there as well, but I have not stayed in those rooms so can't comment, but the location is the same. Anyway, Kalaloch has worked well for us on trips where we do both the Hoh and Quinault.

For the OR coast, on the north end, Cannon Beach is very popular for good reason. It is a beautiful town with Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park, and a lot of nice shops and restaurants. If you have time and want to go further south, Newport is popular as it has so much to offer including two lighthouses, the bay front, Nye Beach etc. It sounds like your time might be limited, and if so, stick to the north coast.
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Nov 7th, 2019, 09:12 AM
  #5  
 
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For early June I'd suggest a driving route like this - https://goo.gl/maps/x66ce2rLwhvv33f1A . Google the places on the map.

You'd start by crossing the Cascades on I-90, with a stop at Snoqualmie Falls en route. After the mountains, you'd then pass through terrific ranching country then south through high desert to the Yakima Valley, then south through terrific "old west" scenery and the Yakama Indian reservation to the Columbia River at Maryhill.

See the fascinating copy of Stonehenge on the clifftops over the big river, then stop at the Maryhill Museum for a blast of Rodin in the sagebrush. Then follow the north bank of the Columbia west to Hood River, Oregon. I'd spend a couple of nights at Hood River, using the days to explore the Hood River Valley with its orchards and vineyards, view points, wineries and fruit stands, and maybe visit Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mount Hood, where they'll still be skiing. Then continue west past the waterfalls and vista points in the Columbia River Gorge, through Portland, and out to the coast at Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park.

From there it's north over the (awesome) mouth of the Columbia to Cape Disappointment. See the park's lighthouses, waves-on-rocks scenery, terrific Lewis and Clark visitor center, and even Waikiki Beach (the other one.) If time permits, explore the Long Beach Peninsula and Willapa Bay nature reserve (lots of birds) then head north to Olympic National Park. I'd explore both the Quinault and Hoh valley rain forests, visit beautiful Lake Quinault, and stop at Ruby Beach. Again, if time allows, you could visit more beaches near La Push - spectacular Rialto Beach for example - then around the top of the Olympic Peninsula to Crescent Lake and Port Angeles. Depending on how the winter goes, there may well still be some snow on the ground at Hurricane Ridge, but it shouldn't impair the viewing (but clouds can - keep a weather eye.)

From there it's south to the Bainbridge Island ferry and your (spectacular) re-entry to Seattle.

This is a lovely late spring trip, one that highlights some of the Pacific Northwest's best destinations.

Some photos to illustrate (not all mine) -

Maryhill Museum



Mount Hood from Hood River Valley



Columbia Gorge



Waikiki Beach, Cape Disappointment



Ruby Beach



Hall of Mosses, Hoh rain forest

Gardyloo is online now  
Nov 7th, 2019, 10:21 AM
  #6  
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My rough plan is to fly from GErmany to Seattle, spend @3 nights in Port Angeles (whale watching, possibly ferry to Victoria and Butchart Gardens, Hurricane Ridge), head around to Forks or Ruby Beach for 2-3 nights (Hoh, Quinualt, beaches). And from there...... I hear June is bad weather for the beaches, but still, maybe along the coast and then over to Mt. Ranier before heading back to a few days in Seattle.

We don't want to overplan it, and are not at all interested in a traditional road trip with a new hotel (and lugging suitcases) every night.

Thanks all for everything so far!
Greenway is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 07:13 AM
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Kalaloch has a lovely beac, but that is about all it has to offer. Given your stated desires, stay in LaPush at the Quileute Oceanside Resort or at the Rain Forest Resort Village on Lake Quinault. (Lake Quinault Lodge is also available but costs a tad more and is run by a park service concession.) LaPush or Forks would be closer to the Hoh than Kalaloch.

Last edited by Bobmrg; Nov 8th, 2019 at 07:35 AM.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Greenway View Post
My rough plan is to fly from GErmany to Seattle, spend @3 nights in Port Angeles (whale watching, possibly ferry to Victoria and Butchart Gardens, Hurricane Ridge), head around to Forks or Ruby Beach for 2-3 nights (Hoh, Quinualt, beaches). And from there...... I hear June is bad weather for the beaches, but still, maybe along the coast and then over to Mt. Ranier before heading back to a few days in Seattle.

We don't want to overplan it, and are not at all interested in a traditional road trip with a new hotel (and lugging suitcases) every night.

Thanks all for everything so far!
In June Mount Rainier is going to have deep snow at elevation, and the weather can still be cloudy and rainy, making the mountain invisible. Might not be, but do you feel lucky?

That's why I recommended the Columbia Gorge/Mount Hood area - if the weather is not cooperative for the mountains, there are still many things to see and do at lower elevations - waterfalls, lakes, wineries and microbreweries, "old west" scenery, etc.

With 13 or 14 nights, I'd look at a time allocation scheme something like this, with overnight destinations listed -

1 Seattle
2 Port Angeles
3 Port Angeles
4 Port Angeles
5 Coast
6 Coast
7 Coast
8 Coast
9 Hood River
10 Hood River
11 Hood River
12 Seattle
13 Seattle
14 Depart

By "coast" I mean anywhere from La Push to Cannon Beach. I'd probably spend two nights in Forks, with one of the days at one of the La Push beaches and the other in the Hoh Valley, then two at someplace like Ilwaco (next to Cape Disappointment) with a stop en route at Lake Quinault. With the Ilwaco base you could visit Cape Disappointment, Astoria, Cannon Beach, or Ecola State Park before moving inland to Portland and the Gorge.

If you want to do this counter/anti-clockwise loop, fine, but the reverse (i.e. Hood River first, Olympic NP last) would probably work better in terms of weather - the Hood River/Gorge area will have excellent weather and will still be in spring mode, and getting to the Olympic Peninsula later will give more time for things to dry out - a little - and for more of the snow to melt off at Hurricane Ridge.

One note about whale watching from PA or Victoria (same whales, just a different length boat ride) - there's much concern about the local orca pods being over-stressed by whale watching and excessive human interaction, so don't be surprised if whale watching is curtailed or even restricted heavily by next summer.
Gardyloo is online now  
Nov 8th, 2019, 01:34 PM
  #9  
mms
 
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Bobmrg--We have stayed at Kalaloch to visit these other areas as I mentioned. Worked great for us and very easy to get around from there and we have done this a handful of times, FWIW.
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Nov 9th, 2019, 01:32 AM
  #10  
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Wow, thanks. This sounds like a plan I can start with!
Greenway is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 01:21 PM
  #11  
 
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If you have some extra time in or around Seattle and the weather is nice I'd recommend taking a drive through the Cascades.
Connie59 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 11:24 PM
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If you are not interested in doing all of Gardyloo's route, a drive down to Portland and a day trip out the Columbia Gorge as far as Multnomah Falls and/or Hood River is really incredible.

The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area was the first area in the country to be named a national scenic area. President Reagan signed it into law and it has really kept it pristine from McMansions (development).

Drive east from Portland on the Historic Columbia River Highway so that you are at the top of the cliffs, to stop at waterfalls and lookouts. Then drive back to Portland on I-84,i which is close to river level. It's pretty incredible if you do this drive back near sunset.


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