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Olympic National Park
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Who is familiar with Olympic National Park?
“I'm doing some research as to Thinkbubelz & my annual trip to a National Park... Has anyone hiked it? Any trails / camping areas that you'd recommend for an overnight trip (not too rugged or remote)?
I am doing the Breast Cancer 3 Day (60 mile Walk) again this year and am considering going to Seattle (due to a conflict with the Michigan date), so I thought this might be a good place to visit while out there... Not sure yet how many days we would have, however, and if we do go hiking it would be before the 3 Day in the beginning of September, so I don't want to get too overly exhausted before the actual 3-Day event....
Any suggestions as to airlines to fly out of the Midwest would also be appreciated...
Of course, I'm just in the research phase, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!!”
“Olympic is some rugged country, and I've never really backpacked it. Lots of beautiful trails everywhere though.... don't miss the Hoh Rain Forest. It's amazaing.”
“I've hiked almost half of the trails inside the park, and a bunch of the ones outside the park (Olympic National Forest). What do you want to see?
The three top things that you shouldn't miss at Olympic are Hurricane Ridge, the Rainforest and the coastline.
Go look at my website: www.freewebs.com/dicentra see some pics and get some ideas. Feel free to email me too. :)”
“I Hiked the Hoh with Henry.
Its a 17 mile march up the Hoh and to Glacier Meadows campground from were you can dayhike to Blue Glacier and get a good look at Mount Olympus.
The first twelve miles is along the river flats and the next five to Glacier Meadows(4,300 feet) is close to a 4,000 foot climb but well worth it.
There is a campsite at the nine mile mark, Olympus #18, and another site (#19) at 2.3 miles from Glacier Meadows if you're running out of gas or daylight.
That's too much for a dayhike.....more like a three-nighter.
Dicentra, I want to do a trip out there next summer:
Up The Hoh and out either Barnes Creek or Aurora Ridge Trails to Lake Crescent.
Total hiking distance would be sixty miles.
Perhaps I could get some shuttle service out of someone out there and maybe even someone to join the party.
last edited: 7/26/07 7:05:00 AM”
“You tell us when you are coming and we'll take care of ya!! I'll call out the Posse! :)
That part of the park is a little over 2 hours from my house. ;)
last edited: 7/26/07 7:11:21 AM”
“The drive past Lake Crescent is super nice!
I was thinking about a nice swim in the lake after 6-7 days on the trail.
You're on, Dicentra!
The last time I did that trip was summer 2000.
last edited: 7/26/07 7:20:30 AM”
“I love that drive!!! The best swimming hole is on the other side off of the Spruce Railroad trail. Just watch out for poison oak!
Hmmm... I miss the Olympics!”
“Twice I made the Highway 101 trip from Olympia around the park on motorcycles.
The air out there is special and kinda cool on a two-wheeler.”
“The section of hwy 101 by the lake and the road up to Hurricane ridge are my favorites!! :D”
“In '74 we camped at Altaire and a couple of nights at Lake Sylvia State Park which had showers.
One of these days I gotta see Hurricane Ridge.
I've read accounts of Traversing The Bailey Range.”
“WHAT??!! You've never been to the ridge. Oh!! You are SO GOING!! It's really cool to go up at night when there's a full moon. :)
Ask Hoosierdaddy about the Baileys. I can tell you about the approach, but haven't made it to the actual Baileys. Someday... ;)”
Had been busy, so it has been a while since I had a chance to check the responses to my thread...
We'll be out there at the end of August, through the 1st week of September... :-)”
“Oops, waited too long to edit my comment... so here goes another attempt....
Thanks for the comments....
I have been very busy this past month, so it has been a while since I had a chance to check the responses to my thread...
Thinkbubelz & I will be out there at the end of August and through the 1st week of September... :-) (about 11 days total--but really 9 good exploring days and 2 for travel.)
We are going to fly into Seattle, and are trying to figure out where we will go--We've never been to Washington State before, so we're thinking of doing a little driving to see as much as we can this time out...
Thinking ot checking out Olympic National Park, North Cascades and possibly Mount Ranier (although I'm thinking that 3 national parks may be a bit too ambitious-- we don't want to spend our whole time driving about....)
If we could only go to 2 parks, which would you recommend? Any good trails for day hiking?
I'm not sure how much backpacking we will do vs. car camping, as I am still not sure how comfortable I am in backpacking in a rugged place without other more experienced hikers with us... (plus I did something to my hip & knee earlier this year, and I'm not sure what kind of distances I can hike without re-aggravating the injuries....) We would most definitely be open to hiking with other TTers. (Although we are not the types who "power-hike"-- we much prefer taking time to stop and take photos/video, doodle, or just enjoy the scenery...)
We're still figuring out our itinerary, but I'm hoping to stay a night/day in Ocean Shores, drive to Olympic NP, stay a few days there, head towards the North Cascades for a few days, maybe hit the wine country area (can't possibly skip some good wine tastings!) and finally, make our way back down to Mt. Ranier if we have enough time....
We also want to check out Seattle itself since we've never been out there and have heard lots of wonderful things about the city. Not sure if this is doable-- if not, we may skip Mt. Ranier and just do Olympic National Park and the North Cascades....”
“Car camping in the Olympics is very easy to do, and lots to see :-) If you do two parks, do Olympics and Rainier. North Cascades is so far away from everything (still gorgeous though!). The easy dayhikes are better at Rainier and Olympics.
Best guide books? Check out the DayHike! series for good choices.”
“Thanks for the tips! :-) I am really looking forward to it!!!
Any must sees in Seattle? How far away is Portland?”
“Portland is uh..depending on traffic 3-4 hours away from downtown Seattle. 3 is about right usually.
If you do Rainier, do Sunrise. The Paradise area is so ripped up this year (they are remodeling the Inn up there and building a new visitor center), and the parking is horrible now. Sunrise is prettier as well.
Olympics? Go to Port Angeles and go up to Hurricane Ridge, then out to the coast and maybe Sol Duc or the Hoh :-) Can be done in 2 days perfectly. I love going out to Rialto Beach area near Forks (which is close to Hoh/Sol Duc).”
“MarKO, thanks for the great map.”
“A great Olympic hike is to drive to Lk Ozette, and hike to the beach three miles. Camp there, then hike south along the beach for three miles and camp. then hike back to Lk Ozette, completing the triangle. You can have drift wood fires on the beach, and see otters, seals, tidepools, and Indian petroglyphs.
Before or after that, you can head to Sol Duc hot springs, rent a cabin or car camp, hit the hot springs, have a meal, and then to do backpack to High Divide. There are 4 or 5 lakes there, and great views across the valley to the Olympic range. A 3-5 day backpack there would be great. Bring rain gear, as its the OLYMPIC PENNINSULA.”
“We've been looking at the NPS website to see how we should plan our trip.
The Hot springs sound cool-- We'll be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary while on this trip, so that might be a nice break in the action...
How is the weather out there? I've been reading that it gets cool in the evenings?
Michigan has been flooded by the rains the past 2 days (record inches and flooding today!)
I hope it's not going to rain the whole time we are out there!
If there are any TTers out that way, we'd love to meet up with you! :-)”
“I don't know what the heck-o-la has been up with our weather! We have had ok weather at points, but also very unseasonal rain the past two days. Blah! But usually late August is nice :-)
Carry rain gear, summer gear and a fleece or down jacket for nights.
Sol Duc is nice...the "hot springs" there are piped into swimming pools so are clean and not all icky like the natural hot springs are over in Elwah. No stinky dirty old hippies ;-) Of course clean means ya have to pay, but oh well!
The cabins there are cute and clean.
If you are looking for affordable places, if in Forks Olympic Suites is clean and well priced. It is an apt building run as a motel. I have stayed there many times.”
I found the web site last night. Looks like it might be a nice place to stay towards the end of our trip (maybe for our anniversary)! ;-)
How cold is it at night? Is it warm enough in the daytime to wear shorts? or should we just pack long pants and forego any shorts? I was looking at the weather listings--it seems like it's pretty cool during this time of year? How bad are mosquitoes or biting flies, etc.? I also noticed that they talk about using a bear wire / bear can-- are the bears pretty bad in Olympic and Mt. Ranier?
Is there anything interesting along the coast before you get to Olympic?
I think our current plan is to hit up Olympic NP 1st and then go to Mt. Ranier on thhe way back to Seattle.... Not how far Olympic is from Seattle's Airport-- Is Ocean Shores a good place to stop along the way? Anything interesting there?
Also, do you think we can get away with a regular car vs. an SUV? From what we were reading, it seemed like we shouldn't have any problem with a regular car... if we don't need to rent a gas guzzler, we're going to try to stick with a car with better Mileage....”
“Go with a car...most roads on the west side of the Olympics are paved, and if not are quite doable in a car.
Temps...this is summer afterall. Yes, it has been chilly past couple days, but pack shorts as well and t-shirts. The Peninsula is usually around 10* or so lower than Seattle. Days can still be 60-80* or higher if in the mountains hiking. Nights can be in the 40's to 50's*.
If you leave from Seattle you want to take Hwy 101 and head towards Port Angeles (not Ocean Shores-that is at the bottom of the state, down near Oregon). Just go over the Tacoma Narrows bridge and head towards 101. Or take the ferry out of downtown Seattle to Bainbridge and onto Hwy 101. It takes about 2 hours to PA from Sea Tac, another 1 hour or so to get to Sol Duc. If you did drive to Ozette from Port Angeles plan for 2 hours to get there from PA. Lots to stop and look at.
In Sequim, there is Dungness Spit, a gorgeous beach/spit with one cool lighthouse at the end. It is about a 10 miler to do a RT and worth it. Nice campground there as well. Take a look online and you will see what I am talking about. Sequim is in the "Banana Belt" that has a chunk of W. Washington in it's path. It is warmer and drier. Yet only about 15 miles from PA.
Coming back from the Peninsula, it is say a 4 hour drive to Sunrise or Paradise at Rainier (depending which part of the park you visit).
Take a look at the Olympic Park overall map and you will see how much of the interior of the park sprawls over the Peninsula. You can drive all the way around, to do a loop. But...I wouldn't recommend it. The West side (from Sequim to Klaloch Beach area) is what you want to see. After the town of Forks, when you get near the coastal strip, it is one beach after another, all accessible by short trails!
Also worth going to is the charming town of Port Townsend, via Hwy 20. It sits on the corner of the Peninsula, accessed easily by a couple roads right after you cross the Hood Canal Bridge. Take a look on your maps! It has great history, is an artist enclave and great beaches and a kick butt state park (Ft. Worden).”
“I will not be doing the 3-Day in Seattle-- Instead, I'm opting for the one in Atlanta, so I have a few more days for visiting the National Parks.... Although we plan to end our trip in Seattle so that I can get rested up at the end of the trip. I go back to work the following Monday! :-)”
“What about the South side of Olympic park? Do you recommend seeing Staircase?
Would it be better to go to Mt. Ranier 1st? The more I look at the map, the more I wonder if we will have time to visit 2 parks!”
“While the East and South side of the park is pretty, most of it is accessed by loooong FS roads that are not paved. Staircase is neat...if you like forests that go on and on and on.
On the other hand, Quinalt rain forest area is nice and sits lower than Hoh and Sol Duc (The Quinalt Lodge is worth the $$ as well) If you are going to do a forest hike, do a rain forest hike, which Staircase is NOT.
You can easily make a trip of Olympic NP. And I'll say it again, don't miss Hurricane Ridge!!”
“So excited. We are leaving in the morning!!
I may or may not have internet access while out there.... I emailed my cell phone # to dicentra, but it's on the fritz (the screen is wrecked.) so I can't do caller ID.... In the meantime, I'm getting another cheapie phone to use while on vacation...”
“Just got your email! I'll call you today and see if we can hook up. :)”
“Sweet! We're in Seatac right now-- heading out in about an hour! I think the current plan is to go to one of the smaller National parks near to us and then towards Olympic Nat'l park.
Depending on the weather, we may also try to hit Mt. Rainier later in the week-- we caught an awesome glimpse of it yesterday on the plane... :-)”
“Rainier is smaller by quite a bit.”
“Out by Port Angeles now... :-) going to the park in a few minutes! Keeping our fingers crossed for getting a campsite.”
“Wow! I have to say that we've had an awesome few days in Olympic Nat'l Park. Will send up a Trail Report later... :-)”
“I'll be heading out next week and hope to hit this area while I'm out there. I was wondering what the weather will be like. It's still the rainy season right? Also wondering about getting a campsite somewhere or just backpacking. Am I too late to reserve something? I'm such a slacker when it comes to the planning.
“It should be beautiful. Rainy season should be past, but it is a rain forest, so pack appropriately. There will be some fog & rain.”
“Thanks. I've done a little more research now. Looking forward to it.
Great advice here!”
“Sorry about the lack of great advice. None of the locals post here anymore. Although there was a time I had a nice view of the Olympics from my living room window, I've never camped up there. My Washington trips these days are all in the Cascades.
I'm sure you'll have a great time. The area is so beautiful - it's God's country!”
“That's what I say about the Adirondacks. Not sure I'm ready to hand that title over to anywhere else yet. :)”
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