View Full Version : Olympic Peninsula - Where to go?

8-Jun-2016, 21:51
Hi all,

Thinking of taking a trip up to Olympic how many days and where should I go?


9-Jun-2016, 08:42
No one has any suggestions?

Drew Wiley
9-Jun-2016, 09:25
There is a lot of variety there, everything from spectacular rock beaches to temperate rainforests, windswept ridges, and glacier-clad summits. So be prepared for all kinds of potential weather, especially wet. Puget Sound itself is characterized by microclimates. Are you a hiker, car camper, or ?? Temporary forest permits are required to park some places. Like other National Parks there is a formal government website guiding you through all this, replete with a reservation system to campgrounds if needed. And you will in summer. The locals would be better at traffic info or which spots might be overrun with Seattle people on weekends. Besides the beaches and the Hoh rainforest, another famous paved drive is up to Hurricane Ridge and its wildflowered vistas of the icy summits beyond. Hard to say how much time to allocate. A week would be nice. Remember, right on the other side of Seattle is Mt Rainier too, with wonderful sights, and the Columbia River Gorge not too far south of there, or North Cascades NP the other direction. Alternately, there are a lot of ferry options to islands in
Puget Sound itself. I'm certainly not suggesting that you attempt all these on one trip! - Just that if WANT to spend more time seeing this part of the Northwest,
there will be PLENTY to potentially see.

9-Jun-2016, 09:30
Thanks Drew!

Drew Wiley
9-Jun-2016, 10:17
A postscript ... Besides a raincoat, make sure your darkcloth is also waterproof !

9-Jun-2016, 10:19
LoL sounds like a plan!

lab black
9-Jun-2016, 10:38
If you are in the vicinity, Silver Falls State Park, might be a destination to consider;


9-Jun-2016, 11:36
Thanks lab, the park looks great!

9-Jun-2016, 12:55
As others have said there are lots of places to visit on the Peninsula, you are going to be limited most likely by time and logistics. Many of the National Park areas are several hours away from each other. My suggestions would be hit to Hurricane Ridge to get a beautiful mountain view (if the weather is good), then hit the Elwha to check out the now free-flowing river made possible by the largest dam removal project in the country. After that hit the coast at Rialto Beach and the Hoh Rainforest, further south.

It really all depends on what you want to do- do you want mountain views, river views, rain forests, or beach? Olympic NP has it all.

Bob Sawin
9-Jun-2016, 19:59
If time permits a trip out to the coast will be memorable. I suggest the Kalaloch area with the beautiful beaches such as Ruby Beach. If you don't have time head out to Rialto beach just west of Forks. Of course Hurricane Ridge is a great place with photo ops everywhere.

The other great trip is to go to Neah Bay. Be sure to stop and get a day pass at the convenience store/gas station as you enter the reservation. There are some spectacular beaches out there like Shi Shi Beach.

Best regards,


John Kasaian
9-Jun-2016, 21:39
I was there a few years ago---plenty of great opportunities.
If you want waterfalls, be prepared for some hiking.
Seascapes abound.
If you're camping be prepared for seriously wet weather.
We based out of a motel in Forks(I don't recollect the name) and were snug and dry.

9-Jun-2016, 22:22
Thanks everyone!

Alan Curtis
10-Jun-2016, 07:53
Hoh rainforrest is well worth the trip.


10-Jun-2016, 21:35
Thanks everyone appreciate all the feedback!

Jim Fitzgerald
10-Jun-2016, 22:14
Something for us to check out. We are about 4 hours south of Hoh rain forest. Can't wait to go.

Peter De Smidt
11-Jun-2016, 03:25
We visited the OP a few years ago for a few days. Rialto Beach and Hurricane Ridge were highlights. The Hoh rain forest was a really long drive from where we were staying, and it was underwhelming, but maybe we hit it at a bad time.

Keith Fleming
11-Jun-2016, 19:59
The rainy season is ending, and by the middle of July rain will become rare until early October. Along the north Olympic Peninsula in the summer (along the Strait of Juan de Fuca), the mornings are very calm. As the day goes on, the land east of the Cascades heats up and rises, and that draws in cooler air from the Pacific--which means the late afternoons along the Strait of Juan de Fuca can be rather windy.

Highway 101 along the Hood Canal is scenic. So is the Port Townsend area--downtown still has its brick buildings from the late 19th century, and Fort Worden State Park (in Port Townsend) is good for lodging, beaches, and the light house. There are fireworks on the evening of July 4th on the beach at Fort Worden--bring a folding chair. Lots of Victorian architecture in PT also. If you stay in town overnight and are driving out toward the ocean beaches, I recommend breakfast at the Bayview Restaurant on the water near the ferry terminal. Their breakfasts will get you there, regardless of where you are going. I also recommend arranging your trip so that you have to take one of the Washington State Ferry systems ferries from either Edmunds (my preference) or downtown Seattle. The Edmunds ferry to Kingston will allow you to go to the Hood Canal Bridge (a floating bridge) after going through the restored village of Port Gamble. It's "New England" in character, with large old maples near the former general store--great stopping place for ice cream and photographs.

Having written all the above, I also admit that the places others recommended will make a photographer happy.


12-Jun-2016, 17:04
Thanks peter and keith