Mountains, ocean, and the jungle … to most, going to that such varied landscapes would involve 3 separate trips to three very different locations. There is one National Park that has it all though: Olympic National Park, in the northwestern corner of Washington State. And Olympic National Park is perfectly laid out for an ideal weeklong cars and truck camping journey that will enable you to experience a lot that the park needs to offer.
Plan your roadway journey with this 6-day Olympic National Park itinerary.
In this post, visitor factor Kim Vawter shares the information of her 6-day Olympic National Park travel plan and her best pointers for preparing your own journey.
Olympic National Park Basics
You require to be fine with knowing that you arent going to see the whole park, not in 6 days at least. My 6-day Olympic National Park journey travel plan strikes all the major highlights, however it would be insane to try to feast on the near one million acres of Olympic National Park in a single trip..
Entryway to Olympic National Park is $20 per lorry, and your pass will stand for 7 consecutive days.
If planning around the weather isnt your priority, spring offers the finest opportunity of seeing some wildlife– including black bears, elk, and giant banana slugs. Its also when waterfalls are most excellent and flowers remain in blossom.
No matter what season you come, be prepared for rain, then cross your fingers and hope for sunny skies.
Finest Time to Visit Olympic National Park.
Olympic NP is wet, wet, damp. Weather closures, as we discovered, arent an abnormality for Olympic NP, so check the present park status prior to you go and plan accordingly.
Map thanks to the National Park Service.
The Olympic National Park site is incredibly helpful, and they have actually posted online information sheets for every single location of the park. Utilize this link and the menu on the delegated select an area of the park to research study. I d also suggest getting a water resistant copy of National Geographics Olympic National Park map.
Olympic National Park is open year-round, and while a few of the facilities and roads do close from October through May, the Hurricane Ridge road is open Friday-Sunday throughout the winter for snow activities!
Olympic National Park Permits & & Campsites
Getting to Olympic National Park.
Vehicle Camping. Olympic National Park boasts gorgeous camping areas set in natural and peaceful settings. Campgrounds vary from $15-$ 22 a night, and all however 3 of them are first-come/ first-served.
Map thanks to the National Park Service.
More information on wilderness camping and allow details can be found here.
While there is public transport to the park, I believe an automobile is a needs to for this journey. From the SEA-TAC airport, the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center (where we began) is simply about 3 hours along the I-5 corridor and HWY 101, driving through the towns of Tacoma and Olympia.
We wound up making a giant loop, which you can see on the Google Map if you keep scrolling down.
Kalaloch (a large site on the Pacific Ocean), Sol Duc (a riverside camping site tucked in old growth forest), and Mora are the exceptions. These camping areas accept reservations from June– September and remain first-come/ first-served in the off-season.
For one of the very best backpacking journeys in the Park, have a look at Bearfoot Theorys writeup on the Olympic National Park High Divide Trail.
If you desire to go backpacking in Olympic National Park, you need to obtain a wilderness camping authorization. They cost $ 5 per individual per night for groups approximately 12 people. Depending on the trail, bookings might be needed, and the park accepts bookings for the entire season beginning on March 15th.
The road approximately Deer Creek in Olympic National Park is worth driving if your car is small enoughThe campground guide on the National Park website also informs you which camping sites have drinkable water and flush or pit toilets. And simply a heads-up, we couldnt discover a single camping area throughout our entire journey that had shower facilities.
If you desire to get out on the water, you can also take the ferryboat from Seattle, crossing the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, and the driving north from there towards Port Townsend. One-way rides are about $8, and a routine lorry expenses simply $28.
Sol Duc Camping in Olympic National ParkIf you are looking for a quiet area, inspect out Queets, North Fork Campground, and Deer Park Campground where RVs are not enabled or suggested.
They both provide fantastic choice for stocking up on some regional products for your journey. Is Smoking Mos BBQ and then Olympic Mountain Ice Cream.
6 Day Olympic National Park Itinerary.
Cyclone Ridge in Olympic National ParkThat first night, we camped at Heart O the Hills which was by far among the most gorgeous campgrounds I have actually ever checked out. I highly recommend loop D that has websites right along a flowing stream.
Day 1: Hurricane Ridge.
The very first day of our Olympic National Park itinerary, we took the ferry and after that drove a counterclockwise loop from Seattle, and our very first stop on the journey was Hurricane Ridge, where you get breathtaking views of Mount Olympus. Here you can hike Hurricane Hill, which is 1.6 miles one way and provides excellent views of the mountains. There is also an incredible viewing platform at the visitor center.
FOOD LOVER TIP: As you are driving in and out of Port Angeles to get in between Hurricane Ridge and the rest of the park do not miss out on the unique natural grocery store called Country Aire Natural Foods. Their fresh deli salads were definitely delicious.
As you leave the mountains of Hurricane Ridge, you show up at the 650 foot deep Lake Crescent.
The view from the top of Mount Storm King neglecting Lake CrescentContinuing on along HWY 101, dont miss the Salmon Cascades and the Ancient Grove path, on Sol Duc Hot Spring Rd. You can discover them midway down the road to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.
If you desire something more difficult with impressive views, take on the ~ 2,000 foot gain to the top of Mt. Storm King.
If you wish to trek, examine out Marymere Falls path (~ 1.5 miles big salami) that was is green as might be. Highlights consist of a few of these incredible log bridges that are utilized to cross streams. Utilize the same turn off as the Lodge to access the car park and trailhead for Marymere Falls.
Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park, WashingtonLake Crescent also has a wonderful lodge on its banks– the Lake Crescent Lodge. You can likewise rent kayaks on the lake to enjoy a lovely day on the water!
Day 2: Lake Crescent & & Sol Duc Hot Springs.
Have more time to desire or check out to enter the backcountry? There is no question about it … next time I check out Olympic NP I am going to hike the 17.3 mile path to Glacier Meadows and after that another 0.9 miles to see Blue Glacier.
Day 6: Ruby Beach, Kalaloch Beach and Lake Quinault.
Day 5: Hoh Rainforest.
There is one National Park that has it all though: Olympic National Park, in the northwestern corner of Washington State. And Olympic National Park is beautifully laid out for a perfect weeklong car camping journey that will enable you to experience a lot that the park has to provide.
Just north of Forks is the turn-off for La Push, Mora, and Rialto Beach. La Push has three primary beaches and they are simply called — First Beach, Second Beach and Third Beach.
We strolled in and checked out the set-up and chose versus it. The resort itself consists of cabins, massage therapists, food choices and a gift shop.
The Olympic National Park site is exceptionally useful, and they have posted online information sheets for every single area of the park. I d likewise recommend selecting up a waterproof copy of National Geographics Olympic National Park map.
Lake Quinault was the last stop on our trip. Afterwards, we made our method back to Seattle through Olympia, a drive that takes just under 4 hours.
Shoes: Depending what type of treking you are doing, youll either want a comfortable pair or 2 of path shoes that you can use in the car, around camp, and on well maintained tracks. I recommend waterproof shoes. Examine out some suggestions for hiking shoes here.
Before leaving Forks for The Hoh Rainforest, make sure you are equipped on food and needs, as there is only a small coffee shop/caf é/ corner store that offers a limited choice. The jungle, less than an hour from Forks, is located down Upper Hoh Road. Hook an ended 101 onto Upper Hoh Road and take a trip 18 rich miles east to the Hoh rain forest and visitor center.
Given that we just had 6 days for our Olympic National Park schedule, we advanced and ended up outdoor camping at Klahowya camping area, which is technically beyond the National Park in the surrounding National Forest. It was right along Highway 101 and likewise along the Sol Duc River. This is a fantastic campsite for putting yourself close to Forks for the next day of adventures!
Ruby Beach on the Olympic PeninsulaFrom Ruby Beach we headed down the 101 south to the Kalaloch Lodge. Stop at Beach 4, 3, 2 or 1, which are right off the road, and enjoy the views off of the highway along the way.
Rialto Beach in Olympic National ParkFirst Beach is actually right in town and is the only beach that can be accessed by automobile. 2nd Beach was approximately a one-mile walking from the parking area and was an absolutely gorgeous area for a picnic lunch. We consumed and explored the large beach before high tide began setting in.
Third Beach is a flat 1.6 mile walking from the parking lot. The lodge is off Mora Road and has a small gift shop that features local artists, which is why we ventured back to examine it out.
A good hat: Even though it might be cloudy, sun security is necessary! A brimmed hat will likewise keep the rain off of your head and face, making it simpler to see in damp conditions.
Learn more: Staying Dry and Comfortable: 5 Tips for Hiking in the Rain&& nbsp.
There you have it, a full 6-day loop featuring a few of the finest highlights of an Olympic National Park journey and the greater Olympic Peninsula.
Wool hat, scarf, and gloves to stay warm for the cool nights and mornings.
Non-cotton layers: Avoid cotton which stays cold and soaked, and rather adhere to wool, silk, and synthetic fibers that keep you warm even when damp! Have A Look At Bearfoot Theorys guide on the very best Hiking Clothes for suggestions.
Crazy to believe you would trek through a rain forest to get to the tallest peak in the national park! We meandered through the Hall of Mosses path (0.8 mile loop) as well as the Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 mile loop) both of which I wouldnt miss.
Important Gear for your Olympic National Park Road Trip.
Day 3: Forks & & La Push Beaches.
Kalaloch Lodge provides seaside cabins, a restaurant, a gift store and a little benefit shop. The gift shop had different products in contrast to Hurricane Ridge, with a huge choice of regional products. From Kalaloch Beach continue Lake Quinault where we camped for the night at Willaby campground on a ledge above the lake.
The lodge has Wi-Fi in the public areas and likewise uses showers (for a fee) for campers! We explored some of the United States Forest Service tracks here, which were enjoyable but not as surreal as the National Park. The United States Forest Service has an exceptional ranger station and info center right next door to the Lake Quinault Lodge.
Having solid rain equipment for your Olympic National Park travel plan — consisting of proper clothes, a camping tent with a rainfly (if camping), and warm clothing for nighttime– is vital. Here are a few of the important things I brought along and suggest.
From Klahowya Campground, continue west on your Olympic National Park trip on Highway 101 towards Forks. If you are a young female, or avid vampire fan, you may be wondering why youve heard of Forks, WA. Well, that is the town Stephanie Meyer used to base her Twilight series novels. While none of the film was shot on the Olympic Peninsula (Meyer never even checked out!), if you do want to “Twilight geek out” head directly to the Forks Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, which offers all the Twilight trivia and maps you require. It is essential to note though that after Port Angeles, Forks is a 2nd biggest city you will pass through on this trip so if you need a hot shower, warm bed, s more materials or simply a nice cup of espresso, make it take place in Forks!
On the last day, head to Ruby Beach– apparently the most photographed beach in all of the Olympic Peninsula.
Because we just had 6 days for our Olympic National Park itinerary, we continued on and ended up outdoor camping at Klahowya camping site, which is technically outdoors of the National Park in the neighboring National Forest.
Raingear: Its vital that your rain gear (jacket and trousers) can hold up in a downpour and likewise use defense from the wind. In addition, youll desire to bring a rain cover for your pack. Have A Look At Bearfoot Theorys preferred light-weight Rain Jackets for treking here.