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Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

5 posts
Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

Good morning all. I am headed out to Olympic next week as part of a larger Washington trip and was hoping the experts here could give my itinerary and hiking plan a quick sanity check. My wife and I are in our early 30s and love day hikes. No physical limitations, but we would like to avoid trails with technical climbs, and we don't mind longer drives. The trail closures have changed a few of my plans, but I am absolutely looking forward to the trip!

9/13/18: Seattle to Mt Rainier (Sunrise)

9/14/18: Mt Rainier (Sunrise)

9/15/18: Mt Rainier (Paradise; staying in Morton, Wa)

9/16/18: Quinault Rainforest

*Quinault River to Pony Bridge (5.0 miles)

*Quinault Rainforest Nature Loop (.5 miles)

*Staying at Lochaerie Resort

9/17/18: Beach day

*Second Beach at low tide. If I read the tide charts correct, low tide should be around 1:00PM on the 17th; it's not a great low tide (just over 3.0 feet) so would you still recommend Second?

*Rialto Beach for the sunset

*Staying at Lochaerie Resort

9/18/18: Quinault

*This is an open day at the moment when we would have gone to the Hoh area, any recommendations for hikes? Would it be worth it to check out the Kalaloch area?

*Staying at Lochaerie Resort

9/19/18: Quinault to Port Angeles

*Sol Duc Falls trail

*Spruce Railroad trail (or just a portion of it)

*Marymere Falls trail

*Staying at George Washington Inn B&B

9/20/18: Port Angeles Area

*Whale watching trip in the morning

*Venture up to Hurricane Hill visitor center and hike whatever is open

*Staying at George Washington Inn

9/21/18: Port Angeles to Mt Baker Scenic Byway

That's it. At this point I'm obviously locked into the accommodations; any changes to the hikes or activities you would recommend?

5 replies to this topic
Poulsbo, Washington
Level Contributor
11,776 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

Elk it’s too late to ask why you are staying the whole time on the Westside of Olympic if you want to visit the LaPush Beaches. You should have asked. Lots of unnecessary driving back and forth. Make sure that you pick up groceries before you get to Lochaerie. Do not count on much in the way of groceries at Quinault. Funny I am currently in the Highlands of Scotland. I have stayed at Lochaerie. Second is still worth visiting. Be careful diving in the dark back to Quinault. Elk and Deer cross the roads at night and the drive is remote and very very dark. If you like longer hikes I am not sure why you are not considering the other Fork of the Quinault besides Pony Bridge. You also could have hiked further up the SolDuc to Deer Lake or even beyond. Again I wish that you had asked. I am not bothering to read updates n the closures due to he Goat Relocation Progect, but if you are hikers Klahanne Ridge should be on your itinerary.

5 posts
2. Re: Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

Thanks glacier. I think we'll hike the other Fork of Quinault on the 18th since we have a free day then. I'll see how our legs feel on the SolDuc trail; a hike up to Deer Lake sounds fun. I've already picked out a Safeway to visit in Aberdeen on the way up to Quinault, so I think we're good there.

Appreciate the head's up on the drive back from the beaches. I'm all too familiar with deer on the roads in rural Ohio, but definitely don't want to run into any elk.

Thanks again

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,949 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

It's not just elk. Twice a cougar has run across the road in front of my car, once when I was driving back from Second Beach. So be careful on those dark roads.

Definitely go to Second Beach. You will still be able to see the lovely hidden beaches and tidepools. You have time for a visit to Third Beach, too. There are no tidepools there, so you can visit at high tide if you like, but there is a lovely little waterfall on the beach, and you should have the place all to yourself.

If the park goat eradication project is in full swing while you are at Hurricane Ridge, Klahhane Ridge, home to many goats, will be off limits. Check. You should try for Deer Lake, and try to extend the hike to The Potholes if you can. This is so much more beautiful and wild than the Spruce RRT.

5 posts
4. Re: Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

Thanks kaleberg. Wasn't even aware cougar were around Olympic; will keep my eyes out. Third beach sounds great, will give it a visit.

Also, I'm switching up the plan just a bit. Going to move the beach day to the 18th and stay near Forks for the night. I'll have to eat the cancellation fee for that night at Lochaerie, but at least it will save 4+ hours of driving.

Poulsbo, Washington
Level Contributor
11,776 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Last minute Olympic itinerary sanity check

I think it is worth spending the night in Forks. Misty Valley BandB and Huckleberry Lodge are just two places I recommend. I went to High School and College in Ohio. Not at all the same in terms of Deer. We are talking wild places and logging Country. Miles of nothing and no lights of any kind between Quinault and Forks.

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