We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

austin
Level Contributor
73 posts
4 reviews
Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

I will fly into Seattle and drive to Portland for a 3 day visit. I am flying in on May 9 and returning Tues. May 15. Would love to drive a scenic route to Portland and leaving Portland on Sunday early afternoon and leaving Seattle Tuesday at 11am. Recommended scenic drives to and from Portland. Is Olympic doable in 2 days?

austin
Level Contributor
73 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

Further info. We are in our 60's and want a relaxing time with driving, but not excessive. Perhaps one place to stay Sun and Mon night to sight see from and be at the Airport on Wed by 11am.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,718 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

Olympic would be out of your way.The drive is not scenic. You could sidetrack to Lake Quinaut, but the drive itself is not scenic and you are going about 1.5hours each way out of your way via Olympia and Aberdeen.

austin
Level Contributor
73 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

Thank you! We were going to leave early afternoon on Sunday to head for Washington from Portland and thought perhaps we could drive the east coast of peninsula or ??? and then take a ferry to Seattle late on Monday evening for flight at 11am on Tuesday. Not a good plan?

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
4. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

We just did the drive from Longview to Aberdeen via SR 4 and 101 first few miles to about Cathlamet are interesting, but the rest is not really.

The drive along Hood Canal north of Shelton is nice. You could go to Port Tonsend and ferry there.

Have you been to Mt St Helens? How about Columbia Gorge Oregon side to Hood River Wash side back.

I agree the loop around Olympic NP not worth it. It is ok way to get to some points in ONP but you don't have time for that.

Edited: 16 April 2012, 11:20
Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,718 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

Yes you could do this. It would be a long day of driving. Once you actually get to the East Side of the Park (you are not really within the Park), there are some pretty spots along Hood Canal. Because you are so close to the Olympics on the road, you do not get very many views of the mountains. The road winds a lot and will be a little slow going. Parts of the drive are pretty, but it is mostly about the views of the shorline. On a rainy day I would probably not do it. The most dramatic parts of the Park are on the Westside and Northern part. There are some great spots on the Eastside, but you really have to drive or hike into the Park, which takes time and the roads are for the most part not paved. Tough to advise you on this one.

austin
Level Contributor
73 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

Thanks so much. Yes, I have done the Columbia Gorge, Mt.Hood, but not Mt. St. Helens. Have done north of Seattle, Whidbey, Bellingham to Victoria and St.Juan Islands. I love the NW so much and was trying to find something new and spectacular. This has been most helpful. Not sure of a route now to take coming back to Seattle.

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
14 reviews
7. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

Here's a fun thing to do:

Go out 26 to Cannon Beach. Stop at Camp 18 for lunch, or at least to see the building. Visit Cannon Beach, maybe Seaside, then Astoria. If you have time, there is a whale watching tower at Ft. Stephens and the mouth of the Columbia. I have never seen a whale there, but it is a good view.

In Astoria, there are a few museums and a cute town to visit. From Astoria, I would go over to the Cathlamet Ferry because it is a throwback (I'm surprised it still is running, so I take it about once a year when I'm there). That puts you on the freeway at Longview.

At Castle Rock, just north of Longview, go to Mt. St Helens if it is a clear day. It takes four hours (more if you want to stop for a walk).

An alternate thing to do would be to go to Northwest Trek in Eatonville.

You could do this going north or south. Make two days of it by staying in Astoria, Cannon Beach or Seaside.

I agree that the sound on 3 from Shelton to Bremerton is pretty. Hood Canal is possible too, I have driven that route many many times, and I don't think of it as particularly magical But it is pretty. You can go over the bridge to Port Gamble, and then drop down to Bainbridge to catch a ferry. If you go this route, I would just go straight up I-5 from Portland to Olympia and then out to Shelton.

You could also go the back way on the east side of the mountains and go to Yakima/Toppenish/Walla Walla wine country.

8. Re: Olympic National Park and Loop and Scenic Drive to Portland

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 19 June 2013, 10:42
Get answers to your questions about Olympic National Park