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Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip

Los Angeles...
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Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Hello! I was wondering what you would recommend for a 3 day trip. I read in previous posts that staying in Port Angeles one night and Forks for 2 would be a great idea. We want to do a lot of hiking - meadows, rainforest, some nice drives. What would you suggest for a 3 day itinerary?

18 replies to this topic
Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Brian, if you read older threads on the ONP, you will find enough information to draw up a preliminary itinerary. Another good source of information is the parks own website.

There are very few nice drives in ONP. The highways that run around the Olympic Peninsula do not, with a few exceptions, come anywhere near the park, so you get no sense at all of the ocean or the rain forests from the road. Even the mountains only appear in the distance. There is one lovely 19 minute stretch where Highway 101 runs along Lake Crescent that is truly scenic, and there are a few spots where Highway 112 runs in sight of the ocean as you approach Clallam Bay, but that's pretty much it. Access to the park sites is from smaller side roads, some of which are scenic, but the bulk of the driving on the peninsula takes you through monotonous managed timberlands, clear cuts, and rather unattractive villages.

You don't say when you are coming, but it makes a huge difference in terms of what you can see. Post back when you have done some research, and make sure to include the time of your visit.

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Thank you for your response. It looks like it will be Oct 13-17th give or take a few days around then. Flying into Seattle/Tacoma airport, probably mid day. We are planning on going to MRNP unless you don't recommend it at this time of year. Thanks so much!

Port Angeles, WA
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3. Re: Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Mid-October is a transition season. Weather could be glorious, crisp and infused with a golden light you only see in October, or it could be rainy, or worse, foggy. Days will be noticeably on the short side. Some of our roads are very dark and isolated, so plan carefully to avoid much night driving. Bring layers of clothes, including at least one waterproof or water resistant layers, and bring hiking shoes or boots and good wool socks.

When you look at the ONP website, pay attention to the closures. Because they have many vulnerable members living in remote communities with few medical resources, the Makah Tribe and the Quileute Tribe have closed their lands to outsiders. This means that Second Beach, Cape Flattery/Neah Bay, and Shi Shi Beach are closed. Several other park attractions are shut down right now, including the Spruce Railroad Trail, which is being rebuilt, and Staircase, which was hit hard by crowds this summer and has had to be shut down for safety reasons. Much will still be open in mid-October, however, and if the weather is good, the mountains will be magical. The Hoh Rain Forest can also be exquisitely lovely in October.

Let's discuss COVID precautions. Obviously, you will bring masks. For your own sake, I would recommend getting lodging with some kitchen facilities so that you could avoid going to our restaurants. Stay away from our bars, which have been the source of at least one serious outbreak. I can recommend one brewpub, New Moon, which has been punctilious about obeying the rules, but be careful if you decide to go out to eat or drink.

Organize your trip around the hikes that intrigue you. That is the way to enjoy a visit to ONP. I can help with details once you decide what you would like to see.

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Thanks so much for your response. A lot of great details! We were only planning on doing take out anyways.. or outdoor seating if any places have it. Masks worn everywhere.

Here is a schedule I planned out. Do you think it has any major problems? Please let me know if there is anything you think I should change or if it sounds way too rushed:

WASHINGTON

Day 1

Murhut Falls

Hurricane Ridge

Lake Crescent

Marymere Falls Hike - 2 miles roundtrip

Overnight in Port Angeles

Day 2

Sol Duc Falls

Hoh Rainforest

Twilight Tour/sights if open (my girlfriend is a huge fan)

Stay overnight at Forks

Day 3

Lake Quinalt

Quinalt Rainforest

Stay overnight closer to Mt. Rainier

Day 4: Mt Rainier National Park

Stay overnight TBA

Day 5: Explore Seattle

Flight that evening

Gig Harbor...
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I would recommend different more attractive locations for your accommodation, assuming they have vacancies. Night 1 - Lake Crescent Lodge Night 2 - Kalaloch Lodge

Heading towards Mount Rainier there are many places to stay in Ashford or maybe National Park Inn which is inside MRNP is open. Night 4- stay at Crystal Mountain which is close to the Sunrise side of the park. Then head to Seattle.

Edited: 20 September 2020, 23:01
Port Angeles, WA
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Murhut Falls is nowhere near where you will be. You need to map your journey on GoogleMaps.

Los Angeles...
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I mapped it on google maps. I was thinking Murhut Falls after crossing over the ferry and then going back towards Port Angeles. Is this worth it to see or are there plenty of other spots that are similar enough later on?

Edited: 21 September 2020, 00:06
Los Angeles...
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8. Re: Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Thanks for the recommendation. I chose those towns because we wanted to be closeby food and convenience stores in case we need something. Also I figured they werent too much further than those other lodges plus more options and less expensive hotels/motels. What do you think?

Gig Harbor...
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You would save time and gas money by not back-tracking. You can pick up food in Port Angeles on your way to Lake Crescent and in the not very attractive town of Forks on your way to Kalaloch Lodge. Both lodges have restaurants which serve decent food, available for take-out, and small gift shops which stock convenience store type items. Kalaloch has cabins facing the water which also have kitchenettes.

Choose what works best for you but for us we like to stay in interesting places with views and ambience.

Port Angeles, WA
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10. Re: Best Itinerary for a 3 Day Trip
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Your plan doesn't make sense. Murhut Falls is 2.5 hours from the airport and 2 hours and 30 minutes to the summit of Hurricane Ridge. It's important to add around 20% to GoogleMaps' overly rosy estimates, but even if you accept GM's timing, it's still almost 4 hours to the summit of Hurricane Ridge. Then you think you can do Marymere Falls, another 1 hour and 15 minutes from Hurricane Ridge, and return to PA, all with a mid-day flight arrival at Sea-Tac? I told you days were short in mid-October. You have no time to hike at Hurricane Ridge.

You said you wanted to hike, but Day 2 allows no time for it. It's 1 hour from PA to the Sol Duc Falls Trail. The hike there takes 50 minutes, then it's another 2 hours to the Hoh Rain Forest. Forks is 1 hour backtracked from the Hoh, and you want a Twilight tour? There's no time to hike at the Hoh RF.

Why did you say you wanted "lots of hiking"? It's clear you don't.

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