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Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

2 posts
Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

My husband and I are taking our 22 yr old daughter and 20 yr old son on a family vacation in January. We are flying to Seattle. I'd like to take the ferry to the peninsula and spend a night on the northern portion of the peninsula, then drive around to Lake Quinault. Which ferry should we take, and where should we stay? Port Angeles? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,820 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry. It is not possible to offer any other advice until you tell us how many days you have for this trip, what places you want to see, and what sort of lodging you prefer. I don't recommend this trip in January unless you are willing to do some research and to plan carefully. You could wind up having a very disappointing, even unpleasant time. Olympic National Park is magnificent, but it is a challenging destination due to its unusual layout, its remoteness, and its very limited tourism infrastructure. January brings added complications due to the possibility of snow, closed roads, and rain. I love the park in January and have had wonderful hikes and snowshoes at that time of year, and I would be happy to hep share what I know about the park and the region, but planning is key.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,753 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

As Kaleberghas stated we need more information especially how many days you plan on spending on the Penninsula. Snow is a possibility, but chances are it will not. Just keep an eye on the forecast. Although there is a very good chance it could be wet if you only have a couple of days Quinault would be my destination. I will plain latter after you tell us how many nights you are planning. I can tell you this in case you get continuous rain you want a comfortable accommodation and easy access to walks in the forest.

2 posts
3. Re: Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

We'll be staying at a Lake Quinault for 3 nights. We're flying into Seattle, taking the Bainbridge ferry over to the Peninsula and plan to spend one night somewhere between Port Townsend and Port Angeles before we continue around on 101 to Lake Quinault. Santa brought us all raincoats for Christmas because he thought that might be handy for visiting a rain forest. We can make a day trip from Quinault to Kalaloch and Ruby Beach

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,753 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

Give this a little more thought. If you are spending three nights at Quinault why are you going by way of Bainbridge? The easiest drive is from SeaTac to Olympia on Interstate 5 and then cutting over to Aberdeen and then North to Lake Quinault. For the most part the only scenic part of your drive going by way of Port Angeles is along Lake Crescent. The ferry ride is something you may enjoy, but it is a bit of a hassle and expense. Believe me I know I commuted on the Bainbridge Ferry for over 20 years. I am assuming you are staying at the lake Quinault Lodge. I love staying there but you might want to consider if it is not too late the a Elk House. Total privacy and qiuiet. You can cook there and still visit or eat at the Lodge. I go to Quinault often, so if you have any questions feel free to ask. I hope you get decent weather. Some of these roads can get icy in January. Another reason you might want to go by way of Olympia. That direction is more heavily traveled than the section between Forks and Quinault.

I love the Lodge, but if you are getting two rooms the Elk House will cheaper.

Edited: 03 January 2016, 22:13
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,820 posts
20 reviews
5. Re: Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

Glaciermeadows is right. Give this more thought. Do you understand that Port Townsend is only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Port Angeles? Why on earth would you want to spend a night somewhere in between? You certainly do not want to drive all the way from the Port Townsend/Port Angeles area to Lake Quinault in one day in January. It would be a miserable drive with, as Glaciermeadows says, only one scenic stretch, the 20 minutes or so along Lake Crescent. Daylight is still quite short in January, too, and you would arrive at Lake Quinault with little to no daylight left. When you said you wanted to spend a night in the northern section of the park, I envisioned someplace like Forks, which is well on route to Lake Quinault. Even then, I was concerned about your plans.

Just take the route Glaciermeadows recommends and drive straight to Lake Quinault.

6. Re: Family of 4 adults In Jan on the Olympic Peninsula

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