See the entire spectacular Olympic Peninsula in five days with this itinerary:
Nowhere in the United States can one engage in a variety of activities in such a short distance as on the Olympic Peninsula. Three and a half million visitors come to the Olympic Park annually in order to enjoy glacier exploring, beach combing, wind surfing, walking in the rain forest, and soaking in a natural hot spring…
If you have only one day
9am-10am Breakfast – Take your camera, camcorder and/or sketch pad and journal.
10am – Go to Port Angeles (15 min.) to Toga’s to pick up a snack for mid-afternoon. Continue up to the top of Hurricane Ridge (30 min.), 5,200 feet high . Spend a couple of hours viewing the glaciers, walking through the alpine meadow trails covered with wildflowers, and observe the wildlife roaming through the mountains and valleys.
1pm – Leave Olympic Park, go west on highway 101 to Lake Crescent (30 minutes) Walk 3/4-mile to Marymere falls (98 feet high) . This is a rain forest setting; about 80 inches of rainfall annually. You will see the same flora as in the Hoh Rain Forest, only on a smaller scale. Spend 1.5 hours enjoying the area.
3pm – Two miles further west, on highway 101, you will find the entrance to Sol Duc Hot Springs. Drive to the parking lot past the Hot Springs Resort for Sol Duc Falls, for a 2 hour round trip of spectacular scenery!
5pm – return to Domaine Madeleine. Rest, and prepare to go out to dinner at one of the fine restaurants in the area.
In the evening, watch the sun set over the water, and the lights of Victoria sparkle; bask in your jacuzzi, watch a video of the Olympic park or select a movie from the large collection. This could also be the perfect time to catch up on your reading.
If you have two days: Day one: Same as above
Day two: 9am to 10am Breakfast
Check the tide tables. At low tide, schedule a trip to Joyce (45 minutes). Go to Tongue Point to experience some great tide pools. Then drive toward Forks to Rialto Beach or Ruby Beach on the Pacific (1.5 hr.). Another half-hour drive and you are in the heart of the only temperate Rain Forest in North America. Take an hour walk on the Hall of Mosses trail or if you want to get a more extensive view of what the rain forest was like when first seen by people, travel the Spruce Trail (17 miles).
Return to Domaine Madeleine for an evening of relaxation.
If you have three days:
Days one and two, see above
Day three: 9am to 10am. Breakfast.
Drive 5 miles to the Dungeness Spit (the longest sand spit in the United States); walk on the beach. The trip to the lighthouse is about six miles one way, but well worth the hike as there is a wildlife sanctuary at the end. If a long walk is not your preference, consider a sea kayaking trip to the lighthouse. If time permits, stop at the Olympic Game farm(two miles away), view some of the animals which appeared in Disney movies.
3pm -If you enjoy visiting wineries, there are five wineries in the area http://www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org/map.php. In Sequim (pronounced “skwim” to rhyme), visit the Sequim museum to view a mastodon bone with a spear point found in this area. There are also many lavender farms to tour http://www.visitsunnysequim.com/index.aspx?NID=117
OR if you would prefer to explore the west coast more, drive two hours to Lake Ozette/Cape Alava for a 9 mile walk through a spectacular primeval setting near the archaeological site of Ozette village (buried in a mud slide 500 years ago. Then a two hour drive from Lake Ozette visit the Neah Bay/Makah Tribe Museum. The Museum houses an outstanding collection of artifacts from the mud-slide. Nearby is Cape Flattery, the northwestern tip of the contiguous USA.
OR, in lieu of the above: Arise early, take the 8:00 ferry to Victoria B.C. and view Butchart Gardens and the Royal Museum and return on the 7:30 ferry. Or, you can enjoy all three of these options, if you extend your stay to 5 days!
These are just a few of the dozens of things to do and see in the area. You can easily spend a week, visiting Discovery Bay; Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, the Art Fiero Marine Lab, Clallam County Historical Museum, Forks Logging Museum, Victorian Houses in Port Townsend, or Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.
And at the end of your busy day Domaine Madeleine always awaits your return home.
The Major Sights of the Area (and the time required to get to them)
Hurricane Ridge: 45 minutes, Hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, bird watching, numerous deer, alpine, wildflowers, Mt. Olympus glaciers.
Lake Crescent: 30 minutes, Glacial lake, fishing, boating, Marymere Falls (90 feet high), Sol Duc hot springs, mini-rain forest flora.
Hoh Rain Forest: 2 hours, “It is as it was when it was first seen by people.” Roosevelt Elk, giant trees, 120 inches of rain per year.
Dungeness Spit: 10 minutes, Longest natural spit in the USA, harbor seals, driftwood, agate, waterfowl, shore life.
Pacific Beaches: 2 hours, “Beware of Killer Logs!”
Neah Bay/Makah Tribe Museum/Cape Flattery: 2 hours, An outstanding collection of artifacts recovered from a mud-slide which buried a village, authentic long house, Native American songs and stories. The northwestern tip of the conterminous USA.
Sequim Museum: 20 minutes, (one – three hour visit) Houses a mastodon bone with a spear point
Port Angeles Museum: 20 minutes, collection of early logging memorabilia
Art Fiero Marine Lab: 20 minutes, touching tank, marine life lectures
Tongue Point (tide pools): 30 minutes, Sea stars, anemones
Victoria, British Columbia: 1.5 hour ferry ride Butchart Gardens, The Royal British Museum, Crystal Gardens, shopping, street entertainers, great restaurants
Bloedel Reserve: 1.5 hours drive to Bainbridge Island, A well planned and maintained arboretum
Wineries: Five wineries in the Port Angeles areas and four in the Port Townsend area http://www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org/map.php
Lake Ozette/Cape Alava: 2 hours, A six mile or nine mile walk through a spectacular primeval setting near the archaeological site of Ozette village (buried in a mud slide 500 years ago)
Olympic Game Farm: 20 minutes A collection of free roaming buffalo, elk and a few caged animals, some appeared in Disney films
Sequim area Lavender Farms: http://www.sequimlavender.org/experience-the-lavender/farms/
Deer Park: 30 minutes, magnificent views.
Also nearby: Backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, bicycling, fishing, llama backpacking, horseback riding, sailing, boating, and golfing.
The must see jewel of the Olympic National Park.
Hurricane Ridge is an easy 17 mile drive taking you up to 5,200 feet elevation. The spectacular mountains are beauty beyond words. The day lodge and many trails offer breath taking views of the glacier-clad peaks of the Olympic Mountains, panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the alpine meadows.
Numerous trails range from easy to very difficult, making it possible for all people to enjoy the area’s beauty. If you are not afraid of heights, don’t miss the drive to Obstruction Point.
One can take a picnic lunch and spend the day at Hurricane Ridge and cap off the day by watching an awesome sunset.
Lake Crescent is a crystal clear 12-mile long lake located 17 miles west of Port Angeles on Highway 101. The glacier-carved lake offers swimming, boating and fishing. There are numerous places to get away from it all and to soak in the awesomeness of nature. Marymere Falls is a mostly level one mile hike from Storm King Ranger Station (and if you want a real challenge you can even hike Storm King). This walk takes you thru the forest of moss covered trees and large ferns. The Pyramid Mt. Trail reached from the North Shore Road offers an excellent view of Lake Crescent, Mt. Storm King and the blue-green slopes of Aurora Ridge. One can also hike along the north side of the lake on the Spruce Railroad Trail (named after the railroad that was there during WWI). The rail was used to haul out spruce to make airplanes for use in the war.
There are numerous places around the lake to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. Dining is available at Lake Crescent Lodge and Log Cabin Resort.
Driving west on Highway 101 takes you to the Sol Duc Valley road just west of Lake Crescent. The 12 mile drive winds thru the valley. Two areas of interest along the way are the Salmon Cascades and Ancient Forest Trail. The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers dining, a small store & gift shop and three mineral pools and a fresh Water Pool. Soaking in the hot mineral pools is a great way to relax those sore muscles after hiking all day.
The spectacular Sol Duc Falls are a must see!! The trail head is located a short drive past the resort and camp grounds. Several trails take off from the Sol Duc Falls Trail taking you up into the Seven Lakes Basin.
The Hoh Rain Forest is a not-to-be-missed attraction here on the Olympic Peninsula. Moist ocean air from the Pacific brings over 150″ (record of 211″) of annual rainfall to this area, which, along with presence of Sitka spruce and “colonnades” (row of trees that grew atop downed trees called “nurse logs”), qualify the west-facing valleys of the Olympics as the only temperate rain forests in the northern hemisphere! The park was established in 1938 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited and was duly impressed with the region and it’s wildlife.
Three loop trails near the Hoh Visitor Center are easy to stroll and give a great sampling of the area: The Hall of Mosses Trail is 3/4 mile and shows the moss-draped maples, magically green in the spring, spectacular with color in the fall and a treat any time of year; the 1 1/4 mile Spruce Trail follows the Hoh River along red alder and maple “bottom”, and shows the landscape carved by this glacier-fed river; and a paved 1/4 mile path suitable for a wheelchair or stroller. The year- round Visitor Center is the starting point for many longer and more challenging hikes up to the alpine meadows and glaciers.
The Hoh Rain Forest is located 100 miles west of Domaine Madeleines Bed and Breakfast taking Highway 101 thru the town of Forks.
Scenic shores with easy access are found in the Kalaloch (pronounced kalay-lock) area, just 15 south of the Rain Forest Road. Beach Trail 4 is a pebble beach with a dramatic surf (beware of the strong undertow), tidal pools and is a popular place to dip for smelt. Picturesque Ruby Beach with a meandering creek and dramatic sea stacks are for the garnet-colored sand. Miners panned for gold here earlier in this century.
Rialto Beach, north of the Quillayute River, is one of the few drive-to beaches in the area and a beautiful spot to enjoy the surf and watch shorebirds, eagles and seals. On the south side of the river, at La Push, First Beach is a mile-long crescent known for surfing-size waves and great whale watching. Kayakers, surfers and seals add to the view. Second Beach, just east of La Push, is popular with photographers and is reached by way of a .6 mile forested trail that leads to a 2 mile long sandy stretch of beach with sea stacks and tidal pools – watch for the eagle nest above the tree line. Third beach, a mile east of Second beach, is a mostly level 1.5 mile trail through natural second-growth forest, a result of winds up to 170 mph in January 1921. The “21 Blow” leveled nearly 8 billion board feet of timber, enough to construct 600,000 3-bedroom homes. In the fall, mushrooms flourish under the forest canopy, be sure to take along a guide book.
Head to the most Northwestern tip of the lower 48, visiting Cape Flattery on the Makah Reservation located 75 miles NW of PA on Hwy 112–take Hwy 101 past Lake Crescent and turn right on to Hwy 113, then go left on Hwy 112 to get there. Cape Flattery is located approx 7 miles from Neah Bay. The newly constructed wooden walk way takes you to some of the most gorgeous, rugged and wild scenery on the Pacific Coast.
Be sure to take time to explore the internationally known Makah Museum. The museum is open every day during the summer months and closed Mondays and Tuesdays from Sept. 16 through May 31. Hours are 10AM-5PM. The Makah Museum is the nation’s sole repository for archalogical discoveries at the Makah Coastal village of Ozette. The centuries old village was located 15 miles south of present day Neah Bay. Ozette served the Makah people as a year-around home well into the 20th century.
In 1970 tidal erosion exposed a group of 500-year-old Ozette homes that have been perfectly preserved in an ancient mud slide. The thousands of artifacts later discovered have helped recreate Makahs’ rich and exciting history as whalers, fishermen, hunters, gatherers, crafts people, basket weavers, and warriors. Lake Ozette is located off of Hwy 112 on the Hoko-Ozette Road and follow the road 21 miles to the Ozette Ranger Station.
Three miles of planked trail lead the hiker to Sand Point, one of the most beautiful and primitive beaches on the coast. Continuing north along the beach you will find dozens of Indian petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks, ask for the interpretive handout at the ranger station. The northern point of this 9 mile triangular trail is Cape Alava, with a rocky shore and reefs to explore at low tide. Cape Alava is also the site of an ancient Makah village. The site is now closed and marked with a small sign. Be sure to check a tide table and carry the 10 essentials – and lots of film as seals, deer, eagles and perhaps osprey, otters and whales may be there, rain or shine! Hike north to Cape Alava along the beach to keep the ocean breeze at your back, and avoid rubber- soled shoes as the cedar plank walkway can be slick!
Enjoy the sparkling lights of Victoria by night from your guest room at Domaine Madeleine’s Bed and Breakfast. By day take a ferry over to Victoria and enjoy the friendly, flowered English city.
The 18 mile crossing time is 1 1/2 hours. Phone 360-457-4491. The M.V.Coho Ferry operates all year except for 2 weeks in January. Reservations accepted. A “to-go” breakfast can be arranged for guests going to Victoria. A vehicle is not necessary for a day trip. There are many tours available as well as excellent public transportation.
While in Victoria, you’ll have a vast array of activities to choose from including the world-famous Butchart Gardens founded in 1904. From the exquisite Sunken Garden (once a limestone quarry) to the charming Rose, Japanese and Stalion gardens, this 50 acre showplace still maintains the gracious traditions of the past. The Royal B.C. Museum is located in the Inner Harbour area. The well designed museum offers something for everyone. Also located in the Inner Harbour is the grand old Empress Hotel; be sure to browse thru the many intriguing shops and perhaps linger awhile and enjoy High Tea. Another interesting part of Victoria’s history is the Craigdarroch Castle built in the late 1800’s by Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal.
Remember; Victoria is located in a foreign country and a passport is required to enter and leave Canada. U.S. Customs phone # is 360-457-1221.