Portland to Lake Quinault
Drive time: 3 hours 45 minutes
- You’ll be covering a lot of ground today, so plan for an early departure.
- Travel north on I-5, then west on U.S. Highway 101 toward the town of Aberdeen, Washington. From Aberdeen, continue north for about an hour to Lake Quinault and Quinault Rain Forest, tucked in the southwest corner of Olympic National Park.
- Several short trails offer waterfall views and take you through towering trees.
- Grab lunch at the Roosevelt Dining Room in historic and majestic Lake Quinault Lodge, or pick up some goodies at Quinault Mercantile for a picnic along the shore.
Lake Quinault to Ruby Beach and Hoh Rain Forest
Drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Travel west on U.S. Highway 101 to reach Ruby Beach. Aptly named for its subtly hued red rocks, this is a must-see stop on any trip around the Olympic Peninsula. View sea stacks and driftwood logs worn smooth by the elements.
Pro Travel Tip: Tide times change daily. Be aware of tides when visiting any beach on the Olympic Peninsula, especially if hiking or camping near water. Use caution when swimming or wading in and along ocean beaches.
- Continue west on U.S. Highway 101, then east on Upper Hoh Road. You’re on your way to the quietest place on earth—the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. If you haven’t already purchased a National Park Pass, you can take care of that at the park gate.
- Stop at the visitor center to learn about Washington state’s temperate rain forest and stroll the Hall of Mosses trail for some amazing photo ops.
Pro Travel Tip: Daylight hours vary between the seasons at this latitude. Sunset is typically at 4:20 p.m. in December and at 9:20 p.m. in June. Plan accordingly, especially if you’re hiking.
Hoh Rain Forest to Sol Duc Hot Springs
Drive time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Reconnect with U.S. Highway 101 and continue north toward the town of Forks. The historic timber town and neighboring La Push attract thousands of fans each year eager to pay homage to the town that inspired Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.
- Visit the Forks Visitor Information Center on the way into town for Twilight memorabilia and more information about the area. Stop in at Forks Outfitters to stock up on food and supplies.
- From Forks, follow U.S. Highway 101 for 27 miles. Turn right on Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. If you haven’t already purchased a National Park Pass, you can take care of that at the park gate.
Plan on some R&R at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort (open April through October). You’ll find mineral hot pools, a cold pool, restaurant, gift shop and cabins. Tent and RV sites are nearby.
- Along with ample soaking opportunities, you can hike to Sol Duc Falls, one of the most beautiful (and photographed) waterfalls on the peninsula.
- Stay the night here or opt for other close-by lodging. Lake Crescent Lodge (open May through New Year’s Day) and Log Cabin Resort (open May through September), both on the shores of scenic Lake Crescent, are awesome options.
Pro Travel Tip: Book ahead when possible. Lodgings and campsites on the Olympic Peninsula fill up fast, particularly during summer months and for special events. You’ll find smaller crowds during fall, winter and spring.