2-Night Trip From Seattle

From Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula is just a short ferry ride and drive away. Plan a three-day/two-night excursion to experience the best of what the region has to offer. Even better, extend your trip to take in more of the Olympic Peninsula, along with other nearby Pacific Northwest destinations.

Pro Travel Tip: If you are planning a trip in the summer months, book as early as possible to have your choice of a variety of lodging experiences.

Day 1: Seattle to Hurricane Ridge

Downtown Seattle to Sequim
Drive time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Drive aboard the Bainbridge Island ferry for your 30-minute cruise across Elliott Bay. Take in the Seattle waterfront and skyline from the stern.
  • Once on dry land, travel north on the Kitsap Peninsula via Washington State Route 3. Turn left on State Route 104 and cross the floating Hood Canal Bridge. State Route 104 joins U.S. Highway 101 and will lead you west across the Olympic National Forest.
  • Pass through the small town of Blyn, home of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and a collection of stunning hand-carved totem poles. Go just 10 minutes further and you’ll reach the town of Sequim, home to quaint boutiques, art galleries and restaurants serving locally sourced fare. It’s the perfect spot for a lunch break. Sequim is an abundant agricultural center noted for its lavender, which is celebrated at the annual Sequim Lavender Festival the third week of July.
  • Get a big dose of nature with a visit to the Dungeness Spit, a 5.5-mile natural sand spit and wildlife refuge just north of Sequim.

 

Sequim to Olympic National Park Visitor Center and Hurricane Ridge
Drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • The snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains beckon. Plan to spend the afternoon visiting Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.
  • Continue west on U.S. Highway 101. When you reach Port Angeles, make your first stop the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. Pick up a park pass (required for entry to Hurricane Ridge), maps, back country wilderness permits and loads of helpful information.
  • From the visitor center, follow Hurricane Ridge Road 18 miles to reach your destination. At 5,242 feet, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.
  • Make the 45-minute return drive to Port Angeles for your overnight stay.

 

Pro Travel Tip: Hurricane Ridge gets snowfall autumn through spring, and the road isn’t always open. Vehicles are required to carry chains in the winter. Always check ahead. For travel conditions call 360-565-3131.

 

Day 2: Port Angeles to Forks

Total drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Morning in Port Angeles

  • Wake to the sound of ships and gulls in the Port Angeles harbor. There’s no shortage of delicious breakfast options among the quaint restaurants.
  • Take some time to explore. You’ll find unrivaled views from Ediz Hook. Or take advantage of the early-morning light to visit Hurricane Ridge if you didn’t make the trek the previous day. Don’t linger too long—you’ve got a lot to see today.

 

Port Angeles to Lake Crescent
Drive time: 30 minutes

  • Head west on U.S. Highway 101. If you have time for a side trek, take a left on Olympic Hot Springs Road (just before crossing the Elwha River) to see Madison Falls. Olympic Hot Springs Road is only open to foot or bicycle traffic past Madison Falls parking lot.
  • Continue west on U.S. Highway 101 to the deep, turquoise waters of Lake Crescent.
  • Visit historic Lake Crescent Lodge (open May through New Year’s Day) or hit the trail to Marymere Falls, one of the Olympic Peninsula’s best short hikes. It only takes about an hour.
  • For lunch, pull up a chair in the lodge’s waterfront dining room or pack a picnic to enjoy along the lakeshore.
  • Top off your Lake Crescent visit with a paddle on crystal-clear waters. Take a guided scenic tour or rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard.

 

Lake Crescent to La Push
Drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Continue west on U.S. Highway 101 for 35 miles. You’ll travel through the northwest corner of Olympic National Forest past small towns and cross over the winding Sol Duc River five times before you reach Forks.
  • Turn right onto WA-110 (La Push Road) and continue west toward the town of La Push, home to the Quileute Tribe. Several short, rewarding hikes await. Stretch your legs on Second Beach, Third Beach or Rialto Beach.
  • Stay for the sunset before heading to Forks for the night.

 

La Push to Forks
Drive time: 25 minutes

  • Follow WA-110 (La Push Road) back to U.S. Highway 101 and make the short drive to Forks. The historic timber hamlet attracts thousands of fans each year eager to pay homage to the town that inspired Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books. The annual Forever Twilight in Forks festival in September (book early if you are coming in September and be ready to meet all things Twilight) celebrates all things Bella, Edward and Jacob, bringing fans from all over the world to the tiny town.
  • You’ll find several economy lodging options, Twilight-inspired accommodations and rustic forest cabins.
  • Make a stop at Forks Outfitters to stock up on food and supplies for the next day’s activities.
  • Twilight not your thing? Check out the Forks Timber Museum for a taste of Northwest history.

 

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.

 

Day 3: Forks to Ruby Beach

Total drive time: 1 hour

Forks to the Hoh Rain Forest
Drive time: 45 minutes

  • Plan on an early start today.
  • From Forks, travel south on U.S. Highway 101 for 13 miles, then head 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.

 

Hoh Rain Forest to Ruby Beach
Drive time: 50 minutes

  • After a morning among moss-covered maple trees and towering spruce, continue west on Upper Hoh Road to U.S. Highway 101.
  • Head south toward the Pacific Ocean and make a stop at one of the region’s most iconic beaches—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. At low tide, explore brimming tidepools for starfish and anemones.

 

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.

 

Picnic Lunch at Ruby Beach or Kalaloch Lodge
Drive time: 10 minutes to the lodge

  • If you picked up lunch provisions in Forks, Ruby Beach is an ideal spot to picnic. If you’d like a more formal dining experience complete with an ocean view, head 10 minutes south to the Creekside Restaurant at historic Kalaloch Lodge.
  • A short walk through Kalaloch Campground to the beach will take you to one of the most peculiar sites on the Olympic Peninsula. The Tree of Life, or Root Cave, is a living, thriving Sitka spruce with exposed roots mysteriously suspended from the eroded cliffside.

 

Return to Seattle
Drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

  • Make the drive in one long stretch or break up your return trip with stops along the way.
  • Travel south on U.S. 101 through the towns of Hoquiam and Aberdeen. Continue east towards the state’s scenic state capital of Olympia, a great place to stop for dinner.
  • Continue north on I-5 toward Seattle.

 

Pro Travel Tip: Extend your trip and explore Mount Rainier National Park southeast of Seattle, or head south on I-5 to Portland, Oregon.

Travel times and distances are approximate. Traffic, ferry delays, inclement weather and road construction can affect travel times. During summer, be prepared for traffic and ferry delays. For information on current road conditions visit wsdot.wa.gov.

Travel times and distances are approximate. Traffic, ferry delays, inclement weather and road construction can affect travel times. During summer, be prepared for traffic and ferry delays. For information on current road conditions visit wsdot.wa.gov.