3-Night Trip From Portland

The Olympic Peninsula is an easy drive from Portland. Plan a four-day/three-night trip north to experience the best of what the region has to offer. Even better, extend your trip to take in even more of the Olympic Peninsula, along with other nearby regional destinations.

Day 1: Portland to Lake Quinault

Drive time: 3 hours 30 minutes

  • 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.
  • The hamlet surrounding Lake Quinault offers several lodging options, including the historic and majestic Lake Quinault Lodge and its Roosevelt Dining Room.
  • Allow plenty of time to explore this unique area of the Olympic Peninsula. Several short trails offer waterfall views and take you through towering trees. Paddle the lake or opt for a three-hour van tour into the Quinault Rain Forest. If you’re looking for an unforgettable backcountry experience, venture to the Enchanted Valley, also known as the Valley of 10,000 Waterfalls.

 

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 2: Lake Quinault to Sol Duc Hot Springs

Lake Quinault to Ruby Beach and Hoh Rain Forest

Drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • You’ll cover about 170 miles of diverse, pristine landscape today, so plan on an early start.
  • Continue 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. At low tide, explore brimming tide pools for starfish and anemones.
  • 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: 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.

 

Hoh Rain Forest to Forks
Drive time: 1 hour

  • 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 books.
  • Visit the Forks Visitor Information Center on the way into town for Twilight memorabilia and more information about the area.
  • Grab a bite at one of the local restaurants, and be sure to a stop at Forks Outfitters to stock up on food and supplies.

 

Forks to Sol Duc Hot Springs

Drive time: 1 hour

  • 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 most 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. Lodging 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.

 

Day 3: Sol Duc to Port Ludlow

Sol Duc to Marymere Falls
Drive time: 37 minutes

  • Make time to squeeze in a short, early-morning hike that offers a big payoff. You’ll find the trailhead to Marymere Falls on Lake Crescent Road. The moderate, mile-long trail with steps leads to an awesome view of the towering, horsetail waterfall.

 

Marymere Falls to Port Angeles

Drive time: 30 minutes

  • Continue east on U.S. Highway 101 and soak up the turquoise-colored waters of Lake Crescent on your way to Port Angeles, the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula.
  • Take time to explore, have lunch or pack a picnic for your next destination.

 

Pro Travel Tip: Extend your trip. Many visitors stay multiple nights in Port Angeles. There are several lodging choices in and around Port Angeles, including affordable hotels and motels, bed and breakfast options, and camping and RV sites—all within a short distance of the stunning Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains. Looking for a fun day trip? It’s just 90 minutes from Port Angeles to Victoria, British Columbia, via the M.V. Coho passenger and vehicle ferry.

 

Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge

Drive time: 45 minutes

  • The snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains beckon. On your drive to Hurricane Ridge, make your first stop the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, where you can pick up a National Park Pass (required for entry to Hurricane Ridge), maps and backcountry wilderness permits.
  • From the visitor center, take Hurricane Ridge Road for 18 miles to reach your destination. At 5,242 feet, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.

 

Smart 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.

 

Hurricane Ridge to Port Ludlow

Drive time: 1 hour 40 minutes

  • After an afternoon among mountain peaks, head toward Port Angeles and lower elevations. Continue east on U.S. Highway 101 toward the town of Sequim, home to quaint boutiques, art galleries and restaurants serving locally sourced fare. Sequim is an abundant agricultural center noted for its lavender, 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.
  • Continue on U.S. Highway 101 and wind through the small town of Blyn, home of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and a collection of stunning hand-carved totem poles.
  • Continue to the east side of the peninsula and the scenic marina town of Port Ludlow and the Resort at Port Ludlow. This year-round destination features a world-class golf course and the casually elegant Fireside Restaurant. Stay the night at the resort or opt for other nearby lodging options.

 

Day 4: Port Ludlow to Portland

 

Port Ludlow and South Along Hood Canal

  • Watch the sun rise over Puget Sound then pack for the drive south along North Hood Canal, gateway to the eastern side of Olympic National Park and Forest and miles of exciting trails and stunning waterfalls. Rocky Brook Falls and Murhut Falls near the town of Brinnon are not to be missed. Site of the annual Shrimp Festival each May, Brinnon is also a great destination for boating, kayaking, fishing, diving, camping and RVing.
  • Hood Canal is renowned for its bounty of shellfish, and communities along U.S. Highway 101 pride themselves on offering fresh catches from their own beaches. Be sure to stop in at Hama-Hama Oyster Saloon in the tiny town of Lilliwaup to get a taste of what it’s all about. The all-ages, dog-friendly outdoor eatery, open year-round, is a popular destination for oyster and clam lovers. Get some tasty treats to go from the adjacent farm store.

 

Return to Portland
Drive time: 2 hours 50 minutes

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

 

Extend Your Trip: Visit Seattle or explore Mount Rainier National Park southeast of Seattle.

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

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