Port Angeles to Lake Quinault on US-101W
Twenty minutes from town, the road skirts magnificent Lake Crescent on smooth, recently paved curves merging into several long straightaways into Forks. Further on, you’ll know you’ve entered Olympic National Park when the trees are so tall the moist sea air clings to them. A line of forest gives you veiled glimpses of the ocean as you parallel the edge of the continent then swerve east for another series of straightaways to Lake Quinault.
A day ride is always fun, but we recommend coming for several days to tour many of the additional roads that wend across and around the Olympic Peninsula’s spectacular scenery. Ride the full 350-mile “loop” skirting Olympic National Park and try to keep your eyes on the road with the distraction of golden big leaf maples framing the highway. Also, keep a sharp lookout for elk herds who are out in force in the fall. Take the Juan de Fuca National Scenic Byway on Highway 112 and stop in a few of the small towns to get a feel for the peninsula’s local flair.
Learn about additional road trips and check out the wide variety of lodging options. And, of course, this time of year the weather is constantly changing, so it’s a good idea to look ahead to the forecast. It’s hard to imagine a better way to embrace fall than by roaring down an open road decked out with autumn’s vibrancy of color.