Saturday, July 12, 2014

Trip Itinerary for Olympic and Mt Rainier National Parks

Olympic national park is famous for its three ecosystems (sub alpine, rain forest and coastal) in one park. Mt Rainier is the beautiful highest volcano in US. Both Parks are  close to Seattle, Washington; Olympic is northwest to Seattle while Mt Rainier is southeast to it. So we visited these two parks  in one trip.

Day 1 

Fly to Seattle - Tacoma from DFW via Alaska Airline which has a hub at Seattle-Tacoma

Had dinner with families of Lily's college friends.

Stayed at a hotel at Edmond for easy access to a ferry

Day 2

Take (car) ferry from Edmond to Kingston. Drive to Port Angeles

Visited Hurricane Ridge in late morning; Kayaked on Lake Crescent late afternoon

Dinner at Log Cabin Resort Restaurant

Stayed at Log Cabin Resort (lake front room) which is within Olympic National Park

Day 3

Bird Watching in early morning (Allan only)

Visit  Sul Duc: hiked Sul Duc Fall trail, Mink Lake Trail 

Went to Lake Ozzette in the afternoon - coastal area

Dinner at Hungry Bear

Day 4 

Hoh Rain Forest - Hall of Moss, Hoh River trail (partial)

Dinner at Pacific Pizza

Day 5

Revisit Hurricane Ridge in the morning due to beautiful weather in the morning

Went to Coast in the afternoon  - 1st, 2nd and 3rd beach 

Visited Rialto Beach later

Dinner at Lake Crescent Resort Restaurant

Day 6

Leave Olympic in the morning via Ferry (Bainbridge to Seattle)
Visited Space Needle, lunch at Star Bucks Center food truck at Justin's request

Drive to Mt Rainier - fill gas tank at Ashford (no gas station inside Mt Rainier), stopped at a couple water falls on the way - Narada Falls, Christine Falls

Arrived at Paradise Inn (elevation 5400 ft) around 5:30pm - dinner at visitor center Deli

Hiked on Nisqually Trail to get closer to Mt Rainier Glaciers

Stayed at Paradise Inn 

Day 7

Reflection Lakes

Box Canyon 

Sun Rise Point (elevation 6400 ft) , Sun Rise Lake, Clover Lake trail

Hiked to First Burroughs Mountain 

Dinner at Paradise Inn Restaurant 

Ranger Program

Nick and Justin played chess

Day 8

Went to lower elevation

Grove of Patriarch Trail, Silver Falls Trial, lunch at trail head picnic table 

Hiked on Bench lake and snow lake trails

went back to hotel early to rest a bit

Dinner at Long Mire National Inn

Suspension Bridge and Shadow lake trail

Ranger program at night

Day 9 

Leave Mt Rainier in the morning for a 1pm flight home from Seattle - Tacoma Airport


1. Weather changes fast at Olympic, rain comes down frequently - need to have rain coat or umbrella
2. Need both flexibility and patience to enjoy Olympic and Mt Rainier 
3. No TV or cellphone signal at Mt Rainier
4. Typically need to bring lunch to hiking trails

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