Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default PacNW - 3 Scenarios - We need your help!

    Hi All,

    We're new to this forum and we've seen some fantastic feedback from current users so we decided to post.

    We've decided to create 3 scenarios for our upcoming trip to the PacNW - it's 10 days total. We are committed to flying into Vancouver and spending 2 nights there and busing to Seattle for the next 2 nights. We have to fly home from Portland. Everything in between is up in the air. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Side note: We like being in the outdoors but are looking for a good balance between hotels and camping.

    Scenario # 1
    August 29 – Vancouver (Confirmed)
    August 30 - Vancouver (Confirmed)
    August 31 – Seattle (Confirmed)
    September 1 – Seattle (Confirmed)
    September 2 – Olympic National Park
    September 3 – Olympic National Park
    September 4 – Mt. Rainier
    September 5 – Mt. St. Helens
    September 6 - Portland (Confirmed)
    September 7 – Home

    Scenario # 2
    August 29 – Vancouver (Confirmed)
    August 30 - Vancouver (Confirmed)
    August 31 – Seattle (Confirmed)
    September 1 – Seattle (Confirmed)
    Pick up rental car
    September 2 – Victoria B.C. (Camping or Hotel)
    2 Hours and 30 minutes drive to Port Angeles from Seattle in rental car; take Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria w/out rental car (Can park it in Port Angeles for night)
    September 3 – Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Hot Springs* Need Rental Car
    Pick up rental car from parking lot after taking ferry back
    September 4 – Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Hot Springs
    September 5 – Portland
    Drop off Rental car in the A.M. Take Train from Seattle to Portland.
    September 6 - Portland (Confirmed)
    September 7 – Home

    Scenario # 3
    August 29 – Vancouver (Confirmed)
    August 30 - Vancouver (Confirmed)
    August 31 – Seattle (Confirmed)
    September 1 – Seattle (Confirmed)
    September 2 – Victoria B.C. (Camping or Hotel).
    2 Hours and 30 minutes drive to Port Angeles from Seattle; take Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria w/out rental car (Can park it in Port Angeles for night)
    September 3 – Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Hot Springs
    Pick up rental car from parking lot after taking ferry back
    September 4 – Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Hot Springs
    September 5 – Seattle
    Drop off the Car in the morning
    September 6 - Portland (Confirmed)
    Take train from Seattle to Portland
    September 7 – Home

    Thank you!
    Last edited by BostontotheNW; 07-28-2008 at 06:41 PM. Reason: slight edit

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default confirmed?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Is there a reason that you are so locked into going directly from Vancouver to Seattle on day 3? It seems like several of your plans become very illogical simply because you've "confirmed" some other step in the process.

    For example, I just don't see why you would go from Vancouver to Seattle, if your next step is to go back into Canada to Victoria. It also seems pretty silly to pay for a rental car for a couple days while it sits in a parking lot while you are miles and miles away. Your third option also doesn't make sense to me. You would you plan to go from Olympic, drive down to Portland, and then drive back up to Seattle so you can then take a train back? You're just going back and forth for the sake of going back and forth at that point.

    A detour to vancouver island could be a nice part of your trip, but if you are absolutely committed to going directly from Vancouver to Seattle, then I think option 1 is about the only one that makes sense.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the reply. I edited my above post so it makes a bit more sense. We are locked into Vancouver and Seattle for those 4 days at the beginning so hitting Victoria via Seattle from Port Angeles seemed like the next best option.

    We're really open to any options between Day 5 and Day 8. Scenario 1 is proving a bit costly as the car rental agencies charge one way fees. Add on gas and insurance and the car becomes pricey.

    Eric

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default How about option 4?

    I don't think any of your scenarios make the best use of your time. I think trying to squeeze in a trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island is too much. There are way too many other things worth seeing/doing that are more amazing and better uses of your limited time, imho.

    I see that you're picking the car up in Seattle. To avoid drop-off charges and see what you seem to want to see the most (and what I think is the best things to see during your time here), I suggest:

    Vancouver BC & Seattle as currently planned

    Sept 2:
    * Take Seattle-Winslow ferry (instead of Edmonds-Kingston)
    * Visit the lovely Nordic-style town of Poulsbo
    * If you want to see Victorian architecture, visit Port Townsend WA instead of Victoria. Of the two, I think Port Townsend is much cooler and has more preserved buildings with interesting shops and restaurants.
    * Go west on 101 visiting the Dungeness Spit in Sequim, Hurricane Ridge in Port Angeles, Sol Duc Hot Springs for 1 night
    * Granted this would be a long day depending on how long you stop at these places. So take one of the earliest ferries to get an early start.

    Sept 3:
    * Continue west, then south on 101 to the Hoh Rainforest (just south of Forks) and visit the amazing Hall of Mosses
    * Kalaloch - Wonderful beaches. My favorite is Ruby Beach at the north end of this stretch of beaches. Lots of haystacks and tidal pools. Very rugged.
    * Lake Quinault - Stop for the night here. Enjoy some of the trails and/or the lake.

    Sept 4:
    * Mt. St. Helens at Johnson Ridge Visitor Center. Great view into the crater and the rejuvenating Spirit Lake. Very nice visitor center.
    * Mt. Rainier - Enjoy the drive through Packwood and through the forests coming up to Paradise Visitor Center. Take a ranger-led interpreted walk, if you have time. See the immense Snoqualmie Glacier. Visit the lovely Paradise Lodge. Head down to the Longmire Visitor Center and museum. Then continue on through charming mountain towns back to Seattle. Drop off car.

    Sept. 5: Train to Portland. Very nice trip. You see some things from the train quite different than what you see from the highway. I really enjoyed doing this even though I've driven I-5 parallel to it numerous times.

    Sept 6: Portland
    Sept 7: Home

    Anyway, here's a map showing my suggested route. The driving miles per day is very easy to cover. How long you linger at the various stops will determine how early you need to start and how late you'll end your day. There is enough to do along this route that I'd suggest getting started quite early to really enjoy the sights along the way.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  5. Default

    Hi Judy,

    Thanks for your suggestions. 3 questions.

    #1 Are you sure the driving is do able, we are naturally morning risers.

    #2 Rainier and St. Helen's in one day? Will that not take away from any experiences?

    #3 I don't see an attached map, maybe I'm viewing the board wrong but I'm not finding anything.

    Once again thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Ooops....

    Sorry, I forgot to attach the map. Here it is.

    If you look on the map, the miles aren't really that much most days. Seattle to Sol Duc is 184; then to Lake Quinault it's 139. The longest driving day (366 miles) is the day with MSH and Rainier.

    Good catch. That last day might be a bit much. It's certainly do-able if you got up quite early, hit the road, and just plan to do the highlights at each mountain. I figure if it's a long, tiring day, you've got the relaxing day on the train the next day to rest up from it.

    If you want to do less driving that day, it's an easy tweak. Instead of staying at Lake Quinault for the night, you could continue down the road and stay someplace like Centralia. If you do this, your day will be:
    Sol Duc to Centralia or Chehalis: 240 miles
    Centralia to Seattle (via MSH & Rainier): 266 miles

    I figure you'll be about 4-5 hours driving each day. If you're up early and go, this will leave you plenty of time to explore the places along the way. Depending on how much exploring you do, you might not be getting into your hotel until well after dinner time. Or, if you don't explore as much, you can settle into your hotel probably around dinnertime. It really depends on the pace you set. But these are very do-able miles. We typically recommend that people limit their driving to 500-550 miles per day to have some time to sightsee and still cover miles. Since this is well under that, I think it's a nice mix of driving and doing.

    And please don't think of that time driving as wasted time. Just the sights along the drive itself are nice. Watch for scenic overlooks and short detours to interesting sights worth seeing. In other words, the drive itself is great!

    A couple things you might want to look for that I forgot to point out in my previous post:

    * After Sol Duc and right before Forks, there is a short road out to the little fishing village of LaPush. This is on the Quileute Nation Reservation. It's a quaint, little fishing village on Native American land and would make a fun detour. Figure about 1-1.5 hours for this.

    * On the stretch of 101 between the turn-off to the Hall of Mosses and the beaches of Kalaloch, there is a fairly new attraction. Watch for signs that say something like "World's Biggest Cedar" (or something like that). You can drive out to see that particular tree but you can also see an old-growth cedar forest. There is a short trail with a board-walk over some of the portions of the trail that would be harder to walk over. It's really pretty cool. I wish I could remember the exact location better.

    * After you get onto the stretch of 101 in the Kalaloch Beach area, look for signs on the left to the "Big Cedar". It's a very short hike from the parking area, maybe 5 minutes, and the size of the trunk of this tree is pretty incredible. (It's a dead tree, the trunk is all that's left).

    I think all three of these are of lesser importance to see than what I mentioned in my first response. But, if you have time and energy, they are interesting and worth doing. Your call based on how you feel that day.

    Hope this has helped a bit more. Sorry about forgetting to put the map link in my prior post.

    ETA: By the way, if you decide you don't have time for both mountains, it's a tough call but I would pick MSH (Mt. St. Helens). It changes each year as the earth is healing itself. The devestation is still visible and fascinating to see but becomes a bit less dramatic each year.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES