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  1. #1

    Default Mt Rainier and Olympic NP in September

    We are planning a 2 1/2 week trip to these two national parks. We will be camping outside the two parks. What should we not miss, both inside and outside the parks? (I do have guidebooks, but would love to get firsthand advice.)
    (We will drive from the Willamette Valley in Oregon north to the Mt. Rainier area first, spend a week, then move on to Olympia NP)
    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,791

    Default The Rangers love to share their 'hidden gems'.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With the time you have available you should have plenty of time to explore the 2 parks and there is so much info available when you get there. To find hidden gems it's always worth asking fellow campers and Rangers about there favorite spots in quieter locations. For me the highlights in Olympic NP were Hurricane ridge, Hoh rain forest, Ruby beach and Sol Duc hot springs. The hot springs were more comercialised than I'd hoped but it was a pleasant walk through the woods to the waterfalls. Lake Quinalt has a rain forest trail and Merriman falls nearby as well as claiming the worlds largest Sitka spruce.

    In Mt Rainier the views form Rickseeker point are a must and the many stops along Paradise valley. Stevens canyon has lakes and waterfalls and both have many hiking trails.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,193

    Default Hidden Gems Everywhere

    My wife and I took our first 'post' COVID (actually, post-vaccination) trip to this area last year, and as with most of our trips, it wasn't the grand 'must see' attractions that we enjoyed or remember most, but the smaller more intimate settings where we got to soak in the uniqueness of the region without crowds. Unfortunate, we did not get to Mount Ranier, but rather spent our time split between Olympia and the Olympic Peninsula. I may have a few comments as I go along, but mostly I'm just going to give you names and links for the places that made our list and let you decide what appeals to you.

    Olympia:
    Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
    Point Defiance Park
    Tumwater Falls Park

    Olympic Peninsula / Olympic National Park:
    Marymere Falls
    Bogachiel State Park
    Hoh Rain Forest
    Kalaloch and Ruby Beaches
    Quinault Valley and Rain Forest

    In each of these locations, take the opportunity to engage in quiet conversations with others enjoying the site. They share your tastes and if they're locals they can direct you to other hidden gems.

    One side note... If you're a fan, the town of Forks WA was used as the 'location' for the Twilight movies.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,764

    Default But....

    One side note... If you're a fan, the town of Forks WA was used as the 'location' for the Twilight movies.
    ....it was not filmed there.



    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Perhaps on the way, a side trip to Sequim?

    And I haven't been to Sequim in a while, so you will need to check to see if the trolls are still about, but on your way to the Olympic Peninsula / Olympic National Park -- I always loved driving past Bandy's Troll Haven!

    And also in Sequim -- The Three Crabs restaurant is pretty darn amazing.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,193

    Default Nevertheless...

    I don't claim to be a fan (or even a viewer) of any portion of the Twilight series of books and films, but the town of Forks certainly revels in whatever connection it has to that world.

    AZBuck

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you! Great suggestions.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you...especially for the links. I've been researching and it's nice to have easy access to info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,764

    Default

    Here is information regarding camping in and around the national parks. It's in our camping forum.


    Donna

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