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What do I do in Washington?
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Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
What do I do in Washington? on 10/09/2008 12:33:03 MDT Print View

I am leaving for Seattle for ten days and want to get out into Olympic for four of them. What are some of my options as far as loops/great hikes to fully make use of the time I can be in the park. I want to see the rainforest and the coast with as little human contact/roads/buildings as possible. I was considering the Cascades but to be honest I would love to see a different side of nature, (the rainforest.) So, are there any reasonably aggressive 30-50 mile loops in Olympic that showcase any number of its obviously attractive features? Thanks

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Yes on 10/09/2008 12:48:22 MDT Print View

The Olympics are very good for backpacking. I'm not much of an expert on the Olympics, so I would suggest you get the following book:
and/or, visit NW is a great place to ask questions like this.

The classic rain forest hike is up the Hoh. You can go from the end of the road until you get to glaciers underneath Mount Olympus. You will probably see people around the parking area, but once you get in a few miles, I doubt you will see too many (especially this time of year). If you want more solitude, there are similar river drainages that parallel the Hoh (Queets, I believe).

For beach hikes, I like the Shi Shi area. There are a bunch of other hikes, though, that allow you to get way in there (the Olympics are a land of really long valleys, with far fewer lakes than the Cascades).

When you post the question on NW, I would post it as you did here. There may be Cascade hikes that incorporate the rain forest along with the mountains. The West side of the Cascades is plenty wet (although not quite as much of a rain forest as the Olympics). You may experience that wetness first hand. Today's forecast:

---- Edit: ---
I don't think there are any hikes that take you from the beach up the rain forest to the mountains, without crossing a road (or even walking the road a bit). It may be, though, that it would only require a bit of road walking. Such a trip would make for a very good story (beach to rain forest to mountains). Also, there is a trail from the Hoh valley trail which allows you to go up and get on High Divide (which can be spectacular) so you have more options that way as well.

Edited by rossbleakney on 10/09/2008 12:57:37 MDT.

Ryan Stoughton
(TxTengu) - F

Locale: Seattle
Another Resource on 10/09/2008 13:35:20 MDT Print View

You can also check out the Washington Trail Association website at They've got pretty good trail guides and reports.