Category Archives: Camping

It’s a Doggie, Dog World!

Dog in raft

Steve always wears his personal flotation devise!

The Olympic Peninsula is a dog’s delight. From great canine accommodations to acres for romping, your whole family can enjoy an outing together. Man’s best friend is not allowed on the trails and beaches of Olympic National PARK, except for three areas where they are permitted on leash: Rialto Beach one-half mile north to Ellen Creek; all Kalaloch beaches (from Ruby Beach south to South Beach); and Peabody Creek Trail near the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles.

The Olympic National FOREST is another story. Your dog can accompany you hiking, camping, backpacking, picnicking and enjoying the outdoors on the Hood Canal or the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula. Dogs are welcome on all Forest Service trails, but they must be on a leash in all ONF campgrounds. There are 17 campgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis and have varying overnight fees. There are five designated Wilderness Areas that do not require wilderness permits, but a Northwest Forest Pass is required for vehicles parked at many ONF trailheads.

International Travelin’ Dog!

Can my dog visit the Olympic Peninsula with me?  Yes! There are some regulations for taking your Canadian resident dog (or cat!) to visit the Olympic Peninsula. There is noquarantine for healthy pets who meet the requirements, so your buddy can easily travel with you. Your pet does need to be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at least one month prior to travel and your veterinarian will complete the United States Veterinary Certificate.  All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner’s expense. Although United States does not require an ISO pet microchip, it is strongly recommended to microchip your pet prior to traveling.

Boat Dog!

Can we travel together on the Coho Ferry? YES! However they are restricted from the interior of the ferry. There are pet kennels, which are located in the solarium. Guide dogs and certified assistance dogs are an exception, of course.

Beach Dog!

First Beach in LaPush is as dog friendly as a place can get. With lots of room to run on the sand and breaking waves for jumping or simply to bark at, both you and your dog will have memorable days. The perfect size stick for a rousing game of Fetch should be easy to find in the driftwood on the beach. Quileute Oceanside Resort sitting right on the beach overlooking stunning First Beach has pet-friendly units available with an additional $10 per pet/per night fee. Quileute Oceanside Resort. 330 Ocean Drive, PO Box 67, La Push, WA 98350, 360-374-5267, 800-487-1267,

Olson’s Cabins, one near Rialto Beach (Mora Cabin) and one near Ruby Beach (Hoh Olympic House) both welcome pets with a $10 per pet per night. Olson’s Cabins, Hope and Gil Olson, 2423 Mora Road, Forks, WA 98331 360.374.3142

Kalaloch Lodge Cabins permits pets in cabins, but not in the Main Lodge or Sea Crest Units. There’s a $25 fee per pet per stay. They must be leashed at all times.

Water Dog!

Sol Duc Riverside Cottages in Forks are a great base camp for seeing the area. AND, an even better place to relax. Soak in the hot tub, play with your kids and dogs on the huge grassy lawn sloping down to the river, build a fire in the fire pit and roast marshmallows under the brilliant stars. Twilight fans alert: this is only 18 miles from the City of Forks and the Sol Duc is the same river Edward lives on!! 360-327-3755 or 360-477-9932

Three Rivers Resort and Guide Service. Cabins and camping, seasonal rates, guided steelhead and salmon fishing trips, this place can really become “home” in a hurry. If you follow the Twilight series, you’ll recognize this as the self-proclaimed treaty line where werewolves and vampires can co-exist! Your dog is welcome with a $15.00 fee ($5.00 in the camping area!) Spring rates for April and May range from $69.00 for a single, to a $99 family suite. Call 360-374-5300 for more information about the guide services or email

Lake Crescent Lodge permits pets in the Roosevelt Cabins or Singer Tavern for a $25 non-refundable daily fee per pet/day. Pets must be leashed.

Dog-Park or City Dog?

Sequim. The Sequim Dog Park is a community park that is over one acre for off leash play. There are separate fenced areas for small dogs and large dogs, which are rotated to help keep muddy areas refreshed. You’ll find benches and restrooms for humans at the park. The park is off North Blake Avenue and has easy access to the Olympic Discovery Trail. Dogs must be on leash on the trail. This Rails-to-Trails project will eventually run from Port Townsend in the east to LaPush on the Pacific Ocean. Many segments are complete and the area through and around Sequim are exciting to explore. Here’s a list of dog-friendly accommodations in the area.

Port Townsend and Port Angeles.  Downtown dogs can enjoy walking tours in city! Historic Port Townsend walking tours are a great way to see the town and get some exercise! We are told that not only are dogs welcome, but at times the tours are led by dogs; the walking tour guides are known to bring along their own furry friends. Visiting pet parents tend to favor the waterfront tour as it features a few pet-friendly pit stops. For a list of these walking tours, In Port Angeles, the Olympic Discovery Trail runs through town and along the water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Stop here and there to sniff along the way and for the humans to check out the Art Downtown exhibits. Pick up a self-guided tour brochure at the Downtown Association office on Laurel Street.

Hungry Dog?

Several places in Port Townsend welcome dogs on their outside decks while you enjoy the atmosphere and some excellent local cuisine including Sweet Laurette Café & Bistro and Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain. Olympic Bagel Company in Port Angeles allows leashed dogs at their outside dining area.

Dog Tired? Port Townsend

The Palace Hotel has a $20.00 per night charge for pets. (Please check with hotel regarding pet policy.)

The Swan Hotel has pet beds, toys and treats for your “best friend.” The dog fee is $20 per night. Dogs may not be left in suites unattended. The Bishop Victorian Hotel has bowls and treats awaiting your pet on arrival. Call 800-824-4738 to make reservations for either of these hotels. Each hotel sets aside specific studios, cabins or suites for dogs, so book early to insure that a pet friendly accommodation is available.

In Port Angeles, you and your dog will find lodging at the Days Inn, Quality Inn Uptown, and Red Lion Hotel.

Wagging Tales

The highlight of your visit might be a romping game of fetch on the beach, sniffing along a scent museum on a forest trail or strolling a city street. You and your four-legged friend won’t be able to do everything and see everything on one trip to the Peninsula, but you’ll be sure to go home with lots of bragging rights to the great time.

Top Five Fall Campsites

fall campsites Fall is a fantastic time to camp on the Olympic Peninsula. Depending on your campsite, you can see the leaves changing from green to gold, birds on their migration journey, and even salmon making their annual pilgrimage. Between Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, state and county parks there are many campsite options. Below are five of our favorite fall campsites on the Olympic Peninsula. Since there are many types of camping- RVing, car camping, backpacking, etc- we’ve tried to include options for everyone.

Sol Duc – On the western side of Olympic National Park is the Sol Duc Valley. Home to Salmon Cascades, Sol Duc Falls, hot spring pools, and dramatic old growth forests, the Sol Duc Valley has much for visitors to explore year round. Campers can pitch their tents beneath the canopy of towering, moss covered trees. In late October and early November visitors can watch coho salmon leap through the air on their journey to spawn up the Sol Duc River. Continue reading

4 Cool Campsites

campsitesThere are many choices of campsites on the Olympic Peninsula. Inspired by Sunset Magazine’s “West’s Best Camping” issue, we’re highlighting 4 Olympic Peninsula campsites where you can keep cool this summer.

Dosewallips State Park – Located on the Hood Canal and Dosewallips River, campers can keep cool while exploring the salt and freshwater coastlines. In addition to tent sites and cabins, Dosewallips has platform tents reminiscent of the style early pioneers or loggers would have used. Each tent can sleep up to five people and is furnished with bunkbeds, lights, futon, table and heater. In the evening everyone can gather around the picnic table or sit out on the tent’s deck.

Heart O’the Hills– Heart O’the Hills is the closest campground to Hurricane Ridge. It has 105 sites, with picnic tables, fire rings, and community bathrooms. The shade from old growth forest provides cover from the summer sun while sitting at camp or exploring. There are hiking trails for most abilities from the campground. The Heart O’the Hills amphitheater has seasonal interpretive programs led by park rangers. Check Olympic National Park’s newspaper, The Bugler, for current programs and times. Continue reading

Backcountry Camping and Hiking on the Olympic Peninsula

Hiking on the Olympic Peninsula

Hiking on the Olympic Peninsula

Hiking and backcountry camping are great ways to explore tthe Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park have trails, campgrounds, and dispersed campsites to suit all types of outdoor enthusiasts.

Year round Big Quilcene Trail #833 follows the Big Quilcene River along old growth forests and lush meadows into the Buckhorn Wilderness. This is a beautiful area for a day hike. Backpackers hoping for an extended trip can follow the trail to Upper Dungeness and Tubal Cain Mine Trails. Continue reading