Category Archives: Hiking

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, relax@quileuteoceanside.com 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 solduccottage@gmail.com 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 threeriversresort@gmail.com 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. http://www.sequimdogparks.org/lodging.php 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, http://www.jchsmuseum.org/walkingtour.html. 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.

Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike

Moss-covered tree along the Hoh Trail heading to Glacier Meadows

Moss-covered tree along the Hoh Trail heading to Glacier Meadows - Photo courtesy of Kitti deLong

This 38-mile hike RT is the stuff you read about in adventure articles, with 3,430 feet of vertical climb in your 3, 4, or 5 day hike to experience the diversity of the world-famous moss-draped Rain Forest, the raging of the Hoh River, and the whispering of the Blue Glacier, one of 311 glaciers in the Olympic National Park.  Hike nine miles up from the Hoh Ranger Station to the 1930’s Olympic Guard Station at 900 feet elevation, or continue on over the “Hi Hoh” Bridge, and up to Glacier Meadows at 4,300 feet, then day-hike to Blue Glacier for an intimate experience with the ancient giant. You’ll never forget the icy breath of this one!  Read more about the lodgings, B&Bs, and campsites in this region here.
Crossing a natural bridge on the Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike - Photo courtesy of the WA Trails Association

Crossing a natural bridge on the Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike - Photo courtesy of the WA Trails Association

See all "Top 5 Adventures on the Olympic Peninsula": 1. South Coast Wilderness Trail Hike 2. Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike 3. Hoh River Fishing Adventure 4. Lake Constance Trail 5. Marmot Pass Hike, Trail #833.1  

South Coast Wilderness Trail

The planning for this primordial adventure will tantalize your thoughts with the possibility of seeing grey whales on their migration route (March/April and October), baby seals in midsummer, great bald eagles any season with wingspans of seven or eight feet! Be prepared to cross Goodman and Mosquito Creeks, which can range from ankle to waist deep after a heavy rain, and expect a 1,900-foot elevation change overall on the steep overland trails and ladders. The cliff to the beach is a mere 320 feet on more ladders. All you favorite bandits will be waiting for you: Raccoons, Bears, Coyotes, and even the Eagles will take your lunch if you leave it exposed. Be sure to plan around the tides because there are several places that are covered during high tide.
Last rope ladder to the beach - Photo courtesy of WA Trails Association

Last rope ladder to the beach - Photo courtesy of WA Trails Association

Experience miles of flat, sandy, isolated beaches, tide pools and water critters during summer’s very low tides, and the roar of the waves to unclog the city busy-ness from your mind. You’ll never forget this hiking adventure! Read more about the lodgings, B&Bs, and campsites in this region here.
Sunset at Mosquito Creek, Photo courtesy of WA Trails Association

Sunset at Mosquito Creek, Photo courtesy of WA Trails Association

Be sure to check Trip Reports on http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/seasonal-hikes/summer-destinations/hiking-olympic-peninsula For more information on trail conditions, special concerns on each trail, maps, and photos visit: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/south-coast-route.htm 1. South Coast Wilderness Trail Hike 2. Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike 3. Hoh River Fishing Adventure 4. Lake Constance Trail 5. Marmot Pass Hike, Trail #833.1

Lake Constance Trail

You’ll think you are in the middle of Alaska when you finally arrive at this sweet subalpine lake as you enter the southwest side of a hidden valley holding fragile Lake Constance between encroaching peaks. Plan to cross a talus slope to reach the campsites on the north, but that’s the easy part. The main trail up to the lake is steep, and in one area, you’ll need to scale a wall in a narrow draw that is described as, “steep but not exposed,” using hand-smoothed tree roots.
Lake Constance.  Photo courtesy of WA Trails Association

Lake Constance. Photo courtesy of WA Trails Association

Expect some rock scrambling, and lots of adventure in this 11-mile round-trip hike (not counting the five-mile trip from the washout). Experienced hikers consider this trail a feather in their Olympic National Park caps. You might want to carry rather light packs for this one. Recover your strength beside this enchanting emerald-green lake, but then, the trip back will be downhill, won’t it? Drive the Dosewallips River to the wash-out, then hike five miles to the trail head. The staging towns for this hike are BrinnonQuilcenePort Ludlow, and Port HadlockRead more about the lodgings, B&Bs, and campsites in this region here. Check out fun things to do, camping, kayaking, boating, scuba diving, and more at EmeraldTowns.com For trail conditions or more information from the National Park Service, visit: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/lake-constance-route.htm
For more information from the Washington Trails Coalition:
See all "Top 5 Adventures on the Olympic Peninsula": 1. South Coast Wilderness Trail Hike 2. Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike 3. Hoh River Fishing Adventure 4. Lake Constance Trail 5. Marmot Pass Hike, Trail #833.1

Marmot Pass Hike, Trail #833.1

Marmot Pass - Courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Marmot Pass - Courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Be sure to plan enough time to experience all this trail offers. Hang out by double waterfalls, laze in fields strewn with wild flowers, savor the spectacular views from Marmot Pass, enjoy the intense quiet of deep wilderness. This trail connects to Upper Dungeness Trail #833 and also to Tubal Cain Trail #840 (which was a short-lived copper mine at the turn of the century), in the Olympic National Forest. Explore! Hike down the north face (you might need ice gear for safety in case of snow fields that have not yet melted, even in mid-summer), to the valley floor, and Camp Handy, an open shelter where this camper awoke to find some friendly creature had filled her shoes with dog food (we did not have a dog). For this alternate ending, you’ll be quite a distance from your car, so you’ll want to leave a second car at the end point.  The staging towns for this hike are Brinnon, Quilcene, Port Ludlow, and Port Hadlock.  Read more about the lodgings, B&Bs, and campsites in this region here. Check out fun things to do, camping, kayaking, boating, scuba diving, and more and EmeraldTowns.com For more information, visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/olympic/recarea/?recid=47793 For Trail conditions of the Marmot Pass hike, Trail #833.1, visit: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/big-quilcene-river See all "Top 5 Adventures on the Olympic Peninsula": 1. South Coast Wilderness Trail Hike 2. Hoh Glacier Meadows Hike 3. Hoh River Fishing Adventure 4. Lake Constance Trail 5. Marmot Pass Hike, Trail #833.1

Olympic Discovery Trail

Olympic Discovery TrailThe Olympic Discovery Trail connects North Olympic Peninsula towns on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific Coast. This unique way to explore the Olympic Peninsula includes more than 130 miles of paved trails which wind through towns, forests, river valleys, mountains, and coastlines. The Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) is open to travelers, and their pets, using non-motorized modes of transportation. This includes hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. ODT can be done as a whole or broken into smaller sections for shorter day trips. The four main sections are:
  • East End the Sound and Bay Section which includes Port Townsend, Discovery Bay, Sequim Bay, and Miller Peninsula
  • East Central the River and Prairie Section with Blyn, Sequim, Dungeness Prairie Cross, and Port Angeles Harbor
  • West Central the Foothills and Lake Section which includes Port Angeles, Elwha River, Lake Crescent, and Joyce
  • West End the Forest and Ocean Section with Sol Duc Valley, Forks, and Pacific Beaches 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

The 11 Essentials For Hiking

Switchback Trail to Mt Angeles- don't forget the essentials for hiking

Bring your 11 essentials for hiking to have a fun and safe trip

The Olympic Peninsula has many amazing hiking trails. To help dayhikers and backpackers be safe and prepared we're sharing the 11 Essentials for Hiking. Versions of this list are shared by many hiking associations including the Washington Trails Association and outdoor retailers like REI. Whether heading out for an afternoon or a few days, having these essential items will help you be prepared for unexpected situations. 1. Navigation (map and compass) 2. Sun protection (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses) 3. Extra Clothing 4. Head Lamp/Flash light Continue reading