- "Some very cool and very unusual stuff in there!"
- "This place is amazing!!! I am an environmental science teacher and I learned an amazing amount of information about what washes up on our shores. Thanks John for a great and informational time."
"Absolutely loved our trip through John's museum. It was great listening to John's stories and the kids were totally engaged from the drive in until we drove away... Thanks John, this is a must see and we will be back." Admission to tour the museum is $5. Prepare to spend some time there! It's open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or for group tours by appointment, for more information or questions call 360-640-0320.
- TRAVEL TIP #1. Do some research before you come. If you aren't one to make reservations ahead, at least check to see if there are activities that may limit hotel availability so you will be prepared. Be sure places you want to go are open and accessible on the days you plan to come. For example, at this time, the Hurricane Ridge Road is open Friday - Sunday. And it depends on the weather. Have a back up plan to find snow if the 'Ridge road is closed and that's your destination. Don't over plan. Give yourself time to enjoy being here. The Olympic Peninsula Travel Planner can help with ideas. OlympicPeninsula.org. PS. If you are bringing your dog, be sure check out the Dog-Friendly Map info from another blog.
- TRAVEL TIP #2. Plan your visit by drive times, not by miles. Drive times and distance don't always make sense. For example, if you are planning to drive directly to Neah Bay from Seattle it is only 154 miles, but it takes about 4-1/4 hours to get there. Magnificent scenery along the way, but no freeways. From Port Angeles to Forks, it is 56 miles and takes about 1-1/4 hours. These times are dependent on traffic and weather conditions. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the journey. Please obey the speed limit. There are multiple law enforcement agencies that will be watching!
- TRAVEL TIP #3. Pack for wearing layers and bring some rain gear. That's an all-season recommendation for the Olympic Peninsula. You can drive from a sunny Blue Hole in Sequim to the damp, wet rain forest. Some tennis shoes are good for hiking on slick boardwalks and sturdy hiking boots are good for trails if they are muddy. I've seen flip-flops on the beach in the winter and wondered if the people hadn't packed correctly, if they were trying to be one with the Pacific Ocean, or if they were just teenagers. I'm pretty sure their feet were cold no matter their reasons!
- TRAVEL TIP #4. Budget accordingly. Ferry (if you take one), gas, food, lodging, park permits, attraction fees and souvenirs. The Olympic Peninsula is abundant with things to do for free and low cost. Check out a previous blog for some free suggestions.
- TRAVEL TIP #5. Check out what the locals are doing. The communities around the peninsula are little jewels to explore. Take a look at the local papers, or bulletin boards at grocery stores or shop windows. Join the people who live here to see what they support in their communities. You can find everything from gem shows, to yoga retreats, to baking classes, to fly tying workshops, to "you-name-it" gatherings, to great local theater.
- TRAVEL TIP #6. Be realistic. I guess this is the biggest tip - to be realistic. Have an idea what you'd like to do, but remember all the variables. Weather, distance being the two main ones. Don't try to do too much. Come and visit multiple times. Enjoy what you can do while you are here. Maybe one trip is only to go to Sol Duc Hot Springs and see one waterfall there. Maybe the next time you'll go to the beach and stay, checking out a couple nearby beaches. The next time, maybe you will only camp at the Hoh Rainforest and do the hikes from the campground and take a raft trip down the river. You couldn't do all of those itineraries in one weekend. Well, I guess you could, but you'd need some R&R when you got home!
- Breakfast at the Blue Moose Café,
- Visit the Northwest Maritime Center,
- Shop at Port Townsend Farmers’ Market
- Afternoon tea at Pippa’s Real Tea, and
- Shopping on Water Street.
- Glenwood Springs, Colorado
- Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- Iowa City, Iowa
- Port Angeles, Washington
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
leaves changing color along Hood Canal. Grab a bite to eat at one of the several places with local seafood. Check out the Olympic Peninsula Culinary Loop for suggestions. You'll probably see bald eagles and herons, and perhaps a herd of Roosevelt elk. If you pack a lunch, stop at Triton Cove State Park. Continue on Hwy. 101 North to Port Angeles. Fromthere it's about 45 minutes to the top of Hurricane Ridge. Hopefully, there will be new snow on the mountain range. Stunning hike to Hurricane Hill! You can see the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, and the interior of the Olympic Mountains. Overnight in Port Angeles or the surrounding area. Day Two. Heading west on Hwy 101. Enjoy the beauty of Lake Crescent. Take a walk through the woods to Marymere Falls, one of the falls on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. The trailhead can be found turning off Hwy 101 with the signs to Lake Crescent Lodge. The lodge is open until January 1, then closes for the season. Continue around the lake to Hwy 113, the to Hwy112 West. Hwy 112 is one of the newer Scenic Byways in our state. At this time of year the leaves along this route, with the Strait of Juan de Fuca sparkling water to the north, is one of the favorite drives. Scenic it is! Head to Neah Bay and Cape Flattery, the most NW tip of the contiguous US. There is a short hike, mostly on boardwalk to the overlook to Tatoosh Island. You'll often see whales and an array of marine animals and shore birds. Make a stop at the Makah Museum. World-class exhibits you won't soon forget. Either stay along Hwy 112 or wander into Forks or La Push on the Quileute Nation for the night. Day Three. Check out the Visitor Center in Forks, Land of Twilight. You'll be amazed at the map with pins representing visitors' homelands. There's John's Beach Combing Museum in Forks. Take a look at what washes up on our shores. Traveling south on Hwy 101, make a turn into the Hoh Rain Forest. Walk the Hall of Mosses for that other-worldly experience of hiking through canopies of drippy moss. Catch the Ranger-led walk if you can. Back to Hwy 101 and a stop at Ruby Beach. One of our favorites. Continuing south, Kalaloch Lodge has dining and accommodations right above the beach. Or further down Hwy 101, you'll find Lake Quinault with many types of lodging and dining. Interesting fact about Lake Quinault. The National Park owns some of the property around the lake. The Olympic National Forest owns part of the land and the Quinault Nation has jurisdiction over the water. The morning of the fourth day, head back to Seattle/Tacoma/Portland/Olympia. It's closest to keep going on 101, making almost the entire loop.
The largest dam removal project in US history began on the Elwha River in 2011, removing two, 100-year-old dams. The Restoration part of the project is underway and the Elwha River is flowing freely from its headwaters in the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the first time in 100 years. With the dams gone, salmon and other migratory fish are returning to 70 miles of spawning habitat, bringing with them the promise of a restored ecosystem and renewed cultural tradition for the Lower Elwha tribe.To witness some of Mother Nature's magic, you now can visit Elwha River Restoration Viewpoints. In the above photo, there are two sections high above the river that remain for visitor use as viewing platforms. The one on the right is accessible now and after additional work, the left viewing area will be open later in 2015 when interpretive signs are installed and the parking lot is complete. The former Elwha Dam (Lower Dam, as it was called)/Lake Aldwell lake bed and Glines Canyon Dam/Lake Mills lake bed sites, as well as Olympic Hot Springs Road are open to the public. The parking area at the former Glines Canyon Dam site remains closed; and the Elwha River and its tributaries within Olympic National Park are closed to all fishing. Boating is prohibited from Upper Lake Mills Trail to Altair Campground. About Glines viewpoints -- here's a map of the access for both the Whiskey Bend Road (east) side and the Olympic Hot Springs Road (west) side. Both are open, but viewpoint and lake bed access is only available on the east side. Anticipated opening the western Glines viewpoint and lake bed access from that area is summer 2015.
- July 22 and 23 - 10:45pm
- July 24 – July 30 beginning at 10:30pm
- Aug. 14 - Aug. 20 beginning at 9:45pm
- Aug. 21 - Aug. 29 beginning at 9:30pm
- Saturday August 9, Sunday August 10 - DEPART 8:30pm
Hurricane Ridge is one of Olympic National Park's most iconic destinations and the easiest place to access the Olympic Mountains. On your way up to Hurricane Ridge you pass the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. We suggest you stop in and take a look. There are park rangers happy to answer your questions. You can also pick up information about the Junior Ranger program, find out about interpretive programs, and learn about conditions around the park.On your way up the mountain there are a lot of pullouts where you can see the spectacular view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. On a clear day you can see Victoria, British Columbia. (*Helpful hint, It is a lot easier to get into the pullouts on your way back down the mountain.) When you get to the top there is a lodge with information, gift shop, and café. There are many hikes accessible from Hurricane Ridge but if you are looking for something a little less active the top is a great place to have a picnic and just take in the mountain vistas. Lake Crescent is an easy 30 minute drive from downtown Port Angeles and well worth it! It is officially the second deepest lake in Washington State. Carved from glaciers, Lake Crescent is known for its brilliant blue waters and exceptional clarity. Lake Crescent is a popular place for kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, and swimming. Many hiking trails surround the lake. If you are looking for something a little more mellow or a good place to eat after your adventures, stop at the historic Lake Crescent Lodge. Take a seat on one of the many adirondack chairs and enjoy the view or head into the lodge where you will find a gift shop and a fantastic restaurant with Olympic Coast Cuisine.