Meet your guides and fellow travelers this morning at our host hotel near the Seattle Airport. Our destination today is beautiful Hurricane Ridge with a stop at the Olympic National Park Interpretive Center to orient ourselves before our first hike to the summit of Hurricane Hill. True to its ominous moniker, this area is known for heavy winds and inclement weather. However, if conditions are favorable, the trail is the perfect introduction to the Olympic Mountain Range. With panoramas of surrounding peaks, views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and chances to glimpse area wildlife, it’s not surprising that Hurricane Hill is one of the most treasured destinations within Olympic National Park. After a full day, we head back to Lake Crescent, where we’ll settle into our rooms and freshen up before enjoying our first dinner together. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 3.2 miles; 650’ elevation gain/loss; Van transfer 3–4 hours.
Our destination today takes us through impressive forests of Douglas fir and Western cedar, to the gorgeous fast flowing Elwha River. Originating from the Elwha Snowfinger, a perennial snow field near Dodwell Rixon Pass in the Olympic Range, the Elwha flows 45 miles in a northerly direction to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The recent removal of two dams has allowed the mighty Elwha to once again run free, inviting steelhead and salmon to return to their native spawning grounds.
Hiking: 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +300’ / -300’; Van transfer: 4 hours
Today we visit one of the park’s most recognizable destinations: the Hoh Rainforest. We hike a trail surrounded by every shade of green imaginable and visit the home of many unique animal species. Life abounds, from the moss-covered nurse logs on the forest floor to the highest branches of old growth in the thick upper canopies. We keep an eye out for the banana slugs, Douglas squirrels, northern spotted owls and the majestic Roosevelt elk. Our naturalist guides provide valuable insight into the rich natural history of the area. After our time in the Hoh, we’ll head back to the comfort of Lake Crescent Lodge, where we’ll reflect on all we’ve seen and relax before tonight’s dinner.
Hiking: 2+ miles; up to 500’ elevation gain/loss; transfer 3 hours.
We enjoy breakfast at Lake Crescent Lodge before heading out for a day along the water. Our final trail will be determined by tides, trail conditions and weather. Regardless of our destination, the characteristic rugged terrain of Washington’s scenic coast provides a perfect backdrop for photographers. Sea stacks, natural arches and clear deep tide pools offer visitors a perfect environment for exploration, and we take our time wandering the hidden corners of dark, sandy beaches. We finish the day feasting on a beautiful Pacific Northwest BBQ prepared by our talented guides and featuring regional favorites. All meals included.
Hiking: 4 miles; 300’ elevation gain/loss; transfer 2 hours.
The final destination on our Olympic National Park adventure is the Sol Duc Valley. We hike under a canopy of moss-draped, old-growth forest and feel the spray of Sol Duc Falls as it cascades into a narrow rocky canyon. We’ll hike along the Sol Duc River as it journeys from the subalpine terrain of the Olympic Mountains to the lush, temperate rainforest of the Sol Duc Valley. We conclude our adventure with a transfer back to our host hotel near the Seattle airport, arriving early this evening. Please note that traffic, schedules, trail conditions, weather, group pace, and other factors beyond our control can influence our eventual arrival time. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: up to 6 miles; 200’ elevation gain/loss; Van transfer 3–4 hours.