Olympic & Mount Rainier Walk
|Seattle, Washington, USA
||Seattle, Washington, USA
Often described as being three parks in one, Olympic National Park is something of a natural masterpiece. Home to glaciers, rambling alpine forest, 100 kilometres of wilderness coastline, vast meadows and perhaps the finest example of protected temperate rainforest in the world, it's not hard to see why President Franklin Roosevelt designated the region a national park on June 29, 1938.
Why we love it:
- Incredible guided national park hikes
- Hoh Rain Forest hike, Olympic National Park
- Hoh River Trail hike, Olympic National Park
- Visit Hole-in-the-Wall Rock, Olympic Peninsula
- Rampart Ridge Trail hike, Mount Rainier
- Harry's Ridge Trail hike, Mount St Helens
- Sol Duc Hot Springs
- Explore coastal landscapes, waterfalls and mountains
- Incredible photography and wildlife viewing
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Seattle - Olympic National Park
- Your tour starts at 7:30am at the Clarion Hotel Seattle International Airport in Seattle. As this is an early start we recommend booking a night's pre-tour accommodation at this hotel, which can be arranged when you book this tour. After departing Seattle, you will travel by minibus and ferry directly to the heart of Olympic National Park where you hike amongst the peaks of the Olympic Range for a bird's eye view of the stunning landscape.
- You will journey deep into old growth forest to visit flowing waterfalls and pristine lakes. Upon arrival you will venture out to Marymere Falls which is an easy walk to prepare your legs for your national park adventure. The waters of Falls Creek drop nearly 90 feet from a cliff into a small plunge pool near the trail below. Bustling Seattle feels like a distant memory as you are submerged within the natural beauty of Olympic National Park. (Approximate walking time: 1 hour)
Day 2: Olympic National Park
- Today you will walk the Hoh River Rainforest Trail, a World Heritage site and one of the great temperate rain forests. You hike to Five Mile Island which reveals the old-growth grandeur and pure wildness of this valley. Formed by river channels, the island is an awesome grassy valley bank dotted with maple glades.
- Enjoy the sounds of the gargling river and views up the valley all the way to Bogachiel Peak. Your trail is accompanied by the birdsong of wrens, nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees and thrushes, which can be heard over the distant hum of the river as you pass moss-cloaked maples.
- Licorice ferns and club mosses cling to overhanging trees and wild elk keep the shrubs and bushes well-trimmed. When there is a gap in the forest you will be rewarded with views of the High Divide and snow-capped Mount Tom, a peak on the Olympus massif with deep emerald pools to take your breath away. (Approximate walking time: 6 hours)
Day 3: Olympic National Park
- There are two good easy hikes which start near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center - Hurricane Hill or Cirque Rim. With views of the Olympic Range, Puget Sound, and Vancouver Island you will see the trail is one to remember.
- Drive south on Hurricane Ridge road named for the 75-mile-an-hour winds which can blow here in winter. However, in summer the Ridge is spectacular and offers incredible views of the Olympic Mountains and the Olympic Peninsula coastline.
- In the late afternoon, weather permitting, you will drive out to northwest of the Olympic Peninsula to visit Hole in the Wall Rock, said to be a highlight for many travellers in this area. (Approximate walking time: 1-3 hours)
Day 4: Mount Rainier National Park
- Drive via the Hood Canal which is a stunning drive with mountains on one side and lake on the other.
- Make your way to the tallest of the Cascade Peaks, Mt Rainier. With over 300 miles of trail ranging from gentle walks through the forests to heart pounding climbs up to the mountain's glaciers. Of course, simply relaxing at the scenic lodge cafés, photographing the amazing views or visiting the information center are also options.
- Upon arrival, you will walk the Rampart Ridge Trail from Longmire. Listen for the tapping of the woodpeckers and keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife. On a clear day, you will be rewarded with excellent views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually River Valley from the ridge. (Approximate walking time: 2.5 hours)
Day 5: Mount Rainier National Parkrk
- The Skyline Trail loops around the broad Edith Creek basin, leading through alpine flower fields, past thundering waterfalls and over high peaks. In this one loop, you'll experience the best the Paradise Region has to offer in terms of scenic beauty, rugged hiking, varied terrain and ecosystems. You'll also find a memorial marking an important event in park history!
- Head northeast from the lodge, entering the lower reaches of Edith Creek basin on the Skyline Trail. You'll pass the crashing cascade of Myrtle Falls. The best views are from the trail bridge, looking directly down the falls. Walk east on the trail as it traverses out of the Edith Creek basin and loops the head wall of the adjacent Paradise Valley. Climb to Panorama Point and Glacier Vista before your return journey. Please note that due to national park regulations, this walk will be unguided.(Approximate walking time: 4 hours)
- Those seeking a guided hike will be escorted on the stunning Glacier Basin - Burroughs Trail, which is an 18 km (11 miles) loop with views of glaciers, expansive valleys and Washington state's signature mountain.
Day 6: Mount St Helens
- Mount St Helens was made infamous due to the eruption on 18th May 1980, but the area is rejuvenating itself and offers superb views of Mt St Helens where the conical shape, similar to Mt Fuji in Japan, is best enjoyed. Unfortunately, it is not possible to summit Mount St Helens due to permit restrictions. Today you will climb the eight-mile Harry's Ridge Trail on Mount St. Helens leaving from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
- The hillsides are awash with wildflowers in mid-summer, and the view from the end of Harry's Ridge has you looking straight into the mouth of the crater. You will have a direct view of Loowit Falls and of an emerging glacier. Plus, incredible views of Spirit Lake, Mount Adams and even Mount Hood on a clear day. (Approximate walking time: 4-5 hours)
Day 7: Mount St Helens - Seattle
- This morning you will climb the Hummocks Trail (approximate walking time: 1 hour). Thirty years ago this was an old growth forest but is now covered with a landscape of towering mounds of ash, rock and mud. This is a great trail appreciate the devastating effects of the eruption of Mount St. Helens and marvel at the vitality of nature's return.
- The loop trail takes you by small ponds, the North Fork Toutle River and hummock mounds up to 500 feet high. Leaving Mount St Helens in the rear view mirror, you will make your way back to Seattle via the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge where (time permitting) you'll do a woodland walk.
- When you arrive back in the ‘Emerald City’ there's time to enjoy the lively Pike's Place Market and also the stunning views from the Space Needle observation tower (optional), which is 184 metres ( 605 feet) high! Your tour concludes upon arrival back at the Clarion Hotel Seattle International Airport at approximately 5pm. Optional post-tour accommodation is available at the Clarion Hotel Seattle International Airport. Please inquire when booking your tour. If you are planning to fly out of Seattle tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9pm (21:00 hrs).
What to know
A good level of general fitness is required. We may be walking on uneven terrain for up to 6 hours a day.
- The services of two professional tour leaders.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant) and guided day hikes: Olympic National Park and Mt Rainier National Park.
- Transport in a customised vehicle.
- Visit to Sol Duc Hot Springs.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.
Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, if certain requirements are met. Under the VWP, time spent in Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program. You will be required to complete an online visa waiver prior to travelling (at a cost of US$14). This can be done at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945) - Henry Miller Coast to Coast (1956) - Jan Morris On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac Travels with Charley (1962) - John Steinbeck Blue Highways (1982) - William Least Heat-Moon On the Rez (2000) - Ian Frazer The Great Gatsby (1925) - F.Scott Fitzgerald The Grapes of Wrath (1939) - John Steinbeck The Catcher in the Rye (1951) - J.D.Salinger The Call of the Wild (1903) - Jack London
Peregrine Adventures and Grand American Adventures
This trip is operated by our partners, Grand American Adventures, a US based company with nearly 40 years experience in adventure travel. They also share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code-shared departure you can expect there to be both Grand American Adventures and Peregrine travellers on your trip.
In the event of an emergency or if you wish to report a problem on tour please do not hesitate to call Grand American Adventures' toll free* 24-hour emergency contact number.
Toll-Free (*in the US): 1 (800) 345 - 8777
International: 001 (310) 719 - 9877
Possible Itinerary Amendments
Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, our stated itinerary should be used as a guideline. All travelling times quoted in the itinerary are also estimates only and can vary substantially due to unscheduled stops and traffic or weather conditions.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
7 November 2013
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine