Is the Olympic Peninsula close to Seattle? Yes and no. If you look at a map, it looks close. However, it takes time to drive down through Olympia, Washington’s capitol, or to take a ferry across the Puget Sound. It has taken me almost a year to get to the peninsula. With parts of the Olympic Peninsula being considered a rain forest, I wanted to wait for a nice weekend to explore without the rain. Here are some tips to get to the peninsula and for hiking along the Washington coast.
Getting to the Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is still a decent drive from Seattle. One can choose to take a ferry ride or drive a long loop around Puget Sound. Ferries are extremely reliable and operated by WSDOT. However, with holiday and summer traffic, you may end up waiting in a ferry line.
The Edmonds-Kingston ferry was the perfect choice for us, which avoided city traffic. Fortunately, we missed the holiday traffic while boarding an early Saturday morning ferry on a beautiful blue sky day with calm waters. Coasting through fishing boats, we arrived in Kingston and headed towards Port Angeles.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center and Wilderness Information Center
If you plan on backpacking or camping within the park, check to see if a permit is required. There are different types of permits and reservations depending on location. Some permits can be reserved ahead of time due to limitations and others have no restrictions but still require them. There were unlimited permits for the hike South Coast Wilderness Trail, but we needed a bear canister. We were able to borrow a canister at the ranger station, along with obtaining our permit.
The rangers are extremely informative, so make sure to have your questions ready.
Hiking between Third Beach and Toleak Beach
I can’t express how amazing it was hiking through mossy trees to get to the beach, which is common while hiking in the PNW. Watching the tide tables, climbing banks, and crawling through trees make this hike memorable. It almost felt like an outdoor adventure video game!
To read about how much fun I had, please check out my post on Outdoor Women’s Alliance.
Have you ever hiked in a rain forest or beach? Where?
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