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Old 03-23-2016, 12:48 AM   #1
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Los Angeles To Washington Olympic National Park?

Hello Everyone,

We are planning on making a trip from Los Angeles to Olympic National Park and back. First stop will be Lake Tahoe for a wedding then onward. How long should we allow? What are must see sites? Where should we stay, we prefer full hookups, but don't mind boondocking. Should we tow a toad/Dinghy or rent a car at various locations? Does anyone already have an itinerary they are willing to share? What are the gochas on this trip.

If you only had 14 days to make the trip, and starting from Lake Tahoe on the third day, what would be the recommended itinerary to insure I get back to Los Angeles on the 14th day? (I can maybe throw in another 4 - 5 days, but I want to use those for time off work at Christmas).

Well let's see where this will take us and I have a ton of questions, so let's get the conversation started.

If you made this trip, we love to hear your advice.

Thanks everyone who will participate in this conversation, for all your help and advice,

Joel and Darla

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Old 03-23-2016, 09:08 AM   #2
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The Olympics are just an amazing place.
On the coast side up through Forks there are not a lot of RV parks after leaving Aberdeen. Klalock has a state park we got our 40' in, but tight.

Forks has some rv parks to then drive into the park.

Quinalt area has some great trials to see some HUGE trees at the south end of the lake.
Up near Forks the Hoh river has a park way up the river, (doesnt take big rigs), must see.

Sol Duc hot springs area is great. The coast outside Forks is great.
All nature, trails kind of stuff.
I love it.

On the other side of the park is Port Townsend, Port Angels, nice small quaint towns.

Most folks will do what we call the "loop".
From Aberdeen, north up the coast, through Forks, west over towards Port Townsend, south towards Shelton on Hood canal.
You can go either way, we live close to Aberdeen so thats the way we go.

This loop can be 3 days, or should be a week, giving time to enjoy the place.

Mu advice on a trip like this with limited time:
Spend your time in ONE or TWO areas. Olympics and Tahoe for instance.
There is NO WAY to see all you need to if you try and do too much, so instead of skimming through alot of it, and thinking you've been there, know your coming back and can target other areas.

Hope this helps!

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Old 03-23-2016, 01:27 PM   #3
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Joel & Darla:

I'd suggest coming up I-5 to Burlington, then SR20 to the Coupeville ferry across to Port Townsend, then down the short stretch of SR20 to US101. From there you can head west to the coast and follow 101 to the Columbia River at Ilwaco, then back east along the Columbia on Highway 12 to the Olympia area to pick up I-5 to start your homeward journey.

The Washington coast is very scenic - Tman has hit the highlights - but there are some long stretches of nothing much except the ocean. Most of the coastal towns are real small and the highway isn't close to the beach in many places. Forks is interesting if you watched the TV show that featured it. State parks are about the only places for RVs to stay.

Even though we live on the north coast of WA, we preferred to take our RV down the Oregon coast - much more to see and do.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:33 PM   #4
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When are you going to make this trip?

If it's over the 4th of July you are going to need reservations for sure.

Keep in mind that after school is out any travel along the coast will probably need reservations a few days in advance.
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
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One of our favorite camp spots on the Straight of Juan de Fuca is Salt Creek county park. Camp sites sre c terraced so most eery one gets a view of the water and Victoria in the distance. You have to contact the county a cup le of c weeks or more in advance for a c reservation, t hey did not have an online system when we were last there.

From there, you can visit Hurricane Ridge, Neah Bay, Cresent Lake, Port Angeles and New Dungeness Spit Lighthouse (worth it if you care to hike 5 miles each way).

From Port Angeles, you can take a ferry to Victoria for a day visit or an overnighter.

Also, don't miss the Hoh Rain Forest on the west side of the park. Some people love the Lake Quinault area on the SW side of the park but we, not so much.

If you do come via Whidbey, spend a day or so around Coupeville and another day or so around Port Townsend. Both are historic towns with a lot to offer visitors. You can probably tell by my name why I have a certain bias. If you are here the last Saturday in June there is a HUGE garage sale and the ham radio club will be set up at the county park to demonstrate short wave radio operations.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:43 PM   #6
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So you really only have 11 days. The best advice I would give is get to I-5 and go like the wind. Once you leave the interstate, somewhere in Southern WA you will have a much slower go of it. You are looking at around 1,300 miles for the return trip, even driving 500 miles a day, that's close to 3 days travel, add probably 3 days coming over from Tahoe, now you have cut your scenic drive time down to 5 days, lots to see at 40MPH. Check out the previous suggestions and plan carefully.


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Old 03-23-2016, 04:48 PM   #7
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If you're coming up I-5 after Tahoe, I don't see a need to drive through Seattle to get the Coupeville ferry into Port Townsend.

Just take I-5 into Tacoma to 16/3 through Poulsbo and to Port Townsend.

Or...I-5 and from Olympia pick up 101 taking you through Shelton; Hoodsport; Brinnon; Quilcene and into Port Townsend.

Port Townsend is a great place to stay and Fort Worden State Park has a wonderful beachfront campground. It's easy to tour Olympic Nat'l Park from here.

When you're ready to return home stay on 101 west to Forks then start heading south on 101 to Astoria, Oregon. You can stay on 101 through Oregon which is a beautiful coast drive with many state parks along the way.

It's going to be a fast trip for you.
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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We just did this trip in August & a nice convenient overnight stop just north of the junction of I-5 on Hwy 101 on the way to Port Townsend is Little Creek Casino in Shelton, WA.
Easy in & out decent Resturant.
Probably one of the nicest campgrounds we found while in that area, we did base at Gilgal Oais in Sequim & this was another great spot.

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