Arriving may 28th for 4 days – olympic national park forum – tripadvisor gas giants

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Arrive SEATAC at 10 AM. pick up rental and head to Port Angeles. On the way stop for supplies at Walmart in Port Angeles. I hope to arrive at our hotel by 3 or 3:30 PM and then get a very early supper. After that head to Hurricane Ridge.. What is the best use of our evening? We are two 60-somethings that enjoy easy to moderate hikes That are not more than 4 – 5 miles long. I also do not appreciate questionable precipices with no handrails.

I want to get sandwiches to take along for lunch(and perhaps supper?). I get the idea that it is hard to find good food in Forks…. and we do not have a kitchen…. Considering Lake Crescent Hikes( Marymere Falls, Moments in Time and Faireholme Camground Loop) AND/OR Sol Duc Falls and Ancient Groves on the way to Forks. After supper, I thought we might head to Rialto Beach. I "think" low tide is around 7 PM.

We are considering going out with rainforestpaddlers.com on the Estuary Kayak… or should we choose the River Kayak? In the afternoon I thought we could hike the Hall of Mosses, Spruce Nature Trail or the River Trail. After supper, I thought we could hit a different beach. I understand that there is a hike to 1st and 2nd Beach. Low tide is at 7:49, Will it be safe to return on that trail after dark?

Day 4 – hit Ruby Beach in the morning(low tide is 8:40 AM), then head to Lake Quinault area and spend the day there. Hikes we are considering: Martins Park/Lakes Primitive Trail, the Rainforest Nature Trail and the Maple Glades Trail . We will spend the night in Quinault. Is there time for a beach in the evening? low tide is at 8:26 PM.

Yes, this a real hodgepodge of good and bad ideas. Fairholme Loop? Why? First Beach? Why? It’s developed and not part of the park. Returning from Second Beach is not safe after dark. Third Beach is even worse. Rialto Beach, which you can drive to and does not require an ankle breaking hike through the woods, is a great choice for after dinner.

But my real concern is Day 1, which just seems ….. strange. Your travel time to PA from Seattle is less than 3 hours. Even with a Walmart s stop (ugh. The PA Walmart is dismal, and you really should go to the Lincoln Street Safeway instead), it won’t take 5 hours! Then you want an early dinner and a drive up to Hurricane Ridge afterwards? It takes 1 hour to get up there from PA, partly because road construction is causing delays, even when the crews are not actually working. Why not visit Hurricane Ridge the next day, or go up before dinner?

At least I can reassure you that you won’t be near any dangerous precipices on the Hurricane Ridge Trails. They are very safe and comfortable even for someone with slight vertigo. The 90 minute round trip Hurricane Hill Trail is the way to go, but I don’t like the thought of you driving back from that hike in the twilight, or even in the very late afternoon when the glare can be a problem, and many deer cross the road. Sometimes bears cross, too. Twice, I encountered bears crossing the road up to the ridge, once it was twin cubs, and once it was an adult.

I do want to point something out about the tides. You have written about visiting the beaches in the evening for the second low tide of the day. However, both May 29 and May 30 have magnificent, unusually low tides in the morning. Low tide is at 7:21 am on the 29 and 8:00 am on the 30th. There is also an usually low tide at 8:21 am on the 31st. If it is at all possible for you to get to Second Beach just before one of these wonderfully low tides, you would have a wonderful and rare opportunity. There is a beautiful sea stack off Second Beach, right at the beach entrance from the trail. On very low tide days, you can wade out to it, and the tides on those days, all of which are well below zero, are perfect for doing this. You would have to wade up to your knees, but the sea stack is amazingly beautiful, with the best tide pools you may ever see. In 20 years of hiking, I have only had the chance to do this twice, and it was practically a mystical experience. There will be other people doing this, so it is safe. If you can do this, you should. You will never forget it.