2021 Olympic Peninsula1
Road Scholar 21472
The splendor of nature beckons you to Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, a vast and pristine area of rainforests, mountains and rivers. Experience the crash of Pacific surf on the sea stacks at LaPush, stroll a fragrant trail to lovely Marymere Falls and marvel at the greenest place you’ll ever see: the Hoh Rainforest. Learn from a Makah tribal member about the life and traditions of Neah Bay, the westernmost point in the continental U.S. Study the ecology of this unspoiled environment with National Park rangers and naturalists. Take home memories of old-growth forests, deep blue mountain lakes, wood smoke from a driftwood campfire and the perfume of sunbaked cedar boughs along the trail.
Although a repeat, this program is now somewhat different from the one I took back in 2015. Although a repeat, it’s a good alternate to the Colorado Railroads trip in 2021. The only short-coming is that it is so short at only 6 days.
Walking up to 1.5 miles over varied terrain with options for longer hikes. Elevations up to 5,242 feet.
Best of all, you'll ...
* Ascend an 18-mile highway to Hurricane Ridge for close-up views of snow-covered Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park
* Enjoy a delightful lunch at historic Lake Crescent Lodge
* Meet a member of an indigenous tribe to learn about local life and issues
Outdoor program in variable weather conditions. Accessing some locations requires driving up to two hours each way on a comfortable, restroom-equipped coach.
This is the 2015 map. This tour does have a few differences.
Day 1: Arrive Seattle / Check in / Registration / Dinner
(D) Take the hotel shuttle (free) and register in the lobby at any time between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.
Dinner tonight will be in a popular restaurant adjacent to our hotel. Enjoy a buffet of varied choices, designed to meet everyone's needs and wishes. Non-alcoholic beverages included. We'll review the program agenda, and answer any questions. We have an early start and a busy day tomorrow. Rest well tonight! Hotel: SeaTac Airport.
Day 2: Explore Port Townsend
Activity note: Explore historic, charming Port Townsend with a knowledgeable local guide and on your own.
(BD) Our hotel offers a lobby breakfast including fresh fruit, juices, waffles, breakfast breads, sausage, bacon, hot and cold cereals. After an early breakfast we will load our luggage onto the coach and head for the ferry terminal in Seattle. We'll drive our bus onto the Washington State ferry and ride 30 minutes across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island and through the little town of Poulsbo.
After a 45-minute ride arrive in historic Port Townsend. Browse the shops and interesting vintage buildings. Enjoy lunch on your own in one of the town's many enticing cafes and restaurants. Then enjoy a guided visit to Port Townsend's interesting sights. An experienced docent from the local history museum will step aboard our coach to tell us about Port Townsend's fascinating past.
We'll drive about an hour north to Port Angeles. After checking into our guestrooms there may be time for a walk along the waterfront. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel. Enjoy a NW favorite entree, abundant salads, vegetables and luscious desserts. There's time for a swim in the outdoor pool before the sun sets. Hotel: Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel (4 nights)
Day 3 – Visit the Hoh Rain Forest and First Beach at LaPush
Activity note: We will have an experienced and personable naturalist with us all day. First, drive about 90 minutes to the Hoh Rain Forest, part of Olympic National Park. There will be a rest stop in the little town of Forks.Walk over one mile on a well-maintained forest trail in a temperate rain forest with our naturalist guide. This unique eco-system gets 134 inches of rain annually. Stroll the beautiful First Beach at LaPush on the Quileute Reservation.
(BL) Breakfast in our hotel this morning. Menu will vary daily, but throughout the week choose from eggs prepared in a variety of ways, ham/bacon/sausage, French toast, fresh fruit, juices, toast and breakfast breads, yogurt, hot oatmeal.
Pick up a sack lunch at Safeway, then travel by coach to the Hoh Rain Forest. A naturalist will accompany our group all day today. Walk through a green, green forest of moss-draped old growth trees along a rushing river. Look for elk, otters, many birds and the occasional slug. We'll lunch on picnic tables near the park visitor center.
On our way back to Port Angeles we'll drive to LaPush on the Quileute Reservation. Stroll beautiful First Beach, see waves crashing on sea stacks, build a beach fire and toast marshmallows for s'mores. Dinner tonight will be at your own in one of the charming cafes and restaurants near our hotel. Join the group or choose from among suggested cafes and restaurants.
Day 4 – Visit Neah Bay, The Makah Tribal Museum, the Timber Museum
Activity note: Learn about tribal life today and in the past at the Makah Tribal Museum. Visit the forks Timber Museum to learn about life in this community that was once dependent on logging.
(BL) Breakfast will be in the hotel. Drive about two hours, with a rest stop included, to the most north-westerly point in the continental US. Hear from a Makah tribal member about life here and about issues of interest to the tribe.
Eat your sack lunch purchased at Safeway this morning in the museum meeting room or outside in the sun. Learn about logging at the Forks Timber Museum. See a tiny cabin used by fire lookouts all summer and the huge cast-iron stove used by the camp cooks. Dinner tonight will be on your own in Port Angeles.
Day 5 – See Marymere Falls and dramatic Hurricane Ridge
Activity note: Stroll a fragrant forest path to a lovely waterfall. Ascend 18 miles to Hurricane Ridge and find yourself in a bowl of mountains. Wildflowers and wildlife abound. Learn about the removal of the dams on the Elwha River after dinner tonight.
(BLD) Breakfast today will be in the hotel. We'll drive less than an hour to Lake Crescent and stroll 1.5 miles round trip to see Marymere Falls.
Lunch in the historic Lake Crescent Lodge on your choice of delicious entrees and a tasty dessert. Please be sure to indicate your lunch choice from the attached menu at least two weeks before the program via email to email@example.com .The Lodge is in a remote location and their kitchen needs to know in advance what we want in order to be able to serve everyone.
Now on to Hurricane Ridge, elevation 5242', in the midst of the Olympic Mountains. See wildflowers and wildlife and look across to Vancouver Island. Optional walks and ranger talks.
Dinner tonight will be at the hotel. After dinner, hear from an expert about the removal of two dams on the Elwha River and the effects on everything downstream.
Day 6 – Program Concludes
Activity note: Return to SeaTac Airport by about noon today. Bon Voyage!
(B) Breakfast will be in the hotel. Now the trip IS OVER TOO SOON. It's time to depart from Pt. Angeles at 8:30 am this morning. We expect to arrive at SeaTac Airport no later than noon but traffic conditions or ferry schedules may make our arrival a little later. There are many restaurants and cafes at the airport for your lunch before your flight departs.