We built this tour for travelers who want to balance amazing walks, and breathtaking views with taking the time to really connect with what makes Mt Rainer and Olympic National Parks truly unique wilderness experiences. With small groups and 5 days stretched out over two parks, you have time to both cover some ground as well as slow down and experience the park with the aid of a naturalist guide.
We’ll walk the most beautiful trails in two of the most incredible national parks in the country, finding moments to appreciate the intricate ecology and the fascinating geology. We’ll spot for wildlife and discover deeper understanding for these incredible parks through all the varied way they tell their stories. You’ll be dwarfed by the towering old growth forests on Rainier and dazzled by its glaciers. You’ll be calmed by the Pacific as it crashes into rugged beaches, enveloped in the lushness of the Hoh Rain Forest, and blown away by expansive alpine views at Hurricane Ridge. Deep travel is our favorite way to connect with the stunning wild places we get to call home.
Day 1: Mt. Rainier National Park
The Nisqually Valley, Longmire, Waterfalls, & Paradise Valley
The largest volcano in the Cascades, Mt. Rainier, is calling our name and over the next two days we’ll be exploring this grandiose landscape. We’ll spend the morning amongst 800-year old trees in historic Longmire, WA, where the first Euro-American settlers here capitalized on the abundant mineral springs by opening a resort. After a seasonal picnic lunch, we’ll drive up the winding roads of this great mountain in pursuit of Paradise. As we rise above the tree line, we’ll spend our afternoon wandering the trails up to Panorama Point, Myrtle Falls, or Glacier Vista (if you’d prefer more of a challenge). Take in astounding views of the Cascade Mountain Range or watch for Hoary Marmots and American Pika scurrying about the rocks—a favorite pastime for visitors and locals alike. In the evening, we’ll hike straight down the trail to our dinner spot—the Paradise Inn Dining Room—for a rewarding meal before driving down the mountain to our accommodations for the night.
Walking Distances: 2 to 7 miles (flexible options)
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
– 1 –
Day 2: Mt. Rainier National Park
Old-Growth Forests, Hiking, Sunrise Area, & More!
Our second day of the trip will focus on the northeastern side of the mountain, much of which is inaccessible for 9 months of the year! At 6,400-feet, Sunrise is the highest point of the park that can be reached by vehicle. With 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks (including neighboring Cascade volcanoes!) this vantage point continues the visual story of the geologic forces that sculpted it. From this perspective you’ll witness entirely different lava flows, valleys and glaciers than the day before. We will spend most of today learning about the cultural and environmental history of Mt. Rainier and the greater Pacific Northwest. With luck, we’ll catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, including deer, mountain goats, and black bear that frequent this part of the mountain in summer. Take advantage of some free time this evening: catch a bite to eat at the local pizza joint or enjoy a cold beer at Packwood Brewing Company.
Walking Distances: 4 miles
Accommodations: Cowlitz River Lodge
– 2 –
Day 3: Olympic National Park
The Pacific Ocean, Kalaloch & Ruby Beaches, & Lake Quinault
Today is transition day! We’ll wake up underneath Mt. Rainier and go to sleep on the Olympic Peninsula. We’ll break up the drive and stretch our legs with a walk by Lake Quinault and a tasty lunch at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge. While here we’ll take the opportunity to explore some of the largest Sitka Spruce and Western Red Cedar trees in the world. Afterward we’ll make our way to Kalaloch Lodge to enjoy some peaceful downtime on the coast. Dinner tonight is over an open fire on the beach, and after dinner, you’ll be invited to join us for an optional sunset viewing at the famous Rialto Beach. We’ll pack blankets, wine, and some local chocolates and revel in the changing colors as they disappear behind the horizon.
Walking Distances: 2 miles (flexible options)
Accommodations: Kalaloch Lodge
– 3 –
Day 4: Olympic National Park
The Hoh Rainforest
Let’s pack our lunch boxes, because we are spending a full day in the most famous rainforest in the United States. As we walk the Hoh River Trail, we’ll take time to appreciate the infinite shades of green within this vibrant landscape—from the mosses to the trees, the lichens and the ferns, this is probably where the Evergreen State earned its nickname. Everyone is encouraged to move at their own pace, covering as much or as little mileage as is comfortable. The Hoh Rainforest is a place of wonder and mystery and the perfect setting for a dreamy stroll. As one of the last remaining stands of temperate rainforest in the world, come see for yourself why it is worth protecting.
Walking Distances: 2 to 8 miles (flexible)
Accommodations: Kalaloch Lodge
– 4 –
Day 5: Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge, & the Ferry to Seattle
Today we say goodbye to the beaches and return to the mountains. As the only sub-alpine ecosystem in the National Park accessible by vehicle, Hurricane Ridge is the destination for the Olympic alpine experience. And at almost a mile above sea-level, the views don’t disappoint! Instead of standing underneath a gigantic volcano, you’ll now stand at eye-level to dozens of peaks. We’ll enjoy one last hike along the Hurricane Hill trail, soaking up those final moments among the wildflowers and taking one-hundred more photographs. We’ll make our way back to Seattle by scenic drive, crossing the Hood Canal, driving aboard the Bainbridge Ferry, and finishing on a high note with a killer view of the Seattle skyline!
Walking Distances: 3 to 5 miles (flexible)
Accommodations: Not included
– END –
Tour Details -Under Construction
- Tour Inclusions
- Tour Highlights
- Tour Reviews
- Private Tours
- Tour Preparation
- Tour FAQs
A TripAdvisor 'Hall of Fame' guide.
National Park entry fees.
Local, organic picnic lunches - served outside when the weather is right.
Light breakfasts (pastries, fruit, coffee, tea, etc).
A beach dinner the first evening - prepared by your guide. Dinner at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge the second evening.
Ferry fees and transportation.
Snacks, water, sparkling water, local wine, local adult beverages, etc.
⭐ Exploring the hushed soundscapes of the Hoh Rainforest, Pacific Coast, Lake Crescent & Hurricane Ridge.
Kalaloch Lodge is one of the iconic resorts within Olympic National Park. The Main Lodge was built almost 100 years ago with driftwood collected from Washington’s wild coast. For two days you’ll stay just feet from Pacific bluffs and beachfront, climbing over driftwood and the small streams that dump fresh water into the ocean.
The lodge has a delicious restaurant featuring Washington ingredients, a mercantile, and provides daily bundles of firewood for those staying in rooms with fireplaces!
Three Breakfasts: Pastries, fruit, coffee & tea on Day One, freshly prepared buffet breakfast at the Creekside Restaurant on Days Two & Three.
Three Lunches: Local, organic picnic lunches - served outside in the National Park.
Two Dinners: Campfire dinner on the beach prepared by your guide on Day One, dinner at the historic Kalaloch Lodge on Day Two.
Snacks, water, sparkling water, local wine and other adult beverages available throughout the tour.
Are you looking to make your Olympic National Park tour experience even more intimate and comfortable? Looking to arrange travel for your own group? We offer beautiful private tours led by the Northwest's best field educators.
Prices below are before WA Sales Tax (10.1%). To inquire about arranging private trip dates, give us a call!
⭐ 1 person: $tbd/person
⭐ 2 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 3 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 4 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 5 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 6 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 7 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 8 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 9 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 10 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 11 people: $tbd/person
⭐ 12 people: $tbd/person
Please contact us for groups larger than 12 travelers for a custom quote. Groups larger than 12 generally require a second van, second guide, etc.