Unplug and explore must-see Olympic National Park. Though this 1500 square mile UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve would take a lifetime to uncover, we dive deep into some of the National Park’s natural highlights on this all-inclusive day tour. Join a few other travelers (each tour is ten people or fewer) and an award-winning guide.
Olympic National Park is remarkable for its ecological diversity and expansive wilderness. Our day tour can take one of two routes: Cross the Puget Sound by ferry to the northeast part of the Olympic Peninsula or journey around to the southwest side of the Park to explore some of the quietest corners of the Park. Either way we go, you’ll be able to explore the moss-draped forests, azure lakes, old-growth trees, and rugged, rocky coastlines that define the region. Once within the National Park, the course of the day can go in many ways. We always provide opportunities to explore a diveristy of ecosystems over the course of the day. Your guide will select the best destinations given the weather, season, and the accessibility of the park.
Continue reading to take a peak into some of the possible destinations you may experience on your full day tour to Olympic National Park:
Visit Hurricane Ridge to watch deer graze in the meadows, listen to the distinct shrill of a marmot, marvel at a summer field of delicate wildflowers, or feel the snow crunch beneath your feet on a winter snowshoe.
Witness the rebirth of the mighty Elwha river after the largest dam removal project in American history.
Bask in the sun along the shores of the glacially-carved Lake Crescent or emerald waters of Lake Quinault, where you’ll explore the fern-filled forests that line its shores and mossy old growth trees. Some of the worlds largest trees live alongside Lake Quinault!
Explore the rocky shores of the north or west coast of the Olympic Peninsula, examining marine life within the tide pools, watching shore birds scurry about, or gazing across the frigid waters that define our region.
Feel the mist of cascading waterfalls tucked away within the trees at the base of Marymere or Madison Falls.
Sleep in a little – we’re bringing a light morning snack of baked pastries, local coffee, and tea. Don’t waste daylight waiting in line at a busy lunch counter – we’ll bring a fresh, local, family-style lunch to savor somewhere with a view. Enjoy snacks and drinks throughout the tour. Basically, don’t worry about a thing!
If you’re staying in downtown Seattle, we even pick you up right at your front door. This entire day is designed to allow you to focus on enjoying some of the most beautiful, serene and intact wilderness in the state — leave all the logisitcs to us!
7:00-7:30a Downtown Pickups
The Sheraton Grand is considered our default location for anyone staying outside of downtown. This isn’t always the case, so someone on our team will confirm your pick-up location and time with you the day before your tour departure. Let our team know where you’re staying and we’ll do everything we can to make your pickup as easy as possible.
Other considerations if you’re staying outside of Seattle: We’re happy to offer several centralized pickup options en route to the National Park upon request. On our Olympic tour we can offer pick-ups at:
Seaside Station, Bainbridge Island
220 Olympic Dr SE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.
Olympic Lodge, Port Angeles
140 S Del Guzzi Dr, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
7:55a Ferry Departs Seattle
We’ll likely press coffee, make tea, and have a light snack on the ferry with a water view. Restrooms available on the ferry.
8:30a Ferry Arrives at Bainbridge Island
From here, we’re continuing northwest across the Kitsap Peninsula and Hood Canal before arriving on the Olympic Peninsula.
10a Arrive in Port Angeles
From here, your guide will likely decide to head first to the coast, forests, or mountains depending on the day. Once we’re on the Peninsula, the course of your day can go so many ways. Your guide will combine group preferences, weather considerations, mixed ecosystems and highlights, crowd avoidance, and more to create a lovely day. No two trips are the same!
10:30a Lake Crescent + Old Growth Forests
For this itinerary example, start the day at Lake Crescent where the turquoise waters of the lake span to the slopes of the surrounding mountains. Parktake in an optional walk to a waterfall hidden away amonghts old growth temperate forests with massive maple and douglas fir trees, branches covered in mosses and more shades of green than you can count.
Expected trail length is one to three miles. After a walk, browse interpretive info, photograph flowers (or snow), get your Park’s passport stamped, or find a quick gift for a loved one back home while your guide sets up lunch.
1:15p Mountain Rivers, Rocky Shores, Wild Tides
We’ll set off to explore another ecosystem along the diverse Peninsula – depending on the tide levels, you may head north to the rocky shorelines of along the Salish Sea for beachcombing and tidepooling or maybe we’ll head up an infamous river valley to understand the story of one of the greatest river rewilding projects in history. Anticipate another afternoon walkabout or two sections of the park. All told, you might walk one to three miles in the afternoon (depending on your other activities).
3:00p Hurricane Ridge*
Depending on timing and conditions, head up the windy Hurricane Ridge Road. Enjoy the view and wander the subalpine trails at the top. In the summer, look out for wildflowers, marmot and deer who frequent the area. In the fall, witness the foliage take on an incredible pallete of colors. In the winter, adventure aournd via snowshoe with your guide.
*10/5/2023 Update – Beginning 10/16, Hurricane Ridge will be closed for public access so the NPS can prepare for winter operations beginning in late November.
*During the winter months (November-April), Hurricane Ridge is only accessible on Fridays – Sundays.
4p Head Back to Ferry
6:30p Ferry Departs Bainbridge Island for Seattle
Grab your cameras and watch from the passenger deck as the Seattle skyline draws nearer.
7:15p Downtown Seattle Drop Offs
We’ll drop travelers off where we found them (or another preferred spot nearby).
**This is a sample itinerary provided to outline the flow of the day. The exact destinations mentioned in the itinerary are subject to change based on factors such as weather, time of year, park closures, road traffic, and more. The exact itinerary for your tour will be determined by your expert guide