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The Ultimate Itinerary for 3 Days in Olympic National Park

The Ultimate Itinerary for 3 Days in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is among the best and most diverse U.S. National Parks. From alpine lakes to snow-capped mountains, lush rainforests, beautiful waterfalls, and over 70 miles of coastlines with sea stacks – you need at least 3 days in Olympic National Park to see it all!

It is also the 13th biggest National Park in the country. So it can feel overwhelming when you start planning your trip. That is where my guide comes in.

My Olympic National Park itinerary is detail orientated with everything you need to know to plan your “sweet adventure.” It includes how to get there, where to stay, eat, the best things to do for 3 days in Olympic National Park, and more.

A family with three boys at Ruby Beach with sea stacks in the background.



Best Time to Visit Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is mostly accessible and beautiful year-round, but summertime is the best time to visit. The weather is warmer, drier, and more predictable.

With that said, it is also the busiest time of the year. So you can expect accommodation rates to be high, and limited parking with heavy crowds at the most popular places.

Therefore, I recommend visiting Olympic National Park in late May through June and September through October. These months are considered shoulder seasons, so there are fewer crowds and decent accommodation rates (most lodges in the park are open). However, the weather is unpredictable.

I find unpredictable weather welcoming in Olympic National Park. I expect and want those Twilight vibes, low clouds blanketing the tree tops, and some drizzle on my rain boots.

Hopefully, that is what you will experience for at least one of your 3 days in Olympic National Park. And as one of the wettest regions of the country, it should go without saying, pack a rain jacket!

Elwha Valley in Olympic National Park, the river is a beautiful aqua blue flowing alongside the Olympic Mountain valley.



How to Get to Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is nestled in the northwestern corner of Washington. Whether you live in the Pacific Northwest or fly into Seattle, you need a car to get around Olympic National Park.

By car, it is only two and a half hours away from Seattle, four hours from Portland, and five hours from Vancouver. From Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, there are two different ways to get to the park. You can drive south around Puget Sound or take the ferry.

If you have the time and can take the ferry boat across the Puget Sound to Olympic National Park, DO IT! It is a fun experience and a great way to start your trip. You can either catch the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry or the Seattle-Bremerton ferry.

Taking the ferry is straightforward. However, getting to the ferry terminal can be tricky, and overall the ferry can be more time-consuming than driving directly to the park. In addition to everyday delays from flying, obtaining your rental car, and going to the ferry, you must perfectly time your arrival for the next ferry.

Both ferries have multiple daily crossings (you can check the schedule here), but if you barely miss the ferry, you could wait an hour or more for the next one.

Moreover, if you do not purchase your ferry tickets beforehand, especially during the summer, you might have to wait for the next ferry. But again, if you have the time, the ferry to Olympic National Park is a wonderful experience with breathtaking views.



Where to Eat in Olympic National Park

You will not go hungry at Olympic National Park, but the dining options are few and far between. Therefore when you arrive, I recommend grocery shopping in Port Angeles and buying a cooler (if you did not bring one) for a few reasons.

Time-wise, it will maximize your 3 days in Olympic National Park. You can enjoy a packed breakfast in the car or a picnic lunch after a hike. Some days, you will drive for two to four hours, and a car snack is always a good idea.

Otherwise, there are restaurants in Port Angeles, Forks, and National Park lodges such as Lake Crescent Lodge, Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, and Lake Quinault Lodge.

We always enjoyed breakfast and lunch on the go. Then we went to restaurants at or near our hotel for dinner. Something to consider when you are deciding where to stay.



Where to Stay for 3 Days in Olympic National Park

I recommend two options for staying in Olympic National Park. The first is staying two nights in Port Angeles or Lake Crescent and two nights in Forks. The second is staying in different accommodations almost every night.

Two beds in a hotel room at Lake Crescent Lodge.


Four Nights – Two Accommodations

Port Angeles or Lake Crescent

Staying in Port Angeles is an excellent option because it’s the biggest city near Olympic National Park, which offers more amenities such as restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations. It is also no more than an hour to the first day’s worth of activities at Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, and Sol Duc.

Our favorite place to stay in Port Angeles is Olympic Lodge. Olympic Lodge is a beautiful property that feels rustic (in a homey way) but with a luxurious taste. They have an elegant lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor heated pool, a hot tub, and other thoughtful amenities that will make your stay delightful.

Another option for the first few nights is Lake Crescent—specifically, the historic Lake Crescent Lodge. The resort is among an old-growth forest and hugs the shoreline of the stunning alpine lake. Walk straight to your room after you watch the sun set behind mountains and wake up to the sun shining on the lake.

Staying at Lake Crescent Lodge is the best option if you want to do a lot of recreational activities on the lake. There is also an outstanding restaurant on-site. And you can’t beat the views with easy access to the lake.

We enjoyed staying at Lake Crescent Lodge because it made our fast-paced trip feel a little relaxing.

Family with three boys on a pier at Lake Crescent Lodge in Olympic National Park.

Forks

I recommend spending the last two nights in Forks because it’s a great home base for exploring the Pacific Coast and Hoh Rain Forest. It is not as big as Port Angeles, but the city has the same amenities, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations.

It is also a fun place to stay if you enjoy the Twilight series. Yes, the city is full of Twilight lore – more on that later.

Our favorite place to stay in Forks is Pacific Inn Motel. Pacific Inn Motel has quality service at an affordable price. The rooms are comfortable with all your basic needs. More importantly, the staff provides an excellent guest experience.


Four Nights – Three+ Accommodations

If you want to maximize your driving time and are comfortable changing accommodations every night, this option is for you!

The reasons to stay in each location and our favorite places remain the same. The following information below outlines what multiple accommodations during your 3 days in Olympic National Park will look like.

I recommend Port Angeles for the night you arrive at the park. You can rest from your travel day and buy groceries for the next few days. It is also the closest city to Hurricane Ridge, about a 45-minute drive. So this will help save driving time.

Then I recommend staying at Lake Crescent Lodge or by the lake because much of your time, the first day, will be around that area. It also reduces driving time to Sol Duc the following day.

The last two nights can be at one or two places. You can either spend two nights in Forks or one night in Forks and one night at Kalaloch Lodge. Both locations are 50-60 minutes away from Hoh Rain Forest. So your decision comes down to the following benefits.

  • Staying two nights in Forks – you do not have to pack up again.
  • Staying one night at Kalaloch Lodge – you are staying near the beach for gorgeous views from your room.



3 Days in Olympic National Park Itinerary

Rialto Beach at low tide with a towering sea stack.

You will want to start early every day to get the most out of your 3 days in Olympic National Park. Trust me. It will be worth it!

Olympic National Park spans almost one million acres with three distinct ecosystems – glaciated mountains, a diverse coastline, and lush temperate rainforests. Olympic National Park is unique because you will explore each ecosystem daily. In the morning, you will wander through a magical rainforest while you spend the afternoon on the beach searching for sea life in tide pools.

Each day will require a few hours of driving. I recommend downloading your directions because some areas are so remote your phone will not have a signal. Therefore, it’s best to have your directions downloaded and always ready.

Lastly, this is 3 FULL days! That means you need another day to travel to and from the park. Ideally, that day will also give you time to get settled with groceries and accommodations. The following morning is when your 3 days in Olympic National Park itinerary really begins.

Read next: The Ultimate Itinerary for 3 Days in Big Bend National Park


Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent

Day 2: Sol Duc and the Coast

Day 3: Rainforests and Beaches



Olympic National Park Itinerary Day 1: Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent

The first day of your Olympic National Park itinerary will be among the Olympic Mountains. You will gaze upon the Olympic Mountains range from Hurricane Ridge. Then explore the Lake Crescent area in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains.

Remember, my 3 days in Olympic National Park itinerary begins the day after you arrive. That said, if you have time on your way into the park, you could visit Hurricane Ridge on the day of arrival. From Port Angeles, the drive takes almost an hour. 


Explore Hurricane Ridge

Photo by Zhifei Zhou on Unsplash

Start your day as early as possible to visit Hurricane Ridge. I recommend arriving by 8 am or earlier to stick to your Olympic National Park itinerary and to beat the crowds. Parking is limited and fills up quickly!

At an elevation of 4,242 feet, Hurricane Ridge is the highest point and most easily accessed mountain area by car within Olympic National Park. Thus, Hurricane Ridge is one of the most popular places in Olympic National Park.

This iconic spot has breathtaking panoramic views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountain range and valley. The best part, you can enjoy these views with no effort, just a few steps from the parking lot. Or you can hike one of the trails to get better views.

The best hike at Hurricane Ridge is Hurricane Hill. It is a 3.2-mile round-trip hike with spectacular views every step of the way.

It’s a moderate-level hike on a paved trail that climbs to a vantage point with sweeping 360-degree views of the Olympic Mountains, including Mount Olympus and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. You can even see Vancouver Island, Canada, from here!

The road to Hurricane Ridge can be closed depending on the time of year. So check the NPS website for the most up-to-date information.


Hike to Madison Falls

Madison Falls - an easy family-friendly hike to enjoy for 3 days in Olympic National Park.

Who doesn’t love a beautiful waterfall that takes little effort to see? As you head towards Lake Crescent, quickly stop at Madison Falls to stretch your legs and enjoy the first waterfall of your 3 days in Olympic National Park.

Madison Falls is a straightforward 0.2-mile out-and-back hike on a paved, wheelchair-accessible trail. It’s such an easy hike that some consider it a roadside waterfall – nothing wrong with that!

Make your way on the path that bends around the trees to reveal a stunning 60 ft. waterfall. Soak in the views and feel the thunderous mist on your skin before returning to your car.


Enjoy a Picnic Lunch at Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent - a great place to enjoy a picnic in Olympic National Park.

Lake Crescent is one of the most beautiful places in Olympic National Park. The glacier-carved lake has crystal clear turquoise water surrounded by a forested mountain range. The views will leave you breathless and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a lovely picnic lunch.

Lake Crescent Lodge is a beautiful property and close to Marymere Falls (the next hike on the itinerary). The lodge has an on-site restaurant where you can order food and enjoy it at the beach. The food might be pricey, but it is all delicious and worth it! It will feel like an elevated picnic lunch.

The Log Cabin Resort is across the lake from Lake Crescent Lodge and another wonderful property. It has a restaurant overlooking the lake which serves casual American fare. The resort also has a lakeside deli that offers fresh “grab-and-go” items.

Another option is the general store at the Fairholme Campground for sandwiches, snacks, and soft-serve ice cream. The campground has a public day-use area with picnic tables, a beautiful beach, and a pier.

Read next: Best Kid-Friendly Hikes in Olympic National Park


Hike to Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls - one of the most popular hikes to include in your Olympic National Park Itinerary.

Marymere Falls is a popular family-friendly hike in Olympic National Park because of its easy hiking level to a lovely waterfall. The 1.8-mile roundtrip hike takes you through an old-growth forest, across bridges, and up natural stairs until you reach the 90 ft. waterfall.

When you reach Marymere Falls, there is a lower and upper viewpoint. Both offer incredible views with different perspectives.

If you plan on hiking Mount Storm King, you can begin the hike from Marymere Falls Trail. Turn around from the waterfall and head back to the trailhead, but instead of going all the way, you will turn right at a sign and go up a steep incline. Good luck!


The next three things can be added to your Olympic National Park itinerary based on how you would like to spend your first day.



Hike the Treacherous Mount Storm King

Photo by Perry Kibler on Unsplash

Mount Storm King is undoubtedly the most magnificent and best hikes in Olympic National Park, but it’s also the most challenging. Even avid hikers find this trail difficult. It’s a grueling 4.1-mile out-and-back-hike that takes about three hours to complete.

The trail begins at the same trailhead as Marymere Falls, but instead of continuing on the flat trail, you will make a relentless climb up to Mount Storm King. As you trek through the dense forest, the trail will get steeper with sneak peeks of what’s to come.

Once you arrive at a series of ropes, the real fun begins (aka the most challenging part). It is HIGHLY recommended to bring gloves to climb up and down the ropes safely. After the rope series, you will endure some rock scrambling until you reach the peak of Mount Storm King.

Alas, you can enjoy the most breathtaking views of Lake Crescent. You earned it!


Hike to Devil’s Punchbowl

If you are looking for more hiking after Marymere Falls (and an alternative to Mount Storm King), I recommend Devil’s Punchbowl. It allows more time at Lake Crescent and takes you to a superb location.

Devil’s Punchbowl is a 2.4-mile out-and-back hike on a mostly paved trail. Most of the hike is along Lake Crescent’s shoreline so that you can enjoy its serene beauty almost every step of the way.

When you arrive at Devil’s Punchbowl, a picturesque wooden bridge takes you across the water. The water is so clear and vibrant blue – it is one of the prettiest parts of a lake you will ever see.

Remember your swimsuit to take a refreshing dip in the frigid water. Or relax and enjoy the scenery.


Spend Time on Lake Crescent

A little boy admiring the beauty of Lake Crescent.

There are several fun activities to enjoy at Lake Crescent. You can take a refreshing swim, kayak, canoe, paddle board, or book a scenic boat tour. During the summer, Lake Crescent Lodge and Fairholme Campground General Store offer kayak, canoe, and paddle board rentals. 

If you are staying at Lake Crescent Lodge, Log Cabin Resort, or Fairholme Campground, you are in for a treat. End your first day at Olympic National Park with a sunset at Lake Crescent.



Olympic National Park Itinerary Day 2: Sol Duc and the Coast

The second day of your 3 days in Olympic National Park will be in the Sol Duc area and the coastline. It includes incredible hikes to waterfalls, the northwesternmost point in the country, soaking in hot springs, and scenic strolls on the beach.

Much of the planning on this day will depend on the tide pool schedule. You can see the timetable in advance on this website. If you want to hike to the Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach and go tide pooling at Second Beach, you must plan accordingly.

Moreover, you do not need to do the following activities in the order below. Plan your day to fit your needs based on the tide pool schedule.


Watch Salmon Swim Upstream

A salmon swimming upstream at Sol Duc River a must see experience during your 3 days in Olympic National Park.

The Salmon Cascades overlook is a hidden gem of Olympic National Park. From the platform, you can watch several fish jump over a cascading waterfall in the Sol Duc River as they make their way to spawn.

The views from the overlook are beautiful year-round, but the best time to watch chinook and coho salmon swim upstream is late summer and early fall. You can also see cutthroat and steelhead trout swim upstream in the spring, fall, and winter. So your chances of watching any fish swim upstream year-round are high.


Hike to Sol Duc Falls

Sol Duc Falls - a three segment waterfall cascading into a slot canyon.

Sol Duc Falls is one of the most popular and arguably the best waterfalls in Olympic National Park. It is also our favorite waterfall of the three in this Olympic National Park itinerary.

A 1.6-mile hike leads you through a towering old-growth forest until you reach a rustic wooden bridge that crosses the Sol Duc River. Here, you will discover the best views of Sol Duc Falls, a 50 ft. three-segment waterfall cascading into a deep slot canyon.

The waterfall is so close and thunderous you will feel the mist of the spray and possibly get soaked. All part of the fun and adventure!


Soak in Sol Duc Hot Springs

If you are like me, and cannot resist relaxing in a hot spring, pack your swimsuit and add this to your itinerary! The Sol Duc Hot Springs has three Mineral Hot Spring soaking pools and one freshwater pool. The soaking pools vary in temperature from 99 to 104 degrees, with a wading pool for all ages and two 3 ft. deep pools.

The soaking pools are naturally formed by spring water that comes from rain and melted snow. The spring water seeps through cracks in sedimentary rocks, merging with gasses from cooling volcanic rocks. Then the spring water rises to the surface along a larger aperture or fissure to create mineral spring water that can enrich our bodies.

Anyone can soak in the pools. Day passes are available to non-hotel guests with towel rentals and lockers. The Sol Duc Hot Springs is usually open from March through October but always check the operating schedule.


Stand on the Northwesternmost Point in the U.S.

Cape Flattery, the northerwestmost point in the contiguous United States. One of the best places to include in a 3 days in Olympic National Park itinerary,

Going to Cape Flattery is one of the best things to do in 3 days in Olympic National Park. There are a lot of highlights from our trip, and this might be the highest.

Cape Flattery is the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States, but it’s more than that. It is breathtaking cliffside views of the deep blue ocean, pine trees along the bluff, rugged sea stacks, sea caves, and excellent wildlife-watching opportunities. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, puffins, sea lions, and orca whales.

To get there, you must obtain a Makah Tribe Recreation Permit. You can purchase one from various local businesses. The Museum of Makah Culture and Research is one of the best places to get a permit because you can also learn about the Makah Tribe’s heritage and culture. Another great option is the Makah Mini Mart because it has early and late operating hours.

The hike is an easy 1.2-mile out-and-back trail with several wooden boardwalks. The hardest part is not to slip and fall because it can get muddy and wet. Besides that, the Cape Flattery Trail is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. 


The following two beaches on the Olympic National Park itinerary should be planned based on the tide pool schedule.



Hike to Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach

A sea stack in view of the Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach.

Forget your flip-flips for Rialto Beach because you will need closed-toe shoes, if not hiking shoes.

To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed when I first stepped foot on Rialto Beach, but one mile into my hike and the beauty of Rialto Beach unveiled itself as one of the most dramatic beaches I’ve ever seen.

Rialto Beach is lovely, with multi-color pebbles, black sand, and bleached driftwood along the shore. Its main attraction is the 3.3-mile out-and-back trail to the Hole in the Wall.

The Hole in the Wall is one of the most photographed places in Olympic National Park, and rightfully so. The experience is an adventure with scenic views every step of the way of waves crashing onto the shore, towering sea stacks, and tide pools filled with sea life.

The hike is challenging because some parts of the beach feel like mud from the small pebbles mixed with black sand, but it is worth it. It is also only doable during low tide, so plan accordingly.

Once you arrive at the Hole in the Wall, enjoy walking under the arch, take Instagram-worthy photos with sea stacks in view, and explore tide pools.


Catch the Sunset or Go Tide Pooling at Second Beach

Green sea anemone in a tide pool at Olympic National Park, one of the best things to do.

Of all the beaches, Second Beach surprised us the most with its adventure and beauty. Second Beach is the most popular of the three La Push beaches. It is also one of the best beaches in Olympic National Park, and getting there is an incredible experience.

You have to hike 1-mile through a lush forest before your feet touch the sand. Once you arrive, you are rewarded with sweeping views of a sandy beach and towering sea stacks.

Second Beach is a gorgeous beach that feels like a hidden gem since you hike to get there. Unfortunately, it is well known because of its tremendous tide pooling of sea life and spectacular sunsets.

If you are lucky, you can experience a picturesque low-tide sunset. Otherwise, if you have more than 3 days in Olympic National Park, I recommend returning to Second Beach so you can enjoy both experiences.



Olympic National Park Itinerary Day 3: Rainforests and Beaches

Finish your 3 days in Olympic National Park with magic! You will experience two lush rainforests that feel like you stepped into a fairytale book and witness two awe-inspiring trees—one that appears to be floating in mid-air and another as the largest in the world.


Step into an Enchanted Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest one of the most iconic places in Olympic National Park.

The Hoh Rain Forest is a must-see magical place in Olympic National Park. It is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the country, with over 100 types of moss, ferns, and green canopies of coniferous and deciduous species. Its diverse ecosystem also makes it a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

As one of the most popular places in Olympic National Park, Hoh Rain Forest can get crowded. The parking lot is also limited.

So I recommend you arrive as early as possible, i.e., before 8:00 a.m., and catch the sunlight peeking through the dense canopy without the noise of crowds. Trust me. It will make the experience more extraordinary.


Hike Hall of Mosses

The entire Hoh Rain Forest is breathtaking, but when people picture and talk about it, they specifically refer to the Hall of Mosses. Every Olympic National Park itinerary includes the Hall of Mosses because it is the most enchanting forest you will find.

The Hall of Moses is an easy one-way 0.8-mile loop that takes you on a magical journey through the rain forest blanketed with mosses, ferns, and towering tree canopies that look like its dancing in the wind. It almost feels otherworldly.

Towering trees covered in moss at Hoh Rain Forest - a place you must include in your 3 days in Olympic National Park itinerary.


Hike Spruce Nature Trail

The Spruce Nature Trail is another great hike in Hoh Rain Forest. Often overlooked by the Hall of Mosses, the Spruce Nature Trail is a lovely part of the rainforest.

The Spruce Nature Trail is a 1.2-mile loop through an old and new-growth forest. You will walk under arched trees alongside Taft Creek and the Hoh River. If you are lucky, you can also find Roosevelt Elk meandering through the moss-covered trees.


Enjoy Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach with some tree lined sea stacks.

Ruby Beach is known as the crown jewel of Olympic National Park (no pun intended) for its epic scenery. This stretch of coastline has dramatic tree-topped sea stacks, bountiful driftwood, and ruby-like crystals along its pebbled shore.

Ruby Beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll (with closed-toed shoes), discovering little coves, and exploring tide pools. Starfish and sea anemones are known to be abundant around the bases of the sea stacks.

It is also a famous beach for stunning sunsets. So if time permits, you can end your 3 days in Olympic National Park watching the sun paint the ocean orange.


Marvel at the Awe-Inspiring Tree of Life

The Tree of Life, a Sitka Spruce tree that appears to be hanging in mid-air!

Kalaloch Beach is one of the few beaches on the Olympic National Park coastline with an extensive sandy shore. It is also more famously known as the home of The Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is a Sitka Spruce tree perched between two cliffs over an eroding river bed. Its roots stretch for their life, making the tree appear suspended in mid-air!

Beneath the unique tree is a completely exposed cave. It is a fascinating phenomenon to add to your Olympic National Park itinerary because you never know when the Tree of Life will fall by its last limb.


Explore Quinault Rain Forest

I like saving Quinault Rain Forest for last because it is en route to Seattle. Some may ask if it’s worth visiting after Hoh Rain Forest, and I say absolutely! Quinault Rain Forest is blanketed with lush moss and is home to some of the most giant trees in the world. It is also adjacent to Lake Quinault, a gorgeous glacier-fed lake with mountains in the backdrop.

Since it’s been a long day, I recommend hiking the Quinault Rainforest Nature Loop trail to experience this temperate rainforest. The Quinault Rainforest Nature Loop is an easy 0.9-mile loop that connects to a more extensive trail system. The hike takes you by a river and a small waterfall while you enjoy the serenity of the lush tree canopy.


Gaze Upon the Largest Sitka Spruce Tree

World's largest Sitka Spruce Tree at Quinault Rain Forest a hidden gem for an Olympic National Park itinerary.

Quinault Rain Forest is known as the Valley of the Rain Forest Giants because it is home to six of the eight giant trees – indeed, a “forest of giants.” The world’s largest Sitka Spruce tree is the most popular tree to see.

The Sitka Spruce tree is roughly 1,000 years old, standing 191 feet tall with a circumference of 58 feet, 11 inches, and a diameter of 18 feet, 9 inches. Needless to say, this tree is enormous and a sight to see.

To access the Sitka Spruce tree, you need to find the Big Spruce Trailhead. It is located across the street from the Rain Forest Resort Village general store, and there are signs for parking. It is an easy 0.4-mile out-and-back hike on a wide trail.



Things to Do with More Than 3 Days in Olympic National Park

Since we started traveling with kids, having an extra day is always a good idea for us in case we run out of time – or if we want to see and do it all in one trip. So although you can do a lot with 3 days in Olympic National Park, if you have more time, here is how you can utilize it.

First, you can enjoy anything you missed the previous days. Such as tide pooling, watching the sunset on the beach, soaking in the hot springs, or revisiting one of your favorite places you want to spend more time in.

Furthermore, this itinerary is here to help you plan. You do not need to follow it step by step, so you can stretch the days by doing fewer activities per day. Otherwise, here are more things to add to your Olympic National Park itinerary.


Immerse in the Twilight Vibe in Forks

Two red trucks from the Twilight Saga books and movies located in Forks.

I know I have yet to mention it, but calling all Twihards – spend some time exploring Forks to immerse yourself in Twilight lore. Although the movies were mostly filmed outside Forks, the city has embraced its Twilight fandom. There might not be sparkling vampires and werewolves walking the streets, but many local businesses have cardboard cutouts of Bella, Edward, and Jacob.

You can start at the Forks Chamber of Commerce and take a picture with Bella’s red truck, the book, and the movie version. Then go inside to download the Forks Chamber of Commerce Twilight map and embark on a self-guided Twilight tour. You can also visit Rainforest Arts Center to view the world’s largest Twilight Saga props and costumes collection.

A Twilight Treaty Line sign outside of 3 Rivers resort Restaurant in Forks.

The 3 Rivers Resort Restaurant is a great place to sink your teeth into something delicious with a Twilight-themed menu. They also have a vampire threat detector and a “Treaty Line” sign outside the restaurant. For die-hard fans, you can stay at the “Cullen House” (the book version) or a Twilight-themed room at the Pacific Inn Motel.


Shi Shi Beach

For an epic PNW bucket list adventure, hike to Shi Shi Beach. Better yet, you can camp at Shi Shi Beach for one of the most incredible experiences in Olympic National Park..

The 8.8-mile out-and-back hike is moderately challenging because you have to get down and dirty on a muddy trail. Every step and effort is worth it though. Shi Shi Beach is one of the best beaches in Olympic National Park. The coastline is gorgeous, with staggering rock formations, coves, tide pools, and a picturesque sunset if you stay long enough.

Shi Shi Beach is located in Olympic National Park, but the entrance and most of the trail are on Makah Indian Reservation. So like Cape Flattery, you must obtain a Makah Reservation permit. The permit is valid for the calendar year, so if you already got one for Cape Flattery, you can use it again. Moreover, you can combine Cape Flattery and Shi Shi Beach in one day.


Spend More Time at Lake Crescent

Bleached driftwood along the shore of Lake Crescent with a mountain in the backdrop.

One of our favorite areas in Olympic National Park is Lake Crescent. There is much to do here, especially if you stay at the beautiful Lake Crescent Lodge. If you want to do everything on the first day of this itinerary, with more than 3 days in Olympic National Park, you can.

Hike all the best trails near Lake Crescent – Marymere, Mount Storm King, and Devil’s Punchbowl. Enjoy fun activities at the lake, such as a picnic on the beach, jumping from the dock, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, or a scenic boat tour.

That concludes my 3 days in Olympic National Park itinerary. I hope you have found it helpful, and have a great trip!

Michelle Rosace

Tuesday 23rd of April 2024

This is an awesome, thorough itinerary that I will definitely use coming from Ohio. One question, I do not need day hiking permits or any reservations for any part of the park, correct? I am staying in Port Angeles and Forks per your suggestions! The Mount Rainier reservation system has thrown me for a loop, haha.

oursweetadventures

Wednesday 1st of May 2024

Aww thank you so much for your kind words! The only permit you need is if you want to hike Cape Flattery. I mention how and where to get those. Otherwise, you just need the park entry ticket. I hope you have a great trip!

Ann Megnin

Friday 25th of August 2023

Love your itinerary and comments. My husband and I decided to stay in Port Angeles for our 3 days in Olympic Park. We are coming Sept. 7th and can't wait. How long will it take us to get to Sol Duc area from Port Angeles? and then to the hoh Rainforest area? I like your hike suggestions as we are not into strenuous hikes or camping but we did plan this sorta at the last minute and didn't get housing within the park. Thanks in advance for your response.

Ann Megnin retired teacher

oursweetadventures

Saturday 26th of August 2023

I also just published a post for kid-friendly hikes in Olympic National Park. You might find a hike or two more there and with further details.

oursweetadventures

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Hi Ann, thank you so much for your kind words and comment. I’m so happy to hear my post has been helpful to you. It’s about an hour from Port Angeles to Sol Duc. Then about 1 hr 45 mins from Sol Duc to Hoh. Definitely doable for one day. If y’all are early risers, I would suggest Hoh first to beat the crowds.

Another area to look into for accommodations would be Forks. If they have availability for at least one night, I would recommend staying there. I hope you have a great trip!

Richard Grasso

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

Really through and well written so easy to understand.

oursweetadventures

Sunday 20th of August 2023

Thank you so much!