Welcome to part two of our epic 8-day Pacific Northwest road trip exploring Olympic National Park! We saw some of the most insanely beautiful sights, laughed at all the nods to the movie Twilight, and just enjoyed connecting with nature and exploring a new part of the country we’ve never been to.
Before we get going, be sure to check out the first leg of our epic Pacific Northwest trip starting in Seattle here!
Day 1: Port Angeles, a Waterfall & Mountain top
Checked out of our awesome hotel, W Seattle, and made our way to the rental car shop to finally pick up a car. We had decided to walk and/or take a Lyft everywhere in town to save some money on parking and renting the car.
We made it down to Tacoma, Washington, and stopped for a late breakfast at an adorable cafe called Red Elm Cafe. We had yummy breakfast sandwiches and shared a Belgium waffle.
Continuing our drive to Port Angeles, we crossed over the Tacoma Narrow’s, twin seafoam green suspension bridges over Puget Sound.
Arrived in Port Angeles and checked into our hotel the Olympic Lodge, a quaint and rustic spot near the park. We grabbed some fast food before heading to our first destination.
We finally made it to Olympic National Park and we found a stop along Lake Crescent. A beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and forests with crystal clear blue and turquoise water. It was such a peaceful scene.
Read more about our trip to Lake Crescent here.
After visiting the lake, we decided to do a small hike to Marymere Falls nestled deep in the thick forest near Lake Crescent. This was a fairly easy hike, mostly level surface surrounded by amazing trees, lush ferns, and other vegetation. When you get closer to the falls, you hear the rushing of a Falls Creek and soon see a staircase that elevates you for the perfect views of the falls.
On the way back we spontaneously decided to try the Mount Storm King hike. Sadly, we were not prepared for the dozens of switchbacks, and not even halfway up we pass some hikers coming downhill who let us know we weren’t even close to the top and we decided to head back down and spend the time in some other destinations. It was exhausting!
Read more about our trip to Marymere Falls here.
On our drive to our next destination, we stop by the shore of the Elwha River – it had such a beautiful shade of seafoam green and was a serene stop.
We make it to our next destination, Hurricane Ridge, and pay the entrance fee to get in. We spent about 2 hours driving up the mountain, taking in the views, and driving back down. Surprised by the almost 20 feet of snow at the top, we took our time observing all the hills and valleys we could see.
Back in Port Angeles, we stopped for dinner at a local pizza shop called Gordy’s Pizza & Pasta. After dinner, we made it back to our hotel and had just enough time to soak in the hot tub before the pool hours ended for the evening.
Day 2: A Rainforest, a Beach, & Twilight
Began our drive back to Olympic National Park with a quick visit to Lake Crescent once again. We were driving by on our destination and the whole day felt different so we decided to check it out.
We stop at a gas station and convenience store along our way to Rialto Beach to get gas and drinks and were surprised to find so much Twilight (movie) related signage. There was a vampire threat sign, a huge billboard with painted wood cut-outs of the movie’s two lead male characters, and there was even a treaty line. If you’re a Twilight nerd, you’d find this entertaining. Apparently, this is also a resort called Three Rivers Resort.
We arrive at Rialto Beach and find a parking space. The sky is very grey on our visit giving us the eerie Pacific Northwest vibes we didn’t get in Seattle with the sunshine and blue skies that were around on our visit. We walk along the coast, see tide pools, eagles, and beautiful scenes.
We decided it was time to get lunch and we found a restaurant in the city of Forks. For those of you who are into Twilight, you’ll know this is the city they all live in. We may or may not have driven by Forks High School only to be disappointed that all they did was use the sign and the school looks completely different. We stopped for lunch at a little local bar & grill called Blakeslee before we made our way to the next stop.
The Hoh Rainforest
We make it to the Hoh Rainforest and decide to take the Hall of Mosses trail and it was incredible. The trees, the moss, the ferns everywhere was such a sight to see. It was so peaceful and beautiful.
It was close to dinner time and we had to decide whether we wanted to eat dinner at the same Italian restaurant Edward & Bella ate at in Twilight (come on, it’s the novelty of it all!) or go on one more adventure. We chose adventure and decided to drive up to Cape Flattery, the Northwesternmost tip of the United States, instead.
This trip required us to get a different park pass as this land belongs to the Makah Tribe. We found one of the stops to get a pass in a general store and made our way up to the top of the cape. Once we got to the top, we can see we were 2 of few people up there. To get to the cape, you had to hike through .75 miles of a mix of dirt, boardwalks, and stairs along the trail. Once we got to the point we were rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views. Our phones thought we were in Canada we were so far north.
The walk back to the car was eerie as we knew we were all alone. Our drive back to the hotel was on a pitch-black country road so it was a little spooky. We got back to Port Angeles around 10 pm and all the restaurants were closed since it was a Sunday night so we settled for fast food. Did we make the right decision to do this trip last minute? Absolutely.
That sums up our two days in Olympic National Park! Two days is nowhere near enough time to truly experience the splendor and beauty of this National Park, however, we were packing a lot into this trip so this was just a taste. I dream about visiting the park again in the future.
Check out the final part of our epic Pacific Northwest trip in Portland, Oregon here!