The perfect Washington national parks itinerary, with a complete, insider guide to Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park, with the best things to do in each area, and tips on accommodation! #WashingtonThe perfect Washington national parks itinerary, with a complete, insider guide to Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park, with the best things to do in each area, and tips on accommodation! #Washington

Welcome to Washington state, the type of position the place we’re so spoiled for selection that any seek advice from will lead to more than one heartbreaking selections.

OK sure, I’m being dramatic, however there are such a lot of mountain trails to make a choice from, it might take months simply to scratch the outside.

But maximum people don’t have months, we best have days!

I visited Washington on the finish of August with one purpose in thoughts: See as lots of the nationwide parks – Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades – as I may with best 8 days.

Under a identical time crunch? Just wish to see the most efficient within the state has to provide? I were given you! This is one epic Washington nationwide parks highway travel itinerary:

Mount Rainier National Park

Before we commence, it’s value noting that there is not any actual appropriate or improper order to try this nationwide parks itinerary in. I performed with transferring across the order of each and every park and it doesn’t matter what, it takes about the same quantity of riding time (assuming you’re flying into and out of Seattle). If you’re squeezing this all into 8 days like I did, it’s a large number of time within the automobile, however the drives are beautiful and we didn’t thoughts them an excessive amount of!

So with that stated, be happy to transport this round by any means that fits you.

mount rainier national parkmount rainier national park
The Skyline path

Proceeding within the order that I did it, this itinerary starts with Mount Rainier nationwide Park’s most renowned hike, the Skyline path.

Mount rainier may also be visual from a lot of the state. It’s a behemoth energetic volcano emerging up at over 14,400 toes above sea degree and dominating the skyline. I used to be enchanted through it.

mount rainier national park pinnacle peakmount rainier national park pinnacle peak

Skyline path, or any path from the Paradise lot

Prepare for this to be lovely filled with other people, as there are lots of other trails all embarking from the Paradise parking space the place the Skyline Trail is. My favourite factor to do in nationwide parks is to move when other folks don’t pass – appropriate round dawn and sundown. I did this hike at sundown and through then most of the people had already left, plus, that’s when the lights and the colours are at their maximum impressive!

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Partway up the path – wonderful perspectives!

If you’re now not happy with climbing back off at the hours of darkness with a headlamp, simply pass just a little ahead of sundown, it’s nonetheless certain to be higher than going noon.

Waterfalls + Lakes

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What a deal with as soon as the mist cleared (despite the fact that it used to be cool whilst misty too)

For some selection, be sure that to try Christine and Comet falls in addition to image lake for an excellent mirrored image of mount rainier.

For my 2nd night time within the park, I selected pinnacle Peak, the 1.Three mile hike appropriate throughout from image lake. It’s now not as in style, and that’s most certainly what made it so superb! The sundown used to be magical and there used to be just one different particular person up there to proportion it with. That used to be reasonably the distinction to the skyline Trail, and a welcome one at that!

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My favourite

This is only one aspect of the park, with many choices at the dawn aspect as smartly. I am going into element on each and every of those hikes in my 48 hours in Mount Rainier nationwide Park put up. You can test it out right here!

Stay: I stayed on the Alexander Lodge (associate hyperlink) simply outdoor of the southwestern park front. It’s a 1910 ancient house and whilst now not the perfect position I’ve ever stayed, it used to be completely situated for our adventures and suited us simply wonderful. Plus the cost used to be appropriate!

Olympic National Park

washington national parks rialto beach in Olympic national parkwashington national parks rialto beach in Olympic national park
washington nationwide parks rialto seashore in Olympic nationwide park

Making your approach to the coast, the Olympic nationwide Park and nationwide woodland area covers reasonably a large number of floor. In order to peer lots of the issues in this record, it’s perfect to make your approach to Port Angeles or Sequim.

Beaches

From there, it’s nonetheless a couple of 2-hour power to what I’d suggest for no less than one sundown whilst in Olympic – Rialto, Ruby, or Second seashore. You’ll cross through the pretty Crescent Lake for your method!

At the time that I went, 2nd seashore used to be closed in order that made it a very simple selection for Rialto seashore and the outlet within the wall!

Tides topic right here, and in the event you pass at prime tide like we did, that’ll imply enjoying jungle gymnasium at the downed bushes at the coastline to steer clear of the waves. I in fact had a good time with that and suggest nonetheless going although it’s prime tide.

That did imply that we couldn’t actually see or stroll throughout the hollow within the wall for sundown, however you’ll’t be in all places at the easiest time! You can test the tides right here.

It’s additionally imaginable to camp at the seashore. You can reserve a allow right here.

Hoh Rainforest

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The Hoh rainforest through Nathan Dumalo (the one photograph on this put up now not through me)

The Hoh Rainforest is some other well-known spot in Olympic National Park, and person who I didn’t have time for sadly. However many locals really helpful it to me, so I’m sticking it right here as a way to test it out if it moves your fancy. There’s additionally a campsite that you’ll reserve!

Hurricane Ridge

I determined to try the dawn ridge up within the mountains of the nationwide park for dawn. It’s a gorgeous simple, fast stroll to a ravishing dawn view. I like to recommend following it up with the three mile Hurricane Ridge – additionally paved and a gorgeous simple path to a few gorgeous mountain perspectives.

If you will have just a little extra time and wish to tackle a problem, the Lake Angeles Trail brings you to a ravishing blue lake that on a transparent day, appears to be like completely surprising. I had each and every aim of checking it out however with all the dawn and sundown wake americaand lengthy days, determined to present it a skip in want of a few harder hikes in a while within the travel.

These are only a few out of many, many climbing choices within the house, and identical to the Rainier ideas, may best come up with a style of the most efficient the park has to provide. But since maximum people are on restricted time, those are the decisions that I made and I used to be pleased with.

From there it’s a couple of 4-hour power over to the North Cascades area, both taking a ferry (ebook forward of time!) or riding again round Tacoma and up via Seattle.

Stay: Like in Olympic, I stayed in a gorgeous fundamental motel, the Olympic View Inn, close to the park front in Sequim. It wasn’t wonderful however what did I care since I used to be spending my time outdoor?

North Cascades National Park

washington national parks itinerary north cascades national park maple pass hikewashington national parks itinerary north cascades national park maple pass hike
Maple Pass

Unlike Mount Rainier and Olympic National parks, North Cascades does now not have as a lot building or main cities within sight. I discovered that this one takes just a little extra making plans and if you’ll arrange it, getting a place at Newhalem campground within the nationwide park will put you just a little extra centrally-located.

If you’ll’t swing that, you’ll do what we did and backcountry camp outdoor of the nationwide park at the nationwide woodland lands, in fact only if you allow no hint. You can learn extra about my backpacking packing record and get my unfastened outside 101 direction right here.

That stated, I’d do issues just a little otherwise now that I’ve extra wisdom, and suggest the next:

The West aspect: Picture Lake and Shuksan Glacier

Start through preventing at image lake for dawn and/or doing the in a single day hike to Lake Ann for Shuksan glacier perspectives. This isn’t to be perplexed with Lake Ann down through Rainy cross, which you’ll’t camp on. (Which I did confuse for reasonably some time whilst doing my analysis, why oh why identify to lakes the similar factor?)

Diablo Lake + Pass Trails

From there, attempt to ebook an evening within the Newhalem campground and do the cascade cross path. This is one of the crucial in style path within the nationwide Park, so stay that during thoughts along with your timing.

The Sahale arm may be a surprising a part of the hike, and if you’ll be able to get lets in, backpacking and overnighting there’s completely gorgeous.

north cascades national park diablo lakenorth cascades national park diablo lake
At the put out of your mind

For a faster, more straightforward win you’ll additionally head to Diablo lake for that minty inexperienced lake hue. There’s a hike and likewise an put out of your mind that you’ll simply power as much as. Ross lake is some other in style house, despite the fact that you’ll wish to boat in.

Instead of maximum of the ones choices, I selected to hike the Maple Pass, which I will be able to wholeheartedly suggest! It has its similarities to the cascade cross, however includes a beautiful lake view of Lake Ann — you recognize, the different Lake Ann — in addition to fantastic perspectives of glacier capped mountains within the distance. The most sensible of maple cross is particularly spectacular, with cascading, sweeping mountain perspectives. It’s no marvel how the park were given its identify!!

maple pass trail north cascades national parkmaple pass trail north cascades national park

Instead, I selected to hike the maple cross, which I will be able to wholeheartedly suggest! It has its similarities to the cascade cross, however includes a beautiful lake view of the lake and, other to the lake and discussed ahead of, in addition to fantastic perspectives of glacier capped mountains within the distance. The most sensible of Maple cross is particularly spectacular, with cascading, sweeping mountain perspectives. It’s no marvel how the park were given its identify!

As with the opposite suggestions, there are lots of hikes you’ll make a choice from in North Cascades National Park. Many would require that you just actually paintings for it, gaining hundreds of toes in elevation as you pass. These are dramatic, fast emerging mountains. If you’re used to nationwide parks in different spots like California and Utah, you will be stunned at how a lot steeper the Washington hikes may also be.

But they’re all the time well worth the effort!

Visiting Washington? Here is the perfect Washington national park itinerary to help you plan an awesome outdoor adventure! See the best things to do in Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park, plus tips on accommodation to make planning easy! #WashingtonVisiting Washington? Here is the perfect Washington national park itinerary to help you plan an awesome outdoor adventure! See the best things to do in Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park, plus tips on accommodation to make planning easy! #Washington

While those are one of the crucial perfect spots to try within the nationwide parks, don’t fail to remember the nationwide forests and abundance of mountains far and wide the western a part of the state. Visiting best made me wish to see extra!

Washington is a in reality gorgeous state, and in the event you’re anything else like me, those nationwide parks will best whet your PNW urge for food.

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