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Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

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ny
posts: 10
reviews: 8
Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

Original Itinerary: 10/17-10/20 Mt. Ranier (10/20-10/22 Seattle)

Method of Travel while in Seattle: Renting Car

Seeking: Hiking- moderate at times, easy at times, some scenic views, with on site lodging

Lodging preferences: private room with private bath

Budget: $164/night is what we were going to pay for a room at the National Park Inn at Mt. Ranier.

As most are aware, the national parks are closed due to a government shut down. While there is a chance they may reopen, I must explore alternate lodging and plans for myself and my travel companion. We still want to have a getaway within the trip that revolves around the outdoors. (This is my second time in Seattle and my companion will have already have been in Seattle for 4 days prior to my arrival for a conference.) My knee jerk reaction was jump on the Amtrak to Vancouver, thinking everything will be open, but then my brain switched off of ignorant and dramatic and I have since been trying to explore state parks and some islands (Whidbey Island is on a tab in my browser right now) as alternatives in Washington state and around Seattle.

Typically I would do weeks of research and only then post a more specific, well researched question about my options, but being that time is limited and there is so much information and it seems my options have gone from 1-20 in the course of a few google searches, so I am asking for some help with suggestions. Thank you for any recommendations and your feedback! Either way I can't wait to visit again.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,961
reviews: 5
1. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

Once again if why not consider Lake Quinault and the Olympic Beaches. Several places to stay at Quinault. No access to the mountains with the shutdown, but some of the most beautiful rainforest and coastline you will ever see. Google Quinault Rainforest. Then if you are interested get back to me for suggestions. Very different then Rainier, but still a great option.

Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,544
reviews: 30
2. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

Another idea: Drive up to the Methow Valley and stay at Sun Mountain Lodge (there is plenty of other lodging but that is a nice place with their own trail system. Look at tripadvisor under Winthrop or Mazama for other options). Tons of (non-park) hiking, biking, any outdoor activity you could want, 3.5-4 hour drive from Seattle. You get to drive over the very scenic North Cascades Hwy. The fall colors should be lighting up (they are late this year and really haven't started up there yet).

Vancouver is certainly a good idea if you want city.You could also rent a car from there and hike in Garabaldi Provincial Park if you wanted to.

Seattle
posts: 31,087
reviews: 14
3. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

It's a bit longer drive, but you could go out to the coast. There's lots of towns and I'm sure you could find some places in that price range especially this time of year I like the area of Graylands, Ocean Shores, etc.

suze

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 8,052
reviews: 378
4. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

You're in the mountains at Lake Quinault, and there are trails nearby (we also took a 3-hour tour that stopped at many places while circling the lake), though it's true you're not up in the high peaks of the park. The lodge is operating as usual. It's near the park, though surrounded by national forest (I believe it's open because it's on private land or on land leased from the local Native American tribe, which does set policies for lake access). We stopped at some scenic beaches nearby (presumably those administered by the NPS are closed).

ny
posts: 10
reviews: 8
5. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

Thank you so much for all of the suggestions and ideas.

I am liking everything I have read so far about Lake Quinault. I like that if for some reason the parks do not open by the time we get there, there is still plenty to do and we are close to the coast so that can also be a good option for a day trip or an overnight if we need a change of scenery. I like that the drive is somewhat shorter from Seattle because my friend is the only one that drives. And if the parks do open then that just adds another option.

The Lake Quinault Lodge is booked for the dates we are there, but the rain forest resort village has rooms available. I have also started to browse the vacation rentals along the coast by Pacific Beach State Park.

I did look up some information on Winthrop, but all the properties seem to already be booked and I am actually already a little bias towards Lake Quinault already. Any additional recommendations for this area would helpful, although I am going to go search the forums for whatever is already posted. Thanks again!

Edited: 11:46 pm, October 06, 2013
st louis
posts: 262
reviews: 28
6. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

We stayed at the Quinault River Inn. We liked the location on the river. It was a short drive to the lodge and hikes. The owners were very nice. We loved the Quinault rain forest. Have a great time!

Seattle
posts: 31,087
reviews: 14
7. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

Nothing wrong with Lake Quinault. I personally just happen to prefer the ocean/coast.

suze

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,961
reviews: 5
8. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

If you want the Ocean go to Pacific Beach. I personallyam not a fan of that part of the coast. If you want something that resembles a Natioanl Park experience go to Quinault. Gorgeous rainforest with record trees, nice walks among waterfalls in an amzing eco system unique in the world. Rainforest Resort offers trail right out the door, is on the Lake and has a variety of acommadations. The rooms are, however, older. It is on the South Shore Road and close to the Lodge. The River Inn is on the North Shore Road and means a short drive to the nature trails. It is a nice small hote that is on the river where it empties into the Lake. Its rooms are all the same, but comfortable and more modern. There is also the Lake Quinault Resort just up the road.

You can still of course eat at the Lodge and sit in their lobby in front of their large fireplace.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,580
reviews: 6
9. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

Nicole, I have waited to comment because I keep hoping the shutdown will end. As the whole, horrible exercise shows no sign of stopping, I am going to weigh in. If this debacle does not end by 10/17, which is the first date of your trip, you will not want to travel at all because the country will have entered default. This is a disaster beyond comprehension. Rather than looking for alternative destinations, you should be looking at trip insurance that will enable you to cancel at the last minute without losing a fortune.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,961
reviews: 5
10. Re: Alternate destination options to Mt. Ranier

None of us know what will happen of course, but I would wager they not default. I have trip planned, around the same time an I am not canceling.