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“Great way to see as much as possible in a limited amount of time with my 12 and 16 year old children” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Experience Olympic Tours

Experience Olympic Tours
306 West 3rd Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362
360-808-9237
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Ranked #1 of 16 Activities in Port Angeles
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Fee: Yes
Owner description: Experience Olympic leads small ecotours out of Port Angeles, Washington to outstanding hiking and wildlife viewing destinations in and around Olympic National Park. Your naturalist guide customizes your tour for all ages and abilities to create the best half-day or full-day ecotour to local destinations - like Hurricane Ridge, the Elwha River,and Olympic tide pools.
Boston suburbs
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great way to see as much as possible in a limited amount of time with my 12 and 16 year old children”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We had planned to take a Monday 7AM ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and spend as much time in Olympic National Park as possible and catch a Tuesday 7:30PM flight from SeaTac to San Francisco. We soon realized that trying to do all of the top 10 or so things to do was just not possible. Also, all tours I found would only do one or two things and then let you have "time to yourself", which was not appealing. Then I found Carolyn's website, saw what was then three or four reviews at tripadvisor, and checked the Chamber of Commerce & BBB. All were very positive and I reached out to Carolyn and we planned a great trip.

The key to the success of the trip was Carolyn. She helped me decide on what to see/do/drop, came prepared with snacks/water, and her little toys (excellent binoculars, birding cope, nighttime headlights for the pre sunset hick to the beach, etc) She truly was prepared for all, including rain ponchos which we thankfully didn't need.

I was also impressed at how she engaged my 12 &16 year old boy/girl who were not that thrilled about nature hikes. Carolyn always found things to point out and soon enough the attitude of "why can't I just stay in the car" was gone and everyone enjoyed the walk. Highlights ranged from spotting a Bald Eagle, to searching for and sampling three or four different berries growing along the path, to a two inch plus slug complete with a bio lesson!

Although she already had a half day tour booked for Monday morning, she gave directions and suggestions that allowed us to visit Hurricane Ridge on our own when we arrived in Port Angeles. She gave directions to a great place in town to stock up for a picnic lunch, and more important, to a picnic location away from the beaten path where the four of us had a peaceful lunch with the panorama on the attached picture all to ourselves. We then met Carolyn around 3 and she guided us the rest of the day through the next day returning to Port Angeles around 1:30 or so.

As we planned these two days, we had a second hurdle to overcome. Low tide was at 5:30 AM on Tuesday and quite a distance from Port Angeles. Carolyn suggested a place for us to overnight and she offered to camp nearby. This allowed us to hike along the mouth of the Elwa River, explore Ruby Beach, have dinner looking out on Crescent Lake, and a moonlit stroll along the Beach in LaPush all on Monday. Tuesday started at 5 AM for the ride/hike to Second Beach for tide pooling and a terrific sunrise. We then went back to the room to pack and were off to hiking in Hoh Rain Forest and a short walk tossing lots of stones into the Hoh River. Around noon we reluctantly acknowledge it was time to head back to Port Angeles and then south to the airport.

We really recommend Carolyn. It really felt more like we were out with a friend than a hired guide and her ability to connect with our teens was impressive.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carolyn W, Owner at Experience Olympic Tours, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
Thank you for the detailed and relevant review for a custom and private family tour of Olympic National Park. I am so glad that you felt you were guided by a friend. As much as I strive to be professional, it certainly feels good to be made to feel like a part of the family. I am also happy to hear that I successfully engaged your teenagers, as it is a preferred age group for me as a former secondary teacher.

I should add that we were unable to make it to Ruby Beach but instead checked out a great little gem of a beach on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are so many beaches on the Olympic Peninsula that it is hard to keep them all straight. I find it especially confusing that there is 1st Beach, 2nd Beach, and 3rd Beach as well as Beach 1, Beach 2, and Beach 3.

Lastly, I am happy to hear that you felt it was okay to amend some destinations as well as add an overnight to your Olympic Peninsula trip. It was great to collaborate with you to create a memorable trip. I think it ended up working out well and I am glad that you felt that same way!
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42 reviews from our community

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English first
Seadrift, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“See what you don`t see even though you are seeing it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

I found "Experience Olympic" while researching hiking and touring options for the Olympic Peninsula. What a fortunate outcome. Carolyn is a delightful person to spend time with in the outdoors. We discussed our options and retained her services for a two day outing. Our first evening was spent on Hurricane Ridge to watch the sunset over the Pacific from the top of the ridge. A wonderful experience. At the last minute, we sprung a surprise on Carolyn by expanding our group from not only myself and my wife but also my niece, her husband and their three daughters. She took it all in stride as if it had been planned this way from the very beginning. Flexibility!! Our next trip was to review the Elwah River reclamation project. Carolyn was on the original team of naturalists that did the initial environmental base line study. She has a wealth of knowledge of of the Elwah, it`s watershed and the surrounding environment. What an eyeopening experience. We reviewed the river from the site of the slower dam to the mouth of the river where it flows into the Juanj de Fuca Strait. Together we discussed the birds, the fish, the river and all of the aquatic vegetation. At the outset I mentioned to her that although I could view and appreciate the majesty of the Olympic Peninsula what I knew would lacking was that I simply do not have the close at hand knowledge to identify just what I was looking at. Hence the title of my review. I really can`t adequately express my heartfelt appreciation of her knowledge of what we were experiencing. She expanded that experience for us and was more than what I could have hoped for. Most importantly is the enthusiasm she exudes when presenting to us what we were viewing. As knowledgeable as she is she would still "bubble over" in her excitement when we had the opportunity to see River Otters, eagles, various waterfowl and more. She made it all so enjoyable. Carolyn...thank you so very much for sharing your time with us and making our trip so memorable. I hope to return the favor if ever you should yourself on the Texas Gulf Coast. P.S. I left out the star gazing on Hurricane Ridge. Ask her about it...Awe inspiring.
My name is Charles G aka Poppa Chuck

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carolyn W, Owner at Experience Olympic Tours, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thank you for a very heartfelt review that focuses on passion, knowledge, and experience. As the owner and sole naturalist guide for Experience Olympic, I have been overwhelmed with all the positive reviews and fantastic feedback.

There are so many knowledgeable people on the Olympic Peninsula running on passion as their main fuel source. Please consider visiting us year round and choosing one of the many small and local businesses that try to hang on during the winter season. We collectively hope that visitors will continue to visit our small community next door to Olympic National Park – a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site!
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Middlebury, Vermont, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

We decided to come to the Olympic Peninsula as an addition to our trip to Seattle. We didn't have too much time to research different hikes, so we decided to have a tour. We contacted Carolyn, and she responded immediately with different ideas and itineraries for us to do. We decided with the Elwah River tour since we were interested in foraging. When she first arrived we were not exactly prepared, but she definitely was. She had raincoats, water bottles, backpacks, fleece jackets, and great snacks (we even tried to find the snacks the next day at the natural foods store, but they were sadly all out). She showed us many berries that were edible and other interesting things about the unique landscape. We saw a Ruffed Grouse which was very exciting. Overall, a great experience. It is obvious that Carolyn knows a lot about the peninsula. She answered each of the million questions, and for the few she did not know, she emailed us an answer the next day. I would highly suggest this tour if you are unfamiliar with the area and looking to have an educational day hike.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carolyn W, Owner at Experience Olympic Tours, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thank you for providing great “teachable moment” examples and for mentioning that you organized an Experience Olympic ecotour as an extension of your trip to Seattle.

Port Angeles is three hours from Seattle (by ferry) and two hours from Tacoma (by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge). I hope more visitors to Seattle will consider making the trek to wild Olympic Peninsula, where almost a million acres is set aside for public use in Olympic National Park; not to mention outstanding (and overlooked) state and county parks.

The Olympic Peninsula also boasts numerous Native American reservations, many of which have fantastic areas designated for public use: such as the Warrior Path on the Lower Elwha Klallam reservation.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Hike of a Lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

On our recent visit to Olympic National Park we wanted to experience more than just a scenic drive with a stop at the visitor's center. We fancied the idea of a hike on Hurricane Ridge, but our lack of hiking experience made this an intimidating thought. Enter "Experience Olympic Day Tours." On very short notice (less than 24 hrs), we were fortunate to reach out to Carolyn and find that she was available. Not only was she available, she was able to provide us with the equipment we’d need and even offered to pick us up from our hotel!

The goal of the hike was to travel from Hurricane Ridge down to Grand Lake and back in time to watch the sunset on Hurricane Ridge. Carolyn was able to help two inexperienced hikers accomplish their goal with an added bonus of dinner at Moose Lake. The park was great, the views were stunning, and Carolyn helped us appreciate it even more by educating us about the park and enthusiastically shared her knowledge about the wildlife and wildflowers we encountered. Carolyn was very professional, pleasant, and engaging.

We highly recommend Experience Olympic Day Tours. You won't regret it. It truly was the hike of a lifetime and we felt so fortunate to share our experience with such a passionate guide.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carolyn W, Owner at Experience Olympic Tours, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thank you – there can be no higher praise than providing a “hike of a lifetime”. We had luck on our side, thanks to: you organizing a full-day strenuous hiking sunset tour, good fitness levels all around, good weather, and Obstruction Point Road being open (which I would not venture down on a half-day tour).

I like that fact that you focused on wanting to get beyond the Visitor’s Center. The phenomenon of hoards of people in the Visitor Center parking lot at Hurricane Ridge between 10 AM and 4 PM on a fine summer day and very few people on the trails themselves, was always very striking to me. This has been part of my inspiration for starting Experience Olympic tours, which focuses on hiking and wildlife viewing before 10 AM or after 4 PM.

With our position far from the equator, the Olympic Peninsula experience striking differences in our length of day over the course of the year. Around summer solstice, it does not get dark until 10 PM, which gives us so much opportunity to explore a highly visited area when very few people are around.
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Camas, Washington
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“What a great time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We just came home from a four day trip around the Olympic peninsula. On the last day of our trip we were fortunate enough to be escorted to Hurricane Ridge by Carolyn of Experience Olympic Day Tours. I say fortunate because I kind of found her by accident. I really wanted to go to Hurricane Ridge but didn't want either my husband or myself to drive it as it is a very curvy road. Also,I am almost 70, overweight and not really into hiking so I was not sure what I would do when I got up there. From the first contact Carolyn was more than nice, she was wonderful. She tailored the entire experience to us personally. We were picked up at our motel and driven through the drizzle up the road that twisted and turned as reported. Carolyn was very informative about the forests we passed through pointing out trees and native vegetation. Magically we emerged from the clouds to see the Olympic mountains spread out before us. Carolyn thought of everything. She quickly provided us with windbreakers, binoculars, fanny packs and bottles of water. After checking out the Visitor's center we went on a fantastic hike that was just a gentle rise and totally do-able, made more enjoyable by Carolyn's knowledge of the local flowers and animals and the snack of cheese , fruit and lavender chocolate she provided. We were really spoiled by the personal attention and care we received and would certainly use her again, and recommend her to friends.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carolyn W, Owner at Experience Olympic Tours, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thanks for taking a chance on Experience Olympic and finding such great joy in accomplishing your hike! We are so appreciative of referrals and recognize that there is no better means of advertising than word-of-mouth!

All Points Charters and Tours, another small and local business, has been a friend to Experience Olympic as our businesses are very complimentary. We each have our own niche and as such, have been able to make referrals and figure out the best match for visitors to the Olympic Peninsula.
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