We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Overlea, Maryland...
Level Contributor
14 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Flying in from Maryland to travel the Olympic Peninsula from Sept 8th - 15th and will be seaking much advice as I plan this trip for myself and another fellow Baltimoron. Our flight lands at 11:30 a.m. in Seattle and would like to hit the ground running. After grabbing our luggage and getting the rental car (rental agency still tbd - suggestions welcomed!) I anticipate we won't actually be on the road until around 1pm. At this point, I am not sure if we should secure one of the ferries (thinking Bainbridge?) or if we should drive from Seattle to the Hood Canal Bridge. It looks like the ferry to Bainbridge and back costs around $100..approximately how much time would it be to drive from Seattle to the Hood Canal Bridge? is traffic particularly congested via this route? Also, is there a toll to cross the bridge?

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

The Bainbridge ferry is closest to the airport and puts you in a good place to get to PT. Taking the Kingston ferry is a little further but costs less. Another possibility is taking the Mukilteo/Clinton then another directly to PT from Whidbey Island. The bridge does have a toll.

A final possibility would be to take light rail into town, and take the Bremerton ferry. You would save on ferry fees and pay less for your rental.

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

The Bainbridge ferry is closest to the airport and puts you in a good place to get to PT. Taking the Kingston ferry is a little further but costs less. Another possibility is taking the Mukilteo/Clinton then another directly to PT from Whidbey Island. The bridge does have a toll.

A final possibility would be to take light rail into town, and take the Bremerton ferry. You would save on ferry fees and pay less for your rental.

In that case, rent the car in Bremerton. Enterprise will pick you up. They are only open during the day so get right on it.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,354 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Your post betrays a series of misperceptions about travel to the Olympic Peninsula. From the airport, you have two choices. You could take the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Hood Canal bridge and then on to the Peninsula, or you could take the Bainbridge Island Ferry to Bainbridge and then continue on to the Hood Canal Bridge. One way or another, you are going to have to drive over the Hood Canal Bridge, which does not have a toll. The Hood Canal Bridge is what connects the Peninsula to the mainland. The only way to avoid it is to take the far southern drive along the Hood Canal.

You cannot reserve the Bainbridge Island Ferry. You have to take your chances waiting in line. On Saturday, Sept. 8, the ferry would probably be middling crowded, so a half hour's wait should do. Fares are nowhere near $100.00 unless you are taking something bigger than a passenger car.

Have you gotten a good guidebook to the Olympic Peninsula? I ask because ONP is one of those destinations that requires advance planning. It's an unusual park with a very spread out layout and few scenic drives. It's also a very beautiful park that really rewards hikers with incomparable views, wildlife, and adventure. September is the very best month to come.

Overlea, Maryland...
Level Contributor
14 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Thank you @ ainwa for your reply! Looking into Mulkiteo/Clinton right now.

Overlea, Maryland...
Level Contributor
14 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

@kaleberg - I have a few books by Falcon Guides on the way and presently have one Road & Recreation map along with a Trails map. Planning this trip is a bit daunting because I don't know the terrain and I am trying to make realistic decisions given the time we have and what we want to see. 50 miles from point A to point B could take an hour and a half or it could be 3 hours depending on the geography I neglected to mention that the ferry estimate of $100 was based on roundtrip. www.wsdot.wa.gov (Wash State Dept. of Trans.) estimated $49.40 departing and $41.70 returning for the Bainsbridge Ferry. My partner seems to think accessing the Hood Canal Bridge via the Tacoma Narrows bridge will save us from the fares incurred by taking the ferry but I am not sure of the impact it will have on us time wise. We will probably call it a night in PT and head out for the Dungeness Spit and PA the following day. I am happy to hear your remark regarding the month of September; I was hoping that the 8th - 15th was favorable weatherwise but also not as crowded with kids back in school. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post!

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
6,226 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Standard vehicle & driver from Seattle to BI = $16.40, non-elderly passengers $7.70 each, total westbound, $24.10.

Eastbound (BI > Seattle) $16.40 for car and driver, no charge for passengers, total $16.40.

Total round trip, $40.50.

The Narrows bridges carry hefty tolls (amounts vary by time/traffic conditions) and then you should add fuel for the extra miles traveled (guessing ca. 120 mi.) so less total cash, but how much is your time worth?

Edited: 9:46 pm, July 08, 2012
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,354 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Kimbo, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge route and the Bainbridge Island Ferry are virtually equivalent in terms of time: about 3 hours from Seattle to Port Angeles. I don't think your guidebook is doing right by you; it should have made it clear that the Hood Canal Bridge is part of the drive.

If you are having trouble planning this trip, why don't you put together a list of places you would like to see, and post it here. Include the kind of things you enjoy doing. Tell us how much hiking you are comfortable doing, the kinds of places you like to stay, and how important food is. Then, we TripAdvisors can help you develop a trip that you will be able to enjoy. In the meantime, do look at www.kaleberg.com for detailed descriptions of day hikes, updates on the trails, and other information like tide tables.

Port Townsend...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
Level Contributor
9,075 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

September 7-9 is the PT Wooden Boat Festival. Accommodations will be quite scarce. If you haven't booked anything yet, you better get on it. You may be better off staying in Sequim or PA. Of course, it's probably the best weekend in town, so if you can find a place to stay it's well worth visiting.

September weather is the best. You've picked a good time to come.

Enjoy,

chuck

Overlea, Maryland...
Level Contributor
14 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Hi Everyone,

So, I have returned with my first shot at an itinerary - let me know what you think.

Night 1 - PT - campground tbd

Day 2 - Hurricane Ridge hiking

Night 2 - Salty Creek County Park campgrounds

Day 3 - Lake Crescent or Sol Duc hiking

Night 3 - Mora campgrounds

Day 4 - Rialto/La Push exploring the beaches

Night 4 - Hoh Rainforest campgrounds

Day 5 - Hoh Rainforest hiking

Night 5 - Hoh Rainforest campgrounds

Day 6 - PT (whale watching?) or Dungeness Spit hiking

Night 6 - PT- campground tbd

Day 7 - Seattle

Edited: 6:44 pm, July 22, 2012
Overlea, Maryland...
Level Contributor
14 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Seattle to PT: To Ferry or To Bridge?

Also, to expand a little further ..we are planning on stocking up on some supplies in PT when we get there and then again in Forks if necessary...this trip for us is mainly about landscape and being outdoors.we are looking at hiking that is easy to moderate..we aren't foodies but we do enjoy nice brews and are interested in a PT pub or two for when we stop by on our way into the peninsula and out..also, you will notice our PT campgrounds are still "tbd" please feel free to make your suggestions!