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Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

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Lake Forest...
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Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Hi All!

My husband and I with our three kids (ages 3, 6, and 7 years) will be traveling throughout the Vancouver/Seattle area for three weeks. We will be visiting Victoria as well as Whistler and then driving down to Seattle to finish up our trip with some extended family at a beach house on the Puget Sound.

My questions is......we only have enough time to see either Olympic or Pacific Rim National Park...not both. Which one should we see?

As a family, we love hiking, but because we have a 3 year old, we are limited to the easier trails. What is a more kid friendly place to go?

Please share your thoughts.......places to see, activities, etc.

Thanks for your ideas!

14 replies to this topic
Poulsbo, Washington
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1. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Pacific Rim Park is much more remote and takes more time to get to and to visit. It is not the kind of Park you go to for dayhikes and I would not bring kids that young.

Washington
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2. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Olympic National Park would be my choice.

Give us a little more detail - i.e.; when, where and how long in each place, and we can tell you if it is feasible, as well as activities during your travel time.

Lake Forest...
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3. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

We will be going in August and we have 3 weeks planned to be out there. We will be flying into Vancouver (3 days), then going to Whistler (3 days), then going to Victoria (3 days), and then we have about 4 days to make our way to Seattle where we will spend a week on a beach house. Not sure if we should extend our Vancouver Island stay and go to Pacific Rim Park for three extra days or head down to Olympic National Park for that 3-4 day period. Or if we should go somehwere else......suggestions appreciated!

Renton, WA
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4. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

I note that you are logged onto the Vancouver, Washington, forum but are asking about British Columbia. Still, you are getting good information. My recommendation would be Olympic National Park. Pacific Rim is really wild and wooly and takes a lot of

logistics to visit.

Edited: 6:42 pm, May 22, 2012
Oregon
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5. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Yes think I would plan those 4 days getting from Victoria thr Port Angeles to Seattle. ONP has some long trails, but also some that might be ok for 3 yr old, like Hurricane Ridge and part of Hoh Rain Forest. One of you can turn around with 3 yr old on Hoh RF trail.

I think Hurricane Ridge one of best views in this country even if you don't hike.

Consider Rainier or St Helens for one day

Edited: 7:57 pm, May 22, 2012
Steamboat Springs...
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6. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Not to get in a battle with these very knowledgable Washinton DE's, but I disagree on the access to the Pacific Rim area. Between the towns of Ucluelet and Tofino are some amazing trails to wild beaches and old growth forests. Many places you can drive to. A lot of the trails that are along the coast or to the beaches, are really pretty casual. Some with boarded walkways thru the forest or stairs down to some beaches.

Out of Ucluelet you could take a boat tour of the Broken Islands in Barkley Sound and the same to the islands around Clayoquot Sound near Tofino.

My 2 cents.

Port Angeles, WA
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7. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

I think some of the controversy, if controversy there be, is that posters are thinking different things when we read "Pacific Rim." The Pacific Rim Trail includes one of the wildest, most isolated trails you are likely to find. Parts of it are restricted to a small number of hikers. That "Pacific Rim" is not a good choice for small children, to put it mildly. However, as Powderglut has written, there are easy, accessible boardwalk trails all over the Tofino area. There are easy and accessible trails near Sooke, too. It's up to the OP as to what he wants to do and where he wants to base himself. This part of the world is full of magnificent hiking opportunities. You really can't lose.

Steamboat Springs...
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8. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

The south end of Pacific Rim NP is the epic West Coast trail. It is between Bamfield and Pt Renfrew on the south side of Barkley Sound. This hike requires special permits and would not be appropriate for young kids. It is a very remote coastal wilderness. However.. the section between Ucluelet/Tofino is very user friendly for families. The Rainforest trail between the 2 towns, will take you thru huge trees in old growth forest. The Wild Pacific Trail along the Ucluelet coast , takes you along cliffs and remote beaches. You can drive to many "pull in spots" to access Long Beach and the other beaches closer to Tofino.

If you choose to do this northern section, staying in Ucluelet would be a cheaper choice than Tofino. The whale and wildlife viewing on boats, makes this an attractive option.

kaleberg, one of these days I will get my shot at the OP. It's on the short list.

Port Angeles, WA
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9. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Powderglut, go for it! ONP is amazing.

Vancouver
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10. Re: Olympic National Park VS. Pacific Rim National Park?

Pacific Rim National Park sounds like a perfect fit for what you are looking for. The Long Beach Unit of the Pacific Rim National Park (between Ucluelet abd Tofino) is very easy to access. There are 8 short walking trails that range between 500m and 2.5 kilometers. Perfect for young children as the majority of them are boardwalk. There is also a fantastic interpretive center on Wickaninnish Beach in the National Park that is awesome for children. I would recommend checking out the Pacific Rim. Ucluelet and Tofino are also must sees. If you contact the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre they will be able to provide you with more information. Have fun!

Edited: 11:39 pm, May 23, 2012
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