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Seattle to Port Angeles

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Syracuse, NY
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Seattle to Port Angeles

I am so excited. We just extended our 10 day trip to 14 days so we can visit the Olympic Peninsula. Here is our plan now. We fly into Seattle and spend the 1st 3 nights at the Wild Iris in LaConner. We plan to visit Whidbey Island one day and also do a 6 hour whale tour from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands one day. From LaConner we drive to Vancouver for 4 nights to enjoy the sights there and also drive the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. From Vancouver we drive back to Seattle and stay 3 nights at Chelsea Station. That part was already booked before we decided to extend. And then our added bonus is driving to Port Angeles and staying 3 nights at Colette's B&B. My question for you is what is the best way to get to PA from Chelsea Station which is near the Woodland Park Zoo? Google Maps shows me 2 different ferry routes and a driving route which all take about 2 1/2 hours. We will be driving back to SEA from PA for our return flight to Syracuse. We will have a whole day for that drive because we have an overnight near the airport for an early flight. So also do you have any recommendations for things to do along the way from PA to SEA? Thanks so much!!

Edited: 10:57 am, July 06, 2013
Snoqualmie...
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1. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

From Woodland Park Zoo I might recommend heading north to the Edmonds Kingston Ferry, and stopping in Port Gamble on your way north. From there, drive to Port Angeles and then head to Hurricane Ridge for sunset (or if you are a little more adventurous try the paved/dirt road all they way to the observation parking lot at Deer Park). Beautiful sunsets to be had at either spot if the weather is cooperating.

On the way back, check out Port Townsend for lunch, have dinner in Paulsbo, and take the Bainbridge / Seattle ferry back to Seattle. From there it's about a half an hour to the airport, assuming there's not much traffic (if you time your arrival in Seattle past 7:00 pm you should miss any rush hour/baseball traffic).

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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2. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

Edmonds is a good suggestion for your route to Port Angeles. I personally do not recommend driving to Deer Park for a visitor. In Summer the road gets very very dusty and many people coming in the other direction on blind curves drive it way to fast. For a first time visitor you will be more then happy with the Hurricane Ridge Road. You have not asked about things to see and do in the Park, so I assume you have a plan. If it were me, I would put aside a day to visit magnificent Mount Rainier NP.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

The Edmonds ferry is the right route. Don't try Deer Park Rd. anytime near sunset. Between the glare of the low sun and the falling darkness, you could be in real trouble. I am not quite as wary of Deer Park Rd. as Glaciermeadows is, but even I would never recommend it under less than optimal conditions, and sunset is not optimal. The road is less than two lanes wides with terrible sight lines, so you have to be on the alert for oncoming traffic, knowing that you can't see them, and they can't see you. Obstruction Point Road, which, alas is still closed, is much safer, and it scares the heck out of some people.

If you need hiking suggestions or tide tables, you can find them both at www.kaleberg.com.

Seattle, Washington
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for Seattle
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4. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

I have to take issue with the Edmonds ferry recommendations. The OP is staying a block from Aurora, right where it becomes a southbound freeway straight to downtown Seattle. Turn right at the corner where the B & B is located and badda bing, you're on Aurora, headed in the right direction. My guess is that, except for maybe the hour between 7:30 and 8:30 AM they'd be maybe ten minutes from the Colman Dock (Seattle ferry terminal). Aurora SB through the Battery Street Tunnel, a quick jog onto Western Avenue, then straight south to the ferry dock (via the signposts during construction.)

By comparison, negotiating around Green Lake, then heading to I-5, then north through Costco and suburban traffic to the Edmonds dock waiting area (or, more likely, to the end of the lineup on the street trying to get INTO the waiting area)... at least thirty minutes, probably forty or more, plus the wait for the boat. If this is on a weekday they'll get on the next Bainbridge boat from Seattle; the same can't be said from Edmonds. On a weekend morning it would be even more likely that the travel time to PA via Seattle would be way shorter than via Edmonds.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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5. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

The "congestion tables" for Edmonds and Seattle ferries suggest to me that Seattle is the better route given its more frequent sailings plus it is more easily accessible given the OP's location.

…wa.gov/ferries/traffic_stats/congestion/sum…

…wa.gov/ferries/traffic_stats/congestion/sum…

Syracuse, NY
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6. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

Thank you for the replies. I am not adventurous so will not try Deer Park Rd. However, I do enjoy being outside and seeing beautiful mountains, lakes, oceans, etc. I just started planning what to do from Port Angeles. I definitely want to go to Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, and possibly the rain forest. Would it be possible to drive to the rain forest from PA, do a 2-3 mile hike, and return to PA by late afternoon? Any suggestions for a couple day trips? We will be traveling from Seattle to PA on a Friday in September. Is the drive from PA back to SEA-TAC scenic? I will definitely start reading kaleberg.com.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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7. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

The ferry ride, Seattle/BI, gives more bang for the buck; it is longer than the Edmonds/Kingston run, and is prettier. Also, try to return toward or after dusk for great views of Seattle at night.

Gig Harbor...
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8. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

Here are some suggestions for your Port Angeles to SeaTac day: Port Townsend is a cute little town with lots of Victorian houses, interesting shops, good lunch spots (Fountain Cafe) and a good state park, Fort Worden...... If you want more outdoors, you could leave 101 at Hoodsport, take the Lake Cushman Road to the Staircase area of ONP ( part of the road is gravel, but it is a good gravel road), and go for a short hike along a very pretty river. ......... Another potential stop is Olympia which has a fun downtown area - sort of a hippie vibe - a pleasant boardwalk along the inlet, and several good spots to eat.......Since you have an entire day, you could probably do all three if you made it "brunch" in Port Townsend.

Edited: 5:12 pm, July 06, 2013
Port Townsend...
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9. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

I assume you will be leaving Seattle (for Port Angeles) early on Friday so the ferry connection should be fine but anything after 3pm can be a real headache...and if your plans include either of the first two weekends it could be even worse (Labor Day weekend in particular and the following Friday/Saturday/Sunday is Port Townsend's Wooden Boat Festival - it is spectacular but also complicates ferry timing, road traffic and local accommodations.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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10. Re: Seattle to Port Angeles

You can definitely visit the Hoh RF as a day trip from Port Angeles. I do this frequently, and I always stay at the Hoh at least 4 hours. It is 1 hour and 55 minutes from downtown PA to the Hoh Visitor Center, allowing for one stop and leisurely driving. Bring food and water. The last 20 miles or so of the drive are beautiful, with views of the stunning, blue-white river and dark, almost spooky, forest. On the way back, look for elk at the edge of the dark woods.

If you can manage an easy 10 mile round trip hike with only a small elevation gain, hike 5 miles out from the Visitor Center on the River Trail to 5 Mile Island on the Hoh River. Have lunch on a sandbar and then hike back. This is one of the choicest day hikes on the park. If 10 miles are just too much, hike out 3 miles on the River Trail to Tom's Meadow and picnic there.

It's a long day, but so worth it.