The Ultimate 10-Day WA National Parks Itinerary
Now that I’ve finally caught up with all the blog entries from our 2018 Washington adventure, I’d like to share with you our overall itinerary. I’ve linked up the individual blog posts below if you’d like to find out exactly what we did on that day. I’ve also tried to highlight where the trip can be extended. Starting and ending in Seattle, we basically did a giant counter-clockwise circle around Washington. I’ve put the starting point at Everett, WA because that’s technically where we started from after my Ragnar race and also it makes the starting and ending points distinct.
Here’s a high-level overview of the itinerary and where we overnighted. Please note that this itinerary includes affiliate links. Please read our affiliate disclosure.
|1||Arrive in Seattle, drive up to Burlington, WA||Hampton Inn & Suites, Burlington, WA|
|2||North Cascades National Park|
|3||Drive/ferry to Port Angeles, WA||Quality Inn Uptown, Port Angeles, WA|
|4||Olympic National Park – Hurricane Ridge|
|5||Day trip (ferry) to Victoria, BC|
|6||Olympic National Park – Hoh Rainforest & Ruby Beach||Lake Quinault Lodge, Olympic National Park|
|7||Mt St Helens||Deep Forest Cabins, Ashford, WA (right outside Rainier NP)|
|8||Mt Rainier National Park|
|9||Seattle||Grand Hyatt, Seattle, WA|
Day 1 – Arrival, travel to Burlington, WA
However you arrive in Washington, allow enough time to amke your way north to Burlington, WA. I spent this night in Everett since I was coming from my Ragnar Nortwest Passage race, but you want to be as far north as you can. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in both towns.
Day 2 – North Cascades National Park
Get an early start. Check visitor center hours to make sure it will be open when you get there. You can also add an overnight in Bellingham and spend some time around Mt. Baker.
Day 3 – Travel to the Olympic Peninsula via Fidalgo and Whidbey islands
Make your way to the Olympic peninsula via the San Juan islands.
Day 4 – Olympic National Park – Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent
Day 5 – Victoria, BC
We took this opportunity to take a break from driving and enjoy some city sights. If this doesn’t appeal to you, find something else to do on the Olympic peninsula – there is plenty!
Day 6 – Olympic National park – travel to Lake Quinault with stops at Hoh Rain Forest and Ruby Beach
If you have the stamina to drive longer, consider additonal detours to Cape Flattery as well as La Push and its beaches (Rialto, Second). Your overnight stay at Lake Quinault should be reserved 9-12 months ahead of time to grab more reasonably priced rooms.
Day 7 – Travel to Mt. Rainier with a stop at Mt. St. Helens
It’s a long day of driving but a detour to Mt. St. Helens is very much worth it.
Day 8 – Mt. Rainier National Park
Pick a trail to explore but whichever one you choose, get there early!
Day 9 – Seattle
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Seattle and found the location really convenient. I used points to book this, as hotels downtown can be on the pricey side. We did some classically Seattle things like the Space Needle, Pike Place market and a sunset ferry ride.
Day 10 – Morning in Seattle, Departure 🙁
Do as much as you can on your last day depending on when you plan on departing. Our flight wasn’t until mid-afternoon, so we visited the Seattle Central Library in the morning.