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Is it foolish to go to Olympic national park this weekend
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designer
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:32 pm    Post subject: Is it foolish to go to Olympic national park this weekend Reply with quote

North Idaho boy here. Looking to go up over the north cascades pass which is open and then dip down to jump the ferry over and head into the park. Want to see the Hoh and the coast. I know some dis the hoh but kiddos would dig it.

I've got no reservations anywhere which sometimes works out and sometimes doesnt. Laughing

I've got a syncro so can we jump up a logging road?

I've got a kick ass wife who rolls with the punches but just curious as to the scene out there especially on holiday weekends.

I've read three or four threads and looked on hikerbob or hikerbill but didn't find camping spots there.

Is it gonna be packed to the gills every where?


As always; thanks for the help.
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Syncro is ideal logging roads - I did it many times - btw it's my favorite way of camping...

go for it... be careful for bears and other wildlife...

have a good trip and good time camp out...
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Microbusdeluxe
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll be fine anywhere in the National Forest and there are even a couple of free DNR places. In the Park itself it's much tougher for "camping savage", try a trail head, but of course not in the Hoh Valley.

As I remember it the Bogachiel trailhead is pretty quiet and my personal favorite is the Queets River. Great camping, very few people, but you won't be able to ford the river and hit the long trail until July or so.

Don't know if the Sol Duc Hot springs are open yet, check the website. If so there's a campground there, not free, but the hot springs are very nice.
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danbar
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would try and avoid catching the ferry over on Friday after people get off work or on Monday afternoon/evening. The waits can be 2+ hours to get on a boat for the holiday weekends. I'm thinking of heading out to Neah Bay and surfing Sat-Tues. I'm sure the campground will be busier than normal but it's still a great place to be.
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flomulgator
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're coming across the North Cascades (incredible country), there are a number of campsites and other palces to camp all from Washington Pass to Marblemount if you don't make it. If you do, stay on 20 and wind through Whidbey Island to the Port Townsend ferry, there should be less people there. The thing you absolutely want to avoid is the Edmonds Ferry Friday night/sat morning.

Other option is to drop south to Yakima, cross the Cascades via White Pass on Highway 12, and drive up the south side of the Olympics with no ferry involved. As others have noted, there are tons of places to camp on the wet side of the Olympics.

Final note, look up the overheight rules for the ferry you are considering crossing, because if you are overheight the cost is like 3x (commercial rate). My slightly lifted syncro westy barely made it w/o anything on top but I had to take my full Vanobag off the luggage rack because that was too much and it would've been overheight.
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might make sense to do the Olympic loop clockwise from south to north, thus potentially missing a lot of the counterclockwise traffic coming from the population dense areas in northern Puget Sound. I'd take Highway 12 to the coast, and then either 109 (slow) or 101, up through Kalaloch. Personally, I find it hard to imagine properly experiencing the Olympic region in a mere weekend, especially when you've got a 5+ hour drive on either end of the trip. I drove my '80 Westfalia on quite a few rugged Hoh logging roads, so a Syncro should have no probs whatsoever
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're going to have a great weekend!
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Slimvest
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have to take a ferry, I agree with the Hwy 20 down Whidbey route, but it is a smaller boat. I love the Wa state ferry system, but would avoid them on holiday weekends if I could. You make the no reservations Coupville to Port Townsend boat, you're probably sweet though. You can reserve your spot on the return for less sweating.
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Vinzanto
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was travelling around the Upper Northwest, I found this area to offer some amazing stealth/dispersed camp sites that were abundant and bountiful. Go for it you'll be fine. Only problem in this area is that there is sooo much tree coverage that my solar setup struggled to keep up here.
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Ukekuke
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work on the Mukilteo ferry and the tides this week will cause
The coupeville- port townsend ferry to cancel trips all throughout
the day!!!!!
Double check the tides and see what's happening.
We do have a reservation system now and if at all possible
reserve a spot in advance! Warning-----------
Or u'll be in a long (memorable) day weekend line.
Have fun it's awesome up there.
Pm me if u need
Al
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The weather looks best in the Puget Sound area vs anywhere else West of the Cascades from CAN to Southern Oregon. Do it!
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do decide to head south to Yakima and start the Olympic peninsula from the bottom, make sure to get off hwy 90 at Ellensburg and take the scenic hwy, which is the Yakima/Ellensburg Canyon. MUCH nicer drive than over the big hill. If you need suggestions on places to camp on the dry side, just PM me and I'll be happy to share my secret spots along the way. Also know good places to eat, if you're into quality food.

I went around the peninsula a couple years ago and it was fantastic. We were able to find plenty of good primitive campsites. My 2wd did just fine up there on the fire/logging roads, they aren't that bad at all. Yes, there are indeed 4wd trails up there... just saying you can easily find good camping regardless.

Now... should you go? That's all up to you of course... but personally, the two times of the year I don't go camping (especially on the wet side) are Memorial day and Labor day. Best of luck should you go, the area is stunningly beautiful. You could spend several weeks out there exploring, no problem.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

flomulgator wrote:

Final note, look up the overheight rules for the ferry you are considering crossing, because if you are overheight the cost is like 3x (commercial rate). My slightly lifted syncro westy barely made it w/o anything on top but I had to take my full Vanobag off the luggage rack because that was too much and it would've been overheight.


Yikes Shocked Looks like i need to check that out ... rocket box is going to be way over. . .

Need to check that on the port townsend/coupeville. Thought it said about $21.00, but i's reading it wrong, I'm sure. Plus height now.
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been charged over-height with my Tule box on my tin top, even though I'm sure it's over 7'6". My high top is close to 8' and I didn't get charged on either boat I took last weekend. It's hit or miss though. I know guys that have been charged for just having load bars on their westy tops.
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it was pretty much a flawless trip. Very cool out there. Thanks for all your direction. We did get charged over-height both ways on the ferry, but it was worth the extra 13.00. I thought it was going to be 81. It was 29.00 to the west, 33.00 back to the east. I didn't argue.

Got to the ferry 15mins before she departed and were the 2nd to last vehicle on going West, then got to the 10:15am at 10:13am to a virtually empty boat and rolled right on. It was so not a nightmare.

The Hoh was cool. We had a pretty good campsite. FWIW, loop B was the most private. We took spot 53. Pretty good. We were there 2 nights, then went to Mora and landed in Loop D in spot 71 i think. Another good spot. The beach was cool. The boys headed straight in the surf. I had my hoodie on, zipped up. They enjoyed playing on the killer drift wood. But were way cold.

Took us 12 hours on the nose to get from La Push to Coeur d'Alene. Had some hot start issues resurrect, but we beat it. Other than that, the bus performed flawlessly. I saw about a dozen Westies coming down hwy 20 out of the Cascades toward Burlington while I was the lone ranger going up.

Thanks again for your guy's input.
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you enjoyed your trip. There were definitely more westys on the peninsula than in the rest of the state of Washington this weekend. Hobuck was full of them. Glad I stayed until today to get a night to ourselves out there.
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. Glad you had fun. We headed to Seattle from Coeur d'Alene this same weekend and got back last night. Also saw a lot of Vanagons in our travels - especially up on Queen Anne hill. Wow, nearly one every hour.

So, 12 hours of total travel time to CDA, eh? Considering the beauty out there, it is on our list as well. The ferries sound cheaper than I expected by a long shot. We checked on going to Vancouver and the round trip was nearly $250 a couple months ago? I must have misread something because it seemed like they made it clear they were charging per person in the car, plus for the car itself and it was crazy expensive. Hmm will recheck that.

How were the night time temps? Mosquitos out yet?
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