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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    17,698

    san juan islands, vancouver bc, olympic peninsula: plan my trip

    car camping, bikes, hiking, whale watching, etc.

    7-10 days

    2 adults 1 intrepid 7 year old

    where do i go? what do i see?

    pretend money is no object.

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    the ham
    Posts
    6,168
    RE: San Juan Islands...

    Friday Harbor is touristy. The whale museum might be of interest to the kiddo. Lime Kiln Point State Park is supposedly a good spot for whale watching, but a boat is probably better.

    Orcas is a little more low key. Eastsound is still a little touristy, but it's also a real town, and pretty quiet in the off season. Island Hoppin' is a great little brewery. Moran State Park has some easy but good hikes, and Mt Constitution has killer 360° views. Lots of artists on Orcas, including Anthony Howe, who makes amazing "kinetic" metal sculptures.

    Lopez and Shaw are really quiet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,692
    To me, the best part of the San Juan’s is the ferry ride through them. There’s a few small parks, but once you’ve done those, not a lot to do except drive around and look at old people and their houses.

    Maybe it is different if you stay at one of the expensive resorts and rent kayaks and tempt the killer whales to see how tasty you are.

    But, there’s a lot more to do in Victoria, so personally, I’d spend more time there and the rest of Vancouver Island.

    Also, weather permitting, reserve time for Hurricane Ridge and the other OP stuff on the way back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    FEMA Region X
    Posts
    765

    san juan islands, vancouver bc, olympic peninsula: plan my trip

    Enroll your 7yr old in the YMCA Camp Orkila day camp on Orcas. You explore, hike, bike, kayak, fish, crab, enjoy lunch with your spouse etc and then have dinners as a family catching up about all the fun your small human resource had at camp. https://www.seattleymca.org/camps/orkila/summercamp
    Last edited by mooseknuckles; 03-21-2019 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    43,572
    he’d like camp orkila, Rosario resort is mediocre. you should visit hurricane ridge and go out on the spit one day too.
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    YetiMan
    Posts
    10,649
    If you want to surf, pm me. Otherwise I’m partial to Hurricane Ridge, Camp Hayden, Hobuck, and La Push for sightseeing and hiking/camping around.
    The interior of the Oly is truly vast and gnarly if you like that sort of thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wet and Mild
    Posts
    4,653
    Hurricane Ridge is well worth checking out.

    Eat breakfast at the First Street Haven in Port Angeles.

    Cape Flattery is neat if you or your kid likes checking "mosts" off of your list (northwesternmost point in the lower 48).

    You struck me as an oddball, so you would probably dig strolling around Port Townsend for half a day. I know you're primarily a stout fan, but Propolis Brewing is worth a stop nonetheless. If you like beachcombing, check out Glass Beach.

    Fort Worden is cool to check out if you happen to be up in the PT area. Lots of great opportunities to explore for an adventurous youngster, and some amazing views if it's clear.

    Stop and take a photo of the sign for Kitchen Dick Road.

    Rent bikes and ride into Olympic Hot Springs up the Elwha Valley. It's about 22 miles round trip and there's a nice campground adjacent to the springs, so it would be a great one night camping jaunt. The access is easy, and you can check out the dam removal site along the way.
    Doesn't mean that much to me, to mean that much to you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    17,698
    thanks for the recs, folks! keep them coming! hurricane ridge has been on the list for a while, i just wish it was during the winter.

    hopefully, i'll cross paths with a few of you along the way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    2,666
    Whidbey Island > the San Juans. Better beach access, state parks, hikes, camping, quaint towns.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,692
    When IS this trip, by the way? The last time I tried going up to Hurricane Ridge the road was closed. It was early May.. I’ve heard there are lifts up there now, so maybe it is open all winter now?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    17,698
    Quote Originally Posted by billyk View Post
    When IS this trip, by the way? The last time I tried going up to Hurricane Ridge the road was closed. It was early May.. I’ve heard there are lifts up there now, so maybe it is open all winter now?
    7-10 days starting mid-july

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,692
    Quote Originally Posted by wyeaster View Post
    7-10 days starting mid-july
    That should work. Hope you get good weather.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    YetiMan
    Posts
    10,649
    Almost forgot....if you drive from Port Angeles to the coast, you'll drive past lake crescent. It's worth budgeting some time to take that place in.

    Generic Pictures

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,839
    If you want an environmental redemption story, check out the Elwha drainage. Largest dam removal in decades.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    8
    great recs, will be doing similar trip this year

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,692
    Also camping in the Hoh rain forest is great, provided it’s not actually raining. Or even if it is, if you are prepared for it.

    And Ruby Beach is worth a stop.

    I think Vancouver Island is the real gem, though. I’d like to hear more suggestions about that from those that know.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,692
    Well, OK, I’ve never been there, but the parks and trails over by Tofino and Ucluelet on the West coast of Vancouver Island look interesting to me. Anyone been there? Is it worth the drive?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vacationland
    Posts
    2,844

    san juan islands, vancouver bc, olympic peninsula: plan my trip

    Going to check out Tofino in a couple weeks. Tacking that onto a Whistler trip

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    2,319

    san juan islands, vancouver bc, olympic peninsula: plan my trip

    Recs for Van Is include downtown Victoria and inner harbour, Sooke potholes for beach combing, Lk Cowichan camping and swimming for crayfish, Hornby Is for the warm waters, oysters, and artsy vibe, cathedral grove for playing hide and seek with little people in some big trees, longbeach by Tofino to catch the surf culture, Nootka Sound for salmon fishing and very old colonial history.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    43,572
    the Flowing Compound is nearby
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    17,698
    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    the Flowing Compound is nearby

    we're aiming your direction if that's ok!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lower Mainland
    Posts
    196
    Did a guided kayak day trip off the west side of San Juan Island with my parents and siblings a little while back, and it was great. Saw seals and orcas, and being out on the water was an excellent experience. Depending on what outfitter you go with, they should have a 3-person kayak so all of you can fit in it together (less dependent then on the 7yo having any desire paddle).

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,692
    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    Recs for Van Is include downtown Victoria and inner harbour, Sooke potholes for beach combing, Lk Cowichan camping and swimming for crayfish, Hornby Is for the warm waters, oysters, and artsy vibe, cathedral grove for playing hide and seek with little people in some big trees, longbeach by Tofino to catch the surf culture, Nootka Sound for salmon fishing and very old colonial history.
    Thanks for these. I need to visit Vancouver Island again, the only times we went before all we did was explore Victoria, which was nice, but next time I want to take a few weeks to see the rest of it. The “Wild Pacific Trail” looks interesting. Also, the “Broken Islands”.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    151
    Tofino is killer. Great town, food and locals. It is a haul to get to though. Don't miss Chestermans Beach
    You Will Respect My Authoritah!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    5,093
    Quote Originally Posted by billyk View Post
    When IS this trip, by the way? The last time I tried going up to Hurricane Ridge the road was closed. It was early May.. I’ve heard there are lifts up there now, so maybe it is open all winter now?
    "lifts" ... two little rope tows and a poma, powered by a 1940s tractor motor. Been there since 1958.

    The road is supposed to be open Fri/Sat/Sun/holidays in the winter, but park personnel will sit around after any measurable snowfall while skiers get frustrated.
    PE, Mechanical Engineering
    University of Bridger Bowl Alumnus
    Alpental Creeper

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