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Olympic and Rainier Tour

Highlights

  • Guides Choice inn-based trip in Washington
  • 2 National Parks
  • 6 amazing hikes, 3 in each park
  • Coastlines, alpine lakes, wildflowers & rainforests
  • Circumnavigate stunning Mount Rainier
  • 3 different historic park lodges
  • Wonderful outdoor & lodge cuisine
  • Amazing natural & cultural history

Description

This tour is an opportunity to experience the very best that the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Rainier have to offer, with a wonderful combination of challenge, adventure, history, diversity and comfort. From high alpine ridges and glaciated volcanoes to dramatic waterfalls and wildlife; from moss-draped giant trees to rugged coastlines and lush rainforests...this trip has it all. And to top it off we’ll stay in historic lodges, three nights near Olympic and two nights near Mount Rainier.
Day by day highlights include a classic ridge traverse in Olympic 5,500 feet above sea level; a long but moderate coastal hike to Shi Shi beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world; a hike through the famous Hoh Rainforest, with some of the largest and oldest trees in Washington; an iconic hike on Mount Rainier past the famous Reflection Lakes for stunning views of the volcano and surrounding mountains; an alpine hike through a wonderland of wildflowers for panoramic views of an amazing glacier; and an unforgettable waterfall.
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Trip Dates

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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 3 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000 feet
  • Accommodations: Lake Crescent Lodge (or similar equivalent)
This Northwest hiking tour begins with pick up at your hotel in Olympia. Our first day features a scenic drive out to the Olympic Peninsula and then a hike along the alpine wonderland of Hurricane Ridge.

To start we’ll drive north along the Hood Canal, with beautiful early morning views of the islands and narrow of Puget Sound, before reaching Port Angeles and climbing up to Hurricane Ridge. After soaking up the views from the Visitor’s Center, we’ll leave the crowds behind and hike Klahane Ridge out towards Mount Angeles. On a clear day, to our north, we can see across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island and beyond. To our east is the snowy cap of Mount Baker rising from the North Cascades, and to our south the glaciated Mount Olympus, with alpine wildflowers in the foreground of every view.

After ample playtime in these extraordinary mountains, we’ll drive back down to sea level and to our accommodations at Lake Crescent Lodge, a century-old hotel filled with charm and history. Showers and beds await, as well as opportunities for shorter hikes just out the back door. Or you can just lounge and enjoy the lakefront views! Weather permitting, we’ll enjoy an outdoor dinner on the shore of Lake Crescent, prepared by your guide.
Day 2
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 6-8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet
  • Accommodations: Lake Crescent Lodge (or similar equivalent)
On day 2, after a hearty breakfast at the lodge, we’ll head west towards Neah Bay and the Makah Reservation. After parking near our trailhead, we’ll descend through coastal forests for two miles until we reach Shi Shi Beach, one of the most dramatic and beautiful beaches that Washington has to offer. Pounding waves, rugged cliffs, and towering sea stacks await, as well as tidal pools filled with marine life.

We'll soak up sweeping views of the ocean and mountains, and intimate details of tidal pools crawling with sea creatures as we continue southward towards the Point of Arches. Your guide will serve you a gourmet lunch on the beach, and eventually we will bid farewell to the ocean and hike back to the vehicle. On our way back to our hotel we’ll have a chance to stop by the famous Makah Museum and learn more about the cultural history of the Makah people.

Our amazing day ends at our warm and cozy lodge to clean up for a wonderful, hand-picked restaurant dinner.
Day 3
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
  • Accommodations: Kalaloch Lodge (or similar equivalent)
On day 3 we’ll say farewell to our lodge, load up our bags, and head southwest towards the famous Hoh Rainforest. With over 140 inches of rain per year, this is one of the nation’s largest temperate rainforests, and includes ancient trees towering up to 300 feet in height, moss-draped nurse logs, incredible biodiversity, and abundant wildlife.

We’ll hike up the wild Hoh River and explore all that the rainforest has to offer. Elk, deer, black bears, bald eagles, fascinating banana slugs, and more await us as we investigate this incredible ecosystem. Immense cushions of moss absorb sounds, contributing to the Hoh River’s title as "The Quietest Place in the U.S."

When we’ve had our fill of hiking, we’ll make our way back to the trailhead and head further southwest to our destination for the night, Kalaloch Lodge, right on the Pacific coast. We'll enjoy a casual stroll down the beach or just relax with a view of the ocean, eat dinner, and fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.
Day 4
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1150 feet
  • Accommodations: National Park Inn (or similar equivalent)
Day four marks our transition from the Olympic Peninsula to the Cascades and Mount Rainier. Today we explore shimmering alpine lakes, abundant wildlflower blooms, and tumbling waterfalls on the shoulders of North America’s most famous volcano. Mount Rainier stands at 14,411 feet tall, and is the most heavily glaciated peak in the contiguous United States.

We will start our hike near scenic Narada Falls, before climbing gradually through gentle forests and abundant blueberry bushes. We’ll hike past famous, beautiful Reflection Lakes, aptly named for their stunning mirror image reflection of Mount Rainier, up to Faraway Rock with panoramic views of lakes and mountains below.

After wrapping up our hike we’ll check in to our accommodations at the historic National Park Inn, and then have time to stroll down the Wonderland Trail just outside the door, or to relax on the veranda with views of Mount Rainier. After a delicious dinner, we'll enjoy the stars outside or take in a ranger talk at Longmire or Paradise.
Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1700-4000
  • Accommodations: National Park Inn (or similar equivalent)
This day’s hike takes us through the famous Paradise Meadows of Mount Rainier, a subalpine wonderland of flowers and fragile meadows. We’ll head up the Skyline Trail towards Glacier Vista, with its panoramic views of the Nisqually Glacier, and then continue our hike upward. A full day - and a lot of elevation gain - will take us to Camp Muir (over 10,000 feet), the basecamp for mountaineers aiming to summit Rainier. We’ll turn around when we want to, aiming first for Panorama Point, secondarily Camp Muir. On our way we’ll keep an eye out for marmots, pikas, mountain goats, and more, while absorbing stunning views of Mount Rainier and beyond. If the weather cooperates, we could get views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams, three of the other major stratovolcanoes in the Cascades range.

On our descent we'll retrace our steps and return to the trailhead, where we’ll have a chance to explore some of the human and natural history as we poke around Paradise Lodge and the Visitors’ Center. We’ll eat one final celebratory dinner together in the beautiful Paradise Lodge dining room, with views of Rainier and the Tatoosh Range surrounding us.
Day 6
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1250-2150 feet
  • Shuttle to Olympia: 2 hours
Our final day takes us up past a serious of torrential waterfalls and a beautiful creek, ending by the magnificent 300 foot drop of Comet Falls. Delicate ferns & subalpine plants, whitewater spray, and polished rock accompany us on this short but steep trail to one of Rainier's hidden gems. For those who feel bolder, we can continue up and on towards Van Trump Park, a beautiful alpine meadow filled with flowers and open vistas.

We'll enjoy a final picnic lunch, keep an eye out for any last wildlife sightings, and eventually head back to the car. A two hour drive will have us back at your hotel in Olympia where we'll say our goodbyes, knowing we've had an unforgettable 6 days!



Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 5 nights of lodging (double occupancy) at historic national park lodges or similar equivalents
  • Top-of-the-line daypack and trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Pacific Northwest hiking guide
  • Transportation for the duration of the trip starting from and ending at your hotel in Olympia, Washington
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day's activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. For dinners, we'll visit local restaurants you're sure to enjoy!


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Olympia, Washington. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at the Hotel RL Olympia (we recommend staying here as well - mention you're hiking with us and get a discounted rate as low as $99, 360-943-4000). If you're staying at the Governor Hotel (our other recommended hotel, 20% discount), we're happy to pick you up for the orientation. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this trip is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 9 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Pacific Northwest

This trip covers a dramatic diversity of terrain from seashores to rainforests to alpine peaks and glaciers. The weather will be largely dependent on which ecosystem you're at the moment hiking in, so it's best to be prepared for a range of temperatures and conditions. Read below for average high and low temperatures in different parts of the Pacific Northwest:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
Coast
Mountains
 
 
hi
low
Precip
hi
low
Precip
 
 
June
66°
47°
3.8 in
53°
36°
3.9 in
 
 
July
70°
50°
2.8 in
62°
42°
2.1 in
 
 
August
72°
50°
2.8 in
63°
43°
2.2 in
 
 
September
69°
47°
4.4 in
57°
39°
4.7 in
 
 
October
42°
59°
11 in
47°
32°
8.5 in