Hiking the Pacific Northwest: Olympic NP and Mt Rainier NP

The view from Hurricane Hill in  Olympic National Park.

The view from Hurricane Hill in Olympic National Park.

In August my buds and I embarked on our annual "Guys Trip."  A tradition that started a few years ago and has led to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, sleeping in a van in Iceland, and to ride bikes through small towns in Belgium in 2018.
But 2017 was all about the Pacific Northwest and sandwiched between Seattle and our time in Idaho and Montana were four splendid days in Olympic National Park and Mt Rainier National Park in Washington!

Two National Parks i have never been too but can't wait to revisit and would highly recommend to anyone who loves getting outside.
Below is my recap of some of the highlights from these special four days!
After all the hashtag says "#NorthwestIsBest" and I'm in agreement.

En route to our first stop in Olympic we ran straight into a craft beer fest and watermelon eating contest.  A pit stop was a no brainer!

En route to our first stop in Olympic we ran straight into a craft beer fest and watermelon eating contest.  A pit stop was a no brainer!

From the Hurricane Hill trailhead a beautiful trail leads up to the top of the hill with sweeping mountain views of Olympic National Park!  This trail starts 1.5 miles past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and gains about 750 feet over 3.2 miles.  A good workout but doable for many levels!

From the Hurricane Hill trailhead a beautiful trail leads up to the top of the hill with sweeping mountain views of Olympic National Park!  This trail starts 1.5 miles past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and gains about 750 feet over 3.2 miles.  A good workout but doable for many levels!

A tasty reward after a great hike!

A tasty reward after a great hike!

Entering the trailhead by the Lake Crescent parking lot was a short hike to Marymere Falls.  Along the way we experienced the mossy trees that are most known in my eyes for someone who has not visited Olympic National Park but seen photos!

Entering the trailhead by the Lake Crescent parking lot was a short hike to Marymere Falls.  Along the way we experienced the mossy trees that are most known in my eyes for someone who has not visited Olympic National Park but seen photos!

Marymere Falls...a wonderful quick hike to an amazing waterfall!

Marymere Falls...a wonderful quick hike to an amazing waterfall!

After the Marymere Falls hike take a stroll out to admire the beautifully tranquil Lake Crescent!

After the Marymere Falls hike take a stroll out to admire the beautifully tranquil Lake Crescent!

It was then on to the Hoh Rainforest River Trail!  Which you can actually take 18 miles one way.  We did about 5 miles one way and logged about 20 for the day.  It's an incredible trail that twists and turns through this magnificent rainforest.  You'll head about 20 miles down a two lane road to the trailhead.  The road ends at the Hoh Visitor Center.

It was then on to the Hoh Rainforest River Trail!  Which you can actually take 18 miles one way.  We did about 5 miles one way and logged about 20 for the day.  It's an incredible trail that twists and turns through this magnificent rainforest.  You'll head about 20 miles down a two lane road to the trailhead.  The road ends at the Hoh Visitor Center.

We stayed overnight at the  Kalaloch Lodge  in Olympic NP prior to an early rise and four hour drive to Mt Rainier!  We arrived just in time for sunset :).

We stayed overnight at the Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic NP prior to an early rise and four hour drive to Mt Rainier!  We arrived just in time for sunset :).

After a morning drive through rural and urban Washington we landed at the Summerland Trail in Rainier.  We did about 14 mile RT hike on this beautiful trail, with the imposing Rainier always lurking around the corner for us to awwwwww over!

After a morning drive through rural and urban Washington we landed at the Summerland Trail in Rainier.  We did about 14 mile RT hike on this beautiful trail, with the imposing Rainier always lurking around the corner for us to awwwwww over!

We camped overnight at the  Ohanapecosh Campground  inside of Rainier.  Apparently the tent was buried in the back of the car and we had to unload and repack the gear for our next few tent camping evenings!

We camped overnight at the Ohanapecosh Campground inside of Rainier.  Apparently the tent was buried in the back of the car and we had to unload and repack the gear for our next few tent camping evenings!

From the campground there is a nice trail leading to some hot springs and this waterfall.  It was a sunrise stroll and only about 2 miles RT.  Give it a whirl to get an appetite for breakfast after waking!

From the campground there is a nice trail leading to some hot springs and this waterfall.  It was a sunrise stroll and only about 2 miles RT.  Give it a whirl to get an appetite for breakfast after waking!

When you stay in this part of Rainier you are only a five mile drive from the  PCT Trail!   It then weaves in and out of park boundaries and the neighboring National Forest.  We spent the day starting at Chinook Pass and heading South towards Mexico on the trail!  The other option on the trailhead was North to Canada.  Keep in mind this is a 2,600 plus mile long trail.  And the options from Washington were Canada or Mexico :).  Choose wisely!

When you stay in this part of Rainier you are only a five mile drive from the PCT Trail!  It then weaves in and out of park boundaries and the neighboring National Forest.  We spent the day starting at Chinook Pass and heading South towards Mexico on the trail!  The other option on the trailhead was North to Canada.  Keep in mind this is a 2,600 plus mile long trail.  And the options from Washington were Canada or Mexico :).  Choose wisely!

One of thousands of enchanting views on the PCT!  Our hike led us 2 miles up through the Rainier border before a long descent and flat grade to the Baker Lakes.  It was about 10 miles RT with lots of rises and falls of elevation.  We ran into day hikers of the PCT and people who had been out there for days or weeks!  Truly a special experience no matter how long you have to be on it.

One of thousands of enchanting views on the PCT!  Our hike led us 2 miles up through the Rainier border before a long descent and flat grade to the Baker Lakes.  It was about 10 miles RT with lots of rises and falls of elevation.  We ran into day hikers of the PCT and people who had been out there for days or weeks!  Truly a special experience no matter how long you have to be on it.

Whistlin' Jack  was the first sign of life after an hour through the National Forest.  A hearty lunch followed and then it was off to Idaho as the road trip continued!

Whistlin' Jack was the first sign of life after an hour through the National Forest.  A hearty lunch followed and then it was off to Idaho as the road trip continued!

These four days involved unforgettable experiences, two amazing National Parks, over 45 miles of hiking, freezing nights sleeping outside without a sleeping bag (woops!), and tons of driving.  If we had time to space it out you could easily spend one week in each park.  But this hopefully gives you a glimpse of what's possible in these amazing places.

Don't forget to grab one of your Limited Edition 2017 Prints for the holidays while they last!  These won't be available after December and your only chance will get them will be to be a part of our VIP Adventure Club. (More details coming soon on that!)

Thanks for being a part of our community.  We appreciate YOU!  Do you have anything you would add?  Comment below!

Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Mike R and the Hashtag 59 Team

4 Days Olympic and Mt. Rainer.jpg