Vancouver Island-Olympic Peninsula Hiker
Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula welcome you to a diverse and stunning land - a rocky coastline with primitive marine life and wave-manicured beaches, spectacular glacier-capped peaks and sparkling lakes, lush meadows and ancient rainforests teeming with wildlife. On foot, we immerse ourselves in this place of serendipitous discovery. At day's end, escape to the comforts of luxurious retreats and sample the Pacific Northwest's finest cuisine.
This tour is designed for the fit first-time hikers as well as hiking enthusiasts. Each day's hike is 4-8 miles in length with elevation gains of up to 1500 feet. For those looking for a challenge, there are options to cover more difficult terrain.
The following describes our inn-based trips. The activities on the inn & camping and camping departures are identical; the only differences are the choice of accommodations and settings for meals.
Day 1. Hike the Dungeness Spit, Port Townsend, Lake Crescent Lodge (360- 928-3211 / private baths)
After meeting in Seattle at 9:00 a.m., we enjoy a scenic shuttle around Puget Sound to Port Townsend, located on the Olympic Peninsula. We arrive in time for a full afternoon of hiking on the Dungeness Spit. The Spit is a National Wildlife Refuge and one of Olympic Peninsula's most remarkable natural features. Almost seven miles long, it is the longest natural sand hook in the world. The spit's surrounding bay and estuary are home to a variety of seabirds, seals, fish, crabs and clams. From the spit, the view of the Olympic Mountains is spectacular!
The historic Lake Crescent Lodge, our home away from home for the next two evenings, is located along the shore of the jewel of the Olympics.
Dungeness Spit Trail [3-11 miles, time and energy permitting; negligible elevation change]
Day 2. Hike the Grand Ridge Trail, Olympic National Park, Lake Crescent Lodge
Olympic National Park has received international recognition as both a Biosphere Reserve and as a World Heritage Site. The park contains over 1,200 species of plants, 300 species of birds and 70 species of mammals, and is one of the most pristine wilderness ecosystems in the contiguous United States.
We will hike to the broad summit of Elk Mountain, where we will be rewarded with colorful blossoms of phlox and dwarf lupine, and grandstand views of the Olympic Mountains, including the park's highest peak, Mount Olympus. From the summit we will descend through rolling tundra and into a pine forest at Deer Park.
Grand Ridge Trail Hike [7.4 miles; 1260 feet of elevation gain, 2120 feet of elevation loss]
Shorter hike to Hurricane Hill and back [3 miles; 800 feet of elevation gain / loss]
Day 3. Hike the Sol Duc Valley, visit the Sol Duc Hot Springs, TheEnglish Inn (866-388-4353 / private baths)
In the morning, we hike through the deep woods of the Sol Duc valley (native words for "sparkling water") past a majestic waterfall on a trail known as Lover's Lane. Our trail begins at Sol Duc hot springs and winds through towering ferns and cedars along the Sol Duc river.
In the afternoon, we have a few hours of free-time to explore Port Angeles before we embark on an unforgettable experience, a ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Upon arrival in Victoria, we settle into our Bed & Breakfast and then enjoy a gourmet meal at one of Victoria's fine restaurants.
Moderately Easy Option: Hike Lover's Lane [4 miles round trip; elevation change negligible]
Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria [approximately 90 minutes]
Day 4. Sea Kayaking Becher Bay, Ocean Wilderness Country Inn (250-646-2116 / private baths)
Revered as one of the premier destinations for sea kayaking, the west coast of Vancouver Island is a naturalist's paradise. The bays and coves brim with intertidal life, with bald eagles and sea birds flying overhead. After learning the basics of sea kayaking from local guides, we explore the niches of Becher Bay and a spectacular small island group. With luck we will see seals and sea lions in their natural habitat and possibly an occasional passing gray whale. Killer whales have also been known to frequent the area.
Tonight's lodging is in the town of Sooke, a quaint sea-side community on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Sooke is "where the rainforest meets the sea".
Sea Kayaking Becher Bay [mileage variable, full day]
Day 5. Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail, Ocean Wilderness Country Inn
Today we hike the famed Juan de Fuca Trail from Parkinson Creek to Botanical Beach. Hiking a mild portion of this otherwise rugged trail affords us the beauty of both the beach and a wonderland of temperate rainforest. The trail passes through lands that have been occupied by humans for perhaps 6,500 years. This area is home to the Pacheenaht First Nation, who traditionally lived on the coast during summer. At low tide, we can meander along the tidal pools at Botanical Beach & look for anemones, sea stars, and sea urchins.
Juan de Fuca Marine Trail [moderate section of 6 miles; approximately 4-5 hours, several short sections of up and downs]
Day 6. Hiking East Sooke Park
Today we hike along the jagged headlands that rise above the crashing waves on the Coast trail of Vancouver Island's East Sooke Park. Where rainforest meets the sea, we will experience the lushness of mosses and ferns, as well as the windswept coastline bluffs against emerald green water. Along the Coast trail we will see evidence of the Coast Salish people in a few ancient petroglyphs bruised into rock.
At the end of the day, we return to Seattle via the Victoria Clipper, a super-fast passenger ferry that travels across the Juan de Fuca Strait and through Pugent Sound. Trip concludes at approximately 8:00 pm in Seattle.
Hiking East Sooke Park's Coast Trail [up to 7 miles; Moderately Easy ]
Ferry from Vancouver Island to Seattle. [approximately 2 hours]
|Vancouver Island-Olympic Peninsula Hiker
|Single Room Supplement**
* Best suited for ages 8 and older. Ages 8-18 receive a 15% discount On inn trips, youths getting this discount must share a room with a full paying adult.
** Rooms are based on double occupancy. You can opt to have your own room and pay our Single Room Supplement fee. With reservations 90 days or more in advance, you can book just one person and pay the regular rate if you will share a room.
All trips require a minimum of 4 people for the trip to run and the trip maximum is 12.
Gateway City Transfer:
If you are a registered guest at the Seattle-Tacoma Marriott, there is a free shuttle from the airport that departs every 15 minutes. Other area hotels have free shuttle-service from the airport as well. For taxi service call: Checker Cab 206-622-1234, Farwest Taxi 206-622-1717, Yellow Cab 206-622-6500. Rates to downtown locations cost $25-30. Public transport is available between the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and downtown Seattle with Metro Transit on Bus 194 (after 8 p.m. ride Bus 174). Call 206-553-3000 or check with airport information to get updated schedules and fares. Bus fare to downtown is $1.25 - $2.50, depending on time of day and route.
Traveling into Canada:
Effective January 8, 2007, all U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Canada are required to have a valid passport to enter the U.S. This requirement will include those traveling by land or sea (including ferries) in January 2008. Visas or passports are not required for U.S. citizens entering Canada from the U.S. However, you will need proof of U.S. citizenship such as a valid U.S. passport or certified copy of your birth certificate and a photo ID such as a current, valid driver's license. Driver's licenses, voter's registration cards or social security cards are not considered valid proof of citizenship. If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen and do not have a passport, you will need a naturalization certificate.
Persons under 18 traveling to Canada should be accompanied by both parents or legal guardians. If not, they should carry a letter from their parents or guardians authorizing the trip. Minors should bring their passports and birth certificate. The names of the parents on the birth certificate need to match the names of the parents traveling with the minor or proof of legal guardianship will need to be provided. For single parents traveling with a minor, note that you must have a signed letter of permission from the non-traveling parent or guardian granting authority for you to travel with your child across the border.
For additional information visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/regional/regional_1170.html
Trip Fees Include:
Full day sea kayaking, all meals (lunch day 1-lunch day 6), all accommodations (double occupancy), T-shirt, water bottle, a visit to Sol Duc Hot Springs, support vehicle, ferry rides from Port Angeles to Victoria and from Victoria to Seattle.
Trip Fees Exclude:
Airfare, personal insurance, hotel miscellaneous expenses (phone, fax, laundry, etc.), additional optional tours, services not specified in the tour itinerary, and guide gratuities (An appropriate gratuity to each trip leader is $75-$100 per guest).
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Boulder Outdoor Center
2525 Arapahoe Avenue Suite E4-228
Boulder, CO 80302
Please contact us on the web.
Special Requests + What to Bring:
If you have any special dietary needs or any special request that will make your trip more enjoyable, please be sure to notify your Trip Consultant or travel agent after booking. One of our trip consultants will be contacting you to go over options and the details with you.
The World Outdoors will provide you with extensive pre-departure information, including your reservation payment receipt and confirmation, travel insurance application, suggestions for preparing for your trip, a packing list, information on pre- and post-trip arrangements, a guest questionnaire and a liability release agreement.
General Information, Questions & Answers
What type of weather should I expect?
Weather patterns in the Olympic Mountains can change frequently and without warning. Cold temperatures can occur even during the height of summer, and nighttime temperatures routinely dip into the 40s. In addition, thunderstorms may form on even the most cloudless of days, so we strongly suggest that our guests carry rain gear at all time as a precautionary measure. For day hikes, a poncho is sufficient, but a waterproof jacket may be preferable due to increased coverage.
How difficult is this trip?
No experience is required for any activity (e.g., novice sea kayakers can easily paddle our routes), but this is an active-oriented trip. This trip is intended for the average active adult who feels comfortable being active 3-5 hours a day. The hikes are 4-7 miles in length, and with climbs of no more than 1,200 feet.
Special Family Values
Young people, ages eight through 18, receive a 15% discount on this trip. This applies to camping trips when accompanied by one full paying adult and inn trips when sharing a room with one full paying adult. Though children eight years and older are welcome on this tour, please see our itinerary above and make sure your child can handle the level of physical activity on this trip. Call us to discuss the suitability of a particular tour.
Meeting Place & Time
9:00 a.m. at the Seattle-Tacoma Marriott, 3201 South 176th Street, 206-241-2000. Please plan to arrive at the inn at the designated meeting time, and not earlier, for the convenience of the innkeeper. We recommend you come prepared to hike wearing comfortable hiking boots with ankle support and wool socks coupled with a thin liner sock and have a jacket accessible, as the weather can be extremely variable on the Olympic Peninsula.
Please see our directions and driving times in the upper right hand corner to get additional directions.
Approximately 8:00 p.m. at the Seattle-Tacoma Marriott. It is important that airline departures are scheduled to accommodate this conclusion time. VERY late evening, or next day departure is recommended.
How do I book airfare for this trip?
Once you have booked your reservation, Sherry will contact you to help arrange your air. You can also call James TravelPoints, a local travel agency, at 800-538-7461 and ask for Georgia (ext 251) or Di (ext 252) or email GeorgiaT@travelpoints.com or DianeJ@travelpoints.com. Be sure to tell her you are traveling with The World Outdoors. Alternatively, you are welcome to book your airfare online, directly with the airline or through your personal travel agent.
The Best Value in Active Travel Guarantee:
We commit to you that all of our trips are of the highest quality at the best value. If you find a trip of equal quality that matches our itinerary and inclusions at a lower fare within 30 days of booking your trip with us, we will gladly refund the difference. A simple guarantee that assures you of the best trip at the best fare!
If you cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing. We calculate your refund from the day we receive written notice of your cancellation. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving early from a trip.
Number of Days Prior to Trip Departure
|90 days or more
||$100 per person
|89 to 60 days
||50% of total price per person
|59 to 30 days
||75% of total price per person
|29 to 0 days
||100% of total price per person
We highly recommend trip insurance. This is an option we will discuss with you.