Two years ago we traveled up the West Coast, from San Diego to Victoria, British Columbia, and got to spent a little time in the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a fantastic place with quaint seaside towns, rugged beaches, and windswept mountains. We knew right away that we were coming back to explore things more thoroughly – and this summer we got the chance.
Olympic National Park sits dominantly at the heart of the peninsula. Spur roads shoot in, providing access to the park’s most notable locations, but the towns and travel routes skirt the edges, abiding on the lip between the park’s boundary and the ocean. Mount Olympus rises nearly 8,000 feet from the center of the park and, along with the rest of the Olympics, stirs the wild and ever changing weather that makes this area famous.
To experience the majesty of the mountains, make your way up to Hurricane Ridge – seventeen miles south of Port Angeles. As you might guess from it’s name, the winds here can be brutal and storms blow in without warning, but the views are spectacular. We were lucky to get the perfect day – warm and sunny – for our visit.
Unfortunately, like many of our National Parks, the trails at Hurricane Ridge are not pet friendly.
However, there are some areas within the park where pets on leash can join you:
In addition, you’ll find acres and acres of national forests and wilderness areas on the peninsula where your dog will be welcome to join you. A couple of places to get your list started are the south side of Lake Quinault and the trail up to Mount Walker.
One of our favorite places during our previous visit was the little town Port Townsend. In fact, we liked it so much that we couldn’t drag ourselves away from the harbor views, historic architecture, and cozy coffee shops to check out the highly recommended Fort Worden State Park.
Luckily, this time we met up with our friend Jessica from You Did What With Your Weiner. Big thanks to her and her two Doxies, Gretel and Chester, for coming out to show us around!
An active military base until 1953, this 433 acre state park is truly unique. As you walk along, you’ll find bunkers and gun batteries on the strategic hilltops overlooking Puget Sound. Jessica grew up near here and testifies it’s a great place for a game of hide-and-seek!
Looking for a cozy getaway? The original barracks, three dozen Victorian house, have been renovated into vacation rentals – some of which are pet friendly! With two miles of sandy beaches, 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, two boat ramps, and a 50-site RV park, this is a spot you’re not going to want to miss.
The annual wooden boat festival had Port Townsend booked up, so we found a nice, quiet RV Park just a bit to the south in Port Ludlow. There’s really not much to this little town other than a gas station and post office, but they have some fantastic hiking trails! Pick up the map at the kiosk near the recycling center and don’t miss the paved Timberton Loop trail around the old golf course!
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