Amazing 6 Day Tour of Washington’s National Parks

After an incredible trip to Oregon last Summer, I headed North in July to check out the breathtaking sites of Washington with its’ unique topography and micro climates . Think rainforests, rugged coastlines, rocky beaches, islands, marine life, alpine mountains and fog. You can see it all in an action packed 6 day tour. See how below.

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) encompasses Idaho, Oregon and Washington according to The World Atlas. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy this part of the World. Let’s see Washington and its’ gorgeous National Parks!

Read great tips here on planning a road trip in Southern Oregon.

Stops along the Way

Table of Contents

Day 1 - Exploring Seattle

Pike Place Market Sign
Seattle Space Needle

Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest with a population of 724,305 and incorporated in 1869. The city is very manageable to visit as a tourist. 



We stayed in the Belltown area where we could walk between the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and our hotel. If you stay in the Belltown area, make sure to have dinner or lunch at Der Biergarten. The restaurant is in the traditional German Beer Garden style with a modern twist. They also have a nice porch on the back deck. 



The Space Needle is a must-do in Seattle. Definitely touristy, but an incredible overview of the City and a fun kitschy stop.



The Pike Place Market and surrounding area is also touristy, but quintessential Seattle. Don’t forget to stop at the original Starbucks coffee shop and buy tickets for the underground tour which is a guided subterranean walk  amid ruins buried after an 1889 fire, including storefronts & sidewalks.


Day 2 - North Cascades National Park

Diablo Lake Overlook

We started early on Day 2 headed northeast from Seattle to North Cascades National Park. This park’s rugged beauty is characterized by jagged peaks, deep forested valleys, cascading waterfalls, and over 300 glaciers.


First stop was Diablo Lake Overlook. We learned that glacier lakes vibrant colors are a result of the powdered rock created from the glacier movement into the lake. The sun reflects the rock substance in the lake creating the bright teal green color.


We also did a quick stop at the The Trail of the Cedars on the way. Our first experience of many more incredibly unique and beautiful forests in Washington. 




Tail of the Cedars
Trail of the Cedars

The day was topped off with a 4.6 mile hike to the Blue Lake with 921 elavation gain. The snow and ice was still remaining on the trail despite the incredibly hot temperatures. A dip in the lake at 45 degree water temperature cooled us right down! 

Day 3 - San Juan Islands

Whale watching in the Salish Sea around the San Juan Islands is a must-do when visiting this region. We drove to Anacortes – a city in Skagit County to board a whale watching boat tour. 



Magnificent orca (or killer) whales live in the San Juan Islands year-round, and this is the best place in the world to see them in the wild. We were also able to view harbor seals and porpoises. The outing was for 4 hours, and then later in the afternoon we took a ferry to Port Angeles.


Ferry to Port Townsend
Coastal Image

Day 4 - Olympic National Park

Our home base for exploring Olympic National Park was in the town of Forks. You might have seen this town featured in the Twilight series films. Make sure to do some shopping at Forks Outfitters Thriftway and Ace Hardware. They have everything you need for your next adventure.



This National  Park sprawls across several different ecosystems, from the dramatic peaks of the Olympic Mountains to old-growth forests. We started out early to venture out before the crowds…there is A LOT to see!

Hurricane Hill Trail
Views from Hurricane Ridge

We started the day at 5,515 feet on The Hurricane Hill Trail via Hurricane Ridge. The drive up offered incredible views, and then the hike to the top was the icing on the cake. The combo of wildflowers, snow capped mountains and the greenery made for a quintessential Pacific Northwest hike.


The latter part of the day included exploration of Lake Crescent followed by the Sol Duc River area. We did 2 short hikes at Marymere Falls & Sol Duc Falls. 

Day 5 - Olympic National Park

Grab your rain gear today as we head out for the rain forest. Yes you heard that right, Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. The Hoh Rain Forest is one of four rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula. However, it is the only one that has been awarded the distinction of being a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. 


After we explored the rain forest, we headed to the coast to see Ruby Beach a rocky dramatic coastline in Washington and The Quinalt Lake Lodge (built in 1926) one of the National Park system’s many charming historic lodges.

Olympic peninsula
Hoh Rain Forest
Ruby Beach Washington

Day 6 - Mt. Rainier National Park

Seattle’s cityscape is dramatic with Mt. Rainier in its’ background. A trip to this region would not be complete without visiting this Stratovolcano standing at 14,411 feet. The Cascade Mountains are home to an active volcano Mt. St. Helen’s which can be seen from Rainier.


After stopping by the visitor’s center we embarked on a 6 mile hike with an elevation gain of 1,774 feet on the Skyline Trail. This is a very popular hike, and I recommend doing the hike on a non-holiday weekend or during the week. The views are incredible and during July there was plenty of snow remaining on the mountain despite the 100 degree heat wave.

My Favorite Day Hiking Accessories

My pink poles are durable and don’t break the bank. They’ve lasted me many miles! A great price point. 

This cooling bucket hat is a great sun protector and helps me to cool down on a hot day on the trail! Just add water and wring it out! 

Osprey is on of the top makers of backpacks. This rucksack is so light and packable plus durable. Plus such great 1 for every outfit:)

Say goodbye to blisters wearing these amazing merino socks. So worth the investment. And they keep your feet cool.

Play Video about Skyline Trail Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier Skyline Trail

I am always amazed by our National Parks in the United States. Each one has special qualities and highlights. What amazed me the most, was the diversity in the Washington National Parks. The West Coast has the mountains meeting the ocean, and in this case, the rainforests, old growth forests, lakes and rivers! Plan a week to see this magical part of our will not be disappointed!


Judy Hughes

Judy Hughes

Hi there..I’m Judy. I am a Mom, Wife, Dog Mom and Realtor. My posts are a potpourri of my favorite activities in life. I will dabble in home design & staging (specifically small spaces), real estate tips, plant-based eating, pickle ball, camping and adventure travel. ​Hoping you join me …....Thanks for stopping in! Judy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Get The Newsletter

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Laird Bunch

Laird is our B&C local expert agent for Delaware, Maryland and Southern PA.

Will Flannigan

Will covers the East Los Angeles Market for Bungalows Cottages. 

Bungalows and Cottages Logo

Expert Agent Connect

Connect with your local B&C expert to find, understand, and secure your next dream home. We’re here!

Or Call our Call Center at 941-275-2630

*By proceeding, you consent to receive communication at the
number you provided, and email, from and
real estate professionals and their network of service providers about
your inquiry and other home-related matters. Msg/data rates may
apply. This consent applies even if you are on a do not call list and is not
a condition of any purchase.

Bungalows and Cottages Logo

Dakota Feroleto

Dakota covers the Southern California Desert Region for Bungalows and Cottages which includes Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta.

Ken Riel

Ken covers the Charlotte North Carolina Market for Bungalows and Cottages which includes Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth, Chantilly, Wesley Heights, Dilworth, NoDa, and Wilmore.

Karen Barks

Karen covers the Portland Oregon Market for Bungalows and Cottages from Beaverton and West Portland to the North and Northeast neighborhoods.

Chris Zoller

Chris covers the Tamp Florida Market for Bungalows and Cottages from Hyde Park, to Ybor, Seminole Heights, Historic Kenwood, and all around town.

Contact Chris:
or Send A Note:

By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Jen Berbas

Jen covers the Austin Texas Market for Bungalows and Cottages from Downtown, to Old West Austin, Chestnut, Travis Heights, Rosedale, and all around town.

Mark Hughes

Mark covers the Los Angeles Market for Bungalows Cottages. Mark also serves as the liaison to the B&C Expert Partner Agent Network.  He loves Bungalows and Cottages!

Contact Mark: Call Center
or Send A Note...

By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Peggy Graef

Peggy covers the Orlando Florida Market for Bungalows and Cottages from Colonialtown, and College Park to Winterpark, and Thornton, and all around town.

Mike Dobbs

Mike covers the West Side Los Angeles Market for Bungalows and Cottages.

Steven Lambert

Steven is our B&C local expert agent for the Tri-Cities in Washington.

Amanda Rose

GA Lic#243859

Amanda covers the Atlanta Market for Bungalows & Cottages. 

Thomson Meeks

Thomson covers the Asheville Market for Bungalows Cottages.

Contact Thomson: Call Center
or Send A Note...

By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Submit Your BnB

Fill in your BnB details and we’ll review it for addition to our growing map of Bungalow and Cottages BnB’s.

*By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.

Shannon Praetorius

Shannon covers the Seattle Market for Bungalows Cottages. Connect with Shannon here to find your best B&C Market guidance.

Contact Shannon: Call Center
or Send A Note...

By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Anne Jensen

Anne covers the Los Angeles Market for Bungalows and Cottages along the south city side and LA’s southern coastal areas.

Contact Anne:
Call Center 818-480-2864
or Send A Note...

By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Judy Hughes

Judy Hughes is a Orange County, CA sales expert and accomplished renovation consultant.

Call or text Judy at 562-972-0491
or send a note...

By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy

Kathy Engen

Kathy is our B&C local expert agent for Edina MN.

John Staab

John is the Managing Broker and accomplished real estate consultant for Motive Real Estate Fort Worth Texas. Lic #0525982

Ken Farah

Ken covers the San Diego County Region for Bungalows and Cottages.

Alex Fotouhi

Alex is our B&C local expert agent for Seattle Washington.

Bungalows and Cottages Logo

Agent Lead and Referral Network

Realtors® Fill in your details to join our growing exclusive B&C Lead and Referral Network and we’ll get back to right away.

*By sending you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.