For those unfamiliar with the Pacific Northwest, it is one of the most stunning natural settings in the entirety of North America. The Regions of Washington State and Oregon, the American portion, are home to temperate rainforest, the Olympic Mounts, the Cascades, the Puget Sound, Mount Hood, and Mount Rainier to say the least.

There is so much beauty in this region that you could plan to do nothing else but drive through it. And honestly, you wouldn’t be disappointed. Though, for the adventurous, there are numerous trails and hikes to explore to get a close look at the landscape.


If you have the opportunity to take two weeks to explore the Pacific Northwest then do it. Here is a guide to the route you should take to get the most out of your experience.

Day 1: Seattle, WA

After arriving in Seattle take some time to relax and visit Pike Place Market. It's a beautiful part of the city right by the Sound. There are lots of small shops to explore and all of them are within easy walking distance. You can even find the original Starbucks to snap some photos at.

Day 2: Port Angeles, WA

Travel up to the northern part of the Olympic peninsula and enjoy some of the nature there. Hurricane Ridge is a great day hike that will allow you to look out at the stunning geography of the peninsula.

Day 3: Elwha River Valley and Lake Crescent

Visit what has become one of the greatest natural restoration projects taken on by the National Park Service. You can experience Marymere Falls and the other stunning sites at this crystal clear mountain lake.

  • Driving Distance - 21.8 miles, 28 minutes from Port Angeles

Day 4: Forks, WA

No, not here for vampires, but if you want to hike through the Hoh Rainforest, or explore the Olympic Coast, then that is why you’re in Forks. The area is scenic and beautiful with much nature to explore.

  • Driving Distance - 34.6 miles, 39 minutes from Lake Crescent
  • Hoh River Trail - 18113 Upper Hoh Rd, Forks, WA 98331, United States
  • Hall of Mosses - Hoh Valley Rd, Forks, WA 98331, United States
  • Third Beach Trailhead - La Push Rd, La Push, WA 98350, United States

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Day 5: Grays Harbor, WA

Home to 7 bodies of water; harbors, lakes, streams, channels, canals, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean, Grays Harbor is a wondrous final stop for the Olympic peninsula loop. Take some time to enjoy their northern and southern beaches, or perhaps take one more hike through the Olympic Rainforest.

  • Driving Distance - 106 miles, 1 hour 56 minutes from Forks

Day 6: Mount Rainier National Park, WA

Mount Rainer towers over Washington State at 14,410 feet. It is an active volcano with an icy peak. Subalpine wildflower meadows surround the icy summit while dense and old forests cover its lower regions. Take some time, based on your level, and explore this natural wonder.

Day 7: Portland, OR

Take a moment to return to city life and enjoy Portland. You might want to explore one of their many museums and art collections. Or, you could take some time to enjoy Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. Make sure to grab something delicious to eat while you’re here too.

Day 8: Mount Hood, OR

Take the scenic drive on US 26 and SR 35 through the river valley surrounding Mount Hood. Take as many stops along the route as you want. There are various small villages and hikes you can do to add to your day. The 11,239-foot mountain is inspiring and so is the land around it.

Day 9: Umatilla, OR

This drive will take you through lush green forests. You will cross moss-covered bridges along the Columbia River Highway and you will catch sight of stunning waterfalls. Take a visit to Chanticleer Point, within Portland Women’s Forum State Park, and take in the sights of Columbia Gorge.

  • Driving Distance - 155 miles, 2 hours 47 minutes from Mount Hood

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Day 10: Yakima, WA

Yakima is home to many wineries and breweries, so it's a good place to park your car before exploring. Yakima Valley's viticulture has matured over the last thirty years. There are also 90 wineries within 70 miles of each other to explore. If you are more of a beer person the volcanic soil of the area is great for growing hops so it's a fantastic place to search for some craft beer breweries. Alcohol aside, there are also over 300 miles of hikes in the area to explore too.

  • Driving Distance - 93.8 miles, 1 hour 35 minutes from Umatilla
  • Bonair Winery - 500 S Bonair Rd, Zillah, WA 98953, United States
  • Mill Lane Winery - 12302 Marble Rd, Yakima, WA 98908, United States
  • Single Hill Brewing - 102 N Naches Ave, Yakima, WA 98901, United States
  • Hop Capital Brewing - 2920 River Rd #6, Yakima, WA 98902, United States

Day 11: Snoqualmie Pass, WA

Snoqualmie Pass is a stunning region of the Cascades that I-90 cuts through. You can get off of the highway to enjoy what the area has to offer. Explore Franklin Falls, Kachess Lake, or Kendall Katwalk for a taste of the natural mountainous setting.

  • Driving Distance - 89.4 miles, 1 hour 25 minutes

Day 12: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

From Granite Falls you will turn up the Mountain Loop Highway. Take in the sights of this national forest as you slowly make your way up the road. Also, be sure to take some time to hike some of the trails in the area to truly enjoy this beautiful destination.

  • Driving Distance - 91 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes to Granite Falls from Snoqualmie Pass

Day 13: Lake Stevens, WA

Lake Stevens offers a bit of a return to civilization while still being surrounded by natural beauty. The water of Lake Stevens is perfectly clear and you can spend some time at the beach there. Or, perhaps you want to take a stroll through its surrounding parks. Either way, do check out some of the food in the area to help recharge from your long journey.

  • Driving Distance - 7.8 miles, 11 minutes from Granite Falls

Day 14: Back to Seattle, WA

  • Driving Distance - 36.3 miles, 39 minutes from Lake Stevens
  • Total Distance - 1,044.4
  • Total Time - 19 hours and 57 minutes

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