The Evergreen Trip

9 days in Washington and Oregon

This 9-day trip circles around the Evergreen State, Washington, with visits to some of its most appealing natural areas. It spends two days at Mount Rainier, passes by Mount St. Helens, then dips into Oregon for a visit to the Columbia River Gorge, Portland, and the northwest Oregon Coast. Then, it heads up the Washington coast with visits to Ocean Shores, the Hoh Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, and Forks Vampire Town. The loop completes with a trip to Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge area, Port Townsend, and the North Cascades National Park, and then finally, Seattle.

Day 1

A scenic loop from Seattle on I-90 and US-2

To start the trip, I took a scenic loop drive through the Cascade mountains, visiting filming locations of shows like Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure, and the charming Bavarian town of Leavenworth. Then, I returned to Seattle to pick up my travel companion from the airport.

Day 2 & 3

Hiking and exploring at Mount Rainier National Park

On Day 2, I drove down to Mount Rainier National Park, and spent the rest of that day, and Day 3, at the park. I've included that part of the trip in my separate Guide to Mount Rainier -- but you can see the top five attractions by following the link above.

Day 4

Mount St. Helens, and on to Portland, Oregon

The drive to Mount St. Helens, and on to Oregon, involves a lot of curvy roads and scenery that consists mostly of trees, but it's worth it to see the volcano up-close. The Windy Ridge Viewpoint provides an excellent view. Later in the day, I drove through the Columbia River Gorge, and stopped to smell the roses in Portland.

Day 5

To the beach! and on up the coast into Washington

From Portland, it's only a short drive over to Cannon Beach and Tillamook. From there, I headed up the coast, into Washington, and spent the night on a very foggy beach.

Day 6

Olympic National Park, and the Olympic peninsula

Olympic National Park offers some incredible Pacific beaches, and when you take the loop around the peninsula on US 101, you can visit them. There's also a great side-trip into the Hoh Rain Forest, and a short hike to a beautiful waterfall.

Day 7

Hiking in Olympic National Park, then on to Whidbey Island.

Rainier isn't the only outdoor playground for Seattleites. They can also enjoy beautiful mountain hikes in Olympic National Park. On this day, I did some hiking near Hurricane Ridge, then drove to Port Townsend, and took the ferry over to Whidbey Island.

Day 8

Exploring North Cascades National Park

This day was spent almost entirely on Washington Highway 20, which travels from Whidbey Island onto the mainland, then into the mountains. Several attractions and hikes in North Cascades National Park made this a full day of exploring.

Day 9

Antiquing and shopping, before the end of the trip

The trip concluded on Day 9 with some time in Snohomish, a town that's famous for its antique stores. Before heading to the airport, I drove into Seattle for a quick driving tour of the city, and some shopping at the legendary Pike Place Market.