Weekend Road trip around Olympic NP

My friend Nick and I did a road trip around Olympic NP and checked out places I had on my bucket list! Here’s some idea’s and tips for your next road trip.

We left Saturday morning around 9:30 for our first destination.

The famous Vance Creek Bridge

This is the second tallest bridge in Washington State. Spanning 422 feet across and towering 347 feet above the creek below. Walking along this bridge is exhilarating, scary and dangerous.

There are 2 approaches to this bridge. One is right off NF-23 and the other, also longer, is off NF-2341/2199 but requires you to trespass on private property owned by the logging company. We chose the first approach that allowed us to legally hike as far as the bridge but we must stay off. To make sure no one tries climb up  they put barb wire all around the edge and started to disassemble the bridge and tracks, making the climb more difficult but also more dangerous.

After finishing with the bridge, we then, visited different beaches in Olympic National Park, located on the coast.

The Tree of Life

There is an extraordinary tree hanging on for dear life, although, it should have been dead years ago! The tree of life is miraculous! It is located at Kalaloch Beach, near the Kalaloch Campground.


Ruby Beach

I have seen so many amazing pictures from this beach that I’ve been spoiled. It’s very beautiful but in my opinion it’s better to go for a sunset.

There are 2 campgrounds near Kalaloch and Ruby Beach. Kalaloch Campground is open year-round (make sure to reserve a site, especially during the summer) and  South Beach is open from Memorial Day to Late September.

After Ruby Beach we drove to Third beach where we wanted to backpack and camp. For some reason, we decided to go to Second Beach instead. 1.4 mile roundtrip.

Second Beach

Well, our plan for the night changed but it was totally worth it. I saw the most beautiful sunset. The colors of the sky, the clouds, the rock’s shapes and the reflection took my breath away! If you don’t want or can’t camp on the beach, take a flashlight and hike back at night. This is my NUMBER 1 place from this trip so far. It was so amazing to admire the sky full of stars while eating around the fire.

In the morning, we had a cloudy and grey sunrise but it was still pretty anyway. Also, the temperatures are still chilly in April. So, I didn’t sleep well because it was pretty cold and I woke up every couple hours. But it was fun anyway and a nice first experience sleeping on the beach.

We went back to Third Beach around 8:30am. We walked on the beach as far as the waterfall on the left of the beach. It was nice and relaxing but I’m very glad we changed our plan the day before and went to Second Beach instead.

Third Beach



First Beach / La Push

The beach that everyone heard about from the famous movie Twilight. I guess we had to stop and check it out 😎


Rialto Beach

It was the last place we stopped before we headed home. We had time to do more but we were so exhausted from all the driving and the night we had. We were there for about an hour and 30 min. We walked as far as some rocks on the left and had fun walking and climbing around.


Tips:

☑ It’s bear area. Be very cautious and be sure to bring bear spray even if most people don’t. If you camp you will have to bring a bear canister to keep food in. Only bear canisters are authorized and can be rented at any ranger’s station. Hanging your food is not authorized because of the raccoons.

☑ Check the tides on the Olympic National Park’s website. Especially if you go to explore the beach and the tidepools. The best is during low tides and watch for the returning tide to avoid getting trapped by a rising tide.

☑ Wear insect repellent during warm weather.

🏑 Hotel: If you don’t camp, you can use Airbnb and get $40 off for $75 spent on your first stay. Click Here

What else to see?

Well, I already did some of them or just passed for this time but here’s some ideas:

  • Shi Shi Beach
  • Ozette Triangle
  • Cape Flattery
  • Lake Crescent
  • Port Angeles
  • Forks (if you are a fan of twilight πŸ˜‰)

 

 

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Road Trip in Oregon

days in Oregon, Exploring nature…

How much did it cost?

β˜† Airbnb: $100 for 2 nights. We wanted an isolate room, something similar to a hotel room. We both booked 1 night as our first stay and got $40 off for $75 spent. If it’s the first time you use Airbnb, then use this link for $40 off your stay.

β˜† Gas: $60

β˜† Food: $100

β˜† Permit and passes: $40, which was $30 Northwest Forest Pass (valid 1 year) and 2 x $5 for State Parks.

πŸš— We used my boyfriend’s car but if you have to rent one it was around $100 for 3 days

1st day

We left on Sunday morning around 3:30am and arrived at Ecola State Park at 7am. There is a $5 fee entrance that you pay at a kiosk. It was still grey and cloudy but the view of Cannon Beach was amazing. We stayed there about 40min and the scenery turned blue just before we left.

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7am
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7:30 am

 Then, we went to Cannon Beach where we spent about 2h, walking on the beach, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery… it was unreal! The sand was wet and gave a nice reflection. We were so happy to be there and explore the coast.

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We headed to Cape Kiwanda, which is 1h30 drive from Cannon Beach. My GPS took us to a private road, so I decided to park the car of the side on the road where two other cars were parked. Well, we learnt later that the parking lot was 5min drive further πŸ˜… GPS’s fault πŸ˜‚ We spent about 2 hours, walked on the beach, looked at people paragliding, and climbed uphill where we had an amazing view.

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Another hour drive and we hiked Drift Creek Falls, which is an easy 2.7 mile hike. We arrived there around 3pm and the parking lot was full. We parked the car on the side of the road. It took us 1h15 to make it. Really nice hike that leads to a bridge with a view of the waterfall, then you can hike down to the waterfall.

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From the bridge

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Got soaked!!!

Last stop for the day was at Devils Punch Bowl, which was a 50min drive from Drift Creek Falls. It was high tide, so we couldn’t go down to the beach and explore inside. If you are going, I recommend you to check for the low tide.

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Then, we drove to Corvallis where we stayed for the night via Airbnb. It was a nice detached room with bathroom.

2nd Day

We left early, around 7am, and went to Silver Falls State Park. Known for its 10 waterfalls loop hike. We parked at the South Waterfall’s parking lot. The loop is about 9 miles. Not really difficult. This is a very busy trail. We followed the recommendation I read online “go on the weekday and early”. Well, we basically had the trail for ourselves. Many cars and people were there when we got back to the parking lot around 1pm. Glad we started early. Our favorite waterfall was the North Falls but they were all pretty awesome.

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South Falls
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Lower South Falls
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Double Falls
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North Falls

Then, we wanted to hike Abiqua Falls, which is 50 min drive from Silver Falls State Park. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the road conditions and we had to park about 2 mile from the trailhead. On our way I started to get a really bad headache and I didn’t feel good enough to hike 5 miles instead of 1 like I planned. Well, we just saw a dozen waterfalls and more were planned for the next day.

We drove to Gresham where we spent the night via Airbnb. We really loved this place. It was really comfy in the basement, with TV, couch, laundry room, private bathroom, 2 bedrooms and access to the hot tub.

3rd day

We left early morning around 7am and went first to Multnomah Falls. This place is very popular and I wanted a chance to enjoy it without the crazy crowd. Well, we were lucky. We saw a couple people but no one on our pics πŸ“ΈπŸ–’

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Then we went to Wahclella Falls. 2 miles. Very easy. It ends with a little loop that leads to an amazing waterfall.

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Next stop was Elowah Falls. 1.4 miles. The trail was actually closed because of a mudslide but we gave it a try anyway and it was worth it. A really small part of the trail collapsed but we could get passed it easily. Another way was possible but really steep. The trail kept going after the waterfall but we turned back and kept going up the fork to see Upper McCord Creek Falls, which was not in my plan and added another mile to the hike.

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Elowah Falls
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Upper McCord Creek Falls

Heading to Wahkeena Falls, we made a stop at Horsetail Falls, which was right on the side of the road. Really nice stop on our way.

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We made a fast stop at Wahkeena Falls, which was 1.4 miles out and back. Pretty cool but not as impressive as Elowah Falls or Wahclella Falls.

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Last stop was at Latourell Falls. First we went to the top but the view is definitely not as good as the bottom. Despite all the cars in the parking lot we had the waterfall for ourselves at least 5min. We went behind the waterfall. Probably the most powerful waterfall we saw on this trip. We were so soaked after this hike that we had to change our clothes in the parking lot and unfortunately I forgot to put the bag back in the car that had our hiking shoes and pants in it that added an additional $250 to the road trip’s cost. My bad πŸ˜‘

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This was a 3 days road trip but if you have only 2 days (weekend) I will recommend you these places:

  • Cannon beach
  • Cape Kiwanda
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Multnomah Falls
  • Whaclella Falls
  • Latourell Falls

    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Check out my Instagram for more πŸ“Έ

    ❀ You like my  red Women’s Camp Jacket? Check out my post and get $10 off your purchase 

    Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon & Monument Valley

     Horseshoe Bend 

    It’s a Horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page in Northern Arizona and adjacent to the border with Utah. It’s a 1.5 mile hike roundtrip from U.S. Route 89 and leads to the top of a cliff, overlooking Horseshoe Bend and the Colorado River over 1,000 feet below. The trail is accessible to people for all hiking skill levels and takes between 30min and 1h. The trail is made of sand and sandstone. There is no reservation needed. The National Park pass will be required. It might be difficult to park if the place is crowded.

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    Trail
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    Sunset

    Antelope Canyon

    It’s a slot canyon located on Navajo land East of Page. A slot canyon is a narrow canyon, formed by the wear of water rushing through rocks. The color of the walls is of a very intense orange. There are 2 different canyons : Lower Antelope Canyon and Upper Antelope Canyon but most of the time people visit the Lower Antelope Canyon.

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    Lower Antelope Canyon

    Cost : There is a $8 Navajo Park Entrance Fee per person to enter into the indian reserve. You must book a tour, either online or in person. I’ll recommand you to book in advance especially during the summer. Tripods are forbidden. If you want to bring yours you’ll have to take a Photographer Tour.

    Upper Antelope Canyon : Approximate prices are $48 for a general tour (1h) and $120 for a Photographer Tour (2h)

    Lower Antelope Canyon : Approximate prices are $25 for a general tour (1h15) and $47 for a Photographer Tour (2h15)

    Different guided Tours are available. We chose Ken’s Tours to visit the Lower Antelope Canyon (see review below in “my experience”)

    You can book a tour for the Upper Antelope Canyon with :

    Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours

    Antelope Slot Canyon Tours

    Antelope Canyon Tours

    Antelope Canyon Najavo Tours

    From April to September, do the tour around 11am or 12pm. The sun is at its zenith, and enters the canyon in a spectacular way.

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    Lower Antelope Canyon

    Monument Valley

    It’s located on the Arizona-Utah border. The Valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation. It is known by its cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor. The most famous buttes are called “West Mitten Butte”, “East Mitten Butte” and “Merrick Butte”. The Navajo people call this place the Valley of Rocks. Monument Valley has stood as a symbol of the American West. No reservation needed. There is a $20 fee to enter into the Park.

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    View from the Visitor Center

    πŸš— Take a scenic drive : Monument Valley can be visited by driving through a 17 mile dirt road that passes 11 stop points

    1. The Mittens
    2. Elephant Butte
    3. Three sisters
    4. John Ford’s Point
    5. Camel Butte
    6. The Hub
    7. Totem Pole
    8. Sand Springs
    9. Artist’s Point
    10. North Window
    11. The Thumb
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    On the dirt road

    My experience

    We did all of those places in one day. It was a part of the Road Trip we did last year in March/April.

    We spent the night at Page and started early, around 6:30am-7am at Horseshoe Bend. In my opinion, it’s better to go in the afternoon because of the shade that cuts half of the Horseshoe-shape. The good thing was we were alone. Also, we stopped there the day before. We caught the sunset after we spent the day at the Grand Canyon.

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    Around 7am in April

    Then, we went to Antelope Canyon. Our tour was scheduled at 8:30am with Ken’s Tours, which was $28 for a general tour (1h15) + the $8 Navajo Park Entrance Fee.

    Review : 4.5/5. We entered into the canyon by group of about 12 people and a guide. The guide was very nice and provided us a verbal tour and assistance in taking photos. I got my camera a few weeks before the trip (Nikon D3300) and he helped me with the settings, making my pictures look better 😍 Also, he offered to take a panaromic picture of us with our phone. When we came out of the canyon he showed us some actual “Prehistoric Dinosaur’s paw prints”.

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    Finally, we drove to Monument Valley, which is about 2h drive (120 mile) from Antelope Canyon and spent the afternoon there. We had a great view of Monument Valley from the Visitor Center. Then we hiked The Wildcat Trail, which is 3.2 miles around the West Mitten Butte. It takes about 1h30-2h. We really enjoyed this hike. We drove through the park on a 17 mile dirt road. We had an economic car and it was totally doable to drive on the dirt road (the road was dry). We left around 5pm and went back to Page for the night.

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    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏

    Road Trip #1 : California-Nevada-Arizona-Utah (March/April 2016)

    A Road Trip is an amazing way to discover a country and especially in the USA. The scenery is just breath taking. It’s like a show from your car. Also, you better like driving cause you are going to drive for long hours and some roads are straight and endless. There are so many different Road trips you can do. Depends on how many days or weeks and what you want to see. Here are some ideas… πŸš—

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    9 DAYS – 2 PARTS

    For some reason my best friend Bruna couldn’t make the entire road trip with me. My boyfriend decided to join me for the second half. This is why I chose to land in Las Vegas. Otherwise a start in Los Angeles would have been the best. I spent 4 days with Bruna in Nevada and California and 5 days with my boyfriend in Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

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    HOW MUCH DID IT COST ?

    β˜† Flight : $340 / pers (from Seattle)

    β˜† Rental : $290 (Enterprise) / 3 pers

    β˜† Gas : About $225 (~2000 miles) / 3 pers

    β˜† Hotel : $300

    • 2 nights = Couchsurfing = FREE
    • 1 night = RV = $52 / 2 pers
    • 5 nights = Hotel = $248 / 2 pers

    β˜† Visit :

    • $86 Universal Studio Los Angeles (Cheaper online) / pers
    • $80 National Parks Annual Pass
    • $20 Monument Valley
    • $28 Antelope Canyon / pers
    • $65 Canyon Trail Rides Bryce Canyon (Horse ride) / pers

     

    I planned and booked everything about a month before. The earlier you book, the cheaper you will pay. You definitely can find a flight for Las Vegas for less. If you are under 25, you will pay more for the rental because of the insurance. It’s also more expensive if you drop the car off in a different place than where you picked it up. I usually book my flight with Kayak, the car with Rentalcar.com and the hotel with Booking. 

    I like to use Couchsurfing when I’m travelling in the City, either for the night or just to hang out. It’s a nice way to meet people, share culture and whatever you like, and you have someone to show you around or give advice about where to go. Usually, you’ve already researched online what you want to do and what you want to see but they can advise you about places less touristic.

     

    THERE WILL BE A POST IN MORE DETAIL ABOUT EACH DESTINATION

     

    Los Angeles

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    Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

    Death Valley

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    Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

    Click here to read the Death Valley blog

    Grand Canyon

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    South Rim, Grand Canyon

    Click here to read the Grand Canyon blog 

    Horseshoe Bend

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    Sunset, Horseshoe Bend

    Antelope Canyon

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    Monument Valley

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    Click here to read about the Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon & Monument Valley Blog 

    Grand Staircase Escalante

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    Spooky Gulch, Grand Staircase Escalante

     Bryce Canyon

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    Click here to read about the Bryce Canyon blog

    Zion

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    From Angels Landing Trail, Zion

     

    πŸš— Have fun and Drive safe πŸš—

    If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

    Please leave a comment ✏