Explore Washington’s Wonders:

Islands, Rain Forests, Mountains, Pacific Shorelines, and Waterfalls

July 15-22, 2017 or July 23-30, 2017 - $2,988

Trip Rating: Challenging Maximum Daily mileage: 4-8
Terrain: Hilly with uneven patches, rocks, and roots
Elevation gains: Up to 750 feet

*** NOTE: The 2017 trips are filled. We encourage you to sign up for our waiting list. No deposit is required for the wait list. ***

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Wow! ~ Wonderful Washington!

  • Walk secluded beaches along the rugged Pacific coastline.
  • Explore the San Juan Islands — voted 4th best islands in the world by Trip Advisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice.
  • Hike through one of the world’s few temperate rain forests.
  • Stand atop the world at Hurricane Ridge to view the ocean on one side and the Olympic Mountains on the other.
  • Hike to towering waterfalls, forest-ringed lakes, and spectacular vistas.
  • Look for orca whales…porpoises…harbor seals…tidal-pool sea stars and anemones… elk…marmot…fawns…river otters…and perhaps a bear.

  • Opt to go on a whale-watch cruise, to kayak quiet ocean bays, or to search for orcas by kayak.
  • Enjoy lodging along an ocean cove and in the Olympic Mountains.

Discover unforgetable scenery…

…and adventure

Day 1: Welcome!

Hike gorgeous alpine countryside

Explore verdant rain forest trails.

"I talked and laughed, plus I found peace in my heart and a new awakening to God’s marvelous world and all its creatures!" ~Braveheart

Fly into Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport. We’ll meet and drive you to our lodge nestled in the Olympic Mountain range. Settle into your room-with-a-view before gathering for dinner and some of the area’s best food.

Day 2: Alpine hikes and waterfalls

Begin this amazing day by heading up to 5,200-foot Hurricane Ridge. On our way, we’ll drive through forested foothills, alpine meadows, and towering ridges on Olympic Park’s premier scenic road. When we reach the top, you may need to twirl in the meadow and sing the Sound of Music; the views are that spectacular. Wildflowers adorn vistas of the Olympic Mountain range on one side of our trail and the sparkling-blue Strait of Juan de Fuca on the other. (The San Juan Islands nestle in that Strait.) Along the trail, look for spotted fawns and pudgy marmots ? and perhaps a black bear on a distant mountainside.

Olympic National Park protects the largest old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest, and our next hike takes us through its towering trees. We’ll hike 1.6 miles roundtrip to one of the state’s most photographed waterfalls: powerful Sol Duc Falls which boasts three separate plumes of thundering water.

Delight your spirit

 
Day 3: Rain forests, Pacific beaches, & tidal pools

Olympic National Park has one of the world’s few temperate rain forests; internationally known Hoh Rain Forest is one of the best places to experience it. At Hoh, we’ll hike three miles through spruce and hemlocks soaring 200 feet high, groves of chest-high ferns, and moss-draped trees resembling shaggy prehistoric creatures. Lunch along the pretty Hoh River to enjoy views of snow-capped mountains and to look for soaring bald eagles and frolicking river otters.

Feel tiny in the Hoh rain forest’s huge ferns,
hanging mosses, & towering trees.

This day also treats you to a secluded Pacific Ocean beach. Savor a 1.5-mile round-trip hike through the rain forest to our favorite stretch of coastline, where low tide allows us to reach sea stacks and a sea cave, and to discover hundreds of colorful sea stars and anemones. On the drive home, we’ll grab a casual dinner in the small logging town of Forks, made famous by the Twilight movies filmed there.

Day 4: Ferry cruises & islands

Depending on our schedule, we may hike two miles through stands of Douglas fir to Marymere Falls, a 90-foot beauty plummeting onto ferns and moss-covered rocks.

Then, we’ll ferry to Orcas Island for the second half of our Washington adventure. Locals call serene Orcas Island "the Gem of the San Juans." It is the largest of the San Juan Islands... and our favorite! You’ll admire the island’s lush forests and rolling farmland as we drive to the quaint, oceanside town of Eastsound, where we’ll stay. Settle into your condo, which overlooks the ocean and is a short walk to Eastsound’s fun shops and restaurants. Enjoy ocean views as we dine together.

Discover tidal-pool treasures at our
favorite Pacific beach…

…and gaze at the Pacific’s unique sea stacks.

Day 5: Vistas, lakes & whales

Score vistas from atop the highest peak
in the San Juan Islands.

Lunch along mountain lakes.

Today we’ll drive to to Mount Constitution’s 2,400-foot summit, the highest point in the San Juan Islands. Atop the mountain, climb the stone tower for stunning views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, the San Juan Islands, the Canadian Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island. Then hike 3.7 miles down the mountain through towering forests, past twin lakes and purple foxglove, and to a lovely mountain lake that begs for a post-hike swim.

After our hike, we’ll return to the condo, freshen up, grab a snack, and head out for an optional sunset whale and wildlife tour from 5-8 pm. We’ll look for Orca, Gray, Humpback, and Minke whales, as well as porpoises, seals, sea lions, otters, and bald eagles. Our tour company’s boats are faster and have a longer range than others in the region, earning them the best Orca-sighting record of any tour in the islands.

 

Take a cruise to look for whales, sea birds, porpoise and…

…cute harbor seals.

"This trip exceeded my expectations. Each day was a new adventure. I loved the diversity of Olympic National Park and how it contrasted with the San Juan Islands. It was like two vacations in one." ~Brook
Day 6: Deserted island exploration

Explore an uninhabited Island….

…kayak peaceful ocean waters…

…and savor nature at her finest.

Today we’ll ferry three miles to explore undeveloped Sucia Island, described as "the crown jewel of the state’s marine park system.’ The trails on this 564-acre island treat us to panoramic overlooks and quiet coves; we may also spot seals, sea lions, and sea birds. After a full day of sun and surf, we?ll return to Eastsound for dinner on the veranda of our favorite Mexican restaurant.

 
Day 7: Kayaking, paddleboards, relaxing

You choose how you’d like to spend your last day on the island: Join us for an optional 3-hour late-morning kayak down the island’s North Shore to a state park accessible only by kayak, canoe, or row boat. Look for harbor seals, eagles, shore birds, harbor porpoises, and even the occasional orca! We’ll take a break on the beach to enjoy a nature walk and views of Mt. Baker... Kayak or paddleboard on a quiet inland lake and hike around it... Visit an alpaca farm for close-ups of these gentle animals ... Check out Eastsound’s shops. We’ll dine along the bay on our last evening together.

 
Day 8: Hugs & memories

We’ll hop a ferry and return you to Seattle’s airport for your flight home as you savor unforgettable memories, warm friendships, renewed confidence, and great stories.

 
"I loved the whole Washington experience. I came home refreshed. Energized. Grateful. With increased enthusiasm. Grateful. Hopeful. Thank you." ~Whisper

Discover the treasures of nature…

…and of friendships with fellow nature-lovers.

"I loved Washington’s beautiful diversity and how this trip was well-planned to the smallest detail. Plus, what a great mix of women who like to play outdoors!"~Kokopelli

Our trip cost includes:

  • 3 nights of double-occupancy lodging in the Cascade Mountains with great views, private patio, two queen beds, full bath, WiFi, and coffeemaker.
  • 4 nights of double-occupancy lodging in seaside condos on Orcas Island. Your condo has a private balcony with ocian views; two private bedrooms; full kitchen; WiFi; and dining/living area with flat screen TV/DVD player.
  • 7 guided hikes with 2 experienced leaders.
  • Transportation throughout the week.
  • Shuttles to and from Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport, within designated time frames
  • Four scenic ferry boat rides.
  • Park entrance fees and permits.
  • Online photos of the trip.
  • Discussions, based on nature, that foster warm friendships and help you view nature and yourself in new ways.
  • Informational booklet packed with tips on hiking and what to bring, fun facts about the area, detailed itinerary.
  • A rekindled love of nature, wonderful memories, fun stories, and new and renewed friendships.

"I talked and laughed, plus I found peace in my heart and a new awakening to God’s marvelous world and all its creatures!" ~Braveheart

"This trip exceeded my expectations. Each day was a new adventure. I loved the diversity of Olympic National Park and how it contrasted with the San Juan Islands. It was like two vacations in one." ~Brook

"I loved the whole Washington experience. I came home refreshed. Energized. Grateful. With increased enthusiasm. Grateful. Hopeful. Thank you." ~Whisper

"I loved Washington’s beautiful diversity and how this trip was well-planned to the smallest detail. Plus, what a great mix of women who like to play outdoors!"~Kokopelli