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How can I drive the Olympic Peninsula in Washington?

The best starting point for driving the Olympic Peninsula is Olympia, where the domed capitol sits atop a hill that overlooks Budd Inlet. This is to the southeast of Mt. Olympus, and will allow you to go north on scenic U.S. 101 through Shelton and along the Hood Canal.

You'll mainly stay on U.S. 101 throughout your trek, so side trips are recommended since it will be difficult to get lost.

One of the nicest areas you can go to is just west of Mt. Olympus, at Forks, which is known as the gateway to Olympic National Park. The coastal portion of the park can be reached by jumping onto WA 110. Follow the roads in the park to the various valleys: the Quinault, Queets, and Hoh. You'll find fantastic temperate rain forests, which make up the wettest spot in the lower 48 states. The Hoh Rain Forest is the most popular and most accessible.

You may want to stay at the campgrounds and park facilities found along Lake Quinault. However you travel, and wherever you go, you'll find the heights of Mount Olympus dazzling, and the coastline misty, and you will be delighted and refreshed.


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