Travel Guide: Road Trip Hood Canal

It's finally starting to feel like Spring. Despite an over enthusiastic Father Winter bringing inclement and unusual weather to our neck of the woods, things are returning to normal. The roads are dry, gas is cheap, and it’s high time you and your crew kicked up some (proverbial) dust and planned a road trip. 

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In the spirit of warmer weather, juicy waterfall flows, and longer days, we’re serving up the perfect waterfall road trip itinerary. Enter your email address in the space above to get the full downloadable PDF (complete with a dope map by Outdoor Project) to throw in your glove box, grab some Swedish Fish, and go!

 

228 MILES. 9.25 DRIVING HOURS. 7 INCREDIBLE DESTINATIONS.

Hood Canal is just a quick hop from Seattle by way of the Bremerton Ferry. Once there, adventure is around every nook. From the best cliff jumping, to one of the least-traveled/most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park, this three-day itinerary has something for everyone.

High Steel Bridge

The vertigo-inducing High Steel Bridge has an uncontested view of the last cascade on the itinerary, Vincent Creek Falls, and is easily accessed from Hwy 101. It’s also a quick pit stop after an awesome wintery afternoon of mountain biking if you happen to visit the area on a dry-ish day.

Paddle to Kokanee Falls

The paddle to the falls is easy and enjoyable year-round. And, the chances are good that you’ll have it all to yourself. The shoreline is thick with trees draped in old man’s beard (Usnea longissima), enhancing the already-mystical landscape and casting picturesque reflections. 

Big Rock at Lake Cushman

Beset with the proud Olympics, this lakeside haven delivers the adventure goods for all explorers. This behemoth boulder settled on the side of the lake is one of the best-known cliff jumping spots in Washington, and it’s wonderfully accessible.

Hamma Hamma Falls

After navigating the rocky dirt road to the trailhead and a small side trail, a full-blown view of the falls appears through the foxglove and oxeye daisy in the spring and summer. Here the Hamma Hamma River careens over a primary 20-foot drop, then continues almost immediately over a 60-foot drop.

Rocky Brook Falls

Situated just north of Brinnon, Rocky Brook Falls remains one of the best easy-to-reach waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula. After a 1986 micro hydro project was installed at the top of the falls, locals feared that the falls would run dry. Thanks to operators of the facility, the beautiful 229’ tall falls run year-round.

Royal Basin Falls

Thick with mist, the amphitheater through which this 60-foot waterfall tumbles feels like something out of a Tolkein novel. Truly, the 2,500 feet of elevation gain over 7.3 miles (best done as an overnight) is well worth it to experience one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park.

Guillemot Cove Nature Preserve

The trail is dappled with light streaming through the thick old-growth cedar, hemlock, and the occasional yew. It’s extremely easy to navigate, very kid friendly, and so far off the beaten path that you’ll sometimes feel like you’ve strayed far into the backcountry.

Be sure to check in with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more ideas on how to get the most out of your road trip to Hood Canal. Happy adventuring!