4-Day Seattle Itinerary Including Hot Springs, Whale Watching, Hiking and Staying at Rustic Lake Cabin

Trip Information:

Trip Summary:

  • After Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail we always wanted to come back and visit more parts of this state! We were flying to Seattle for the weekend wedding of our friends, but decided to take few extra days to enjoy and explore some of the outdoor activities throughout the state. Please see below for our detailed itinerary breakdown:

Detailed Itinerary:

  • Wed, May 24th: Late evening check in at Copper Creek Inn
  • Thur, May 25th: Hiking Kautz Creek Trail & Visiting Paradise Valley Visitors Center (highest point accessible by car)
  • Fri, May 26th: Whale watching, check-in to Log Cabin Resort & visiting Sol Duc Hot Springs in the evening
  • Sat, May 27th: Hiking Mt.Storm King in the morning and returning back to Seattle early in the afternoon

❖ DAY 1: Late Evening Check in At Copper Creek Inn

After landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, we picked up our rental and drove towards Mt.Rainier for about 1hr 40min. The place we booked is called Copper Creek Inn and since we were coming in late in the evening, we were given a lock-box code to get in. This is a privately owned resort that has nine cabins scattered throughout the pristine, 10+ acres that is surrounded by the Nisqually Land Trust and US Forest Service lands. The Copper Creek Inn has a wide variety of cool rustic cabins to choose from. We were only able to book what was available, and stayed at “Jennie Room”. The room felt a little snug, but it did have it’s own private shower and restroom and was definitely a steal for the price! ]

❖ DAY 2: Hiking Kautz Creek Trail & Visiting Paradise Valley Visitors Center

Dasha is standing on top of Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center over at Paradise Valley

After getting a good night sleep, the next morning we grabbed a breakfast and drove toward Kautz Creek Trailhead to do a day hike. All of the detailed information for this hike, including maps and nivagation detailes can be found here: Hiking Kautz Creek Trail Around Mount Rainier Blog

It took us about 5 hours or so to complete the hike. Once we were back to our car, we drove for about 30 minutes to Paradise Valley Visitors CenterParking Lot. It’s a little higher in the elevation, so please make sure to bring some warm clothing with you. After exploring this area for a bit, we were getting pretty hungry and decided to go back to Copper Creek Inn to eat their delicious dinner at the restaurant. After that, we grabbed a bottle of wine and enjoyed a hot Jacuzzi behind the lodge. ]

❖ DAY 3: Whale Watching, Check-in To Log Cabin Resort & Visit Sol Duc Hot Springs In The Evening

Small Humpback Whale resurfaced not to far from our boat

In the morning we started driving toward Olympic National Park. There is a small fishing town called Port Angeles, which is about 3 1/2 hours drive north from Copper Creek Inn. Port Angeles has a direct access to ferry that goes to Victoria at Vancouver Island (don’t forget your passport if you’re planning to visit Canada)

One thing I forgot to mention, is that this whole itinerary was a surprise for my wife. This entire time she had no idea where we would stay or where we would go. She always wanted to do a whale watching, so this morning I’ve surprised her when we arrived at Island Adventure Whale Watching Tour and were ready to board the ship to go scout for humpback whales. ]

When we reached Port Angeles, we parked our car at the paid parking lot which was only couple bucks and conveniently located close to Island Adventure location. The whole tour takes about 4-5 hours and they guarantee 99% success rate for you seeing the whales or orcas. If there were none to see, they will provide 100% credit for the amount paid to come some other time and do the tour again. ]

After the whale watching tour was over, we drove toward the Log Cabin Resort for 30 minutes, where I had the cabin reserved for one night. We arrived way before sunset and still had plenty of time to check in and enjoy the views around the lake. Once settled, the next thing on our evening agenda was to visit Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort located about an hour away deep inside the mountains. Despite many people complaining about these hot springs not being super clean and all, we thought they were perfectly fine. 15$ a person and you can soak in Mineral Hot Springs and enjoy the surrounding views. Detailed information can be found here: Link

Olympic National Park has many other locations and lodges all through the park. We only stayed at one, but the other one looked pretty amazing on their web site and I highly recommend checking them out. ]

❖ DAY 4: Hiking Mount Storm King and Returning Back to Seattle

We woke up early in the morning and had a delicious breakfast at the main lodge (which was also included in the price). After checking out from our cabin, we drove for 15 minutes to Storm King Mountain Ranger Station Parking Lot to do our short day hike. All of the detailed information about this hike, including maps and navigation details can be found here: Hiking Mount Storm King Trail in Olympic National Park Blog