The Olympic Peninsula, Pacific Ocean Beaches, Juan de Fuca Strait, and Hoods Canal in Washington State.







Day Trips


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The Olympic Peninsula of Washington State

Traveling around the Olympic Peninsula on US highway 101.  See the Hood Canal, a 50 mile long salt water estuary, the northern Puget Sound, The Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Pacific Ocean Beaches in Washington State.



Olympic Peninsula

US-101 mile by mile



Hood Canal



Port Angeles




Map of the Olympic Peninsula

A synopsis of Highway 101 on the Olympic Peninsula

For more details jump to Highway 101 mile by mile


Highway 101 runs within 42 miles of being a full circle in Washington State as it loops the Olympic Mountain Range on the Olympic Peninsula .


Highway 101 begins at Olympia, Washington.  It heads west, then north to Shelton, then up the west side of the Hood Canal. 


Highway 101 meets with the west end of Highway 20 from Port Townsend about 10 miles north of Quilcene, where Highway 101 leaves the north end of the Hoods Canal. 


At Port Townsend you can take a Washington State Ferry to Whidbey Island, which is connected to the mainland via a bridge at the north end of the island near Anacortes, WA.  Mount Vernon, WA is only an hour from the ferry landing on Whidbey Island.


Highway 101 then veers west to Sequim, WA and then 14  miles to Port Angeles, WA, which is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula. 

At Port Angeles you can take a ferry to Victoria, BC, Canada. 


Highway 101 continues west to Forks, WA and then turns south down the Pacific Coast.  The highway actually only runs along the coast for a few miles at the Kalaloch area.  You can also get to the ocean beaches by taking a side trip, of about 14 miles, to La Push.


From Kalaloch, Highway 101 heads inland until you reach the City of Hoquiam, WA.  The highway heads east for 4 miles to the City of Aberdeen, and then south to Raymond.


For the purposes of this guide, Highway 101 south of Aberdeen is in Southwestern Washington.







Photo of Washington State Capitol Building


Highway 101 mile by mile

Around the Olympic Peninsula




We will start our guide at Olympia, WA., the North terminus of Highway 101.  Olympia is 115 miles north of Portland, OR and 60 miles south of Seattle.



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Olympic, WA

Highway 101 actually begins, or ends, at Interstate 5 exit 104 just south of the Washington State Capital Building in Olympia WA.


Please don’t ask us why the State of Washington numbers the miles on its highways and maps from the bottom up, they just do.


For 6 miles to the west the highway is both Washington Highway 8 and US Highway 101. 



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WA-8/US 101 – Shelton exit, Highway 101

US-101 heads north to Shelton, WA from here.


Shelton, WA is 11 miles from the exit and 17 miles from Interstate 5.



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City Page

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Shelton, WA is a lumber town.  The Simpson Lumber mill dominates the waterfront of the town.  Shelton is on one of the southernmost inlets of Puget Sound.  The town is one of the major Christmas tree centers. Millions of trees are sent worldwide from here every year.  Simpson Lumber operates one of the last logging railroads in the United States here.  It runs 30 miles to the west. 



The Mason County Historical Society Museum is located at 5th street and Railroad Ave.  It is open Tuesday thru Saturday from noon to 5:00 PM.  It has displays of the logging history, farming, and oyster production as well as other memorabilia from the area.


Highway 3 to Bremerton, WA heads east from Shelton


It is14 miles north from Shelton to where Washington Highway 106 meets with US Highway 101



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Intersection where Highway 106 to Bremerton meets with Highway 101. 


Twanoh State Park Side Trip

If you are looking for a rest stop or campground, Twanoh State park, on Hood Canal, is a park to go out of your way to see.  It has a picnic area, snack bar in the summer, dock, and oysters on the beach and a campground across the road from Photo of Twanah State Park Signthe beach.  It is about 8 miles east on highway 106 from highway 101             Visit the Park's web site. 


3 miles from the intersection with highway 106 is the Village of Potlatch



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Potlatch – It is at the small Village of Potlatch that you first see the Hood Canal from the south. 

Photo of Potlatch State Park Sign



Potlatch State Park has a day use area on the beach and a campground






Hood Canal is a natural canal 60 miles long which extends inland to the southwest from a point about 15 miles south of Port Townsend. It is actually a fjord rather than a canal since it does not have an outlet at its southern end. This narrow canal is often less than a mile wide and at a point about 50 miles from its beginning in the Puget Sound it turns over 90 degrees to the East for a little over 10 miles to its end.  Hood Canal comes less than 2.25 miles from connecting with south Puget Sound and making the Kitsap Peninsula into an island.


Most of Hood Canal is private land with summer homes.  Nearly all of the oysters and clams are on private land or owned by commercial oyster farms.  However, there are several Washington State Parks and private parks with beach access and even oyster and clam digging allowed.  A state license is required to harvest  shellfish.

Hood canal from Potlatch State Park

The photo at the right shows the canal and the east shore of the canal through the trees at Potlatch State Park.  The park is on the canal and is a great spot for break from driving and to test the salt water of the canal.


Hood canal is a deep channel with depths of up to 600 feet.  It is famous for its spotted shrimp.  There are many opportunities for fishing and shell fishing on the Canal.



2 miles from Potlatch is the Town of Hoodsport. 



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Local Restaurants

Local Lodging

Cabins / RV sites

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Photo of downtown HoodsportHoodsport - Hoodsport is 36 miles from Olympia and 14 miles north of Shelton.  It is an unincorporated small village on the steep bank of Hood Canal. The Village has the shore of the Canal at its feet and behind the village is Lake Cushman and Cushman Dam.  Behind the lake lies the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park.


State Highway 119 heads east from Hoodsport up to the Lake, Dam, and Lake Cushman State Park.






The Lilliwaup sign



Lilliwaup is a very small village 4 miles north of Hoodsport.  It is mainly a general store and a motel.  We recommend a visit to the Lilliwaup Store & Motel







Entering Eldon Sign

Eldon is another very small village about 7 miles north of Lilliwaup. It is also right on the beach of Hood Canal.  Obviously, as you can see from the photo the Hama Hama Seafood store is located here.


Triton Cove State Park is located about 6 miles north of Eldon on the Canal.  Visit our Triton Cove State Park web site.



It is 25 miles from Hoodsport and 61 miles from Olympia to the Village of Brinnon, on Hood Canal.



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Photo of the Welcome to Brinnon sign

Chamber of Commerce

State Park

Visit the Quilcene - Brinnon Chamber of Commerce web site for more information about this area.


Dosewallips State Park

4 miles north of Brinnon, WA. 

Visit our park information page.




It is 12 miles from Brinnon to Quilcene.



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Quilcene, the north-most Town on Hood Canal You are now 73 miles from Interstate 5 at Olympia.



National Forest District Office

Olympic National Forest – Hood Canal Ranger District

295142 Highway 101 S.
PO Box 280

Quilcene, WA 98376
(360) 765-2200

Hood Canal Ranger District



It is 12 miles from Quilcene to the intersection with Highway 20



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Junction with Highway 104 to Kingston

Three miles to the north is the road to Port Townsend.

Jump to:  [Shelton]  [Hoodsport]   [Hood Canal]   [Quilcene]  [Sequim] 

               [Port Angeles]  [Forks]  [Kalaloch]


Alternate route to Edmonds and Interstate 5 via Highway 104

It is 24 miles to Kingston from this intersection via the Hood Canal Floating Bridge.  You can catch a Washington State Ferry to Edmonds, WA from Kingston.  The Edmonds ferry dock is 4 miles from Interstate 5.


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- Junction with Highway 20 to Port Townsend and Highway 101.

Side Trip to Port Townsend via Highway 20

Or Alternate Route to Interstate 5 via ferry and Highway 20

 It is 13 miles to Port Townsend where you can catch a Washington State Ferry to Whidbey Island.  Whidbey Island is connected by bridges to the mainland.  From the ferry landing on Whidbey Island it is about 44 miles on Highway 20 to Mount Vernon, WA where highway 20 intersects with Interstate 5.

Old Fort Townsend State Park is in the Port Townsend area.  Visit our Old Fort Townsend S.P. web site.

Fort Flagler State Park is in the Port Townsend area.  Visit our Fort Flagler S.P. web site.



The welcome to Sequim sign    




It is18 miles from the intersection with Highway 20 to Sequim.



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Sequim.    You are 103 miles from Olympia on Highway 101.  Sequim has the least rainfall in Western Washington because it is in the Olympic Mountain range rain shadow. 

Visit our Sequim, WA web page. It has photos, links, and our recommendations of where to go and what to do in Sequim.


Sequim Bay State Park is located here.  Visit our Sequim Bay S.P. web site.

It is 17 miles from Sequim to Port Angeles



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Photo of rock sculptures at Ediz HookPort Angeles

Port Angeles is 120 miles from Olympia.  Port Angeles is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula.  It is a deep water port and is the point where pilots board inbound ships on their way to Puget Sound. 






Visit our Port Angeles, WA web page.  Our Port Angeles page will keep you busy for a week if you wish.  It has information on the Olympic National Park, museums, restaurants, lodging, the Coho ferry to Victoria, BC, Canada and many other activities in the area.


Jump to:  [Shelton]  [Hoodsport]   [Hood Canal]   [Quilcene]  [Sequim] 

               [Port Angeles]  [Forks]  [Kalaloch]



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Junction with Highway 112 to Joyce, Clallam Bay, Sekiu, and Neah Bay.



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East Beach and Log Cabin Resort Road

East Beach – National Park Picnic and swimming Beach

Log Cabin Lodge – A Resort on Lake Crescent in the National Park.



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Sol Duc Hot Springs – There are three mineral pools ranging from 100 to 105 degrees at the

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Sol Duc Campground



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 Klahowya Campground – Olympic National Forest



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Sappho – The junction with Highway 113 which goes north for 10 miles and joins with highway 112 which goes west to Clallam Bay / Sekiu / Neah Bay all of which are on the Juan de Fuca Strait.



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Visit our La Push Page

La Push / WA Highway-110 / Ocean Beaches

Turn west here and travel 14 miles to the Village of La Push and the Pacific Ocean Beaches.

Visit our La Push Page




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Forks, WA

City Page


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The Sign at the Timber MuseumForks, WA - is 55 miles west from Port Angeles.  Visit our Forks web page it is full of local information and hot links.

Visit our Forks page


You will find activities, restaurants, lodging, and more on our Forks Page.


See the Chamber’s web site for a list of 5 day trips you won’t want to miss in the Forks Area.  It is hot linked on our Forks web page.



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Bogachiel State Park

Visit the park's web site.


13 miles south of Forks is the road to Hoh Rain Forest.



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Hoh Rain Forest

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– Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park-  turn-off Highway 101, go east 17 miles.  This spot gets the most rain in all of Washington State in a year ant the forest takes on a unique nature because of all the rain.  This side trip is worth the drive if you have never seen the area.  A park entry fee is required.

Hoh Rain Forest – Visitor Center and Campground


It is 35 miles from Forks to Kalaloch



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Kalaloch National Park Campground – This is a National Parks Fee Campground located right on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.  This is the only campground on the peninsula that is on the ocean beach except for the facilities at LaPush, WA

Kalaloch National Park Campground



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Kalaloch Lodge in the Olympic National Park. 


Photo of Kalaloch LodgeThe beach here was rated the best beach in Washington by a television listener poll.  This is a spectacular vacation spot with cabins, motel rooms, and rooms in the Lodge. 

Kalaloch Lodge


35 mi. south of Forks – 360-962-3391


Just south of Kalaloch is the Indian Village of Queets.  There is a Shell Mini-mart at the turn-off from Highway 101.  There are no stores or tourist facilities in the Village.



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North Shore Road on Lake Quinault –

Daytrip around Lake Quinault and visiting old growth forests



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South Shore Road on Lake Quinault. 



Lake Quinault LodgeAbout 2 miles to the East is the Lake Quinault Lodge in the Olympic National Park is about 2 mile east of the junction on the South Shore Road.


This is a truly spectacular lodge right out of the 1920’s, when it was built, and has beautiful grounds.  The dining room looks out over the grounds and Lake Quinault.  This Lodge is also in the National Park,

Lake Quinault Lodge – Quinault, WA – 360-288-2900



Jump to:  [Shelton]  [Hoodsport]   [Hood Canal]   [Quilcene]  [Sequim]  [Port Angeles]  [Forks]  [Kalaloch]



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Neilton – Just a post office and some residences.



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Junction – Moclips Highway to the west.



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Humptulips – Road to Copalis and the Ocean Beaches



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New London –  Road to ocean beaches.



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Hoquiam – Another of Washington State’s Lumber Towns.  These two towns, Aberdeen and Hoquiam, have grown together and I believe only the Hoquiam River separates them.




Junction with WA Highway 109  – To Pacific Beaches – To Ocean Shores, Ocean City, Copalis Beach, Pacific Beach, Moclips, and Taholah.  These cities are on the Pacific Beaches north of Grey’s Harbor.



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Aberdeen – Another of Washington State’s Lumber Towns.  Nearly all of the Bed and Breakfasts in town are located in lumber baron’s mansions.


Aberdeen is the end of this section.  Highway 101 continues on our

 Aberdeen to Astoria Page



US-101 to the South



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Ocean Shores

Ocean Beaches





US-101 (top of page)



Hood Canal



Port Angeles





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The Olympic Peninsula, Pacific Ocean Beaches, Juan de Fuca Strait, and Hoods Canal in Washington State.

The cities of Shelton, Hoodsport, Quilcene, Sequim, Port Angeles, Forks, Kalaloch Campground, and Hood Canal.