GETTING HERE Victoria 2:10h • 25m
0:40h • 34m
Port Townsend Sequim
m 0:22h • 13
Coupeville Port Angeles
0:2 2h •
Sekiu/ Clallam Bay
Port Hadlock Chimacum Port Ludlow
Hood Canal Bridge The forecast Most visitors to the North Olympic Peninsula cross the Hood Canal Bridge, the longest floating bridge over salt water in the world at 7,869 feet (6,521 feet of it floating). The bridge connects the Kitsap Peninsula to the Olympic Peninsula along state Highway 104. Note that the bridge opens for marine vessels that are too large or tall to pass underneath its trusses at various times. It is not an uncommon sight to view a submarine surface to pass through the opened bridge thanks to Hood Canal’s proximity to Naval Base Kitsap Bangor. Vessel openings can take about 30 minutes to complete. Sign up for Hood Canal Bridge text messages by sending a text message to 468311 with the words “wsdot hood,” and follow on Twitter @wsdot_tacoma. Vist wsdot.com/traﬃc/hoodcanal/ for even more information. Note: Drivers should expect announced night closures throughout the summer due to a $5.2 million project to replace the bridge’s internal mechanics.
The North Olympic Peninsula is one of the most temperate spots you’ll find in the United States as the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north keep away the heat waves in the summer and the extended freezing periods in winter. Average high temperatures are around 60˚F in the spring and upper 60s in the summer, with just a handful of 80-degree days in the summer. In the winter, high temperatures typically reach the mid-40s, with overnight lows dropping only into the mid-30s as the water acts a bit like a warming blanket. Snow events are just a handful of times a year, and hard freezes are rare and typically short-lived. Overall, Sequim averages only about 18 inches of rain per year. Port Angeles gets about 27 inches of rain per year, but for every mile you drive west from there and away from the rain shadow, you add about 1 inch of additional rain per year. Once you reach Forks about 75 miles to the west, you’re in a town that averages about 100 inches of rain per year.
10 OLYMPIC PENINSULA VISITORS GUIDE • SUMMER 2018
Planning a trip
The key to packing for a trip to the Olympic Peninsula is preparing for our microclimates: warm, sunny days; cool, damp weather, soft breezes and blustery winds; and that famous Northwest mist. Layering is key. Bring sleeveless shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts/hoodies and raincoats for the summer months. Jeans, shorts, hiking boots or tennis shoes, plus extra socks, are musts. Bring sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen for those days when you’re out and about on an adventure. If you plan on camping, make sure you have the right permits and passes, if applicable (p. 18). An itinerary with travel times between locations can be helpful for you to make it to certain events and vistas in a timely manner. Always take into consideration potential road closures (p. 32, 54) and weather. A hiking guide, a compass and other essentials (p. 22) are necessary when exploring certain areas for the first time. Don’t forget to let friends and family know your trip plans.