How to Hike the Olympic Peninsula by Bus
If you don't have a car, it can be a challenge to go hiking farther afield Washington state. Connect to these six trailheads on the Olympic Peninsula by bus or bike. Included is a sample itinerary and some general transit tips, too!
The snow-capped mountains of the Olympic Range and the mysterious, mossy rainforests near the coast are enough to make the Olympic Peninsula a tempting getaway. But for those who don’t live on the peninsula and don’t own a car, a mini-vacation can seem impossible.
Luckily, the Olympic Peninsula has a great bus system, and getting around is cheap and easy. We’ve found a few trailheads that are a short walk away from bus stops in two “basecamp cities”: Sequim and Forks.
Getting to Basecamp Cities: Sequim and Forks
The routes below each have a total cost of $3 or less—the pricey part of the journey is getting to the peninsula from your city. If you can get yourself to Seattle, two options for getting to the Olympic Peninsula are taking a Greyhound or the Dungeness Line.
- The Greyhound can be booked starting in Seattle, and ending in both Sequim and Port Angeles. Bikes are allowed on the bus, but must securely packed in a canvas bag or other container, and come with an oversized-item charge.
- The Dungeness Line is a shuttle service that starts in Seattle and ends in Port Angeles, with stops along the way, including Sequim It also has rack for two bikes.
- Both transit options cost around $40 for a one-way ticket. Bike racks are available on each bus in Clallam County on a first come, first serve basis.
- If you’re heading to Forks, the bus from Port Angeles is fairly simple. From the Port Angeles Gateway Transit Center, take the 14 line for Forks, and you’ll arrive in about an hour and 20 minutes.
Once you arrive at your “basecamp city,” find an Airbnb, hotel or bed and breakfast within walking distance from the city transit centers, and begin your low-cost, journey-by-bus to trails nearby.
Sequim is a unique part of the peninsula. It’s within an area that is generally thought of as wet and rainy, yet Sequim gets almost as much sunshine as Los Angeles, thanks to the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains.
Starting point: Sequim Transit Center, West Cedar Street and North Second Avenue intersection
To Sequim Bay State Park via Olympic Discovery Trail
The Olympic Discovery Trail is a work in progress, and will eventually extend 130 miles across the Olympic Peninsula. Sequim provides access to many parts of the completed trail. For this route, get on the Olympic Discovery Trail, which will take you down to and through Sequim Bay State Park.
Here are two suggested routes for getting there:
From the Sequim Transit Center, get on the 52 Line for Sequim Bay. Two stops later, get off at Sequim Bay Road and Rhodefer Road, and walk 0.2 miles for access to the Olympic Discovery Trail at the intersection of E Washington Street and N Rhodefer Road. From here, it is a 3.5-mile hike to Sequim Bay State Park. (Bus time: 7 min)
From the Sequim Transit Center, board the 52 Line for Sequim Bay. Four stops later, get off at Sequim Bay and Hwy 101, and walk the Olympic Discovery Trail for 0.5 mile to Sequim Bay State Park. (Bus time: 10 min)
To return to the Sequim Transit Center from Sequim Bay State Park, there is a bus stop right outside of the state park entrance called State Park and Highway 101. Get on either the 52 Line for Sequim Bay or the 50 Line for Transit Center Sequim. Roundtrip cost: $2.
To Port Angeles City Pier via Olympic Discovery Trail
Downtown Port Angeles is a lovely ocean-front area with plenty of shops and restaurants, and even a marine center. Why not hike your way there?
From Sequim Transit Center, hop on the 30 Line for Port Angeles. Twenty stops later, get off at Highway 101 and Deer Park (Park and Ride). Walk 0.6 miles on the paved trail right outside the bus stop to the Olympic Discovery Trailhead, and from there, follow the trail for 4.6 miles along the beach to the city pier. Bus time: 20 minutes
Return to Sequim Transit Center by taking the 30 Line for Sequim from the Port Angeles Gateway Transit Center, which is 0.2 mile from the city pier. Roundtrip cost: $3
To Pacific Northwest Trail via Milo-Curry Trailhead
Walk on the 1,200-mile trail that extends from Montana to Washington.
From Sequim Transit Center, board the 8 Line for Port Townsend, until the Four Corners Park and Ride (on the corner of Highway 20 and Four Corners Road), 14 stops later. Walk .04 mile west along S Discovery Road, taking a right at Milo Curry Road. Bus time: 40 min
To return to Sequim Transit Center from the 63 Four Corners Park and Ride, hop on the 8 Line for Sequim Transit Center. Roundtrip cost: $3
Forks is quite the opposite of Sequim in terms of weather. In fact, 58 percent of the year, Forks is a rainy, rainy town--which is what makes it surrounded in green temperate rainforest. Luckily, the dry season is in the summer! The Transit Center in Forks is on the corner of East E Street and South Forks Ave.
Coast via From Transit Center Forks
These two beaches provide large sea stacks and magnificent ocean views.
To Second Beach via the Olympic Discovery Trail
Learn more about Second Beach.
To Second Beach: From Transit Center Forks, take the 15 line for La Push. After 12 stops, get off at La Push Road at the RV Park and Store. You will immediately see the Olympic Discovery Trail. Follow this trail 0.5 mile south until you intersect with the Second Beach Trail, which leads you down to the coast. Bus time: 25 min
To Third Beach via the Pacific Northwest Trail
To Third Beach via the Pacific Northwest Trail: From Transit Center Forks, get onto the 15 Line for La Push. Eight stops later, get off at Highway 110 at Third Beach, and walk 0.2 miles east to the trailhead. Bus time: 25 min
To return to Transit Center Forks, go back to the La Push Road at RV Park and Store stop or the Hwy 110 at Third Beach stop and board the 15 Line for Forks. Roundtrip cost: $2
To Olympic Discovery Trail at the Camp Creek Trailhead
Learn more about the Olympic Discovery Trail
Right off of Highway 101, this section of the Olympic Discovery Trail takes you through the forest and along Kugel Creek.
From Transit Center Forks, hop onto the 14 Line for Port Angeles, and get off at Highway 101 and W Snider Road after 12 stops. Then, walk 0.8 miles south to the trailhead. Bus time: 32 min
To return to Transit Center Forks, go back to the stop at Highway 101 and W Snider Road and get on the 14 Line for Forks. Roundtrip cost: $3.
To Kalaloch Beach
Learn more about Kalaloch Beach
Kalaloch is another way to get face-to-face with the impressive waves of the Pacific Ocean.
From Transit Center Forks, get on the Olympic Connection for Hoh Tribal Center/Amanda Park. After four stops, get off at Kalaloch. Here, you will see the ocean and can walk right down to the beach, where you can chase the waves for miles. Bus time: 56 min
To return to Transit Center Forks, go back to the Kalaloch bus stop and hop onto the Olympic Connection for Hoh Tribal Center/Forks. Roundtrip cost: $1.
Real people who’ve used transit on the Olympic Peninsula
tenderfeet took a bus from Port Angeles to Crescent Lake
Mossy Mom took a bus to Wagonwheel and Lena lakes
- Remember to look up the bus schedules ahead of time, so you aren’t stuck at a stop for two hours in between buses!
- Many buses either have different schedules or aren’t in service in Sundays. Call Clallam County Transit at 360-452-4511 to confirm bus times.
- Always arrive to the bus stop extra early. Come up with a backup plan in case you happen to miss your bus.
- Note that bus routes and information can change, so make sure to confirm your plan before heading out.
- Click here for more tips and tricks for using transit to get to trailheads.
seattleo on How to Hike the Olympic Peninsula by Bus
One very important (and new) service was not mentioned. Clallam County Transit has started a one-bus service from the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal to Port Angeles with stops in Poulsbo, Jamestown, Discovery Bay, and Sequim. It only costs $10 in cash each way and accommodates 2-3 bicycles. Service is only twice-a-day, but it is easy to schedule a weekend trip from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. More info: http://www.clallamtransit.com/Portals/17/Images/Schedule%20and%20Map/The%20Strait%20Shot.pdf
seattleo on Oct 18, 2017 10:20 AM