We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Hi. Can anyone tell me if visiting the area above is a good idea in winter? We are in Vancouver - or Squamish - over Xmas and then have about 10 days to sight see and do road trip if the roads allow and the weather is kind. My daughter has Forks on her list of places to go too.

Thank you

11 replies to this topic
Renton, WA
Level Contributor
5,124 posts
1. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

ONP is a hiker’s park without scenic drives. Having said that, she could take the Coho ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, rent a car, and drive to Forks. When she gets there, she will wonder why she bothered to make the trip. If she is a Twilight fan, she should know that most of the filming was in Oregon.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,722 posts
21 reviews
2. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

I realize that there are other people who really enjoy the Twilight books and want to visit Forks to get closer to Edward and Bella. However, Forks in late December and early January is a soaking wet, dark and dreary pit. Living in Australia, you have no idea how dark our winters in the far north can be; in late December, it gets dark at 4:00 pm, and the roads between Forks and Port Angeles have no lights. It's dangerous driving along deserted highways where visibility can be a real problem in the rain. Large animals such as elk, bear, and cougar cross those roads at night, and it's hard to see them until you are almost on top of them. Then there's black ice. We get it in the winter. There's a nasty stretch of Highway 101 near the eastern edge of Lake Sutherland that is notorious for accidents caused by invisible black ice on the road. Finally, we often get some snow in late December/early January in the western part of the Olympic Peninsula between Forks ad Port Angeles. Unless you are willing to carry chains and know how to use them, you should not drive if there is snow on the road. It would be so frustrating to come to Port Angeles, only to find that there was snow on a stretch of road toward Forks or Beaver.

Port Angeles itself is surprisingly attractive around Christmas. Everyone puts up lights, and the park keeps Hurricane Ridge Road plowed and open during the holiday season. The snowshoeing up there is beautiful. However, Hurricane Ridge, and possibly Lake Crescent, are all that you would be able to see of the park. The rain forests are so wet that the trails become muddy streams, making hiking all but impossible. The beaches can be lovely, or they can be windy and drenched; in either case, you still face the risk of black ice on the road as you try to get to the beaches. Sol Duc Falls, and the entire Sol Duc Valley, will be closed for the winter.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Thank you for your reply bobmrg. She does know that and is a fan of the books more than the movies anyway. Just one of those whims when you’re nearby. We have no idea what the area is like and what is possible in winter so I was just looking for information from locals or people who have visited the area.

Thank you.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Thank you for your long and informative reply kaleberg. You’re right. We have no understanding of your winters being from Queensland so the information you have provided is fantastic. I have done a lot of searching about sightseeing in winter and most results tell me very little about what to expect at different times of the year. I had forgotten about the black ice problem. Any suggestions about places to visit - say east or south or the Seattle area or will it be much the same everywhere?

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,694 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Fans of the books and movies for the most part could care less where the movies were filmed or if the author has ever been to Forks. I know as I go to Forks often and have run into many of them. The fact that they are intrigued through reading I think is a great thing. Also most visitors to Olympic are Not hikers. Hiking does of course trul add to the experience. That time of year yes Forks can be grey and wet for sure. If you want to visit Forks let me know and I can help you. That time of year you will have no problem acting till the last minute to find accommodations. If visiting Forks is a big deal for your daughter and you have the time and are going to be in the area why not. You can always wait till the last minute and check out the weather forecast. Black ice is not a given. It all depends on the temperatures the week that you are in the area. You can always play it by ear if you are in this area. You might enjoy the ferries through the San Juan’s to Victoria or the Gulf Islands

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Thank you so much glaciermeadows. It’s fantastic to read such different perspectives. Your message has such great and positive information. I was interested to hear that it’s easy to get last minute accommodation too although as there will be seven of us, maybe it won’t be as easy? Is Poulsbo a nice place to visit?

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
7,636 posts
7. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Several thoughts and questions...

First, there are many more locations used in the Twilight movies in and around the Vancouver area than in the US; these include Squamish itself, North and West Van, various places in the city, Coquitlam, Steveston... Look at twilightsaga.wikia.com/wiki/Filming_locations

With ten days for road tripping, you have a lot of options, and I'd recommend posting to the Road Trips board if interested - https:/…ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Trips.html - as it might involve multiple provinces or US states. Would all seven of you being doing the same itinerary or would you be breaking up into smaller groups?

After the ten days, are you flying back to Oz, and if so, from where? The reason for asking is that flights are not terribly expensive, and you could conceivably fly to some location where there's more daylight and sunlight. Late December or early January can be very pleasant in parts of California, for example.

Let us know what happens after the ten days and we can be more help.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,694 posts
8 reviews
8. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Please everyone stop focusing on the movie locations. I have been contacted by countless fans of the books that could care less where the films were made. It is great to share that information, but many of the books fans do not care. I met someone n a plane reading one of the books and was coming from Africa. We talked at length and she still wanted to visit Forks and was far more savy about everything Twilight then the rest of us. Wooneen discuss this with your group and your daughter. January tends to be our coldest month. Cold of course is relative. Daytime temps normally are in the 40’s in Forks. Can it get colder yes. Forks is one of the wettest places in the States. We are currently all over Europe until January 10 th, otherwise I would be happpy to show you around Poulsbo and the area.

If your group is prepared for wet and grey conditions I have an aquaintence who has nice rentals in the Forks area. Again most of us here would not plan a visit to the Olympic Peninsula in December or January, but if it was your only chance to visit this area and you still want to come I would be happy to help. Feel free to write me directly if you have more questions.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,722 posts
21 reviews
9. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

If you decide to do this, make sure all of your driving is during daylight hours. Black ice is a given along Highway 101 in the Indian Valley region near Granny's Cafe and the eastern shore of Lake Sutherland. Because that stretch of highway is in a deep mountain shadow, it remains covered with frost from early December until mid-February, even when there is no frost or snow anywhere else. People who live in Indian Valley joke about seeing the first ray of sun around February 14. It is actually quite beautiful, as the bushes and grasses that line the highway are outlined in silvery frost, but it is dangerous. If you are unused to driving on ice or snow, be careful and keep a light foot on the accelerator and light hands on the wheel.

It should be easy to get last minute lodging near Forks, but a group of seven does pose some challenges. Watch the weather around Forks, and, if possible, around Lake Crescent. The road gains a little altitude as you drive along Lake Crescent, and by the Barnes Creek turnoff, which is where Lake Crescent Lodge is located, it is not uncommon to find several inches of snow in December/January. Also, if you plan on driving up to Hurricane Ridge, a lovely site, make sure you carry tire chains and have practiced putting them on. They are required at the entrance station, and, believe me, they can be necessary, even on a plowed road. I live at the foot of Hurricane Ridge, and I also owned a house on Lake Crescent. I have had to use chains twice when visiting Hurricane Ridge and four times when visiting my house on Lake Crescent.

Port Angeles...
Level Contributor
5 posts
177 reviews
10. Re: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria

Hello!

PLEASE visit my backyard in winter season. Could it be dangerous? Maybe...Yes if you don't watch weather, traffic reports. No if you are aware and your plans are flexible!

Any Twilight fan would know there is no substitute for Forks. A visit Forks in winter is an ultimate fan experience. You can actually feel Bella's misery through the weather.

Opinions vary, Perspective is everything.

Reply to: Olympic National Park Port Angeles and Victoria
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted