Weekend Fall Road Trips From Seattle: From Seattle to Cape Flattery

Written By Alla Levin
December 09, 2019

Adventuring Northern Washington: From Seattle to Cape Flattery

Weekend fall road trips from Seattle have been a cherished tradition since I made this stunning city my home in 2017. As the leaves begin to don their autumnal splendor, I am drawn to the open road, eager to explore the breathtaking landscapes and charming destinations that adorn the Pacific Northwest during this magical season.

If you’re like me, living in Seattle and yearning for a delightful weekend escape, join me on a virtual journey through the road trips that have become an integral part of my fall experience.

Together, we’ll uncover the hidden gems, scenic byways, and cozy nooks that make these road trips an annual highlight in the Emerald City. So, let’s hit the road and embrace the beauty of weekend fall road trips from Seattle, as seen through the eyes of a Seattleite.

Weekend Fall Road Trip Idea From Seattle

If you reside in the Greater Seattle Area and have been yearning for an exhilarating weekend getaway, look no further than the northernmost point of the mainland USA – Cape Flattery, Washington.

Situated on the western edge of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, Cape Flattery boasts a breathtaking coastline within the confines of an Indian Reservation. While this destination may seem remote, it is surprisingly accessible from Seattle, offering a scenic coastal route that treats travelers to a wealth of awe-inspiring vistas.

From picturesque ocean panoramas and sandy shores to the captivating world of sea birds, rugged cliffs, flourishing kelp forests, and many family-friendly activities, Cape Flattery promises an unforgettable escape from the hustle and bustle of life in the Greater Seattle Area.

While Cape Flattery is renowned for its frequent rainfall, it remains beautiful throughout the year. The views can vary dramatically depending on the weather and the time of day you choose to visit. Typically, the optimal time to experience the splendor of this locale is during the summer months. Early mornings and evenings often greet visitors with a layer of marine clouds that gradually disperse, creating a dreamlike ambiance ideal for leisure and photography.

Unable to contain my excitement until summer, I took a road trip to Cape Flattery in December, but the fall is one of the most exciting times to go there. Despite the cold, this journey proved to be a magical adventure, allowing me to witness the stunning coastal landscapes of the Pacific Northwest in all their glory.

Traveling to Cape Flattery, Washington, from Seattle

To kickstart my weekend fall road trip from Seattle to Cape Flattery, I embarked on a scenic journey beginning with the ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island.

As a resident of Kirkland, I found it convenient to initiate our adventure from the picturesque town of Edmonds. From there, we set our course toward Kingston by car, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey to the captivating Cape Flattery.

Head west on WA-104 W from Seattle.
Merge onto US-101 N.
Follow US-101 N to WA-112 W in Clallam County.
Continue on WA-112 W to Cape Flattery.
The Scenic Loop:

Take I-5 N from Seattle.
Follow I-5 N to WA-20 W in Burlington.
Continue on WA-20 W to US-101 N in Port Angeles.
Merge onto US-101 N.
Follow US-101 N to WA-112 W in Clallam County.
Continue on WA-112 W to Cape Flattery.

Drive to Bainbridge Island and take the ferry to Bainbridge.
Continue on WA-305 N.
Merge onto WA-3 N via the ramp to Port Gamble.
Continue on WA-104 W and US-101 N to WA-112 W in Clallam County.
Continue on WA-112 W to Cape Flattery.
The Strait Shot:

Drive to Edmonds and take the ferry to Kingston.
Head west on WA-104 W.
Merge onto US-101 N.
Follow US-101 N to WA-112 W in Clallam County.
Continue on WA-112 W to Cape Flattery.
The Coastal Connection:

Take I-5 S from Seattle.
Follow I-5 S to WA-104 W in Mountlake Terrace.
Take exit 177 for WA-104 W/Edmonds Way.
Drive to Edmonds and take the ferry to Kingston.
Head west on WA-104 W.
Merge onto US-101 N.
Follow US-101 N to WA-112 W in Clallam County.
Continue on WA-112 W to Cape Flattery.

Each of these routes offers a unique scenic journey, allowing travelers to savor the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on their weekend road trip from Seattle to Cape Flattery.

I  decided to make the most of our trip by exploring intriguing stops and spending the night in the renowned beachside town of Forks, Washington. We chose the Pacific Inn Motel in downtown Forks, which was comfortable for our accommodation.

The motel boasted cleanliness, warmth, and the added perk of complimentary parking. While it may not have been extravagant, it met our needs and preferences. My inaugural stop was the famed Hoh Rain Forest, nestled within the captivating landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula.

Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rainforest


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Hello, Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula! Everybody knows Seattle’s reputation for being rainy all the time. Seattle gets around 36 inches of rain a year. By comparison, the Hoh Rain Forest gets as much as 14 feet of rain a year. Wow! . . . The prevalent fog and mist contributes the equivalent of another 30 inches of rain, resulting in one of the world’s lushest rain forests, hence its designation as one of the wonders of Washington State. The western slopes of the Olympic Mountains are the first area to get hit with the moisture-laden wind and rain storms that come in from the Pacific Ocean. As the air rises along the windward slopes of the mountains it cools and yields precipitation, and lots of it. . . ⛄ The best time to visit magnificent Hoh Rainforest is summer, but I made it just now.‍♀️ But It was amazing to witness the sleeping beauty of this place . . . #hohrainforest #hoh #hohrainforestolympicnationalpark #hoh #washingtonstateexplored #lifeinwashingtonstate #washingtonstate #visitseattle #lifeinusa #seattleblogger #googlelocalguides

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Exploring the Hall of Mosses was a fantastic experience. Nestled within the enchanting Hoh Rainforest, this natural wonderland hosted a mesmerizing collection of trees adorned in lush moss. As we ventured along the main trail, we encountered a striking blend of ancient bigleaf maples, their branches cloaked in a tapestry of brown and green mosses.

Adding to the allure, a 200-foot side path beckoned us toward a captivating grove of colossal maple trees, their branches adorned with cascading moss. This was indeed a sight to behold.

Tree Graveyard (Forks, Washington)

This location is an excellent hub for photography enthusiasts, as it offers a captivating interplay of majestic mountains and picturesque beaches that paint the sky with breathtaking sunset hues. As you venture further, you’ll stumble upon the renowned tree graveyard within Rialto Beach.

You’ll pass by sea stacks and tide pools along the Quillayute River to reach this unique spot. Here, a mesmerizing spectacle awaits you – the “sea stacks,” where the remnants of magnificent trees lie scattered almost whimsically along the shoreline.

Adding to the intrigue of this place, it’s worth noting that it was the fictional home of Jacob Black, a beloved character from the iconic Twilight saga. With a terrific sunset etched in my memory, this spot left an indelible mark on my journey.

Ruby Beach (Forks, Washington)


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Ruby Beach, WA #rubybeach #exploreusa #explorewashington #washingtonstateexplored

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Beyond its sandy shores, Ruby Beach in Washington offers a haven for beachgoers to pursue exhilarating adventures. Its picturesque vistas transform it into a photographer’s utopia. This coastal gem showcases its photogenic charm throughout the year, with skies painted in captivating shades of blue and adorned with thick, moody clouds.

Moreover, the Ruby Beach shoreline gives visitors panoramic views of majestic mountains, graceful shorebirds, lush rainforests, and abundant pristine wilderness.

Explore Cape Flattery Trail


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✨Welcome to Cape Flattery! . . ️ A short steep area which is less than a mile. Actually 25 minutes walk. Each step down the trail gives a wonderful view of the coastline. You will eventually arrive at the Cape Flattery point from where you can see the Tatoosh Island offshore with its own sea lion colony. . . Cape Flattery – this point is the Northwesterly tip of the lower 49 States where Pacific Ocean meets with the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The view of the Pacific Ocean crashing into the rocky coastline is just amazing. But the best time to visit this place is Summer ❤️ . . #capeflattery #olimpicpark #pacificnorthwest #exploreusa #explorewashington #washingtonstateexplored #ukrainiansinusa #ukrainiantravelers #roadtrip

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Venturing westward, you’ll encounter the captivating Cape Flattery Trail, a short yet steep path spanning less than a mile. In just about 25 minutes, this trail leads you to a mesmerizing vantage point. With every step along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking coastline views, each more enchanting than the last.

Your journey culminates at the renowned Cape Flattery Point, offering a panoramic spectacle of Tatoosh Island offshore, adorned with its lively sea lion colony.

This point marks the northwestern tip of the contiguous 48 states, where the boundless Pacific Ocean converges with the majestic waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The sight of the Pacific’s relentless waves crashing against the rugged shoreline is nothing short of spectacular. And if you haven’t witnessed a magical sunset from this spot, you’re yet to embrace the thrill the peninsula offers fully.

The Makah Cultural Museum

If you happen to find yourself in the vicinity, a worthwhile stop before reaching Cape Flattery is the Makah Cultural Museum in Neah Bay. This museum is an invaluable repository of historical insights into the region and the Makah people, who have called this area home for over a century.

Within its walls, you’ll discover a captivating array of artifacts, intricate basketry, a meticulously crafted replica longhouse, canoes that speak of timeless craftsmanship, and the tools of the trade used in whaling. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through time and a glimpse into the rich heritage of the Makah First Nation people. So, while you’re here, take a moment to enrich your weekend with the fascinating history of this remarkable community.

Joyce General Store

If you’re journeying from or to Port Angeles, Joyce General Store stands conveniently along Highway 112. A pit stop here not only offers the chance to refuel your vehicle but also beckons you to explore its charming store for a spot of shopping. And if you’re on a family weekend getaway, you might extend your stay, captivated by the warm, rustic atmosphere.

What’s truly remarkable is that the Joyce General Store, a community cornerstone, has operated since 1911, earning the distinction of being the longest-serving store in Washington State. Today, it continues to serve as the town’s trusted post office and a reliable fuel stop, preserving its historic role in the heart of this welcoming town.

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