Washington State: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

Washington State: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Washington State


The Pacific Northwest, a region known for its breathtaking landscapes, is home to iconic destinations like Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park. Mount Rainier, a stratovolcano standing at 14,410 feet, is located in Mount Rainier National Park, southeast of Seattle. This majestic peak holds cultural significance for indigenous tribes and was first summited by Hazard Stevens and P.B. Van Trump in 1870. The national park features glaciers, wildflower meadows, and old-growth forests, offering a range of activities such as hiking, climbing, and wildlife viewing. West of Seattle lies Olympic National Park. Designated in 1938, the park encompasses diverse ecosystems including temperate rainforests and rugged coastlines. Visitors can explore the Olympic Mountains, the Hoh Rain Forest, and stunning coastal areas, and experience the ecological richness of the region firsthand. Both Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park epitomize the natural beauty and adventure opportunities that define the Pacific Northwest experience.


Capital City: Olympia

Population: 7.786 million 

Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time (UTC/GMT-8)

Emergency Number: 911

Outlet: Type A

A deer in the forest in Washington.
The Washington coast in the Olympic National Park.

Packing List

The Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Washington.

Fun Facts

  • Mount Rainier's Glaciers: Mount Rainier is home to 26 major glaciers, which cover about 35 square miles of the mountain. These glaciers are iconic features of the landscape and contribute significantly to the park's ecosystem.
  • Wildflower Spectacle: Mount Rainier National Park is famous for its spectacular wildflower displays, especially during the summer months. The meadows burst into vibrant colors with lupines, Indian paintbrush, and other alpine flowers, attracting visitors from around the world.
  • Olympic Rainforest Diversity: Olympic National Park's Hoh Rain Forest is one of the wettest places in the continental United States, receiving an average of 12 to 14 feet of rainfall annually. This lush environment supports unique flora and fauna, including mosses, ferns, and towering old-growth trees.
  • Mount Olympus, the highest peak in Olympic National Park, was named by British explorer John Meares in 1788. He named it after the home of the Greek gods due to its grandeur and imposing presence.
  • Olympic National Park's coastline is rugged and diverse, featuring sea stacks, tide pools, and pristine beaches. It's a prime spot for beachcombing, birdwatching, and watching dramatic Pacific Ocean waves crash against the shore.
  • Both Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park are home to Roosevelt elk, the largest of the elk species. Visitors often have the chance to spot these majestic animals grazing in meadows or forests, adding to the wildlife experience in these parks.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers, and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them. 

Your Guide will also often be your driver throughout your trip. In this case, we recommend tipping the combined amount ($20-30) per person/per day.

Guides USD $10-15 per person/per day
Drivers USD $10-15 per person/per day




Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all Travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! 

Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the National Park Service's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.

How should I prepare for mosquitoes? Tight-weave cotton shirts and pants work better than more porous synthetics. Wear khaki or other neutral colors. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, especially blue. Stay away from scented soaps, lotions, and shampoos. 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all Travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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