3-Day Bird Watchers Itinerary

3-Day Bird Watchers Itinerary


The unique and various habitats on the Olympic Peninsula make Lake Quinault Lodge an excellent base from which to enjoy a birding weekend, Pacific Northwest style!  We’ve put together this 3-day birding itinerary, perfect for a long weekend, to help you plan your visit. 


Day 1

  • On your way to Lake Quinault Lodge from the greater Seattle area? Be sure to stop an hour south of Seattle and visit the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in DuPont. There you can explore their trails which are open from sunrise to sunset. It’s recommended that in order to maximize your viewing of estuarine birds that you plan your stop within two hours of high tide.
  • Check in at Lake Quinault Lodge.
  • After relaxing and exploring the lodge, wind down your day by watching for Bald Eagles and Osprey from the waters of Lake Quinault aboard our comfortable tour boat as you enjoy a Sunset Lake Tour. Lake tours are offered seasonally from mid-June to mid-September.
  • Dine on Grilled Pacific Salmon or enjoy Roosevelt’s Classic Pot Roast in the Roosevelt Dining Room at Lake Quinault Lodge.

Day 2

  • Enjoy a cup of coffee and our famous Sweet Potato Pancakes in the Roosevelt Dining Room.
  • Today you’ll enjoy the 4-hour tour of Lake Quinault Rainforest. Join your interpretive guide and other participants in our 14 passenger Tour Coach. In addition to wildlife sightings that may include the majestic Roosevelt elk and black-tailed deer, bird sightings may include Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Pacific Wrens (Pacific Wren has recently been elevated to full species status, distinct from Winter Wren of eastern North America and Eurasian Wren.), Black-headed Grosbeak, Dark-eyed Juncos, Spotted Towhee, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Belted Kingfisher, Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds, Red-tailed Hawk, and several varieties of woodpeckers, finches and sparrows. You will also discover the beauty and tranquility of one of the only three temperate rainforests in the United States.
  • Lunch at The Roosevelt Dining Room upon your arrival back at the lodge.
  • There are more than 8 miles of well-maintained loop trails right outside the front door of the Lodge. The 4-mile Quinault Loop Trail offers several points of interest along the south shore of Quinault Lake where you might see Common Loon, Common or Red-breasted Merganser, and Belted Kingfisher.  The trail will then take you through the temperate rain forest before returning you to the lodge.

Day 3

  • Before breakfast, begin your day by the lake – you might spot Bald Eagles or an Osprey looking for its first fish of the morning.
  • Visiting May through September? Be sure to allocate a few hours in order to rent a kayak or canoe to explore the lake on your own and to check off a few more of the many Olympic Peninsula birds on your list. Please note that we can accommodate private birding tours upon request, if interested, please contact the lodge activities manager directly before or upon arrival.
  • Stop in at our gift shop (located in the lobby) for any last minute mementos.
  • Check out.