Description - From winding coastline and rainforests to long stretches of beaches and mountain peaks, you'll find almost everything along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. Stretching across nearly the entire north-south length of Washington state along US 101, this byway includes one of the most beautiful drives in the continental United States, including places to visit like Hurricane Ridge - which people flock to for the views of the wildlife and a spectacular view of mountain peak vistas to the south - not to mention Port Angeles, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Mt. Baker and Vancouver Islands to the north.
- The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway - Washington is known for it's Natural and Scenic Attractions. An old growth forest provides a home for bear, deer, elk, and other animals. Along the way, visitors can see thousands of shorebirds making a migratory winter stop.
Recreation - Hiking is offered on the rocky cliffs along the byway, or you can horseback along trails and beaches. The area is also known for saltwater recreational activities like fishing, kayaking, and harvesting clams and oysters. Visitors can try their hand at clamming and crabbing at Willapa.
The area has plenty of facilities for camping, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Hike, backpack or horseback your way to where you can spend the day exploring miles of beaches, rocky cliffs, tidepools, and lazy creeks.
Climate - Washington's climate varies with each region. The Cascades split the state and alter weather patterns. The terrain east of the mountains receives significantly less rainfall than that west of the mountains, 12 inches is the annual average. Temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months, because it is landlocked. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington. Western Washington is temperate, due to the coastal geography. The water is a stabilizing force for the climate, making extreme temperatures rare. The area receives large amounts of rainfall from Pacific storms and some snow during winter months. The mountains of Washington receive large amounts of water-laden snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year.
Highway 101 begins in Olympia and heads west, sharing the road with Highway 8 for 1 short mile, until it turns off towards Shelton and the east side of the Olympic National Park. It then follows the Pacific Ocean around the Olympic Peninsula. At Cosmospolis it turns south heading for the Oregon border.