Olympic National Park may be the United States‘ closest encounter with New Zealand. while lush rainforests teeming with life. These areas are lush and green, misty and snowy, thanks to a steady supply of precipitation (up to 150 inches each year!). The reserve stretches from the coast, with its rugged, boulder-strewn beaches and waves crashing against them, to the soaring Olympic Mountains, which reach a height of 7,980 feet.
Where is Olympic National Park?
The Olympic Peninsula is almost entirely covered by Olympic National Park. That can be found sticking out of the United States’ far northwestern corner. The Salish Sea separates the reserve from Canada’s national parks on Vancouver Island. The Pacific Ocean, to the west, is a dangerous place. Going east would bring you on the Puget Sound’s whale-splashing seas and, eventually, in the bustling city of Seattle.
How to Get to Olympic National Park?
The famed US-101 comes to an end (or a start, depending on which way you’re driving it) in Olympic National Park. It’s a roadway that runs the length of the West Coast, from SoCal’s surf beaches to the Pacific Northwest’s untamed redwood forests. The majority of people arrive from Aberdeen and run around the area. To complete it properly, you’ll need two or three days.
Best Olympic National Park Hiking Trails
Hall of Moss Trail
Ruby Beach Trail
Ozette Triangle Loop
Cedar Loop Trail
Hoh River Trail
Klahhane Ridge Trail
Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail
Staircase Rapids Loop Trail
Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail
Park Entrance Fees
The cost of entering the park is determined by the type of pass you buy and the vehicle you drive. A single-use park pass, an annual park pass, or America the Beautiful Interagency Annual Pass, which covers all national parks and federal charge areas, are all available. All fee information may be found on the fees and passes page.
Things To Do
Drivers circle the park’s perimeter and a thin coastal strip to the west because the park’s interior has no roadways. Allow at least three days to explore at a leisurely pace — longer if you want to get a good look at the coast, rain forest, and mountains.
Donna Kreuger, who organises a Conditioning Hiking series in the park for women over 50, recommends taking some time to explore some of the area’s 600-plus paths. She claims that “wildflowers, waterfalls, beautiful rivers, and rich wildlife are all within reach of the common person.” “Because of the diverse character of the Olympic routes, anyone’s fitness level can be matched to a fantastic destination.”
Hike in the Olympic mountains or take to the water with Adventures Through Kayaking 47 miles west at glacier-carved Lake Crescent. As paddlers flank the Spruce Railroad Trail, bald eagles frequently wheel overhead (10 miles round trip on foot and part of the bikeable 130-mile Olympic Discovery Trail). Soak and massage any aching muscles at Sol Duc Hot Springs, a half-hour journey south. A 1.6-mile hike leads to a historic shelter and waterfall, which is also kid friendly.
Well, it depends on what you want to get out of your visit. Spring is the best time to visit if you want to see wildlife. You’ll be able to see the meadows of the Olympic Mountains’ subalpine regions blossom into life once the thaw begins and the milder weather finally arrives after a long winter. It’s the best time to see endangered Roosevelt elk and black bears emerging from their winter sleep.
Later in the summer, when it’s hotter and dryer, July and August are ideal for backcountry camping and trekking. It’s also the time of year when Hurricane Ridge Road is most active. Winter might be harsh and snowy, but if you don’t mind donning thermals, you can enjoy some skiing and true isolation.
Where to stay?
Lake Crescent Lodge, was opened in 1915 and is located in the park’s north-central section, invites visitors from late May to December. Original wood, a massive stone fireplace, a screened-in sun porch, and shoulder-mounts of beautiful elk shot many years ago are all on the menu. Don’t miss the Dungeness crab corn cakes and marionberry cobbler with lavender-shortbread streusel at its waterview restaurant, which specialises in “farm to fork” cuisine and Pacific Northwest wines. Nearby, the Log Cabin Resort, with its 1950s family-fun ambiance, and Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, with mineral bathing pools surrounded by old-growth rain forest, are well worth a visit.
From mid-February to mid-May, the Lost Resort, located just outside the park’s northern section near Lake Ozette, entices with a humorous offer. When you check-in, the rustic cabin rentals cost the same per night as the Fahrenheit temperature, which averages 45 degrees in the winter. When you’re thirsty, choose from more than 99 microbrews in the deli, which also serves simple fare like BLTs, breakfast burritos, and burgers.
The Quileute Oceanside Resort & RV Park, located 25 miles south, offers breathtaking ocean views. At community events, it also gives a taste of the Indigenous culture that has thrived here for over a thousand years through art and cultural traditions.