Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.Albert Einstein
About the Park
Olympic National Park is a magnificent wilderness area on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It is filled with glaciers, mountains, lakes, temperate rain forests, and 70 miles of rugged Pacific coastline. This fantastic park is probably the most diverse of all the U.S. National Parks.
Check out the view from the park!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- Make the drive up to Hurricane Ridge for views of the Olympic Mountains
- Visit a beautiful setting at the Lake Crescent Lodge and explore Lake Crescent on kayak
- Hike the trail on the Hoh Rainforest and see the moss covered trees
- Make a trip out to the coastal beaches and look for beach treasures
- Head over to the Sequim area and visit the lavender farms
We loved our week at Olympic National Park during our Airstream tour of the America. There was so much variety with hiking along the moss covered trees at the Hoh Rain Forest, watching herds of Roosevelt Elk, and making the twisting turns to Hurricane Ridge for amazing views. We also loved going to see the Lavender Farms just north of the park!
Size of Park
Olympic’s Hoh Rain Forest receives 12 feet of rain per year!
Situated in the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park is known for its diverse ecosystems and distinctive landscape made of peaks of the Olympic Mountains, the pacific coastline, an old-growth forest, and a rainforest. These glacier-clad peaks inside the park are also famous among mountaineers and climbers.
You will find every type of terrain inside this national park, from glaciated mountain ranges to pristine alpine lakes to lowland forests. Olympic National Park’s rainforest is also considered the wettest land in the continental US, receiving 150 inches of rainfall yearly. As a result, the region is home to iconic wildlife, which includes beaver, raccoons, and mink.
Best Olympic National Park Hikes
Hiking in Olympic National Park is a great way to explore the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The park offers a wide variety of trails, from leisurely, flat strolls along the shoreline to challenging, steep climbs up to the
top of some of the tallest peaks in the region. So whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a leisurely outing, you’ll find plenty of trails to explore in Olympic National Park. Depending on the trail you choose, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountain Range, an abundance of old-growth forests, and plenty of wildlife.
Klahhane Ridge Trail
As an extension of the Sunrise Trail, the Klahhane Ridge Trail takes you to the highest peak in the Hurricane Ridge area. You will have the best panoramic views in the park, but you will need to trek for almost 7 miles. The hike is also more complex, with an elevation of almost 800 meters. The climb up to Mount Angeles is exceptionally steep, but the views are worth it!
Hurricane Ridge Trail
The Hurricane Ridge Trail is easy and moderate, depending on your skills. It is one of the most popular hiking tracks in the park as it showcases some broader views of the mountainous region of the park. The trail has some gradual elevation which is not too strenuous. Moreover, there are also a few switchbacks near the final viewpoint.
Hall of Mosses Trail
This one-mile-long trail loops through some of the oldest trees in the region. The trail got its name from the moss hanging from the trees. When the sunlight hits the moss, it creates a splendid view! Some parts of the area can be flooded at certain times of the year, so hikers should wear good hiking boots.
Marymere Falls Trail
If you are looking for a hike that is both easy and offers some worthwhile scenic views, you should check out the Marymere Falls Trail. The trail is a little under 2 miles long with minimal ascent.
The entire trail passes through an old-growth forest where the walk alone is refreshing. However, near the end, there is a short strenuous climb to the final viewpoint, from where you will have a clear view of Marymere Falls. Railings have been installed on this flat trail, so it is appropriate for families with children.
Mount Storm King
While this trail is 4.5 miles long, it is still categorized as a strenuous hike due to its steep ascent. Considered one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park, the trail offers a steep and relentless climb where you must use ropes to pull yourself up. Finally, the track ends with a spectacular view of Lake Crescent.
Camping in Olympic National Park
There are 15 developed campgrounds inside the park that have around 900 sites. These sites do not have hookups or showers but provide a fire pit and picnic table. Except for Mora, Kalaloch, Log Cabin, Fairholme, and Sol Duc Hot Springs, all other campgrounds are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. As these campgrounds are located at different locations, you can experience various landscapes, including forests, lakes, oceans, and mountains!
This campground is quite popular as it is located in the middle of a rainforest. The ancient trees, mosses, bigleaf maples, and vine maples make the entire camping experience nothing less than magical. The 72 sites of the campground have both portable water and flush toilets.
Sol Duc Hot Springs RV Park & Campground
Nestled under the trees along the Sol Duc River, the campground and RV Park are located near the resort’s three hot-spring pools. Both the campground and park are located in close proximity and are operated by Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. The campground has restrooms, running water, and flush toilets, while the RV Park has electrical hookups and water.
With its 49 sites, Staircase Campground is located in an old-growth forest. While the campground is open year-round, flush toilets and water facility is only available during summer. During the rest of the year, pit toilets are available to campers. Lake Cushman is also located near the campground, and the trails to First Divide and Flapjack Lakes are also within walking distance.
If you want to camp near a lake, consider booking the Fairholme Campground. The blue waters of Lake Crescent are mesmerizing to look at and offer a lakeside experience you will not forget anytime soon. The campground has 88 camping sites with picnic tables, fire pits, and grates. The campground can be considered family-friendly as you will also have access to flush toilets, potable water, animal-proof food storage, and a dump station for RVs that you will need to pay for.
Kalaloch Campground offers an oceanside camping experience that everyone should have in their lifetime! The 170 camping sites are $24 per night and have portable water and flush toilets. These sites overlook the Pacific Ocean and can accommodate RVs up to 21 and 35 feet in length.
Camping options near the park
Even though Olympic National Park has plenty of camping options, you can still look nearby for other campgrounds. Some noteworthy options near the park are Lena Lake Campground and Elkhorn Dispersed Campground, which are almost an hour’s drive from Olympic National Park.
Ruby Beach is the northernmost beach located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. This family-friendly beach is popular for its red sand and sea stacks. The beach is quite rocky, so you will need to wear flip-flops. Once on the beach, visitors like to explore the driftwood that lines the shore.
Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls is located deep inside an old-growth forest, creating a peculiar landscape. This unique kind of waterfall splits into four sections that surge into a rocky canyon. There is a bridge and various viewpoints from where you can enjoy the cascade.
Rialto Beach is located near the mouth of the Quillayute River and comprises a coastal forest and an ocean beach. The beach is near the Mora Campground, filled with pebbles and driftwood.
A sea-carved arch about 1.5 miles from the beach is called Hole-in-the-Wall. Hiking to this spot is a popular activity to do on the beach.
This viewpoint is one of the most beautiful spots in Washington. It provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, where you can see the interior of the Olympics, the Cascades, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on clear days. Before hiking to this overlook, ensure you are prepared for any weather, as storms develop quickly at this height.
Click on the button to explore the state and travel guides for the area.
Explore another National Park in the USA
We’ve visited 51 of the 63 parks. Check out our other guides.