If you’re visiting Washington State, you will need to go to Olympic Nationwide Park. First, the nationwide park is simply two hours out of Seattle. Second, there are a lot of wonderful issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, and third, it’s probably the most stunning nationwide parks in the US.
Olympic Nationwide Park covers almost one million acres. The park is an expanse of snow-capped mountains, glacier meadows, seashores, and mountain climbing trails galore. When planning an Olympic Nationwide Park itinerary, you might be spoiled for selection with all of the actions. For these wanting to flee metropolis life and keep in a cabin, tent, or campervan for some time, the nationwide park is an ideal journey.
Issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park
This information will cowl all the most effective issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. You might be soaking in sizzling springs, cross-country snowboarding, and even recognizing mountain goats and mountain lions on scenic mountain climbing trails. We’ll go away you with loads of inspiration.
However first, let’s check out some vital particulars. These are some fast FAQs with important data earlier than you go to Olympic Nationwide Park.
If You might be Staying in Seattle and wish to discover Olympic Nationwide Park, then this full-day tour presents a fantastic overview of the most effective areas within the park!
Learn how to get to Olympic Nationwide Park
The preferred strategy to get to Olympic Nationwide Park is by automobile or ferry. Which it is best to select relies upon totally on the place you wish to go, so it’s value checking the locations you wish to go to on an Olympic Nationwide Park map beforehand.
Driving is the simplest strategy to get to the southern space of the nationwide park from Seattle. Whereas if you wish to get to the north, catching the ferry from Seattle throughout Puget Sound is greatest. The ferries take automobiles and foot passengers – so that you don’t have to go away your automobile behind in the event you catch the ferry first.
Reserving a shuttle to Olympic Nationwide Park is likely to be a good suggestion if you wish to simply see a particular space. There’s a bus line working from Seattle to Olympic Nationwide Park too, so you possibly can at all times use public buses to achieve the park in order for you extra freedom however can’t drive.
Getting round Olympic Nationwide Park is best with a automobile. Whereas there are buses and shuttle providers, these don’t cowl all of the locations, points of interest, and issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. With a automobile, you’ll have the ability to attain in all places that you just wish to go to. Examine the greatest costs on Rental Vehicles right here.
After all, you might want to ebook an organized tour of Olympic Nationwide Park. You gained’t have to fret about getting round or an excessive amount of driving. You sacrifice a little bit of freedom, however this can be a good possibility in the event you don’t wish to hire a automobile.
Finest time to go to
Normally, the recommendation for visiting nationwide parks is to keep away from the crowds and peak seasons. Nevertheless, Olympic Nationwide Park is incredible in July and August.
For those who can go to simply earlier than the varsity holidays in June or in September, you’ll skip the crowds that the park attracts within the peak of summer season. However goal to go to Olympic Nationwide Park as near July and August as potential.
These months have the warmest climate, and there may be much less probability that trails and points of interest might be closed on account of dangerous climate. Closures could be disappointing, particularly whenever you’ve traveled lengthy distances to see a specific attraction. The very best time to go to is in the summertime season, when most issues stay open.
1. Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault is a glacially carved lake on the outskirts of Olympic Nationwide Forest. Sat within the dramatic hole of Quinault Valley, the lake is a scenic spot for watersports and a preferred place to remain in Olympic Nationwide Park.
There are two campgrounds in Quinault Valley, plus Lake Quinault Lodge, for anyone searching for luxurious lodging. After all, you don’t have to remain in a single day. Even visiting Lake Quinault for a number of hours is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. On a sizzling day, there’s little higher than going for a fast swim, fish, or kayak. You possibly can learn evaluations on TripAdvisor and evaluate costs on Reserving.com
2. La Push Seashores
La Push Seashores are three seashores unimaginatively named First Seaside, Second Seaside, and Third Seaside. The sequence of seashores are on the Pacific Northwest coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. For an unforgettable seashore day, visiting these seashores is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park.
First Seaside is the simplest to entry and sits instantly in entrance of the village of La Push. Second and Third Seaside are accessed by way of trails on foot, and you’ll attain the trailheads by driving alongside La Push Highway.
La Push Seashores are identified for his or her wildlife sighting and gorgeous pure formations. You possibly can spot whales and eagles on a fortunate day, and there are iconic sea stacks and tide swimming pools on all of the seashores. First Seaside is especially well-known due to its point out within the Twilight saga. First Seaside additionally has huge bushes which were washed up as driftwood, so it’s a incredible spot for images.
3. Drive the Juan de Fuca Nationwide Scenic Byway
The Juan de Fuca Nationwide Scenic Byway stretches 61 miles throughout the Olympic Peninsula’s northern coast. You possibly can drive the size of the byway in slightly below two hours – making it a fantastic addition to a day’s itinerary in Olympic Nationwide Park.
Sandwiched between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Nationwide Park, drivers have stunning views on both facet. The byway is great for individuals who desire a quick highway journey expertise, and you’ll cease at numerous viewpoints alongside the best way.
Driving the scenic byway is effectively mixed with a go to to Lake Crescent, Port Angeles, Makah Indian Reservation, or La Push Seashores. There may be already numerous driving to do when visiting the park, so when you possibly can decide the scenic route, why not?
4. Klahhane Ridge Path
Klahhane Ridge Path is an final health take a look at. If you need difficult issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, add mountain climbing the path from Klahhane Ridge to Mount Angeles to your to-do checklist.
Tackling Klahhane Ridge just isn’t for the fainthearted, although; you’ll want a powerful abdomen and good health ranges. The ridge is slender and requires some tough scrambling. Fortunately, you may have gorgeous views over Olympic Nationwide Park to maintain you motivated – simply don’t look down. You’ve even higher views on a transparent day from the Mount Angeles summit. Even in the event you’ve visited Olympic Nationwide Park earlier than, the 360 levels vantage level might be spectacular.
Enable eight to 10 hours to finish the Klahhane Ridge to Mount Angeles summit hike. It’s a full-day exercise within the nationwide park and requires preparation beforehand as amenities are severely restricted when you begin the path.
5. Marymere Falls, Olympic Peninsula
Does the Klahhane path sound a bit too intense? Hike to Marymere Falls as an alternative. Neglect spending a complete day mountain climbing; you possibly can attain the Marymere Falls in lower than an hour.
The trail to Marymere Falls is likely one of the greatest quick trails within the nationwide park. It has a magical environment too that makes it very effectively suited to households with younger youngsters. You’ll stroll by old-growth forests, previous twisted bushes and fairytale-like scenes – rising at a single-drop waterfall with a small plunge pool.
6. Sol Duc Scorching Springs Resort
Sol Duc Scorching Springs Resort is a luxurious lodging possibility and probably the greatest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. The Nationwide Park Service initially developed the resort, commercializing the pure sizzling springs and turning them into formal spa swimming pools. Now, you possibly can keep on the resort to benefit from the sizzling springs or ebook to wash within the swimming pools and not using a keep.
Scorching spring classes are ninety minutes lengthy and have restricted availability. We advocate reserving prematurely to keep away from arriving and discovering no slots accessible. It’s value noting that the springs are solely open seasonally as effectively. Sol Duc Scorching Springs Resort closes the swimming pools over winter, reopening them between spring and fall.
Sol Duc Scorching Springs are a safer different to Olympic Scorching Springs, which, whereas free to make use of, are thought-about excessive danger for harmful micro organism and are untreated for bathers. Commercialized sizzling springs are usually higher for protected and pleasing bathing.
7. Hike the Hoh River Path
Hoh Rainforest is an unbelievably stunning temperate rainforest in Olympic Nationwide Park. It’s a key marker within the nationwide park boundaries and is likely one of the Olympic Nationwide Park’s most spectacular areas to go to. The difficult Hoh River Path is essentially the most stunning strategy to expertise Hoh Rainforest.
The phrase ‘hoh’ is Native American and comes from the phrase ‘quick water. The Hoh River fits the title and is especially spectacular after heavy rainfall. The path follows the river from the Hoh Rainforest Customer Heart upstream to the Blue Glacier. The path is 36 miles lengthy, though you possibly can decide smaller sections to hike if you’re quick on time.
Hikers often deal with the path over two to 4 days, relying on their free time and health degree. The route takes you thru dense temperate rainforest, glacial meadows, and previous wildlife like elk and generally bears (take needed precautions). There are a number of campgrounds en route, so that you carry your tenting gear, and plan stops beforehand.
Mountaineering alongside the Hoh River is likely one of the most rewarding issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. You probably have the time to spare, we advocate difficult your self to this gorgeous multi-day hike.
8. Hike the Mount Storm King path
The Mount Storm King path nonetheless entails water views, simply and not using a two to four-day dedication. Mountaineering up Mount Storm King barely requires a morning, not to mention a whole day.
The three.8-mile hike takes you thru an old-growth forest and between quite a few viewpoints. You’ve gorgeous views over Lake Crescent and the encompassing mountains from these viewpoints. Is the path difficult? Comparatively. You must be assured sufficient to deal with technical elements of the trail like a rope part and a scramble close to the summit.
Nevertheless, Mount Storm King is likely one of the greatest quick trails and solely takes round 4 hours to finish – so it is best to have loads of power to deal with troublesome sections. The views make all of the challenges worthwhile. Simply time your hike with good climate to keep away from further difficulties like slippery or muddy situations.
Gap-In-The-Wall is a novel rock formation positioned on the Pacific Northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Essentially the most placing facet of the formation is a big gap – giant sufficient for guests to stroll by and snapshots of the seashore surroundings it frames. Nevertheless, the entire formation is dotted with holes and pockmarks created throughout a volcanic eruption.
The ‘Wall’ is a large boulder run deeply aground within the sand. Throughout low tide, you possibly can simply discover the entire boulder, taking your time to take photos and admire the formation. Nevertheless, throughout excessive tide, you can not rise up near the boulder, so select your visiting time correctly.
Gap-In-The-Wall takes about an hour to stroll alongside the Pacific Northwest Path. You possibly can be part of the path at Rialto Seaside, and the seashore path has an excellent view over the Pacific Ocean and shoreline. It’s a reasonable however stunning hike to finish whenever you go to Olympic Nationwide Park.
10. Corridor of Mosses path
The Corridor of Mosses path is one other gem in Hoh Rainforest. The route is usually described as atmospheric, and it’s clear to see why.
The Corridor of Mosses has a particular feeling of pure grandeur, and the trail is lined by overgrown bushes and ferns coated in blankets and blankets of moss. The temperate rainforest has an actual elven really feel. For those who ever wished to expertise dwelling in Tolkien’s creativeness, the Corridor of Mosses appears a fantastic place to begin and is like leaping straight right into a forest in Lord of the Rings.
The path is simply 0.8 miles lengthy – a handy, quick exercise to finish on a go to to Hoh Rainforest. It’s suited to households due to its size however truthfully ought to be visited by anybody visiting Olympic Nationwide Park. Strolling the Corridor of Mosses is definitely probably the most memorable issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park.
11. Enchanted Valley
Enchanted Valley is a stupendous spot in Olympic Nationwide Park. The snow-capped Olympic Mountains encompass the valley, and it has the nickname the ‘valley of 10,000 waterfalls’. It very a lot has an analogous aesthetic to the Dolomites or Swiss mountains. It’s the excellent place to go to to understand the mountainous facet of the nationwide park.
Visiting the valley does require a little bit of dedication, although. It’s only accessible on foot, so visiting just isn’t one thing you possibly can squeeze right into a day – sadly, a automobile can not save the day when no roads can be found.
You possibly can hike to the valley by way of Graves Creek Path and discover the 38.5-mile Enchanted Valley Path as a multi-day hike. You’ll have to put aside at the very least 4 days to go to, because the path has many scenic factors and pure points of interest that you just’ll wish to detour to and cease at. There are designated tenting spots and some outhouses en route. You’ll want to hold all of your different provides. Enchanted Valley is an incredible multi-day expedition in order for you an actual journey.
12. Climb Mt Olympus
Mt Olympus isn’t any straightforward choosing. The height is the tallest of the Olympic Mountains and is sort of 8000 toes tall. It’s thought-about a difficult, extraordinarily technical climb and is simply accessible at sure occasions of the yr. Climbers take two to 4 days to scale Mt Olympus – sluggish and regular wins the race on this case.
By this level, you may have both written Mt Olympus off or are determined to present it a go. If you wish to climb it, we advocate becoming a member of a guided climb. Usually, you’ll have most of your gear supplied, and also you’ll have the security web of a extremely educated, professional information to point out you the best way.
Mt Olympus is a severe enterprise, however what higher strategy to problem your self in Olympic Nationwide Park? On a transparent day, you’ll have views of the entire Olympic Peninsula and Olympic Nationwide Park from the summit. On some particular days, you possibly can even see the Canadian mountains throughout the border.
13. Hurricane Hill Path
In search of a viewpoint? Hurricane Hill has probably the greatest in Olympic Nationwide Park. You’ve sweeping views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and offshore islands like Vancouver Island from the hill’s summit.
You stroll a 3.4 mile out and again route to achieve the summit. The paved path is effectively maintained and of reasonable issue. If Mount Storm King sounded a bit too technical, Hurricane Hill is a superb different. You’ll cross Hurricane Ridge and move a number of scenic viewpoints earlier than reaching the ultimate summit.
Mountaineering up Hurricane Hill is likely one of the greatest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park in order for you an easy hike with sensible views.
14. Go cross-country snowboarding on Hurricane Ridge
In winter, many trails in Olympic Nationwide Park shut, and lots of points of interest change into inaccessible. Nevertheless, for Hurricane Ridge, winter is prime time. Whereas the remainder of Olympic Nationwide Park is winding down, Hurricane Ridge is springing into full-blown snow sporting motion.
For those who go to the Olympic Peninsula when there’s snowfall or in winter, Hurricane Ridge is the most effective place for snow sports activities. Cross nation snowboarding is the most well-liked exercise, adopted by snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowboarding within the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports activities Membership. You possibly can take your decide and simply spend a complete day on Hurricane Ridge.
You possibly can drive up the Hurricane Ridge highway all yr spherical, though you’ll require snow tires. Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Space supply carry amenities and gear leases for people who want them. Snowboarding is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, and we advocate that you just go to Hurricane Ridge to attempt it out.
15. Go whale watching from Port Angeles
There may be at all times an opportunity of seeing whales from Olympic Nationwide Park seashores. However what if you wish to take issues extra into your individual palms? Would you want to enhance your possibilities? We extremely advocate reserving a whale watching tour from Port Angeles.
Grey and humpback whales are essentially the most generally sighted. And, if you’re visiting Olympic Nationwide Park between March and November, we extremely advocate reserving a whale watching tour.
It is likely to be whale watching, however you might be prone to see all types of marine animals on an tour as effectively. Dolphins, seals, sea lions, and orcas frequent the waters off of Port Angeles. Crusing the waters round Olympic Nationwide Park is an expertise you’ll keep in mind.
16. Rialto Seaside
Rialto Seaside is on the Pacific Northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Rialto Seaside is a shocking instance of coastal surroundings on the Olympic Peninsula and a particular place to go to.
You’ll spot driftwood bushes, sea stacks, and loads of tide swimming pools with starfish and interesting marine life. Rialto Seaside can also be a wonderful place for wildlife recognizing, and there have been stories of otter and eagle sightings – amongst many others. The coastal forest additionally provides a secluded really feel to Rialto Seaside, and guests get the impression of being in an space of pure solace.
Midway between Gap-In-The-Wall and First Seaside, Rialto Seaside is a perfect addition to a day on the west coast. Rialto Seaside is very well-liked at sundown, so why not add it to the tip of your day? Sitting on Rialto Seaside with eagles overhead and the solar setting over the Pacific Ocean is a dreamy strategy to finish any day of journey.
17. Makah Cultural and Analysis Heart Museum
Makah Cultural and Analysis Heart Museum is positioned simply exterior Olympic Nationwide Park. Nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly value a detour. Moreover, its exhibitions instantly relate to the Olympic Nationwide Park’s historical past and native tradition.
The nationwide park has ties to eight totally different native tribes, together with the Makah. And, at Makah Cultural and Analysis Heart, you possibly can be taught all in regards to the tribe’s connection to Olympic Nationwide Park. The exhibitions are fascinating, with authentic objects like baskets, bowls, and canoes, plus a reproduction longhouse. Among the authentic artifacts are over 500 years outdated, and visiting the museum is a incredible strategy to perceive the historical past of Olympic Nationwide Park.
The museum is in Neah Bay, close to the Makah Indian Reservation and on the finish of the Scenic Byway. The museum is a superb addition to your itinerary in the event you plan to go to the Pacific Northwest coast, as it’s a straightforward detour from lots of the points of interest on the shoreline.
Visiting Makah Cultural and Analysis Heart Museum is likely one of the most insightful issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. We extremely advocate paying a go to.
18. Ruby Seaside
Ruby Seaside is (like Rialto Seaside, Second Seaside, and all the opposite seashores on the Olympic Peninsula) filled with fascinating geographical and geological points of interest. Nevertheless, Ruby Seaside has the most effective stability between a distant really feel and quick access. If you need a close-by car parking zone or are visiting on a wet day, Ruby Seaside is nice to sprint out of your automobile to shortly sightsee.
You possibly can wander amongst full-sized bushes which were washed ashore and rotted to driftwood, admire sea stacks, and peer into lots of tide swimming pools. Ruby Seaside has black sand, which provides to the gothic, spooky environment. And, on an overcast day, Ruby Seaside is definitely probably the most atmospheric locations to go to in Olympic Nationwide Park.
Ruby Seaside may be very accessible. The seashore has a small car parking zone with bathroom amenities only a quick stroll away. Ruby Seaside is a superb possibility for a straightforward seashore day for households and people with restricted health or mobility.
19. Lake Crescent
Lake Crescent is one other of Olympic Nationwide Park’s glacial lakes, and visiting is a incredible strategy to spend a day. You possibly can fish, swim, boat, or picnic. The lake has a laidback environment and is the right place to bask in a lazy afternoon of sunbathing and lakeside dwelling.
Mountain peaks encompass Lake Crescent, and it has greenery and forest rising proper as much as its waterfront. Magnificence is an understatement, and visiting Lake Crescent is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park.
Lake Crescent is effectively mixed with a number of different issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, together with the Juan Scenic Byway and Mount Storm King path. There are additionally loads of mountain climbing trails across the lake, so there isn’t a probability of you becoming bored.
20. Spruce Nature Path
Spruce Nature Path is our remaining mountain climbing path in Hoh Rainforest. The one-and-a-half-mile stroll is a brief and candy introduction to the temperate rainforest and takes a most of half an hour to finish – even with a cease or two.
The spotlight of the path is the nurse logs. Nurse logs are an enchanting pure phenomenon the place new bushes start to sprout and develop from fallen bushes – creating the title ‘nurse logs’. The method has been occurring for hundreds of years, so that you’ll see nurse logs in all levels. The method has additionally impacted the alignment of grown bushes, and also you’ll see many bushes in straight traces because of how they grew out of the identical log.
If you need a whistle-stop tour of Hoh Rainforest, the Spruce Nature Path is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. It’s botanically and geographically attention-grabbing. Plus, it’s a enjoyable hike for individuals who aren’t as eager to finish longer trails or multi-day hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park.
21. Go to Salmon Cascades
Salmon leaping is a phenomenon that happens throughout the globe. Nevertheless, Salmon Cascades is definitely probably the greatest locations to see it in the US – if not the world.
Salmon Cascades is a delegated viewing platform the place you possibly can watch the salmon bounce their method again upstream in September and October. The salmon are extremely decided and scale small waterfalls, boulders, and the energy of the present to make their method again to the birthplace to put their very own eggs yearly.
Not visiting Olympic Nationwide Park in September or October? Don’t fear; you get a second probability to observe for fish leaping as steelhead trout make the identical journey upstream between March and Might. In case your go to coincides with these months, it’s value stopping by to test it out.
22. Go to Sol Duc Falls
Who doesn’t love a very good waterfall? Whereas Marymere Falls is a fairly waterfall and is greatest in order for you a dramatic waterfall to admire.
Sol Duc Falls drops 48 toes right into a canyon and has the dimensions and energy to impress even essentially the most seasoned waterfall chaser. One other draw of Sol Duc Falls is the a number of viewpoints. You possibly can watch the falls from a tiny footbridge crossing the canyon, upstream on the persevering with path path, and downstream as you strategy the waterfall. It’s good to get the prospect to look at Sol Duc Falls from totally different angles – particularly on a busy day.
Mountaineering to Sol Duc Falls is simple and bodily straightforward. The path is 1.6 miles return, so it ought to take you round an hour to finish. It’s best mixed with a visit to Salmon Cascades, the Scenic Byway, Hoh Rainforest, and Lake Crescent, all of that are close by or en route.
There are such a lot of issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. Positive, close by nationwide parks like Mt. Rainer Nationwide Park could be tempting to go to. However Olympic Nationwide Park has an extra-special environment.
The dimensions, variety, and fantastic thing about Olympic Nationwide Park make it probably the greatest locations to go to in Washington State and the US. Have a incredible time.