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 numerous superb issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, and third, it’s one of the crucial lovely nationwide parks in the US.
Olympic Nationwide Park covers practically 1,000,000 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’re 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 very best issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. You may 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 essential particulars. These are some fast FAQs with important info earlier than you go to Olympic Nationwide Park.
If You’re Staying in Seattle and need to discover Olympic Nationwide Park, then this full-day tour presents an awesome overview of the very best areas within the park!
The right way to get to Olympic Nationwide Park
The preferred technique to get to Olympic Nationwide Park is by automotive or ferry. Which you must select relies upon totally on the place you need to go, so it’s value checking the locations you need to go to on an Olympic Nationwide Park map beforehand.
Driving is the best technique 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 finest. The Olympic Nationwide Park ferries take autos and foot passengers – so that you don’t have to go away your automotive behind in the event you catch the ferry first.
Reserving a shuttle to Olympic Nationwide Park could be a good suggestion if you wish to simply see a selected 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 succeed in the park if you’d like extra freedom however can’t drive.
Getting round Olympic Nationwide Park is best with a automotive. Whereas there are buses and shuttle companies, these don’t cowl all of the locations, points of interest, and issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. With a automotive, you’ll have the ability to attain all over the place that you simply need to go to. Test the finest costs on Rental Automobiles right here.
In fact, chances are you’ll want to e book an organized tour of Olympic Nationwide Park. You received’t have to fret about getting round or an excessive amount of driving. You sacrifice a little bit of freedom, however it is a good possibility in the event you don’t need to hire a automotive.
Greatest time to go to
Often, 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.
In case you can go to simply earlier than the college holidays in June or in September, you’ll skip the crowds that the park attracts within the peak of summer season. However intention to go to Olympic Nationwide Park as near July and August as potential.
These months have the warmest climate, and there’s much less probability that trails and points of interest might be closed resulting from dangerous climate. Closures may be disappointing, particularly if you’ve traveled lengthy distances to see a specific attraction. The perfect 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. In fact, you don’t have to remain in a single day. Even visiting Lake Quinault for just a few hours is among 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 may learn evaluations on TripAdvisor and examine costs on Reserving.com
2. La Push Seashores
La Push Seashores are three seashores unimaginatively named First Seashore, Second Seashore, and Third Seashore. The collection of seashores are on the Pacific Northwest coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. For an unforgettable seashore day, visiting these seashores is among the finest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park.
First Seashore is the best to entry and sits straight in entrance of the village of La Push. Second and Third Seashore are accessed through trails on foot, and you’ll attain the trailheads by driving alongside La Push Highway.
La Push Seashores are recognized for his or her wildlife sighting and gorgeous pure formations. You may spot whales and eagles on a fortunate day, and there are iconic sea stacks and tide swimming pools on all of the seashores. First Seashore is especially well-known due to its point out within the Twilight saga. First Seashore additionally has huge bushes which were washed up as driftwood, so it’s a incredible spot for pictures.
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 may drive the size of the byway in just below two hours – making it an awesome 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 lovely views on both facet. The byway is superb for individuals who desire a quick street journey expertise, and you’ll cease at a number of viewpoints alongside the way in which.
Driving the scenic byway is properly mixed with a go to to Lake Crescent, Port Angeles, Makah Indian Reservation, or La Push Seashores. There’s already a number of driving to do when visiting the park, so when you possibly can choose the scenic route, why not?
4. Klahhane Ridge Path
Klahhane Ridge Path is an final health check. 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 record.
Tackling Klahhane Ridge isn’t for the fainthearted, although; you’ll want a powerful abdomen and good health ranges. The ridge is slim and requires some difficult scrambling. Fortunately, you have got gorgeous views over Olympic Nationwide Park to maintain you motivated – simply don’t look down. You will have 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 services 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 a substitute. 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 among the finest quick trails within the nationwide park. It has a magical environment too that makes it very properly suited to households with younger youngsters. You’ll stroll by means of old-growth forests, previous twisted bushes and fairytale-like scenes – rising at a single-drop waterfall with a small plunge pool.
You may swim at Marymere Falls, so it’s value packing a swimsuit and towel. It is a wonderful selection for a brief hike with a rewarding cool-off on the finish.
6. Sol Duc Sizzling Springs Resort
Sol Duc Sizzling 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 e book to wash within the swimming pools with out a keep.
Sizzling spring classes are ninety minutes lengthy and have restricted availability. We advocate reserving upfront to keep away from arriving and discovering no slots accessible. It’s value noting that the springs are solely open seasonally as properly. Sol Duc Sizzling Springs Resort closes the swimming pools over winter, reopening them between spring and fall.
Sol Duc Sizzling Springs are a safer different to Olympic Sizzling Springs, which, whereas free to make use of, are thought-about excessive threat for harmful micro organism and are untreated for bathers. Commercialized sizzling springs are usually higher for secure and pleasurable bathing.
7. Hike the Hoh River Path
Hoh Rainforest is an unbelievably lovely temperate rainforest in Olympic Nationwide Park. It’s a key marker within the nationwide park boundaries and is among the Olympic Nationwide Park’s most spectacular areas to go to. The difficult Hoh River Path is probably the most lovely technique to expertise Hoh Rainforest.
The phrase ‘hoh’ is Native American and comes from the phrase ‘quick water. The Hoh River fits the identify and is especially spectacular after heavy rainfall. The path follows the river from the Hoh Rainforest Customer Middle upstream to the Blue Glacier. The path is 36 miles lengthy, though you possibly can choose smaller sections to hike in case you are quick on time.
Hikers normally sort out 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.
Climbing alongside the Hoh River is among the most rewarding issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. When you 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 with out a two to four-day dedication. Climbing up Mount Storm King barely requires a morning, not to mention a complete day.
The three.8-mile hike takes you thru an old-growth forest and between quite a few viewpoints. You will have gorgeous views over Lake Crescent and the encompassing mountains from these viewpoints. Is the path difficult? Comparatively. You must be assured sufficient to sort out technical elements of the trail like a rope part and a scramble close to the summit.
Nevertheless, Mount Storm King is among the finest quick trails and solely takes round 4 hours to finish – so you must have loads of power to sort out 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 circumstances.
Gap-In-The-Wall is a novel rock formation positioned on the Pacific Northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Probably the most hanging side of the formation is a big gap – giant sufficient for guests to stroll by means of 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 big boulder run deeply aground within the sand. Throughout low tide, you possibly can simply discover the entire boulder, taking your time to take footage and admire the formation. Nevertheless, throughout excessive tide, you can’t 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 may be part of the path at Rialto Seashore, and the seashore path has an excellent view over the Pacific Ocean and shoreline. It’s a reasonable however lovely hike to finish if 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. In case you ever wished to expertise dwelling in Tolkien’s creativeness, the Corridor of Mosses appears an awesome place to start out 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 actually ought to be visited by anybody visiting Olympic Nationwide Park. Strolling the Corridor of Mosses is well one of the crucial memorable issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park.
11. Enchanted Valley
Enchanted Valley is a gorgeous 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 the same 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 isn’t one thing you possibly can squeeze right into a day – sadly, a automotive can’t save the day when no roads can be found.
You may hike to the valley through Graves Creek Path and discover the 38.5-mile Enchanted Valley Path as a multi-day hike. You’ll must 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 simply’ll need 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 amazing multi-day expedition if you’d like an actual journey.
12. Climb Mt Olympus
Mt Olympus isn’t any simple selecting. The height is the tallest of the Olympic Mountains and is nearly 8000 toes tall. It’s thought-about a difficult, extraordinarily technical climb and is simply accessible at sure instances of the 12 months. Climbers take two to 4 days to scale Mt Olympus – sluggish and regular wins the race on this case.
By this level, you have got both written Mt Olympus off or are determined to provide it a go. If you wish to climb it, we advocate becoming a member of a guided climb. Typically, you’ll have most of your tools supplied, and also you’ll have the security internet of a extremely educated, knowledgeable information to point out you the way in which.
Mt Olympus is a severe enterprise, however what higher technique 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 will have 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 succeed in the summit. The paved path is properly maintained and of reasonable problem. If Mount Storm King sounded a bit too technical, Hurricane Hill is a good different. You’ll cross Hurricane Ridge and go a number of scenic viewpoints earlier than reaching the ultimate summit.
Climbing up Hurricane Hill is among the finest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park if you’d like an easy hike with good views.
14. Go cross-country snowboarding on Hurricane Ridge
In winter, many trails in Olympic Nationwide Park shut, and lots of points of interest turn 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.
In case you go to the Olympic Peninsula when there’s snowfall or in winter, Hurricane Ridge is the very best 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 may take your choose and simply spend a complete day on Hurricane Ridge.
You may drive up the Hurricane Ridge street all 12 months spherical, though you’ll require snow tires. Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Space supply carry services and tools leases for people who want them. Snowboarding is among the most fun issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, and we advocate that you simply go to Hurricane Ridge to attempt it out.
15. Go whale watching from Port Angeles
There’s at all times an opportunity of seeing whales from Olympic Nationwide Park seashores. However what if you wish to take issues extra into your personal palms? Would you want to enhance your possibilities? We extremely advocate reserving a whale watching tour from Port Angeles.
Grey and humpback whales are probably the most generally sighted. And, in case you are visiting Olympic Nationwide Park between March and November, we extremely advocate reserving a whale watching tour.
It could be whale watching, however you’re more likely to see all types of marine animals on an tour as properly. 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 Seashore
Rialto Seashore is on the Pacific Northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Rialto Seashore 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 Seashore can be a superb place for wildlife recognizing, and there have been reviews of otter and eagle sightings – amongst many others. The coastal forest additionally provides a secluded really feel to Rialto Seashore, and guests get the impression of being in an space of pure solace.
Midway between Gap-In-The-Wall and First Seashore, Rialto Seashore is a perfect addition to a day on the west coast. Rialto Seashore is very well-liked at sundown, so why not add it to the top of your day? Sitting on Rialto Seashore with eagles overhead and the solar setting over the Pacific Ocean is a dreamy technique to finish any day of journey.
17. Makah Cultural and Analysis Middle Museum
Makah Cultural and Analysis Middle Museum is positioned simply outdoors Olympic Nationwide Park. Nevertheless, it’s positively value a detour. Apart from, its exhibitions straight relate to the Olympic Nationwide Park’s historical past and native tradition.
The nationwide park has ties to eight completely different native tribes, together with the Makah. And, at Makah Cultural and Analysis Middle, you possibly can study all concerning the tribe’s connection to Olympic Nationwide Park. The exhibitions are fascinating, with unique gadgets like baskets, bowls, and canoes, plus a duplicate longhouse. A number of the unique artifacts are over 500 years previous, and visiting the museum is a incredible technique 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 wonderful addition to your itinerary in the event you plan to go to the Pacific Northwest coast, as it’s a straightforward detour from most of the points of interest on the shoreline.
Visiting Makah Cultural and Analysis Middle Museum is among the most insightful issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park. We extremely advocate paying a go to.
18. Ruby Seashore
Ruby Seashore is (like Rialto Seashore, Second Seashore, and all the opposite seashores on the Olympic Peninsula) filled with fascinating geographical and geological points of interest. Nevertheless, Ruby Seashore has the very best 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 Seashore is nice to sprint out of your automotive to rapidly sightsee.
You may wander amongst full-sized bushes which were washed ashore and rotted to driftwood, admire sea stacks, and peer into a variety of tide swimming pools. Ruby Seashore has black sand, which provides to the gothic, spooky environment. And, on an overcast day, Ruby Seashore is well one of the crucial atmospheric locations to go to in Olympic Nationwide Park.
Ruby Seashore may be very accessible. The seashore has a small car parking zone with bathroom services only a quick stroll away. Ruby Seashore is a wonderful 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 technique to spend a day. You may fish, swim, boat, or picnic. The lake has a laidback environment and is the right place to take pleasure 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 among the finest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park.
Lake Crescent is properly 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 any probability of you becoming bored.
20. Spruce Nature Path
Spruce Nature Path is our closing 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 interesting pure phenomenon the place new bushes start to sprout and develop from fallen bushes – creating the identify ‘nurse logs’. The method has been taking place 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 strains 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 among the finest 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 well probably the greatest locations to see it in the US – if not the world.
Salmon Cascades is a chosen viewing platform the place you possibly can watch the salmon soar their manner 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 manner 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 great waterfall? Whereas Marymere Falls is a fairly waterfall with an awesome swimming plunge pool, Sol Duc Falls is finest if you’d like a dramatic waterfall to admire.
Sol Duc Falls drops 48 toes right into a canyon and has the dimensions and energy to impress even probably the most seasoned waterfall chaser. One other draw of Sol Duc Falls is the a number of viewpoints. You may watch the falls from a tiny footbridge crossing the canyon, upstream on the persevering with path path, and downstream as you method the waterfall. It’s good to get the prospect to look at Sol Duc Falls from completely different angles – particularly on a busy day.
Climbing to Sol Duc Falls is easy and bodily simple. 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. Certain, close by nationwide parks like Mt. Rainer Nationwide Park may be tempting to go to. However Olympic Nationwide Park has an extra-special environment.
The dimensions, range, 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.