Tips & Advices

22 Superb Things to do in Olympic National Park

If you might be visiting Washington State, you have to go to Olympic National Park. First, the nationwide park is just two hours out of Seattle. Second, there are lots of superb issues to do in Olympic National Park, and third, it’s one of the lovely national parks within the United States.

Olympic National Park covers almost one million acres. The park is an expanse of snow-capped mountains, glacier meadows, seashores, and climbing trails galore. When planning an Olympic National 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.

Things to do in Olympic National Park

This information will cowl all the perfect issues to do in Olympic National Park. You may very well be soaking in sizzling springs, cross-country snowboarding, and even recognizing mountain goats and mountain lions on scenic climbing trails. We’ll depart you with loads of inspiration.

But first, let’s check out some essential particulars. These are some fast FAQs with important info earlier than you go to Olympic National Park.

If You are Staying in Seattle and need to discover Olympic National Park, then this full-day tour presents an incredible overview of the perfect areas within the park!

How to get to Olympic National Park

Things to do in Olympic National Park Getting There

The hottest strategy to get to Olympic National Park is by automobile or ferry. Which it is best to select relies upon totally on the place you need to go, so it’s price checking the locations you need to go to on an Olympic National Park map beforehand.

Driving is the best strategy to get to the southern space of the nationwide park from Seattle. While if you wish to get to the north, catching the ferry from Seattle throughout Puget Sound is finest. The Olympic National Park ferries take autos and foot passengers – so that you don’t have to depart your automobile behind when you catch the ferry first.

Booking a shuttle to Olympic National Park is likely to be a good suggestion if you wish to simply see a selected space. There is a bus line working from Seattle to Olympic National Park too, so you may at all times use public buses to succeed in the park in order for you extra freedom however can’t drive.

Getting round

Things to do in Olympic National Park Getting Around

Getting round Olympic National Park is best with a automobile. While there are buses and shuttle companies, these don’t cowl all of the locations, points of interest, and issues to do in Olympic National Park. With a automobile, you’ll be capable to attain in every single place that you just need to go to. Check the best prices on Rental Cars here.

Of course, chances are you’ll want to guide an organized tour of Olympic National Park. You gained’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 choice when you don’t need to hire a automobile.

Best time to go to

Things to do in Olympic National Park when to visit

Usually, the recommendation for visiting nationwide parks is to keep away from the crowds and peak seasons. However, Olympic National Park is improbable in July and August.

If you may go to simply earlier than the college holidays in June or in September, you’ll skip the crowds that the park attracts within the top of summer time. But intention to go to Olympic National 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 as a result of unhealthy climate. Closures might be disappointing, particularly if you’ve traveled lengthy distances to see a specific attraction. The finest time to go to is in the summertime season, when most issues stay open.

1. Lake Quinault

Things to do in Olympic National Park Lake Quinault

Lake Quinault is a glacially carved lake on the outskirts of Olympic National 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 National Park.

There are two campgrounds in Quinault Valley, plus Lake Quinault Lodge, for anyone looking for luxurious lodging. Of course, you don’t have to remain in a single day. Even visiting Lake Quinault for a number of hours is among the most enjoyable issues to do in Olympic National Park. On a sizzling day, there’s little higher than going for a fast swim, fish, or kayak. You can learn critiques on TripAdvisor and evaluate costs on Booking.com

2. La Push Beaches

Things to do in Olympic National Park La Push Beaches

La Push Beaches are three seashores unimaginatively named First Beach, Second Beach, and Third Beach. The sequence 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 National Park.

First Beach is the best to entry and sits instantly in entrance of the village of La Push. Second and Third Beach are accessed by way of trails on foot, and you’ll attain the trailheads by driving alongside La Push Road.

La Push Beaches are recognized for his or her wildlife sighting and gorgeous pure formations. You 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 Beach is especially well-known due to its point out within the Twilight saga. First Beach additionally has monumental timber which were washed up as driftwood, so it’s a improbable spot for pictures.

3. Drive the Juan de Fuca National Scenic Byway

Things to do in Olympic National Park Scenic Byway

The Juan de Fuca National Scenic Byway stretches 61 miles throughout the Olympic Peninsula’s northern coast. You can drive the size of the byway in just below two hours – making it an incredible addition to a day’s itinerary in Olympic National Park.

Sandwiched between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic National Park, drivers have lovely views on both aspect. The byway is great for many who desire a brief highway journey expertise, and you’ll cease at a number of 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 Beaches. There is already a number of driving to do when visiting the park, so when you may choose the scenic route, why not?

4. Klahhane Ridge Trail

Things to do in Olympic National Park Klahhane Ridge

Klahhane Ridge Trail is an final health take a look at. If you need difficult issues to do in Olympic National Park, add climbing the path from Klahhane Ridge to Mount Angeles to your to-do listing.

Tackling Klahhane Ridge will not be for the fainthearted, although; you’ll want a robust abdomen and good health ranges. The ridge is slim and requires some difficult scrambling. Luckily, you have got gorgeous views over Olympic National Park to maintain you motivated – simply don’t look down. You have even higher views on a transparent day from the Mount Angeles summit. Even when you’ve visited Olympic National Park earlier than, the 360 levels vantage level might be spectacular.

Allow eight to 10 hours to finish the Klahhane Ridge to Mount Angeles summit hike. It is 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

Things to do in Olympic National Park Marymere Falls

Does the Klahhane path sound a bit too intense? Hike to Marymere Falls as a substitute. Forget spending a complete day climbing; you may attain the Marymere Falls in lower than an hour.

The path to Marymere Falls is among the finest brief 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 way of old-growth forests, previous twisted timber and fairytale-like scenes – rising at a single-drop waterfall with a small plunge pool.

You can swim at Marymere Falls, so it’s price 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 Hot Springs Resort

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is a luxurious lodging choice and the most effective issues to do in Olympic National Park. The National Park Service initially developed the resort, commercializing the pure sizzling springs and turning them into formal spa swimming pools. Now, you may keep on the resort to benefit from the sizzling springs or guide to wash within the swimming pools and not using a keep.

Hot spring periods are ninety minutes lengthy and have restricted availability. We suggest reserving upfront to keep away from arriving and discovering no slots obtainable. It is price noting that the springs are solely open seasonally as effectively. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort closes the swimming pools over winter, reopening them between spring and fall.

Sol Duc Hot Springs are a safer various to Olympic Hot 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 typically higher for secure and pleasant bathing.

7. Hike the Hoh River Trail

Hoh Rainforest Olympic Peninsula

Hoh Rainforest is an unbelievably lovely temperate rainforest in Olympic National Park. It is a key marker within the nationwide park boundaries and is among the Olympic National Park’s most spectacular areas to go to. The difficult Hoh River Trail is essentially the most lovely strategy to expertise Hoh Rainforest.

The phrase ‘hoh’ is Native American and comes from the phrase ‘fast water. The Hoh River suits the name and is particularly impressive after heavy rainfall. The trail follows the river from the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center upstream to the Blue Glacier. The trail is 36 miles long, although you can pick smaller sections to hike if you are short on time.

Hikers usually tackle the trail over two to four days, depending on their free time and fitness level. The route takes you through dense temperate rainforest, glacial meadows, and past wildlife like elk and sometimes bears (take necessary precautions). There are multiple campgrounds en route, so you carry your camping gear, and plan stops beforehand.

Hiking along the Hoh River is one of the most rewarding things to do in Olympic National Park. If you have the time to spare, we recommend challenging yourself to this stunning multi-day hike.

8. Hike the Mount Storm King trail

Mount Storm King Olympic Peninsula

The Mount Storm King trail still involves water views, just without a two to four-day commitment. Hiking up Mount Storm King barely requires a morning, let alone an entire day.

The 3.8-mile hike takes you through an old-growth forest and between numerous viewpoints. You have stunning views over Lake Crescent and the surrounding mountains from these viewpoints. Is the trail challenging? Relatively. You have to be confident enough to tackle technical parts of the path like a rope section and a scramble near the summit.

However, Mount Storm King is one of the best short trails and only takes around four hours to complete – so you should have plenty of energy to tackle difficult sections. The views make all the challenges worthwhile. Just time your hike with good weather to avoid extra difficulties like slippery or muddy conditions.

9. Hole-In-The-Wall

Olympic Peninsula Hole in the Wall

Hole-In-The-Wall is a unique rock formation located on the Pacific Northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. The most striking aspect of the formation is a large hole – large enough for visitors to walk through and snapshots of the beach scenery it frames. However, the whole formation is dotted with holes and pockmarks created during a volcanic eruption.

The ‘Wall’ is a big boulder run deeply aground within the sand. During low tide, you may simply discover the entire boulder, taking your time to take photos and admire the formation. However, throughout excessive tide, you can’t stand up near the boulder, so select your visiting time correctly.

Hole-In-The-Wall takes about an hour to stroll alongside the Pacific Northwest Trail. You can be part of the path at Rialto Beach, and the seashore path has an excellent view over the Pacific Ocean and shoreline. It’s a average however lovely hike to finish if you go to Olympic National Park.

10. Hall of Mosses path

Hall of Mosses Olympic Peninsula

The Hall 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 Hall of Mosses has a particular feeling of pure grandeur, and the trail is lined by overgrown timber and ferns lined in blankets and blankets of moss. The temperate rainforest has an actual elven really feel. If you ever needed to expertise residing in Tolkien’s creativeness, the Hall of Mosses appears an incredible 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, brief exercise to finish on a go to to Hoh Rainforest. It is suited to households due to its size however truthfully needs to be visited by anybody visiting Olympic National Park. Walking the Hall of Mosses is well one of the memorable issues to do in Olympic National Park.

11. Enchanted Valley

Olympic Peninsula Enchanted Valley

Enchanted Valley is a wonderful spot in Olympic National 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 is the proper place to go to to understand the mountainous aspect of the nationwide park.

Visiting the valley does require a little bit of dedication, although. It is just accessible on foot, so visiting will not be one thing you may squeeze right into a day – sadly, a automobile can not save the day when no roads can be found.

You can hike to the valley by way of Graves Creek Trail and discover the 38.5-mile Enchanted Valley Trail as a multi-day hike. You’ll have to put aside at the least 4 days to go to, because the path has many scenic factors and pure points of interest that you just’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 in order for you an actual journey.

12. Climb Mt Olympus

Things to do in Olympic National Park Climb Mt Olympus

Mt Olympus is not any straightforward choosing. The peak is the tallest of the Olympic Mountains and is sort of 8000 ft tall. It is taken into account a difficult, extraordinarily technical climb and is just accessible at sure occasions of the 12 months. Climbers take two to 4 days to scale Mt Olympus – gradual and regular wins the race on this case.

By this level, you have got both written Mt Olympus off or are determined to present it a go. If you need to climb it, we suggest becoming a member of a guided climb. Often, you’ll have most of your gear supplied, and also you’ll have the security web of a extremely educated, professional information to indicate you the best way.

Mt Olympus is a critical endeavor, however what higher strategy to problem your self in Olympic National Park? On a transparent day, you’ll have views of the entire Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park from the summit. On some particular days, you may even see the Canadian mountains throughout the border.

13. Hurricane Hill Trail

Hurricane Hill Olympic Peninsula

Looking for a viewpoint? Hurricane Hill has the most effective in Olympic National Park. You 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 effectively maintained and of average issue. If Mount Storm King sounded a bit too technical, Hurricane Hill is a good various. You’ll cross Hurricane Ridge and cross a number of scenic viewpoints earlier than reaching the ultimate summit.

Hiking up Hurricane Hill is among the finest hikes in Olympic National Park in order for you an easy hike with sensible views.

14. Go cross-country snowboarding on Hurricane Ridge

Things to do in Olympic National Park Hurricane Ridge

In winter, many trails in Olympic National Park shut, and plenty of points of interest change into inaccessible. However, for Hurricane Ridge, winter is prime time. While the remainder of Olympic National Park is winding down, Hurricane Ridge is springing into full-blown snow sporting motion.

If you go to the Olympic Peninsula when there’s snowfall or in winter, Hurricane Ridge is the perfect place for snow sports activities. Cross nation snowboarding is the preferred exercise, adopted by snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowboarding within the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club. You can take your choose and simply spend a complete day on Hurricane Ridge.

You can drive up the Hurricane Ridge highway all 12 months spherical, though you’ll require snow tires. Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area supply raise amenities and gear leases for people who want them. Skiing is among the most enjoyable issues to do in Olympic National Park, and we suggest that you just go to Hurricane Ridge to attempt it out.

15. Go whale watching from Port Angeles

whale watching

There is at all times an opportunity of seeing whales from Olympic National Park seashores. But what if you wish to take issues extra into your individual arms? Would you want to enhance your possibilities? We extremely suggest reserving a whale watching tour from Port Angeles.

Gray and humpback whales are essentially the most generally sighted. And, in case you are visiting Olympic National Park between March and November, we extremely suggest reserving a whale watching tour.

It is likely to be whale watching, however you might be prone to see all kinds of marine animals on an tour as effectively. Dolphins, seals, sea lions, and orcas frequent the waters off of Port Angeles. Sailing the waters round Olympic National Park is an expertise you’ll bear in mind.

16. Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula

Rialto Beach is on the Pacific Northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Rialto Beach is a shocking instance of coastal surroundings on the Olympic Peninsula and a particular place to go to.

You’ll spot driftwood timber, sea stacks, and loads of tide swimming pools with starfish and interesting marine life. Rialto Beach 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 Beach, and guests get the impression of being in an space of pure solace.

Halfway between Hole-In-The-Wall and First Beach, Rialto Beach is a perfect addition to a day on the west coast. Rialto Beach is particularly common at sundown, so why not add it to the tip of your day? Sitting on Rialto Beach 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 Research Center Museum

Things to do in Olympic National Park Makah Cultural and Research Center Museum

Makah Cultural and Research Center Museum is situated simply outdoors Olympic National Park. However, it’s undoubtedly price a detour. Besides, its exhibitions instantly relate to the Olympic National 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 Research Center, you may be taught all concerning the tribe’s connection to Olympic National Park. The exhibitions are fascinating, with authentic gadgets like baskets, bowls, and canoes, plus a reproduction longhouse. Some of the unique artifacts are over 500 years previous, and visiting the museum is a improbable strategy to perceive the historical past of Olympic National 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 when 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 Research Center Museum is among the most insightful issues to do in Olympic National Park. We extremely suggest paying a go to.

18. Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula

Ruby Beach is (like Rialto Beach, Second Beach, and all the opposite seashores on the Olympic Peninsula) filled with fascinating geographical and geological points of interest. However, Ruby Beach has the perfect stability between a distant really feel and easy accessibility. If you desire a close by parking zone or are visiting on a wet day, Ruby Beach is nice to sprint out of your automobile to rapidly sightsee.

You can wander amongst full-sized timber which were washed ashore and rotted to driftwood, admire sea stacks, and peer into numerous tide swimming pools. Ruby Beach has black sand, which provides to the gothic, spooky environment. And, on an overcast day, Ruby Beach is well one of the atmospheric locations to go to in Olympic National Park.

Ruby Beach could be very accessible. The seashore has a small parking zone with bathroom amenities only a brief stroll away. Ruby Beach is a wonderful choice for a straightforward seashore day for households and people with restricted health or mobility.

19. Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent Olympic Peninsula

Lake Crescent is one other of Olympic National Park’s glacial lakes, and visiting is a improbable strategy to spend a day. You can fish, swim, boat, or picnic. The lake has a laidback environment and is the proper place to bask in a lazy afternoon of sunbathing and lakeside residing.

Mountain peaks encompass Lake Crescent, and it has greenery and forest rising proper as much as its waterfront. Beauty is an understatement, and visiting Lake Crescent is among the finest issues to do in Olympic National Park.

Lake Crescent is effectively mixed with a number of different issues to do in Olympic National Park, together with the Juan Scenic Byway and Mount Storm King path. There are additionally loads of climbing trails across the lake, so there is no such thing as a probability of you losing interest.

20. Spruce Nature Trail

Things to do in Olympic National Park Spruce Nature Trail

Spruce Nature Trail is our remaining 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 timber start to sprout and develop from fallen timber – creating the title ‘nurse logs’. The course of has been taking place for hundreds of years, so that you’ll see nurse logs in all phases. The course of has additionally impacted the alignment of grown timber, and also you’ll see many timber in straight traces due to how they grew out of the identical log.

If you desire a whistle-stop tour of Hoh Rainforest, the Spruce Nature Trail is among the finest issues to do in Olympic National Park. It is botanically and geographically fascinating. Plus, it’s a enjoyable hike for many who aren’t as eager to finish longer trails or multi-day hikes in Olympic National Park.

21. Visit Salmon Cascades

Salmon Cascades Olympic Peninsula

Salmon leaping is a phenomenon that happens throughout the globe. However, Salmon Cascades is well the most effective locations to see it within the United States – if not the world.

Salmon Cascades is a chosen viewing platform the place you may watch the salmon bounce their manner again upstream in September and October. The salmon are extremely decided and scale small waterfalls, boulders, and the power of the present to make their manner again to the birthplace to put their very own eggs yearly.

Not visiting Olympic National 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 May. If your go to coincides with these months, it’s price stopping by to test it out.

22. Visit Sol Duc Falls

Things to do in Olympic National Park Sol duc Falls

Who doesn’t love waterfall? While Marymere Falls is a fairly waterfall with an incredible swimming plunge pool, Sol Duc Falls is finest in order for you a dramatic waterfall to admire.

Sol Duc Falls drops 48 ft right into a canyon and has the size and energy to impress even essentially the most seasoned waterfall chaser. Another draw of Sol Duc Falls is the a number of viewpoints. You 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 possibility to look at Sol Duc Falls from totally different angles – particularly on a busy day.

Hiking to Sol Duc Falls is easy and bodily straightforward. The path is 1.6 miles return, so it ought to take you round an hour to finish. It is finest mixed with a visit to Salmon Cascades, the Scenic Byway, Hoh Rainforest, and Lake Crescent, all of that are close by or en route.

To Conclude

Best things to do in Olympic National Park

There are so many issues to do in Olympic National Park. Sure, close by national parks like Mt. Rainer National Park might be tempting to go to. But Olympic National Park has an extra-special environment.

The scale, variety, and great thing about Olympic National Park make it the most effective locations to go to in Washington State and the United States. Have a improbable time.

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