Olympic National Park stretches over nearly one million acres on the Olympic Peninsula in the State of Washington. It is defined by its diversity as it features three distinct ecosystems, which are temperate rainforest, subalpine forest and wildflower meadow, and Pacific Coast. Besides having a damp and tremendously beautiful temperate rainforest region on the west side, the Park also features alpine highlands, a drier forested eastside, and miles of rugged coastline.
The Park’s stunning landscape, which comprises snowcapped peaks and vast wilderness, earned it World Heritage status and recognition as a national treasure. The Olympic Mountains are its most prominent feature and the source of its name. Enormous, ancient glaciers top its ridgelines and sides. Mount Olympus peak dominates the western half of the range, rising to 7,965 feet. On the drier eastern side, Mount Deception, with an elevation of 7,788 feet, rises highest among the numerous peaks and craggy ridges.
History of Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park has a rich geologic, natural, and human history. Millions of years of tectonic plate movement and erosion by the glacier, water, and wind-shaped the deep canyons and towering ridges of today’s Olympic Mountains.
Vegetation flourished unchecked, creating a vast wilderness that provides habitat for many animal species. Cultural and historic sites interwoven into the Park’s diverse landscape document the more than 12,000 years of human use of Olympic National Park.
Archeological surveys have uncovered important artifacts and cultural sites that point to extensive tribal use of the site that is now Olympic National Park. Little has changed in its landscape since Native American Tribes lived, fished, and hunted in the area.
White settlers began to appear in the late 1500s, and in 1788, John Mears, an English sea captain, was so overwhelmed by the western peak that he named it Mount Olympus in honor of the Greek gods. By the 1800s, the spectacular mountains, lush forest, and unique wildlife had captured the attention of explorers, investors, and conservationists.
In 1897 the first efforts were made by then-president Grover Cleveland to preserve the Olympic Peninsula’s serenity and majestic beauty by creating the Olympic Forest Reserve. Public dissent against logging led to the designation of a part of the reserve as Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 by then-President Teddy Roosevelt.
President Franklin Roosevelt would later sign into law an act of congress designating Olympic as a National Park in 1938. In 1953 an additional area of the Pacific coast was integrated into the Park.
In 1976, Olympic National Park was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program. Five years later, in 1981, the World Heritage Convention declared the Park a World Heritage Site.
This international recognition joined it to a system of natural and cultural properties considered as irreplaceable earth treasures of outstanding universal value.
The Best Time To Visit Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is open to visitors all year-round. However, some months are more popular to visit than others because of the weather conditions. The best time to visit the Park is June through September, when temperatures are warm.
During the summer season, most roads and recreational facilities are open, and visitors can access a wide range of programs. From October through May, some roads and visitor facilities are closed due to severe winter conditions.
There are many considerations to make before planning a visit to the Park. The season is the first thing you should consider since it significantly impacts access to the Park and its facilities. All roads and visitor facilities are subject to closure during winter.
For example, Hurricane Ridge Road, which gives access to one of the most popular destinations in the Park, the Olympic Range, is closed on all days of winter except weekends. Facilities that remain open during winter often offer reduced hours.
Summer attracts large crowds, which begin to diminish in the fall. Plan your trip accordingly if you want to avoid the congestion.
Before visiting the Park, you should also keep in mind that the rainforest environment’s weather can be very unpredictable. Check the current weather conditions before your visit.
How Long to Stay
Several intricate ecosystems to discover and a wide variety of recreational facilities make Olympic National park an adventurous environment to explore. With glaciated views to see, rainforest hikes to take, and a rugged coastline to walk around, there are not enough hours in a day to cover even a fraction of the places to visit or activities to enjoy at the Park. You could easily spend a week exploring the vast wilderness of the Olympic National Park.
Planning ahead by putting together a fitting itinerary is the surefire way to guarantee your excursion’s success and make your experience at the Park diverse and rewarding.
Choose the destinations and activities that best suit your interests and pack them into your visit. While creating an itinerary, follow the guidance of seasoned park staff since they have the right knowledge and experience.
Visitors can get a taste of Olympic National Park in a day trip, but to immerse yourself into the wilderness experience, you should spend at least four nights.
The Park has several campgrounds for RV and tent camping if you want to spend a night surrounded by nature. The gateway communities around the Park also offer several hotel options that provide quick access to various park attractions.
Getting from Seattle to Olympic National Park
There are several options for getting from Seattle to Olympic National Park. Visitors can use a car, ferry, public bus line, or transfer service. The ferry ride across Puget Sound is the shortest route to the northeast part of the Park.
From the downtown drive to the Seattle-Bremerton ferry or the Seattle-Brainbridge Island ferry. The Edmonds-Kingston ferry is a better option from the northern suburbs.
Olympic National Park is about a three-and-a-half drive from Seattle. The first step is to exit the city using I-5 South. Drive for 30 miles to Tacoma and hop on State Route 16 to Bremerton before continuing for 100 miles to Port Angeles located on the Park’s north side. Visitors can also continue on I-5 from Seattle to Olympia before accessing Highway 101, which circles the entire Park.
Several bus lines provide access to the Olympic Peninsula from Seattle. Additional bus routes traverse Highway 101 around the Park.
Where to Stop on the Way
There are many stops to make before getting to the entrance of the Park.
Bremerton is the largest town on the way to Olympic from Seattle.
It features several local restaurants where you can stop and enjoy a meal, but the highlight is the beautiful Bremerton Marina. Walks along the marina can be calming and refreshing.
120 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337 | (360)-373-1035 | Website
This classic Washington town on the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula is an excellent stop on your way to Olympic National Park.
Stop and explore the charming downtown area and the beautiful historic buildings that have stood the test of time. Iconic buildings in Port Townsend include the Jefferson County Courthouse and the Carnegie Library.
250 Madison Street Port Townsend WA 98368 | (360) 385-3000 | Website
Sequim is home to the Lavender Festival in mid-July. When traveling to Olympic in June and July, stop in this town and explore one of the lavender farms in the area. You can also purchase items made with local lavender from the town’s shops.
152 W Cedar Street Sequim, WA 98382 | (360)-683-4139 | Website
Dungeness Spit is located just outside Sequim. This 5.5-mile natural sand spit is the longest in the Country. Make a quick stop and stretch your legs on this fascinating geological formation.
It is an excellent lookout with scenic views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the San Juan Islands and Canada. Look out for birds and other wildlife around this wildlife preserve.
715 Holgerson Road, Sequim, WA 98362 | (360)-457-8451 | Website
Entering Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is open all year long, 24 hours a day. However, access through some roads is determined by seasonal changes in the weather. The Park has more than two dozen entries from the US 101 Highway, which encircles the peninsula.
The most popular park entrances are Sol Duc and Elwha Entrances in the North, Hoh Rain Forest Entrance in the west, Mora Entrance at the coast, and Hurricane Ridge Entrance from Port Angeles.
Other entry points include Ozette Entrance in the northwest, Deer Park Entrance in the northeast, Queets Entrance in the southwest, Staircase Entrance in the southeast, and Quinault Entrance in the south. Entrance passes and permits are presented at entrance stations.
Getting Around the Park
Olympic National Park spans almost a million acres. It is impossible to get far on foot. The most effective and convenient way to get around the Park is by car.
Visitors can access any section of the Park from Highway 101, which encircles the entire Olympic National Park.
From Olympia, drivers can explore the eastern boundary of the Park by heading north on the highway. The western edge of the National Park can be accessed by heading west towards Aberdeen then veering North.
The western approach provides access to Hoh Rainforest, Queets River Valley, Rialto Beach, and Mora Campground. The eastern approach gives access to Sol Duc Hot Springs, Elwha area, and Lake Crescent Lodge.
Several paved and gravel roads branch off from highway 101 towards various destinations and attractions in the Park. A web of hiking trails spread out further deep into the vast wilderness, providing access to the most remote areas of the Park.
Organized tours are available for visitors who want to leave the planning of the trip around the Park to a knowledgeable guide. The all-inclusive small-group day tours involve convenient hotel pickups and drop-offs, a series of guided nature walks through the forest, beaches, and breathtaking viewpoints, and light breakfast and gourmet picnic lunch.
Hiking in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park features over 600 miles of trails. These tracks range from flat and easy to rugged and strenuous. Every hiker is bound to find a suitable route regardless of their ability or level of experience.
Hiking in the Park offers adventure, solitude, and fascinating cultural and natural interpretation. The trails provide access to the best of Olympic from spectacular views of the mountainous landscape to gorgeous waterfalls to calm tide pools and stunning night skies.
Before planning your hike, it’s essential to check the trail conditions. Spring and summer provide the most amicable weather for hiking the trails of Olympic National Park. Consider taking a guided hiking adventure.
Five Hikes in Olympic National Park
While the below five hikes are in no way comprehensive to the hiking opportunities offered inside Olympic National Park, these are definitely some of the most popular Olympic National Park hiking options.
For a full breakdown of the ten best hikes in the park, please see our new guide Finding the 10 Best Hikes in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge Trails
The best place to start your hike to Hurricane ridge is the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Enjoy beautiful Indian paintbrush, lupine, avalanche lilies, and other subalpine flowers that line the path in summer as you listen for the whistle of a marmot through the woods.
Hurricane Ridge provides 360-degree picturesque views of the Park’s landscape. From the ridge, hikers can access several hiking trails from steep tracks descending to valleys and subalpine lakes to ridgetop traverses.
They include the paved, mile-long roundtrip Cirque Rim, the Big Meadow Trail, the 3.8-mile long Khahhane Ridge trail, and the Hurricane Hill trail.
Lake Crescent Trails
The crystal-clear glacially covered Lake Crescent provides access to several hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Some lead hikers through the lowland forests and creeks while others involve climbing the surrounding mountains.
The 0.9-mile-long Marymere Falls Hiking Trail starts from the Storm King Ranger Station through old-growth forest to the 90-foot Marymere Falls.
Fairholme Campground Loop Hiking Trail starts at Fairholme Store and continues along the Camp David Junior Road on the north side of the Lake before joining with the Spruce Railroad Trail and Olympic Discovery Trail.
Moments-in-Time hiking Trail meanders along the shoreline and through the woods offering breathtaking views of Pyramid Mountains.
Quinault Valley Trails
This area features more than 15 well-maintained hiking trails. The 2.5-mile Pony Bridge Trail begins at the Graves Creek Trailhead and meanders through an old-growth forest inhabited by black bears and Roosevelt elk.
Maple Glade Trail is a half-mile-long handicap accessible hiking trail that begins at the Park ranger station and goes through the Quinault rainforest. From this trail, you can access the Kestner Homestead Trail, which takes hikers to the historic Anton Kestner homestead.
Hiking at the Quinault Valley is not complete without trekking to one of the six record-breaking large trees. The World’s Largest Spruce Tree Trail that takes hikers to the 1000-year old giant while the World’s Largest Western Red Cedar Trail leads to the record-breaking Western Red Cedar.
Sol Duc Valley Trails
Located in the northwestern region of Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Valley has several hiking trails. Lover’s Lane Loop is the most popular. This six-mile roundtrip can be accessed from the back of Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.
It leads through old-growth forest with towering trees and along the Sol Duc River before crossing it at the Sol Duc Falls overlook. The boardwalk and viewing area at the falls provides multiple angles for viewing.
The Sol Duc Falls Trail also provides access to the Seven Lakes Basin, which holds the popular Heart Lake. The 5.2-mile roundtrip trek to Mink Lake is also a popular option.
Kalaloch Beach Trails
Kalaloch sits on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. It is a huge draw for birders and lovers of marine wildlife. Bald eagles, western gulls, and other coastal birds feed and nest along this rugged Washington coastline.
Tufted puffins and common murres also form large nesting colonies on the rocky outposts. Harbor seals and porpoises can be spotted on the beach
There are several beach trails around Kalaloch that are ideal for anyone who enjoys long walks on the beach or through coastal forest. The sunset views from the beach are enchanting and arguably some of the best in the Country.
Other Activities in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is defined by variety. There is so much to see in the Park to satiate the most unbridled curiosity and so much to do to quell the fires of the most daring outdoor enthusiast. Hiking trails are just one card in Olympic National Park’s recreation full house. This Park boasts glacier-capped mountains, an enchanted forest, 13 teal rivers, wildflower meadows, tranquil lakes, and 70 miles of rugged coastline.
You could ice climb, mountain trek, fly-fish, beach comb, soak in the volcanic hot springs, and camp out in the wilderness. No matter your interest, Olympic National Park promises an exciting experience.
Other activities in the Park besides hiking include:
5 Activities in Olympic National Park
There isn’t enough sunlight in a single day to visit a fraction of the highlights of the vast Olympic National Park.
Every region of the Park has several campgrounds to facilitate multi-day excursions into the wilderness.
Depending on what you want to do at the Park and the habitat you want to explore, you can park an RV or pitch a tent in one of the Park’s campgrounds.
Mora and Kalaloch campgrounds provide access to the coastline. Heart O’ the Hills offers quick access to Hurricane Ridge, and the high elevation of Deer Park Campground provides a celestial showcase at night.
Boating recreation is a great way to experience Olympic National Park. Several rivers and lakes and the Pacific Coast of Olympic offer opportunities for boating.
Visitors can either venture out to the water by themselves or take a scenic boat tour captained by a licensed boat captain.
Scenic boat tours are offered at Lake Crescent and Lake Quinault. Visitors get to learn about the history, geography, geology, and native lore of the Lake as they enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Visitors can also rent canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks to do their own exploration. Queets River and Lake Ozette offer secluded paddle journeys while Quinault River and Salmon Cascades Overlook offer challenging water.
Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing
Mid-December through match provides excellent conditions for winter activities at Olympic National Park. All roads to the mountains offer opportunities for satisfying snowshoeing. Visitors can venture out by themselves or join ranger-guided snowshoe walks.
The trails around Hurricane Ridge provide the most scenic opportunities for winter treks.
Sliding, tubing, and skiing recreation activities are also facilitated at the Hurricane Ridge Ski, Snowboard, and Tubing Area.
This family-oriented ski area includes a tubing park, a Poma lift, and two rope tows. Winter trips to the Park are subject to weather conditions. Winter rains, severe snow, and icy roads can get in the way of travel to the Park.
Rock formations in Olympic National Park offer excellent climbing opportunities. The three famous peaks to summit are Mt. Olympus, Mt. Deception, and Mt. Constance.
These peaks offer spectacular views but climbing them requires skill in self-arrest, route-finding, and rock climbing. Many climbs start at the end of bushwalking and hiking through miles of dense old-growth or rainforest.
Unfortunately, unlike the Cascades and other popular climbing destinations whose rocks are composed of solid granite, Olympic rocks are generally composed of sandstone, shale, and pillow ballast. The fragmented, loose, and chossy rock increases the risk of falls and rock showers. Climbers are advised to learn all the crucial details of the climb and take climbing safety measures.
The rugged coastline of Olympic National Park has an abundance of wildlife. Twice each day, the waves pull back to reveal tide pools caught in alcoves, basins, and crevices on the rock surface.
Life is often teeming in these pools. Plants and animals are viewable swimming in the glistening pools, clinging to the rock surfaces, or hidden between nooks and crannies.
Visitors get a rare glimpse into the daily life of the invertebrates, fishes, and plants unique to the Pacific shoreline. Various tide pool inhabitants can be found in different tidal zones. Mora’s Hole in the Wall and Kalaloch’s Beach 4 are popular tide pooling hotspots in the Park.
The Best Hotels Near Olympic National Park
Several campgrounds at Olympic National Park provide excellent opportunities to nature lovers to sleep under the stars. For those who would rather forgo a night in the wilderness, hotel accommodations are available in the gateway communities.
For the full scoop, please see our comprehensive guide The 8 Best Hotels Near Olympic National Park: Our Top Picks
The neighboring communities around Olympic National Park provide several hotel options where visitors can hang their hats after their adventurous excursions. Historic lodges, rustic cabins, and charming resorts are available. There are a plethora of high-end and budget hotels to choose from.
This upscale hotel accommodation located in Port Angeles provides quick access to Hurricane Ridge. It is popular for its gorgeous lobby, superior service, and adjacent 18-hole Olympic Golf Course.
140 S Del Guzzi Dr, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-452-2993 | Website
Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles
The Red Lion Hotel offers first-rate accommodation at Part Angeles with almost immediate access to the Olympic National Park.
It is located in an absolutely scenic location overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It offers pillow-top beds, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and an adjoining restaurant.
221 N Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-452-9215 | Website
Colette’s Bed and Breakfast
Colette’s oceanfront bed and breakfast sit between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Warm hospitality, culinary delights, and stunning sites are the highlights of this accommodation.
The spacious suites are tastefully decorated and equipped with modern amenities, including warm crackling fireplaces, whirlpool spas, and plush bedding.
339 Finn Hall Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-457-9197 | Website
Super 8 by Wyndham Port Angeles
The Super 8 by Wyndham Port Angeles offers clean rooms and free waffles for breakfast. The staff is friendly and helpful.
2104 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-504-0362 | Website
Quality Inn & Suites at Olympic National Park
Quality Inn & Suites is located east on the Sequim peninsula. It provides fast access to Hurricane Bridge and its surrounding splendor. It has multilingual staff to accommodate diverse visitors.
134 River Rd, Sequim, WA 98382 | (+1) 360-683-2800 | Website
Port Angeles Inn
Port Angeles Inn offers rooms with a view of the harbor. This hotel provides quick and easy access to the Olympic National Park, Port Angeles Downtown, and daily ferries to Victoria, British Columbia.
111 E 2nd St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-452-9285 | Website
Robin Hood Village Resort
Robin Hood Village Resort sits southeast of the Olympic National Park in Union, providing quick access to the rainforest environments of the Park.
This historic hotel features well-maintained hotel rooms and waterfront cottages. On-site dining and electric fireplaces are provided. The resort is a beautiful setting for an awesome vacation destination.
6790 WA-106, Union, WA 98592 | (+1) 360-898-2163 | Website
Royal Victorian Motel
The Royal Victorian Hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood, and it is run by a friendly proprietor.
Clean rooms and comfortable beds are the hotel’s best features. Guests do not have to trade-in style or comfort for affordable rates.
521 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-452-8400 | Website
Econo Lodge Sequim
Econo Lodge Sequim is a budget option located on the east side of the peninsula. It offers excellent service, clean rooms, and serves a continental breakfast.
The hotel provides quick access to the north side of the Olympic National Park, including the popular Hurricane Ridge.
801 E Washington St, Sequim, WA 98382 | (+1) 360-683-7113 | Website
Super 8 by Wyndham Shelton
Located near Tacoma, Super 8 by Wyndham is a pet-friendly hotel that provides comfortable accommodation to the budget traveler.
2943 Northview Cir, Shelton, WA 98584 | (+1) 360-358-3793 | Website
Flagstone Motel is a pet-friendly accommodation located near Port Angeles Downtown. It is most suited for guests looking to experience local flavor at an affordable rate.
415 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-457-9494 | Website
This budget-friendly hotel along Highway 101 is a short drive from the Olympic National Park’s entrance.
It provides wonderful accommodation with picturesque views, sensational gastronomy, and access to outdoor adventure.
3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-565-3130 | Website
All View Motel
All View Motel is a family-run establishment featuring 20 rooms fitted with modern amenities, including either kitchenettes or microwaves.
214 E Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | (+1) 360-457-7779 | Website
The Belfair Motel is located on the southeastern side of the Olympic National Park. It has an excellent reputation for providing clean facilities, friendly service, and affordable overnight rates.
23322 WA-3, Belfair, WA 98528 | (+1) 360-275-4485 | Website
Where To Eat At Olympic National Park
Dining at Olympic National Park is an opportunity to sample local flavors sourced regionally and prepared by top chefs with the enjoyment of their guests in mind. The Park has four area lodges that serve unique, fresh, local Pacific Northwest cuisine.
Top 5 Photo Spots In Olympic National Park
Olympic is a very diverse environment for photographers. There are locations throughout the Park that provide opportunities to photograph moss-carpeted rainforests, wildflowers in high alpine meadows, sea stacks along the rugged coastline, rare wildlife, and breathtaking cascades.
A wide-angle lens, general lens, tripod, telephoto, waterproof boots, and raingear are invaluable when shooting in the Olympic National Park.
Hurricane Ridge is located on Hurricane Ridge Road, 17 miles south of Port Angeles. It is the most easily accessible mountain areas within the Olympic National Park and perhaps the viewpoint with the most spectacular views of the Park’s landscape.
You can access this viewpoint while hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. In clear weather, photographers get opportunities to capture scenic views of glacier-clad Mount Olympus to the south and the Straits of Juan de Foca to the North.
A hike to Hurricane Hill begins at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Subalpine flowers line the path in summer, and marmots whistle through the woods.
The 73-mile rugged Pacific coastline stretches from the northwest of the peninsula south to the Queets River. This coastline features some of the most primitive and remote portions in the lower 48 states providing excellent coastal photo opportunities.
Ruby Beach offers access to a wide range of subjects for photographers. Tucked beneath the cliffs on Olympics rugged coastline, Ruby Beach provides excellent photo spots for landscape photographers. It has excellent tide pools, a rugged coastline, and stunning sea stacks that make for wonderful landscape images.
When weather conditions are right, photos of the sunrise and sunset from Ruby beach can be breathtaking. Moody shots are also amazing in cloudy skies.
Hoh Rainforest is a 180-mile roundtrip from Port Angeles. It is dominated by old-growth Western hemlock, Douglas fir, and Sitka spruce. Prolific moss drips from all surfaces creating curtains on Vine and Big-leaf Maple trees.
Sword ferns blanket the forest floor, nurse logs sprout new life, and Roosevelt elk wander the trails. In summer, the rainforest is ripe with berries, while in fall, it is ablaze with color.
Hoh rainforest provides numerous opportunities for taking photographs. Finding compositions can pose a challenge, but the results are stunning when you are successful in your arrangement. Before venturing into the forest, remember to carry your raingear.
Lake Crescent Area
Located 17 miles from Port Angeles, Lake Crescent is a real gem in the Olympic wilderness. Lack of nitrogen in the 600ft deep Lake is responsible for its clear turquoise waters.
The shimmering waters make for good photos during sunrise and sunset on clear skies. With Mount Storm King in the background, Lake Crescent provides excellent opportunities for landscape photographs.
The historic 20th Century Lake Crescent Lodge is also a good photo spot. The Lake Crescent area provides access to a popular hike to Marymere Falls. Capture the scenic cascades from different angles to get beautiful photographs.
Mora and Rialto Beach
Rialto Beach sits 70 miles from Port Angeles. It features dramatic coastal scenery that is perfect for coastal landscape photography.
The beach is home to a wide selection of marine life and birds. It is an excellent location to capture pictures of seals, sea lions, whales, otters, eagles, and seabirds in their natural habitat.
Mora area is situated further inland. It features a seasonal campground and provides access to various trails leading to some of the most beautiful locations in this region of the Park. They include the North Coast Trail leads to the sea-carved arch called Hole-in-the-wall.
Parks And Forests Near Olympic National Park
The Olympic Peninsula features a variety of parks and forests that offer countless relaxation and recreation possibilities. Visitors can picnic, camp, boat, hike, climb and harvest food from the miles of wilderness in and around Olympic National Park. The Park is surrounded by several forests and state parks. These include:
Anderson Lake State Park
Located on the Northeastern region of the Olympic Peninsula, 20 minutes from Port Townsend, Anderson Lake State Park is a day-use park that spans 496 acres, including a 70-acre lake teeming with wildlife.
The vegetation in the Park comprises fir, cedar, and alder forest, as well as freshwater marshes. It features 8,250 feet of freshwater shoreline that hosts several picnic tables.
In addition to picnicking, the Park facilitates several recreation activities for the entire family. Park activities include non-motorized boating, biking, hiking, fishing, and bird watching. Permits and licenses are required for fishing and boating in the Park.
Bogachiel State Park
Bogachiel State Park is a 127-acre, thickly forested camping park that sits on the banks of the Bogachiel River. This Park lies within the Quileute Tribe’s traditional territory and was established in 1931.
It features a lush rainforest because of its proximity to the Bogachiel Rainforest within Olympic National Forest.
Bogachiel State Park makes an excellent base when touring the western part of the Olympic National Park. It provides parking spots, picnic tables, a restroom, and a kitchen with lighting, electricity, and a large grill. Campers can access several trails, including popular sections on the Pacific Northwest Trail like Rialto Beach.
Dosewallips State Park
Dosewallips State Park is a 1,064-acre recreational area positioned where Dosewallips River empties into the Hood Canal. It has both saltwater and freshwater shorelines.
The beaches provide homes for oysters, native littleneck clams, Manila littleneck clams, butter clams, horse clams, cockles, and geoducks. Steelhead and salmon use the Dosewallips River for spawning. The Park also provides excellent wintering grounds for elk.
Park visitors can engage in a number of recreational activities, including camping, picnicking, hiking, camping, boating, swimming, fishing, shellfish harvesting, and scuba diving. All camping areas in the pack are grassy and located in rustic, scenic settings. The cabins, which are surrounded by evergreen trees, face the Olympic Mountains.
Dungeness Recreational Area
Located roughly 7 miles northwest of Sequim, Dungeness County Park is more than a jumping-off point to the Dungeness Spit.
The Park boasts 216 acres of woodland, forest, upland meadows, wetlands, grasslands, and ponds. It facilitates several activities, including camping, hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, and bird and wildlife viewing.
The forested area of the Park has a campground that holds 65 camping sites. Picnic tables are positioned along the bluff. Hiking and equestrian trails are run throughout the recreation area, including a one-mile trail overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Hunting is no longer permitted, but the owls, juncos, sparrows, raptors, towhees, and wrens provide excellent opportunities for birding.
Fort Worden Historical State park
This former US Army Coast Artillery Corps base is a recreational park that places history front and center.
Extensive parade lawns, hidden gun placements, and restored Victorian-era officers’ homes take visitors back in time to when 1,000 soldiers trained at the base to defend Puget Sound against invasion by sea.
The Park hosts the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, Marine Science Center, a 1914 Point Wilson Lighthouse, defunct coastal defense batteries, and the Guard House Pub. It also features a variety of day-use facilities for picnicking, meeting, and camping. Visitors can enjoy hiking along the miles of trails in the Park, biking, bird watching, and an assortment of water activities.
Our Final Thoughts on Olympic National Park
The expansive Olympic National Park invites tourists to explore the outstanding scenery of relatively unspoiled wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula. Brimming with high mountain ridges, deep canyons, ocean beaches, and lush rain forests, the Park offers loads of outdoor relaxation and recreation opportunities. Visitors can fish, hike, boat, climb, ski, explore, camp, bike, picnic and enjoy a taste of the fruits, mushrooms, and wildlife that the forest has to offer.
The Park’s rich human history goes back thousands of years to the prehistoric inhabitants of the Olympic Peninsula before the Native American Tribes and white settlers. Its wealth of resources has benefited millions of people throughout the ages and supported a diversity of wildlife, some of which inhabit the Park to this day. The impact of the Park is strongly felt today and is set to persist for generations to come.
A visit to the Park provides visitors an opportunity to connect with nature and learn the culture and history of the groups of people who have interacted with its vast wilderness. Lodges, hotels, and restaurants provide a taste of the local cuisine and provide comfortable accommodations to make every visitor’s experience exceedingly memorable.