Olympic National Park, Olympic National Park

4.8
#3 of 10 in Nature in Olympic National Park
In Olympic National Park, ancient rainforests and ocean tidal pools at lower elevations contrast with wildflower-filled alpine meadows and snowcapped peaks. The park's 373,120 hectares (922,000 acres) include numerous hiking trails that stretch from moist, mossy, and leafy valleys up to jagged mountain peaks that hold snow into summer. Anglers cast their lines into some of the hundreds of lakes and streams that hold 37 species of fish, including coho, chinook, and sockeye salmon, while birders try to spot a few of the 250 species, including blue grouse, belted kingfisher, warblers, woodpeckers, kinglets, and sparrows. Tide pools hold colorful life forms, such as green anemones and purple starfish, while gray whales appear off the coast from March to May, and black bears, cougars, and elk roam the park's interior year-round. The lower elevations of the park remain snow-free through winter--the extra moisture during the rainy season brightens the forest's greenery. Plan to see Olympic National Park and other attractions that appeal to you using our Olympic National Park road trip planning app .
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Olympic National Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.8
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  • My husband and I left Portland, OR and traveled rt 5 to rt 101, stopping at Hoodsport Welcome Center for maps and information. After a 5 hr drive, we had time to explore the road to Hurricane Ridge wi...  more »
  • If you love nature, this is the place for you. Everything is green and lush and it smells like Christmas throughout the park. I love to travel for national parks in the USA and this one is definitely ...  more »
  • magnificent ancient forest which is certainly not very crowded, you can really explore the forest in peace and still have great chance to deer etc. paths can narrow but very well maintained even if you slightly limited mobility are.
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  • Despite being relatively close to Seattle, this park is still not as well known as some of the more prominent parks--but it is certainly as spectacular. Well worth the visit, this park offers a wide variety of landscapes, including the mountains of the Olympic Range, beautiful mountain lakes, rain forests, and superlative coastal scenery. Abundant and unique wildlife. Highly recommend. It is a large park--it will be a day or more to visit even just the highlights.
  • Our family likes to head up to Hurricane Ridge to play in the snow. There is a fee to enter the National Park. The road can be icy, and it's required to have chains in your car (we've only put them on a few times). The parking lot can get full, so getting there early is a good idea. The lodge has ski, snowboard, and snowshoe rentals. We bring up sleds and snowshoes and go on a little snowshoeing hike and then sled for a bit. There's a kid's sledding hill that is free, and varies from year to year. We usually rent a couple tubes for an hour ($10/hour). The tubing hill is almost twice the size as it was last year. An hour is plenty, hiking back up the hill gets tiring. If you hit the mountain on a clear day after a snow storm you'll feel like you are walking in a winter wonderland!
  • Such a beautiful place. We visited in the summer and the temperatures, the weather, scenery were absolutely perfect. There is so much to see and unfortunately we only had a day to explore. Definitely planning to come back and spend a few days here.
  • Great National Park. Only visited Hurricane ridge, beautiful place. Wonderful views of the mountain ridges. The views of the different mountain ridges was stunning. The drive up the mountainside is also a nice experience . Did not have a chance to see the other parts of the park, maybe some other time. It always seems to be windy is these mountains and I lost my camera lens cap while I was there.
  • Huge park, so there's something for everyone. Can backpack to a remote lake or sleep 20 feet from your car. Can drive up a few roads to see amazing views of the peninsula or hike in until you see views that few other people ever see. And most years there's winter skiing up at Hurricane Ridge.

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Where to stay in Olympic National Park

Many visitors to Olympic National Park choose to pitch a tent at one of 16 campgrounds, many of which stay open throughout the year. The park also offers a mix of lodge rooms, motel rooms, and cabins thanks to two lodges and two resorts. On the Pacific Coast, the Kalaloch Lodge stands as the most isolated of these. If you prefer to rest your head outside the park, consider staying in Port Townsend. This artsy waterside community northeast of the park offers plenty of inns and bed and breakfasts, but they fill up quickly in summer, so reserve ahead if possible. Port Angeles sits a bit closer to the park and offers more functional accommodations in the form of motels and hotels, though you'll also find waterfront inns and cottages in the area. Communities on the park's western side offer a rustic vibe, but they also take more time to get to if you're coming from Seattle.
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5 days in Olympic National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Olympic National Park BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Olympic National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 11 days in Pacific Northwest & Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM ITALY August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM ITALY August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Olympic National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 10 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Port Angeles, Olympic National Park & Yellowstone National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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