Olympic Peninsula Loop Drive, Olympic National Park

4.6
#3 of 8 in Scenic Drive in Washington State
The Olympic Peninsula is the large arm of land in western Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the east by Hood Canal. Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the contiguous United States, and Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point, are on the peninsula. Comprising about 3600 square miles, the Olympic Peninsula contained many of the last unexplored places in the contiguous United States. It remained largely unmapped until Arthur Dodwell and Theodore Rixon mapped most of its topography and timber resources between 1898 and 1900.GeographyThe Olympic Peninsula is home to temperate rain forests, including the Hoh, Queets Rain Forest, and Quinault. Rain forest vegetation is concentrated primarily in the western part of the peninsula, as the interior mountains create a rain shadow effect in areas to the northeast, resulting in a much drier climate in those locales.The Olympic mountain range sits in the center of the Olympic Peninsula. This range is the second largest in Washington State. Its highest peak is Mt. Olympus.
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226 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 11, 2017
    This is a must do when going to and from the various places within Olympic National Park. The scenic drive is relaxing and picturesque. There are plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the vistas. Mu...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    There is a variety of landmarks and scenery along this loop. You pass rainforest, lakes, and the ocean. If you are touring the park, this is the route for you.  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    This road is the only road that connects the different portions of Olympia National Park. We were unaware of that there were no interconnecting roads inside of the park. HWY 101 is the only road that ...  more »

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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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