Olympic National Park offers visitors an alluring selection of glacial peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, and epic coastlines along the Pacific Northwest coast. The spectacular and inaccessible park rewards mountain climbers while also offering stunning and easily accessible trails for the rest of us. keep reading for the best 9 Things To Do in Olympic National Park.
You should also spend some time exploring the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington and the nearby national forest, which both feature picturesque lakes and uncommon coastal vistas. The Olympic Peninsula Loop Drive links every part of the area. As you travel from one unforgettable adventure to another, you can enjoy some of Olympic National Park’s best attractions while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
1. Things To Do in Olympic National Park: Quinault Rain Forest
Come to the Quinault Rain Forest to see ancient spruce trees and lovely waterfalls. It is located below the renowned Hoh Rain Forest and along the edge of Lake Quinault. Quinault Rain Forest has its own scenic road that connects to the main scenic drive. The 31-mile drive circles the lake and river while taking you through the forest. You’ll pass significant trailheads ready to display the best that the area has to offer as you travel.
The Quinault Rain Forest is a land of giants and is home to six of the world’s tallest trees. A few of these magnificent wooden creatures are inaccessible. But from the Big Spruce Trailhead, you can see the biggest Sitka spruce tree in the entire world.
2. Ozette Loop Hike
You will have plenty of time to engage in either of the epic mountain or glacial treks that Olympic National Park is famous for. Add the Ozette Loop Hike to your itinerary, though, for a more leisurely hike that will still be highly rewarding. The loop has a more exact triangle-like structure. The first section curves around to the beach, the second up the coast, and the third turns back toward the interior.
This loop, which is 9.2 miles long, can be finished in a single day. On the other hand, there are campgrounds along the coast that offer breathtaking views in the morning. Take your time along the way to explore the tide pools, relax by the water, and take in the untamed sunset.
3. Olympic National Forest
Olympic National Forest is encircled by mountains on one side and saltwater on the other, surrounding the national park. The national forest has a lot to offer apart from its more well-known sibling, covering five major landscape settings from beaches and rainforests to rugged mountains.
20 campgrounds are available, and there are more than 270 miles of trails in the Olympic National Forest. Eight of the many trails in the forest, including the half-mile Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail and the Brown Creek Nature Trail that circles a beaver pond, are wheelchair accessible.
A large portion of the Olympic National Forest is also traversed by the Olympic Peninsula Loop Drive.
4. Things To Do in Olympic National Park: Mora and Rialto Beach
Twilight’s home town of Forks is 70 miles from Port Angeles, and Rialto Beach is where you can see sea lions, otters, and whales. You will reach your destination after a 1.5 mile hike over sand and pebbles. You’ll probably be greeted by the distinctive local fog rising above the rocky coastline.
It’s a beautiful sight to see nature acting freely and without apology. As the morning progresses, the sea stacks gradually become more visible. You can also see the well-known Hole-in-the-Wall Sea Stack on Rialto Beach. This scenic feature is a freestanding arch that has been sculpted by years of erosion and pounding waves. Hot tip: use the arch to frame an unforgettable photo while having your travel companion walk off into the distance.
5. Olympic National Park Attractions: Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake, located in the middle of the Olympic Peninsula Loop Drive, combines the breathtaking mountain views with a leisurely lakeside experience. Crescent Lake offers a chance to unwind after spending some time seeking out spooky experiences in the high mountains. Observe the beautiful water from the shore, which is a rare glacial blue.
Not that there aren’t any adventures to be had here. After having lunch at Granny’s, where the milkshakes and hamburgers are always satisfying, hike the Storm King trail. You ascend a rocky crag with expansive views of Lake Crescent below during the 2.4-mile journey. However, hikers must earn it; heed this warning. Enjoy a relatively short walk to Marymere Falls for something more laid-back.
6. Olympic National Park Attractions: Kalaloch and Ruby Beach
The Olympic Wilderness Coast is home to a number of untamed, isolated, and breathtakingly beautiful beaches. Kalaloch and Ruby Beach are two outstanding instances. Kalaloch Beach, famous for the Tree of Life, is accessible after a quick 15-minute walk along the coast.
Come here for memorable beach walks that end at the famous tree as the morning fog lifts off the coast. The Sitka spruce tree is fully displayed, roots and all, giving viewers a glimpse into how nature adjusts to challenging conditions.
Another well-liked coastal location with well-known sea stacks and stacks of abandoned driftwood is Ruby Beach. Kids will enjoy building seesaws out of wood and exploring the various tide pools in this scenic and adventurous location.
7. Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the park’s main draws. The three nature trails offer some of the best hiking in North America in one of the few temperate rainforests. Family-friendly and educational, the shorter Spruce Nature and Hall of Mosses trails offer a close-up view of some of the most distinctive American landscapes.
Every year, the forest gets almost 15 feet of rain. The Hoh Rain Forest is a predictably damp environment as a result, and its aura rivals that of areas found above treeline. Pack an overnight bag and begin on the Hoh River Trail for a more difficult trek through the rainforest.
8. Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge is a well-liked starting point for excursions inside the Olympic National Park. You will be treated to breathtaking views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca after completing an incredibly scenic drive up to a height of 5200 feet.
Visit the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center after that. Learn more about the geography and history of the park as you explore nearby trails and campgrounds. But you can’t go any further until you’ve taken a hike on one of the nearby trails through the nearby meadows. The Hurricane Ridge Trail is one choice. Hikers can enjoy some of the park’s best views without traveling far on this scenic (3.2-mile return) trail.
9. Sol Duc Valley
One of Olympic National Park’s most beautiful areas is the Sol Duc Valley, which offers visitors hot springs, rivers, and waterfalls. You can enjoy the best of all three without having much hiking experience thanks to the variety of short and long hikes available.
The 1.6-mile roundtrip hike to Sol Duc Falls is the most well-traveled trail in the valley. Visitors will be rewarded with breathtaking views of one of the national park’s best waterfalls and among old-growth forests.
This is also where one of Olympic National Park’s best hikes begins. The Sol Duc Valley’s best features, such as the falls and Deer Lake, are displayed along the 19-mile Seven Lakes Basin Loop. Hikers will experience expansive views of Sol Duc Valley at the summit.
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