Olympic National Park


A visit to Olympic National Park presents the best of all worlds, here you'll discover stretches of rugged coastline combined with ancient glacial peaks and great swathes of coniferous forests, perfect for hiking and enjoying the fresh air.

Olympic National Park hiking trails are amongst the best in the whole of Washington State and thanks to the park's proximity to Seattle (just across the Puget Sound) day trips by ferry are the ideal way to escape the urban sprawl. Due to the park's protected location much of the wildlife and plant species that you'll find here are unique to the area, from elk and marmots to bellflowers and cinquefoils, nature lovers will be in their absolute element.

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Highlights
  • Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

    Glacier Capped Peaks - The Olympic Range Although not the highest, the Olympic Mountains are still really impressive and if you're hoping to achieve the ultimate in snow-capped panoramic photographs then head to Hurricane Ridge and you won't be disappointed. Mount Olympus, The Brothers and Mount Anderson make up just three of several summits and no matter where you hike in the park you'll never be far away from a shimmering glacier or fir-covered slope. A word of note: as the west facing slopes of the Olympic Mountains are considered to be the wettest in Pacific Northwest USA, packing your rain-mac is definitely advisable no matter what the time of year.

  • Hoh Rainforest Trail, Olympic National Park

    The Hoh Rainforest This is not just one of the largest rainforests in Washington State but pretty much the largest in the whole of America which all adds up to an amazing chance to explore in some sublime unspoilt wilderness. A walk through this mossy wonderland is a fabulous opportunity to see some of the weird and wonderful plants and trees that call Olympic National Park home and from Bigleaf Maples to Coast Douglas Firs, you'll find yourself in a complete and utter land of the giants.

  • Olympic National Park sea stacks

    The Pacific Coastline Stretching for around 60 miles and presenting all manner of sandy beach and rocky inlet, the Pacific coastline of Olympic National Park is a great option for day trippers. With a handy 3 mile board-walk (providing adequate means of navigating a large cedar swamp) this is the perfect way to make the most of life outdoors and undertaking the 9 mile Ozette Loop trail will take you all the way from Lake Ozette to the swells of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Olympic National Park Sol Duc Hot Springs

    Sol Duc Hot Springs After a good day's walking amongst the forests and upon the sandy beaches of Olympic National Park there's no better way to ease yourself into the evening than a good old-fashioned soak in a hot tub. Sol Duc Hot Springs is one of the park's premier health resorts and thanks to the nearby naturally heated spring water you'll be able to relax and unwind in a series of soaking pools surrounded by forests as well as a perfectly placed poolside deli.


When to go
Temperature chart - Olympic

As with most parks in Pacific Northwest USA the best time to visit is around the spring or the autumn as you have fewer crowds and more chances to marvel at fresh flowers and colourful foliage. Generally April right the way through to September is fairly dry although there's bound to be the chance of early morning mist which often adds to the magical forest experience. Light rain is never far away so packing accordingly even on a short hike is definitely advisable however, if you're visiting in July or August you shouldn't find too much need for macs and brollies. Although the lower humidity levels do mean less chance of getting damp it also entails that you'll also have less chance of seeing some of the park's endemic species as amphibians, snails and banana slugs just love a bit of moisture. Winters are seemingly bereft of wildlife other than a few flocks of seabirds and water fowl however, if you're looking for solitude and some incredible snow-covered trails then you certainly won't care about missing a few slimy specimens.


Insider Tip: Hall of Mosses Trail, Hoh Rainforest
Hoh National Forest

If green is your colour then Hoh Rainforest has to be at the top of your wish list as this is Olympic National Park's numero uno rainforest and literally dripping emerald and jade from every inch of its being. Moss, ferns and lichen thrive in this sort of mild and moist environment and the Hall of Mosses Trail (which can be found near the excellent visitor centre) is abound with maple trees offering low-hanging cassock spikemoss sleeves. Although under a mile the trail takes around an hour to complete and after a slight incline it does level out fairly quickly so don't be put off as the moss-covered maples that can be found along a side path are certainly well-worth a visit.


Tours that visit Olympic National Park

  • OLYMPIC & VANCOUVER ISLAND IN-DEPTH

    7 days | USA / Canada| Hotels

    May-Sep from

    In-Depth

    Old-growth forests and wild coastline await in Olympic National Park. Vancouver Island serves up bear and whale viewing Zodiac tours and incredible hiking opportunities. Experience this tour in unique comfortable cabins and yurts.

    Highlights: Hoh Rainforest | Whale spotting | Bear viewing

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  • NORTHWEST PARKS AND WILDLIFE

    12 days | Northwest USA | Hotels

    Jul-Aug from

    Active

    This unique tour explore the best of Oregon and Washington States, and dedicated bears and whale Zodiac tours on Vancouver Island. Hit the trails in Mt St Helens, see old-growth forests in Mt Rainier and explore rugged coastline in Olympic National Park.

    Highlights: Mt Rainier | Wildlife spotting | Seattle | Tofino

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