The Olympic Peninsula of western Washington is one of the most unique collection of ecosystems in the country. Taking up much of the peninsula, beautiful Olympic National Park has a variation of microclimates that creates three distinct ecosystems: rugged mountains, temperate rainforest, and coastal forests and beaches. The ninth-most visited national park in the country, Olympic's 2.5 million annual visitors marvel at the incredible scenery and biodiversity of this magical place.
Olympic National Park Attractions
Opportunities abound here for the outdoors enthusiast. A marine climate means pleasant summers great for hiking, mild winters at lower elevations, and lots of rain that supports incredible plant and animal diversity. But don't expect short drives; the mountains split the peninsula down the middle, forcing drivers to encircle the peninsula to get from one point to another. Planning ahead always provides a better experience, which is why we’re here to help.
One of the most magical places in America is quietly nestled inside Olympic. The Hoh Rainforest receives more than 200 inches of rain annually, supporting an incredible variety of plant life that reminds visitors of walking through "Ferngully".
Mountainous Hurricane Ridge feels worlds away from the lush rainforests and rugged coastlines of the park. But this remote area has a large visitor center and numerous hiking trails, both offering dramatic views of the Olympic Mountains. On clear days you can also see all the way to Canada across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Part of the coastal section of the park, Rialto Beach (along with nearby Ruby Beach and Shi Shi Beach) exemplifies the power of the Pacific Ocean. There are no beach umbrellas or daiquiris here; this dramatic coastline is full of giant driftwood piles, rocky sea stacks, and huge coastal evergreens.
Olympic National Park Lodging
With a large spread-out park like Olympic, where you stay can make or break your trip. Centralizing your lodging and having an itinerary planned in advance will help avoid long drives and backtracking. That’s what we’re here to help you with!
Staying in the gateway towns of Forks, Port Angeles, or Aberdeen (among others) helps support the businesses that operate there. Expect to find cute inns, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs all around. We always love researching and suggesting the right lodging for you.
Lake Crescent Lodge is a popular choice for park visitors as it commands a feeling of nostalgia, pioneering, and awe. Built in 1915 on the shores of Lake Crescent, the main lodge welcomes visitors with a large stone fireplace and homey front porch with views of the water. It fills up quickly during peak season.
There are many campgrounds in and around Olympic National Park, some that are primitive (meant for tent camping), and some that accommodate larger vehicles like RVs and camper vans. A few even have water and electricity hookups!