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Originally a hunting settlement for Native Americans, this part of Washington developed into a logging area in the 1800s. When public opinion turned towards conservation of America's natural resources, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Mount Olympus National Monument in the hopes of preserving the area’s native elk. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the national park as a way to provide protection from loggers.
Olympic National Park Today
The park is a sought-after hiking and camping destination. While there is ongoing controversy over the valuable timber remaining in the forest, the National Parks Service remains committed to conserving the natural beauty of this area.
The average summer temperatures are around 23 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures average 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. Olympic National Park has four distinct seasons and usually sees around 13 cm of snow a year.
Things to Do
You won't run out of places to explore in Olympic National Park. It houses four distinct ecosystems: the beach, the mountains, the temperate rainforest, and the drier forests of the eastern park. The park offers hiking trails throughout its interior, many of which are multi-day excursions. If you're up for a water-based challenge, rafting is available on two rivers that run through the park. Winter brings a new set of activities to experience, including skiing and snowboarding in the Hurricane Ridge area of the park.
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