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Olympic National Park is on the Olympic Peninsula, surrounded the Puget Sound on three sides, and just a few hours’ drive from Seattle. This lush rainforest is a sparsely inhabited reserve of rivers, waterfalls, mountains, beaches and wildlife. It takes its name from the glacial peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Just one main road, Highway 101, encircles the peninsula, linking the small cities of Port Angeles and Port Townsend with Olympia, Washington State's capital city.
The only way to explore the interior of the park is via the 500-mile (800-kilometer) network of hiking trails. There are plenty of hikes for all levels of walking enthusiasts, including easy strolls for those visiting just a short time. Be careful if you’re visiting in winter, when steep and slippery trails can present challenges during hikes of all levels.
Awe-inspiring Mount Olympus rises 7,965 feet (2,428 meters) in the center of the park. Only trained climbers should attempt to reach the summit, but there are plenty of easier trails. Follow the Hoh River Trail for great views of the mountain. Venture into the dense, jungle-like Hoh Rain Forest, where some of the trees are up to 500 years old.
Try alpine and Nordic skiing at Hurricane Ridge, where there are two rope tows and a lift as well as a lodge for warming up. In summer, this area offers stunning views from the 1.6-mile (2.2-kilometer) long paved trail where patches of snow may linger well into July.
For a hike with an ocean view, head to the southwest coast. Ruby Beach has some of the most stunning and accessible coastline in the area, including tide pools rich with urchins, starfish and gooey ducks.
Immerse yourself in Olympic National Park’s natural charms and stay at one of the campgrounds, or seek out simple lodgings in one of the small communities such as Forks or Quinault. If you’re looking for luxurious digs, this isn’t the right place. The pampering is strictly for the senses, found in the breath-taking natural surroundings.
Lake Quinault is another popular area on the peninsula. There’s a rustic lodge, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, and helpful visitor centers at the Hoh Rainforest and Hurricane Ridge. Port Angeles, just north of the Olympic National Park, is a nice stop between the peninsula and Seattle.
A fun way to extend your visit to Olympic National Park is to take the ferry from Port Angeles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria on Vancouver Island, but don't forget your passport or another form of I.D.
The Olympic National Park is two to three hours by car from Seattle, depending on traffic and the wait at the ferry. During the summer, allow for a few hours’ wait at the ferry terminal.
Make the most of your visit to Olympic National Park. Here's a list of some of the top activities:
You should consider checking out an Olympic National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Day Tour or an Olympic National Park - Hurricane Ridge and Waterfalls while you're visiting. These experiences are some of the most popular.
Peruse our Washington Coast things to do page to learn about more activities in the area.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.ca from January through December 2019, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
The staff at the restaurant was great. Our waitresses, Jade, had great suggestions for hikes, places to visit and shared cultural events.
Situated on a lake, this holiday home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lake Quinault and within 9 miles (15 km) of Quinault Rain Forest Visitor Information Center and Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail. Lake Quinault Museum is 7.7 mi (12.5 km) away.
Liked the overall cleanliness and comfortable mattress. Good food in Restaurant as well. Would recommend this hotel!
Cool old hotel with modern updates. We had a large suite with a kitchenette that was stocked with all necessities. A ton of character right on the Main Street. The hotel itself is like a tourist attraction and rooms are left open so you can see what they look like. If I had to complain about anything, ...
I like that the pillows always come in large & firm and small and flatter, so I can sleep on the thinner pillows that I like.
Nice indoor pool. Rooms are decent size for 6. TV a little small. Breakfast is included.