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Olympic National Park is an evolution of remarkable beauty. 

This national park is a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. With its fairy tale rainforests, majestic Olympic mountains, and spectacular coastline, this protected land is very unique and special.

Referred to as “rainy national park”, Olympic National Park is located in the north-west of Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula. It has almost one million acres or 373,383 hectares of land.

Recognized as the fifth most visited park in the US, ranked just behind the famous Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, with about three million annual visitors. Olympic National Park is widely known for its majestic mountains, scenic lakes, pristine coastline, glaciers, waterfalls, different varieties of plants, and abundant wildlife. No wonder this park attracts thousands of visitors each year.


Did you know?

  • Olympic National Park is named after the home of the gods, “Olympus”.
  • Olympic National Park is the lowest latitude in the world where glaciers form at low elevation.
  • The park contains one of the world’s largest rainforest.
  • Olympic National Park is 95% wilderness, with 60 miles of unspoiled coastline, and over 600 miles of hiking trails
  • Roosevelt elk, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, can be spotted in some areas in the park’s forest.
  • It was declared a national park on June 29,1938 by US President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • The highest peak in Olympic National Park is Mount Olympus (7980 feet), the crown jewel of the Olympic Mountains.

Top Activities to try at Olympic National Park.

Hike the Hoh Rain Forest

The Hoh Rain Forest receives up to 170 inches of rain annually and is said to be “almost always green, and almost always wet”. This rainforest is one of the must-see attractions in the Olympic National Park. The giant mossy trees and ferns on the forest floor make this rainforest comparable to forests from fairy tale books. This forest was featured in the Twilight movie series and is one of the most famous temperate rainforests in the US.

Enjoy and explore the Hurricane Ridge

The Hurricane Ridge offers jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and the Olympic Peninsula coastline. At 5,242 feet, it provides 360-degree stunning views, fantastic sunset and sunrise view, kid-friendly trails, and possible wildlife sightings during springtime.

Try water activities in Lake Quinault

There are plenty of activities to try in Lake Quinault. Take a kayak or canoe, hike, paddle, camp, or simply enjoy the view of the lake and the surrounding Quinault Rain forest. Some of the park’s arboreal giants such as the Sitka spruce and Quinault big cedar are found here.

Sol Duc Falls

Hike the 0.8-mile trail and cross a canyon by bridge to see the beauty of Sol Duc Falls. This breathtaking multi-tiered waterfall will give you the best waterfall experience.


Fishing is one of the best ways to enjoy the park. With its Pacific coastline, numerous lakes, rivers, and streams. The abundance of wild salmon, trout, and char makes the park a perfect fishing spot. There are park regulations for fishing. Ocean fishing and shellfish harvesting require licenses. Before fishing, check for the park’s fishing regulations and fishing license requirements.

Join the Elwha Exploration Walks

The Elwha Exploration Walk is a guided interpretive walk. It enables park visitors to have first-hand experience and see up close the landscape changes and river transformation after the Elwha Dam removal in March 2012. This FREE and ranger guided walking tour along the Elwha River will last for approximately one hour. To know more about the Elwha Exploration Walks, contact the Elwha Ranger Station at (360) 452-9191.


Wildlife Viewing

Olympic National Park is one of the best places for wildlife viewing. This protected land is the perfect home to some rare species and a variety of wildlife. Catch a glimpse of Roosevelt Elk, whales, eagles, black-tailed deer, mountain goats, black bears, and other wildlife species in different areas of the park.


America’s most diverse national park offers camping opportunities like no other. Choose from the numerous campgrounds or camp in the wilderness for a more adventurous experience. Campgrounds offer accessibility for campers and have the most stunning views. Camping is definitely one of the park’s most popular activities.

Things you should know


Currently, Olympic National Park have 16 campgrounds, with Sol Duc as the newest campground. While most of the campgrounds are on a first come first serve basis, two campgrounds – Kalaloch and Sol Duc require reservation during the summer season. All campgrounds are handicap accessible. Campsites in park-operated campgrounds do not have water or electrical hookups, and showers are not available.

Olympic National Park Entrance


Altair Campground will no longer be used as a campground due to the changing course of Elwha River. Picnic tables for day use are available.

Elwha Campground is closed indefinitely due to flood damage and the Elwha River’s changing course.

Best Time to Visit

Olympic National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year-round.

  • Summer (June to September) – peak months, popular months to visit
  • Spring (April-May) or Fall (September-October) – the best time to visit for wildlife viewing
  • Late spring and early autumn (April to October) – best time to visit due to good chance of clear weather and fair skies
  • Winter – great time to visit minus the crowd
  • October to April – some facilities are closed or have limited opening hours


Weather in Olympic National Park is unpredictable, especially along the coast and in areas with higher elevation. Before your visit, check for updated weather forecasts and conditions. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions and pack accordingly.


Cellular phone reception is not reliable. Mobile coverage is inconsistent, especially in wilderness areas. However, public telephones are available in some areas in the park – Visitor Center, Hoh River Rain Forest Visitor Center, and in some lodging areas inside the park.


Pets are permitted on the following trails:

  • Madison Falls Trail
  • Peabody Creek Trail
  • Spruce Railroad Trail
  • Beaches located between Hoh and Quinault Reservations
  • Rialto Beach parking lot

Pets must be leashed at all times, not longer than 6 feet, and should not be left unattended. Pets are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and paved or dirt roads. For more information about pet guidelines in the park, visit this page (

Planning for a Camping Trip in Olympic National Park

  • Drop by at the main Visitor Center located in Port Angeles. There are exhibits and helpful staff for detailed information about the park.
  • Before your trip, visit the website to know the latest news, updates, condition, and other information about the park.
  • If you are planning to stay overnight, an overnight wilderness permit is required at $5 per person per night, available at ranger stations and visitor centers.
  • While it is not required to make a reservation when you visit the park, you have to contact them and make necessary reservations if you plan to camp, lodge, or backpack in the park. Check the opening and closing dates of campgrounds before your visit.
  • Depending on the weather or unsafe conditions, campgrounds may be closed on short notice. Check this site ( ) for campground status and updates or call (360)565-3131 .
  • Campgrounds are self-registration and require cash or check payment only.
  • Permits are required for wilderness or backcountry overnight camping. Reservations are accepted thru fax or mail, and permits are limited in some areas in the wilderness.
  • Know all basic safety guidelines, specifically wildlife and wilderness safety. Obey all warning signs and check information for recent animal activity.
  • Practice “leave no trace policy” to preserve and protect the park.

With its diverse ecosystem, Olympic National Park has something for everyone. Its amazing views, camping opportunities, and numerous activities will fill your adventure list with a variety of choices.

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