Plan your Visit to
Olympic National Park
Born of Necessity and Praised for its Beauty
Back in the pioneer days in the late 1800s there were few regulations in regards to how much timber could be taken from the forests of America. The forest that is now known as Olympic National Park was disappearing fast and the home of the Roosevelt Elk was disappearing along with it. It was President Franklin Roosevelt who stepped in to save the land from certain destruction and declared the area a national park in 1938. Now Olympic National Park is a protected area in which wildlife as well as the timber within the boarders is allowed to thrive for all eternity. Here are some of the must see spots for your next trip.
When to go
April – May – June – July – August – September – October
Biking – Hiking – Climbing – Fishing – Beach – Waterfalls – Rafting – Kayaking – Boating – Stunning Vistas – Winter Sports – Wild flowers – Wildlife – Scenic Drives – Day Trip
Hoh Rain Forest
The thought of a rain forest immediately takes our minds to those that can be found in South America, but North America is home to the Hoh Rain Forest. This part of Olympic National Park is one of the wettest areas of the country in an already rain soaked state. Hoh Rainforest receives approximately 150 inches of rain fall annually. As a result of the continual rain fall within the area, the timber grows far faster than any other place around. It is a safe bet that the pioneers of old would love to get their hands on those trees right about now.
If you come to Olympic National Forest you will be awarded the chance to see impressive wildlife throughout the area, but if you are more impressed waterfalls, Olympic National Park has its fair share and one of the best around is the awe inspiring Marymere Falls. The path to get to these 90 foot falls is a mere 1.5 miles so there is no need for a huge exhausting hike. The convenient viewing platform allows visitors to get the pictures they need without drowning their camera.
Sol Duc Hot Springs
There are some parks that discourage visitors from entering the waters for fear of chemical burns from the minerals within, but Olympic National Park is home to one of the only spots in the world that you can enjoy natural hot springs without fear of a hospital visit. Sol Duc Hot Springs is an area of the park that allows mineral rich water to rise from beneath via a crack in the fissure below. The resulting pools dot the area and each one has a different temperature. Visitors are encouraged to test the waters of the pools before getting all the way in so they are assured to find the one that fits their temperature comfort zone.
A visit to the west coast would not be quite complete without the chance to lounge on the beach and feel as though you are at the edge of eternity as you watch the waves lap against the shore. La Push is the place to go in Olympic National Park, not only for the relaxation, but the chance to see some of the most majestic creatures the ocean has to offer. La Push is one of the spots on the west coast to view wales during migration. The crescent shaped seashore allows for perfect views of the wales as well as the surrounding area.
What to Know
There are some things that you should know before you arrive at Olympic National Park. The park itself is located next to the Quileute Indian Reservation so please be respectful of the land as well as the people that call the surrounding areas home. The cultures surrounding the park have a deep connection to the area and are quite protective of it, so respect is key to truly having an enjoyable experience.
Passes into Olympic National Park are given good for seven consecutive days after purchase and are $25 for a passenger vehicle, $15 for motorcycle, and $10 for non-motorized vehicles and foot traffic. An annual pass will only cost you $50 and is by far the best deal because you can visit the park as much as you want throughout the year.
Camping is an activity that should not be missed within Olympic National Park and fees range from $15 to $22 depending on whether you choose to camp in an RV or primitive style. Reservations are recommended so plan ahead as the campgrounds can fill up fast. If you are a true outdoors enthusiast, you may want to invest the small fee of $5 for the chance to camp in the wilderness of the park. Permits are required and are given out on a first come first serve basis, so get to Olympic National Park early if you want to put your survival skills to the test.
Download a Olympic National Park Map
Planning a Olympic National Park? Be sure to download the official Olympic National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Olympic National Park. This free Olympic National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.
Average High/Low Temperatures
Official Olympic National Park Map – Click on the Map to download