You can find some of the best hiking in Olympic National Park. It has easily become one of my favorite parks in the United States and there’s really no guess as to why. From the HoH Rain Forest to the beautiful beaches along the Pacific Coast Highway, there is an assortment of hiking in Olympic National Park.
Whether you’re looking for a short walk to briefly see some Olympic National Parks endless scenery or a strenuous hike to capture some of the most beautiful views in the Pacific Northwest, any outdoor lover is going to find this place home.
So, wondering where those gorgeous waterfalls, tide pools, and beaches are located throughout Olympic National Park? Let’s dive into some of the most recommended stops to take during your trip.
1. Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest gets its name from the Hoh River that flows from Mt. Olympus towards the Pacific coast. The river was originally formed by glacial runoff and forms a massive boundary across the landscape.
The rain forest averages 140 inches of rain each year! As a result, Hoh Rain Forest features a lush, green canopy of plants and trees which makes it perfect for hiking Olympic National Park.
If you’re interested in staying the night at the Hoh Rain Forest, there is a campground within the park’s boundaries that is open year-round.
2. Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge is open year-round within Olympic National Park and features spectacular views. The mountain can be accessed by cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and sledding. There is an assortment of trails for every type of hiker, including ridgetop traverses to steep paths that lead to incredible subalpine lakes and valleys.
Trails within Hurricane Ridge include Big Meadow (.5mi), Cirque Rim (1mi), Klahhane Ridge (7mi), and Hurricane Hill (3mi).
3. Ruby & Kalaloch Beach
Ruby and Kalaloch Beach are some of my favorites in the country for a number of reasons. These coastal waters feature thousands of marine species. Both of these beaches can easily be accessed by Highway 101.
If you’re looking for some amazing tide pools, I’d recommend Beach 4. A variety of sea life including sea stars, anemones, and fish can be found during low tide. Be sure to always check tide information before visiting to ensure these tide pools are the most accessible!
4. Shi Shi & Point of the Arches Beach
While this may not be the shortest hike there is at 8 miles round trip, the breathtaking views perfectly showcase the rugged and stunning landscape of the Oregon coast.
Being as this is one of the most scenic locations in the United States, it’s of course recommended that you make this into a backpacking trip and take your camera for some spectacular sunsets. You will need the Makah Recreation Pass ($10/year) and the Olympic National Park Wilderness Permit which is available at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center or the South Shore Ranger Station at Lake Quinault.
5. Sol Duc Falls
The Sol Duc Valley is home to towering trees, alpine lakes, an assortment of wildlife, and a stunning waterfall. The trail is a well-maintained path that takes you through the forest canopy and across a small bridge until you reach the roaring Sol Duc Falls. At only 0.8 miles, you’ll appreciate the spectacular views that this magnificent waterfall offers in the northwest portion of Olympic National Park.
7. Olympic Hot Springs
After a long day hike, there’s nothing quite like a hot spring soak. There a ton of unique features to see along the way to these hot springs including the Madison Creek Falls and Glines Canyon.
Once you hike over Boulder Creek, you’ll be in hot spring territory. You can find pools that are directly off the trail and some that take a bit more work to find. Be sure to check the water before entering, as some of the pools reach up to 118°F.
8. Mt. Storm King
Mount Storm King is about 20 miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. At 5.3 miles out and back, this trail is best used from April to October. Once at the top, you will be able to grab beautiful photos of the mountains and Lake Crescent.
If you wish to extend your trip, be sure to check out Marymere Falls trail right off of the Mt. Storm King trail.
Want to find out more about some of the United States National Parks? Click on this link!