Rising from the Pacific Ocean to 7,980-foot tall Mount Olympus, western Washington’s Olympic National Park is arguably the most diverse National Park in the entire country. Originally named as a National Monument in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect his namesake Roosevelt elk, the area was almost named Elk National Park when upgraded in 1938.
Learn more in our guidebook to the National Parks, A Park to Yourself: Finding Adventure in America’s National Parks (available on Amazon).
Ruby Beach, Lake Quinault, Hoh Rainforest, Sol Duc Falls, Hurricane Ridge
Visitors can explore tidepools at Ruby Beach (pictured in our logo below), soak at a hot springs resort after hiking around Sol Duc Falls, experience sweeping mountain vistas from Hurricane Ridge, and boat across picturesque Lake Crescent.
There are more than 600 miles of trails, but one of the quietest is on the north shore of Lake Quinault and leads to a huge, hollow western redcedar tree.
Discover the moss-draped Hoh Rainforest, which at 160 inches annually experiences the highest rainfall totals in the continental U.S.
$30 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass
All major roads are paved, but notably the road up to Hurricane Ridge is not open every day of the week in the offseason.
There are numerous campgrounds and four lodges, plus the historic Lake Quinault Lodge built in 1926 (and technically outside of the park).
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (Oregon-Washington)
Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve (Washington)
Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)
Explore More – Although they are shrinking, how many glaciers are found in the Olympic Mountains?
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