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9 Best Hikes in Olympic National Park

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In search of stunning Olympic National Park hikes? We’ve rounded up 9 of the best hikes for all levels to enjoy in one of the best hiking destinations in the USA.

Covering close to 1 million acres in area, the insanely beautiful and diverse Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle is a one-of-a-kind natural attraction. 

Hiking trail through pine wooded forest.

Thanks to its staggering size, the park includes a diverse range of ecosystems and terrains from lush rainforests to rugged coastlines, an alpine region, and a dry area. You’ll never get bored hiking in Olympic National Park.

With a combined 611-miles of trails, there’s certainly no shortage of hikes and walks suited to all skill levels. It is no wonder an Olympic National Park, an easy day trip from Seattle, is a favorite outing for both locals and visitors to the state.

We have partnered with hotels.com to share these 9 top Olympic National Park day hikes and multi day treks to help you plan your visit to this wondrous national park.

Where to Stay in Olympic National Park

Remember, Olympic National Park is enormous. While there are no hotels within the park, there is a fabulous array of accommodation available on Olympic National Park’s outskirts.

You may wish to experience a historic lodge’s extravagance or prefer a rustic retreat in a log cabin. Is it a back to nature experience in one of the campgrounds or the simplicity of a Bed and Breakfast or motel? Whatever your accommodation style, keep the size of the park in mind.

There are five major regions of Olympic National Park – 

  • Hurricane Ridge – Mountains and sweeping vistas.
  • The Coast – Beaches, sea stacks, and 57 miles of rugged coastal wilderness.
  • Kalaloch Beach – Long stretches of sandy beach and bird populations.
  • Hoh Rainforest – Iconic old-growth moss-covered forest with diverse wildlife. 
  • Lake Quinault – Beautiful lake and rainforest.
  • Eastern Olympic National Park – The driest and sunniest side of the park. Rivers and forests along the Hood Canal. 

 You may wish to choose where to stay based on your focus, or you may want to stay in a few different regions, choosing a different accommodation style at each stop. Olympic National Parks size and diversity is what makes it such an incredible place to visit. 

Man in red jacket hiking through moss covered forest.

Important Safe Travel Reminder

Travel Safety is always important to us. While there is still uncertainty around travel and associated businesses, safety has never been more important when you travel.

If you decide to travel at this time, no matter what activities you choose to enjoy in and around Olympic National Park, please ensure you are appropriately prepared and travel responsibly.

We encourage following these safety guidelines:

  • Check the current status with local authorities and the National Park before leaving, and stay updated with information throughout your trip.
  • Check official websites for the latest information on policies, closures, and status of local businesses. There may some closures or restrictions within the park or at surrounding attractions. 
  • Take the proper health precautions; always wear a face mask for yourself and others’ safety, follow social distancing recommendations, carry hand sanitizer, and wash your hands regularly.
  • Take immediate and appropriate action as advised by medical authorities if you start to feel unwell during your trip.
  • Confirm the cancellation policies of any travel, hotel, or tour bookings as your travel plans could change last minute.
  • Understand what your travel insurance covers given the current situation.

9 Incredible Olympic National Park Hikes

Hoh Rainforest Trail

  • Distance: 1-mile
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
Moss covered forest in Olympic National Park.

If an enchanted forest sounds like your ideal nature escape, the Hoh Rainforest Trail is perfect for you. Especially popular during the summer months, this magical trail wanders through the verdant and dense Hoh Rainforest.

With tons of greenery and lush vegetation in the moss ladened forest, there is also an abundance of birdlife and wildlife, including Roosevelt elk. Hoh Rainforest Trail is one of those hikes that is always impressive no matter how often you do it.

Fairly easy and relaxing, it is undoubtedly one of the best Olympic National forest hikes. There are several stops along the way, perfect for a lunch break after a morning of hiking through the beautiful terrain. 

Do be aware that this trail, while easy, can be wet and muddy, so suitable hiking shoes are advised. There are many other trails through the Hoh Rainforest; you can find them all here.

Ruby Beach

  • Distance: 6-miles 
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy 
Sun setting over the beach with rugged coast line.

Ruby Beach, located south of where the Hoh River and the Pacific Ocean meet, is another great Olympic National Park hike, especially for day-trippers. A short 0.25-mile trail leads you from the parking lot onto Ruby beach.

Once on the beach, you can wander to your heart’s content. Explore the insanely large and interesting driftwood, check out the array of sea life in the tidal pools, and marvel at the rugged sea stacks.

If you opt to head north, you’ll stumble upon the Hoh River approximately 3-miles in. Heading south, you’ll encounter Steamboat Creek at low tide and even catch a glimpse of Destruction Island. 

Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach 

  • Distance: 3.4-miles
  • Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy
Peering through a sea cave in Olympic National Park.

The picturesque Hole in the Wall trail is one of the most scenic taking you 1.5-miles down to the beautiful Rialto Beach, which also happens to be one of the best in Washington.

Once on the beach, you’ll reach the Hole in the Wall, a fantastic spot to admire the sea stacks or take in the beautiful landscape at sunset. Be on the look for wildlife, as you’re likely to spot sea lions or whales if you’re lucky.

Sol Duc Falls Trail

  • Distance: 1.6-miles
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
Waterfalls in lush moss covered forest.

One of the best trails in Olympic National Park for families is the Sol Duc Falls Trails. The trail is tucked away in the Sol Duc Valley that boasts scenic alpine lakes, stunning waterfalls, snowcapped mountains, as well as an abundance of wildlife.

One of the top things to see in Olympic National Park, this easy hike to the Sol Duc Falls is especially alluring in the morning when the rain forest glistens and shimmers in the light of the early morning sunrise.

Set off on this 1.6-mile round trip hike just beyond where the Sol Duc Hot Springs and Resort is located.  

Want to Know What to Pack for a Hiking Vacation?

Hurricane Hill

  • Distance: 3.2-miles  
  • Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
Mountain views from high in the hills across brown meadows.

Day hiking Olympic Peninsula offers an endless variety of fabulous hikes and trails to choose from and Hurricane Hill should certainly be one of your top picks.

An easy to intermediate hike, Hurricane Hill is great for families. It starts out fairly easy and includes three switchbacks leading to a summit with unparalleled views over the snow-capped Bailey Range.

From the summit, enjoy the impressive mountain range’s vistas, look out to Port Angeles in the north, or glance out across the waters to Vancouver Island. 

Marymere Falls

  • Distance: 1.8-miles
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
Man standing in front of waterfall.

Considering a hike on the more challenging Mount Storm King trail (next up on our list), then why not add on this easy 1.8-mile roundtrip to Marymere Falls.

The trail is easy enough to take the kids along, too, as you trail through the rich green forest to reach the picturesque falls. Do take note that this trail is a popular one and can get crowded at times. 

Mount Storm King

  • Distance: 4-Miles
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Hard
Sumit views over blue lake in Olympic National Park.

Mount Storm King is likely one of the most photographed hikes in Olympic National Park, thanks to the astonishing views out over Lake Crescent from the rocky summit. By no means an easy hike, the Mount Storm King hike can be especially dangerous during bad weather. Mount Storm King is also not recommended for hikers who don’t do well with heights.

However, if you are up for the challenge, the views are worth the uphill trek, managing the roughly 2065 ft elevation gain to the top. If this sounds too daunting a challenge, then why not head halfway up where you’ll find alternative outcrops offering pretty much the same views of the lake ahead. 

Enchanted Valley via East Fork Quinault River Trail

  • Distance: 26-miles
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Hard
Clear stream running through lush rainforest.

In the southeastern part of the park is the 26-mile roundtrip East Fork Quinault River Trail, which happens to be one of the most popular trails in the area. Many opt for a day hike through Quinault Forest to reach Pony Bridge instead of completing the trail in its entirety.

Meandering through forests, crossing rivers and gorges, you’ll pass along stopping points and camps such as O’Neil Creek and cross several streams, eventually reaching Quinault River Bridge. Upon crossing, you’ll finally reach the alluring Enchanted Valley at the 13-mile halfway mark.

Note that Bears are commonly sighted in the Valley area so ensure you take the proper precautions regarding food and give them appropriate space. 

High Divide – Seven Lakes Basin Loop

  • Distance: 19-Miles
  • Type: Roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Hard
Views over mountain lakes in Olympic National Park.
cc Daveynin | Flickr

Rounding out our list of the best hikes in Olympic National Park is the High Divide trail, a hike recommended for experienced hikers.

The incredible 19-mile trail will require you to overnight, possibly for a couple of nights. Offering unrivaled tranquility, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of wildlife, an overnight hike is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Olympic National Park.

Do note, only a limited amount of permits are issued for those wanting to camp overnight, and booking well in advance is definitely advisable, especially during the Spring and Summer months. Also, note that Bear canisters are a requirement for this hike, which you can rent from the Port Angeles Wilderness Information Centre. 

Aerial view over Fire Island boardwalks and beach.
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