Olympic Nationwide Park is among the most various nationwide parks within the US. With almost 1,000,000 acres of land to discover, you’ll discover old-growth forests, the Olympic Mountains, and alpine lakes. No marvel Olympic Nationwide Park hikes are so well-liked.
The nationwide park is simply outdoors Seattle, like North Cascades and Mount Rainer Nationwide Park. It’s simple to entry on a day journey from Seattle and is among the most handy nationwide parks to go to on a metropolis break.
High Hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park
Seeking to go to Olympic Nationwide Park? It is among the finest locations to go to within the US and a improbable alternative. This information will cowl the easiest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park – from following the Hoh River to strolling the Corridor of Mosses. Let’s dive straight in.
1. Hoh River Path to Blue Glacier
The Hoh River Path is a surprising but tough hike in Olympic Nationwide Park. As you’ll have guessed, the path follows the Hoh River, nevertheless it additionally cuts by means of the Hoh Rainforest and passes wildlife like elk. At 34 miles in complete, the Hoh River Path to Blue Glacier is commonly accomplished in sections or as a multi-day backpacking journey.
So, the place to start? Hoh Rain Forest Customer Heart. It’s right here that you just’ll discover the Hoh River Trailhead and begin your hike. You attain the Hoh River after roughly a mile. From that time on, be ready for a number of river crossings and muddy sections of the trail. Till you attain Glacier Meadows, the path is flat and closely wooded. You’ll go varied campsites and 5 Mile Island, a hotspot for elk recognizing. After, it turns into a bit steeper, so plan a number of further stops and snacks after you go the meadows.
In case you are finishing the hike as a day journey (no allow wanted), most individuals simply hike to 5 Mile Island and again. Alternatively, you’ll be able to sort out the entire hike to Blue Glacier as a backpacking journey (so long as you could have a tenting allow). Hoh River Path is an out-and-back path, so simply keep in mind that nevertheless far you stroll, you’ll need to retrace your steps once more.
Distance: 34 miles one-way Issue: Arduous Elevation acquire: 1,837 meters Trailhead: Hoh Rain Forest Customer Heart
2. Lake Crescent By way of Spruce Railroad Path
Lake Crescent Path is also referred to as the ‘Spruce Railroad Path’ and is an exquisite disused railway that cuts alongside a piece of Lake Crescent shores. Lake Crescent is a glacial lake surrounded by mountain peaks. It is among the hottest sights within the Olympic Nationwide Park.
Lake Crescent Path is a comparatively flat, family-friendly hike for these with older kids desirous to attempt longer distances whereas sticking to simple path situations. You’ll cross the Satan’s Punchbowl bridge and hike alongside shaded forest trails with beautiful lakeside views. There are even a number of tunnels to chop by means of, which helps to maintain the hike various and thrilling.
You possibly can entry Lake Crescent Path by means of both East Seashore Highway or Camp David Junior Highway. You’ll proceed to the Satan’s Punchbowl by means of a tunnel and cross over a scenic bridge – after which you flip round to finish the out-and-back path. Permit about three to 4 hours to finish the route, plus longer if you need to swim.
Distance: 11.2 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 125 meters Trailhead: Spruce Railroad Trailhead
3. Hurricane Hill by way of Hurricane Ridge Path
In search of a brief however candy hike? Hurricane Ridge Path is an excellent choice and possibly essentially the most accessible hike within the Olympic Nationwide Park. It’s value noting that the path is typically known as ‘Hurricane Hill Path’, and you need to use the names interchangeably. The paved path is well-maintained, and the summit offers panoramic views over the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and Vancouver Island. You could even spot mountain goats alongside the way in which as an additional bonus.
To entry the trailhead, drive alongside Hurricane Ridge Highway. You’ll go Hurricane Ridge Customer Heart (a spot to cease and ask the Nationwide Park Service Rangers any important questions), then park at Hurricane Hill Parking Lot.
From right here, you head north up the path, which begins comparatively flat and turns into steeper as you climb. As it’s such a brief hike, the fast burst of elevation acquire shouldn’t trigger too many points. Hurricane Ridge Path is appropriate for anybody with a average health stage.
Distance: 3.4 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 252 meters Trailhead: Hurricane Hill Parking Lot
4. Klahhane Ridge Path to Mount Angeles
In case you are an skilled hiker accustomed to scrambling and navigating unclear routes, you need to attempt the Klahhane Ridge Path to Mount Angeles. Be warned, this Klahhane Ridge Path will not be for the faint-hearted, however those that love thrills will leap at this problem.
Klahhane Ridge is a surprising inexperienced strip with panoramic views over Olympic Nationwide Park. You’ll sort out the ridge leisurely, then proceed climbing Mount Angeles – the tallest mountain close to Hurricane Ridge. Climbing Mount Angeles is the trickiest half, and also you’ll be navigating unfastened scree, sudden elevation acquire, and unmarked switchbacks.
Take your time on this closing part, as it’s the difficult a part of an in any other case average hike. You’ll be vastly rewarded on the Mount Angeles summit with 360-degree views over the encompassing nationwide park and mountain peaks. Lap up the sights, as you’ll have earned them tenfold over. All the hike ought to take between 5 to 6 hours.
Distance: 5.5 miles Issue: Tough Elevation acquire: 615 meters Trailhead: Hurricane Ridge Customer Heart
5. Spruce Nature Path
Is a brief, scenic stroll extra your fashion than tackling mountain slopes? Spruce Nature Path is among the finest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park if you’d like minimal effort and most reward.
The 1.4-mile loop takes you straight by means of Hoh Rainforest, immersing you in a rainforest panorama with loads of old-growth bushes and dense undergrowth. The path is finest identified for its nurse log phenomenon, the place seedlings develop from fallen bushes. The method is ongoing, so that you’ll see the enormous centuries-old bushes now lined in excellent rows and the tiny younger bushes simply beginning out.
Spruce Nature Path is a hike the place remembering your digital camera is extra vital than remembering a pair of climbing boots. Positive, it could actually get a bit muddy after moist climate, however in any other case, the path is among the best in Olympic Nationwide Park. The Spruce Nature Path distance makes it a straightforward addition to a busy day exploring the nationwide park and different climbing trails. Positively make time to squeeze it in.
Distance: 1.4 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 5 meters Trailhead: Hoh Rain Forest Heart
6. Obstruction Level by way of Deer Park
Obstruction Level is a surprising out-and-back path within the Hurricane Ridge space. You possibly can anticipate spectacular views of Mount Olympus and the encompassing mountain peaks. At 13.9 miles, this path is ideal for a day journey, and you need to enable round six hours to finish all the hike. It’s difficult in sections, so think about bringing trekking poles to navigate scree and put on robust climbing boots.
We propose ranging from Deer Park Trailhead as a substitute of Obstruction Level Trailhead attributable to frequent closures at Hurricane Hill. The primary few miles alongside this path take you thru thick woodland, after which you emerge onto the ridge and are greeted by beautiful mountain views.
Mountaineering the Obstruction Level Path by way of Deer Park is among the quietest hikes on Hurricane Ridge – preferrred if you’d like a extra blissful hike in nature. It’s a little trickier than Klahhane Ridge however an exquisite problem if you’re up for it.
Distance: 13.9 miles Issue: Tough Elevation acquire: 989 meters Trailhead: Deer Park Trailhead
7. Blue Mountain Path
Blue Mountain Path is very easy that it’s extra of a scenic stroll than a hike. The 0.4-mile path loop across the prime of Blue Mountain offers beautiful views over the nationwide park beneath. It is among the shortest Olympic Nationwide Park hikes however one in all our favourite climbing trails. Not solely are the views beautiful, but additionally, the drive as much as the trailhead is exhilarating. You wind your means up the mountain by means of dense forest on a slim stony observe with no highway rail in sections. You’ll need to take your time to sort out the highway safely, however that shouldn’t be a problem for the reason that drive is so scenic.
When you attain Deer Park Campground, take a left flip on the fork and proceed up the hill for an additional couple of miles. You’ll attain the Blue Mountain Trailhead right here, and you’ll benefit from the fifteen-minute hike across the summit. Hold your eyes peeled for deer, rabbits, and bears.
Blue Mountain Path is filled with nature, not simply views, and it’s the excellent size for these in a rush or households searching for a straightforward hike. The path can also be positioned simply outdoors of Port Angeles, which is good for these basing themselves within the city and searching for a fast morning journey. Blue Mountain Path is pleasant and simple – a particular to your Olympic Nationwide Park itinerary.
Distance: 0.4 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 40 meters Trailhead: Blue Mountain Trailhead
8. Excessive Divide Path
The Excessive Divide Path is also referred to as the ‘Excessive Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop’. The path is a difficult 19 miles that take a median of 11 hours to finish – so arrive on the trailhead ready with plenty of refreshments. Fortunately, you’ll keep impressed and motivated alongside the way in which. There’s tons to see, from Sol Duc Falls to the Blue Glacier and (in fact) the attractive Seven Lakes Basin. Out of all these climbing trails, the Excessive Divide Path offers essentially the most sights en route, so if you wish to pack loads into the identical path, it is a superb choice.
You’ll begin on the Sol Duc Trailhead, passing the waterfalls and heading straight previous to achieve Deer Lake. At Deer Lake, you’ll discover a sudden elevation acquire and head uphill, breaking the tree line and recognizing lovely views of the encompassing mountains. Subsequent up is a hanging ridge, which emerges you out into Seven Lakes Basin – the most effective viewpoints of the entire hike. From there, it’s a respectable again by means of thick forest to the Sol Duc Trailhead.
Fancy extending your expertise? Apply for a campers allow and keep the evening at Seven Lakes Basin. The area is unbelievable for stargazing, and a backpacking journey is all the time a bucket checklist expertise in Olympic Nationwide Park. Plus, that means, you’ll be able to break up the 19 miles over two days.
Distance: 19 miles Issue: Tough Elevation acquire: 1,642 meters Trailhead: Sol Duc Falls Trailhead
9. Dawn Ridge Path
In search of a dawn hike? Dawn Ridge Path (aka Dawn Level Path) is among the finest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park. The path is comparatively brief and requires a average health stage and fundamental climbing expertise. It will get its recognition from its unbelievable views, that are significantly lovely to expertise at dawn.
The snowcapped mountains within the distance are virtually all the time in full view, with the ridge simply above the tree line. The preliminary part of the hike is simple, and solely the steep switchbacks on the finish of the path give it a average score. By this level, although, you’ll have daylight in your facet and (for those who packed breakfast) a full abdomen.
You’ll discover the Dawn Ridge Trailhead simply previous the Hurricane Ridge Customer’s Heart. It’s simply mixed with different ridges within the Hurricane Ridge area. You possibly can proceed on the path for a mile to achieve Klahhane Ridge – which has beautiful views of Mount Angeles.
Distance: 6.9 miles Issue: Average Elevation acquire: 623 meters Trailhead: Dawn Ridge Trailhead
10. Sol Duc Falls
We’ve already briefly coated Sol Duc Falls within the Excessive Divide Path. However, for those who don’t fancy the long-distance hike, you’ll be able to all the time simply hike to Sol Duc Falls. The light stroll is gorgeous and the proper path to get pleasure from at a gradual tempo. You’ll be surrounded by photogenic surroundings, and you’ll benefit from the old-growth forest and wildlife comfortable with out having to march off on a 19-mile hike. As an alternative, you’ll deal with Sol Duc Falls as your endpoint, finishing a brief 1.6-mile return hike.
Sol Duc Falls is beautiful to see up shut; the three-pronged waterfall typically creates rainbows in its spray. You possibly can sit on the picket platform on the endpoint to chill out with views over the falls. It falls virtually fifteen meters – fairly the sight to behold.
Distance: 1.6 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 69 meters Trailhead: Sol Duc Falls Trailhead
11. Higher Dungeness Path to Helpful Camp
Prepared for an additional riverside hike? Dungeness River is among the most lovely within the nationwide park. Plus, climbing Higher Dungeness Path is an effective way to expertise one of many park’s Douglas fir forests. Some bushes develop to greater than 60 meters excessive, and there’s loads of moss and flora to admire on the forest flooring. All of the whereas, the Dungeness River rages beside you – attracting wildlife and chook track.
The hike is rated average problem, and also you’ll want common health ranges and the boldness to sort out a river crossing. At 6.5 miles, the out-and-back path isn’t too tiring, and you’ll simply full the hike in two to a few hours. You begin the hike on the Higher Trailhead. The path endpoint is the Camp Helpful shelter, the place you’ll be able to cease for a fast picnic earlier than returning.
Higher Dungeness Path to Helpful Camp is among the finest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park if you’d like a scenic half-day forest hike. It’s simple to navigate and a comparatively simple hike – simply enable a bit longer for those who doubt your health.
Distance: 6.5 miles Issue: Average Elevation acquire: 229 meters Trailhead: Higher Dungeness Trailhead
12. Royal Basin Path
Royal Basin Path is among the prettiest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park. The basin sits on the base of an alpine valley, with plenty of peaks and alpine lakes and tarns to admire. If you’d like a style of distant magnificence, the Royal Basin Path is the proper day hike to seek out it.
Royal Basin Path begins on the Dungeness Path, and also you keep on the path till you see a bridge, at which level you don’t cross and as a substitute bear proper. The next 5 miles alternates between climbing by means of thick forest paths and some brief slopes. After a river crossing by Decrease Meadow Campsite, you’ll cross a log bridge and attain Royal Lake – the primary of the path’s main sights. Royal Lake is a fairly place to cease for refreshments, after which you proceed across the lake to achieve Higher Basin Path. This closing part of the path is all alpine meadows and river crossings – plus a scenic waterfall within the distance.
Royal Basin Path is ideal for adventurous hikers with affordable health ranges. The varied terrain retains the hike thrilling. You want to be up for something – be it utilizing a log crossing or determining an unclear route in the course of an alpine meadow.
Distance: 15.8 miles Issue: Average Elevation acquire: 1,159 meters Trailhead: Dungeness Trailhead
13. Corridor of Mosses Path
The Corridor of Mosses might be essentially the most well-known of all of the hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park. When you want extra proof that Olympic Nationwide Park was the most effective nationwide parks within the US, this path is it. Actually, this brief hike is among the finest hikes within the nation. You’ll stroll by means of lush forests coated in attribute, thick, inexperienced moss. The Corridor of Mosses Path is film-set worthy and is among the most picturesque sections of the Hoh Rainforest.
The path begins by the customer heart, instantly heading into the Hoh Rainforest to an exquisite part of old-growth forest and flora. You’ll cross Taft Creek (well-known for Coho salmon) and wander alongside a small, weaving forest path. Be sure that to cease for an image on the moss-covered archway.
The Corridor of Mosses is among the finest issues to do in Olympic Nationwide Park, by no means thoughts simply the most effective Olympic Nationwide Park hikes. It ought to rank on the prime of your must-hike checklist when visiting the nationwide park.
Distance: 1.1 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 24 meters Trailhead: Hoh Rain Forest Customer Heart
14. Staircase Rapids Loop
Staircase Rapids Loop is a brief path that follows the North Fork of the Skokomish River. Rapids are all the time an exquisite sight to behold, however Staircase Rapids are doubly so. The water is a shiny blue, and the riverbanks are coated in inexperienced moss – creating a colourful, hanging distinction. The trail runs alongside the rapids, with an old-growth forest and ferns on the opposite facet. The mix of rapids and forest is gorgeous and positively value bringing a digital camera to seize.
Begin the hike by strolling the Staircase Rapids Nature Path, taking a proper fork after a few mile. This path leads you to a suspension bridge (with improbable views down the river). You observe the path on the junction to get again to Staircase Ranger Station.
Distance: 2.1 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 65 meters Trailhead: Staircase Ranger Station
15. Rialto Seashore Path
Have you ever heard of Rialto Seashore? What in regards to the Gap within the Wall? Effectively, the Rialto Seashore Path is among the finest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park, and it combines the 2. The primary part of the stroll covers the seaside itself, the place you’ll be able to spot the well-known sea stacks and peer into tide swimming pools as you hike. You’ll must time your stroll with low tide, because the Gap within the Wall (the path endpoint) is just accessible when the tide is low.
For many who don’t know, Gap within the Wall is an enormous gap in the course of an unlimited sea stack. Hikers can stroll by means of the outlet and discover its surrounding tide swimming pools for sea life. The Gap within the Wall was created by a volcanic eruption tens of millions of years in the past. It’s a favourite pure attraction – particularly amongst photographers.
Permit round an hour to finish the Rialto Seashore Path to Gap within the Wall, plus a bit longer to benefit from the well-liked attraction.
Distance: 3.3 miles Issue: Average Elevation acquire: 33 meters Trailhead: Rialto Seashore Parking Space
16. Mount Storm King
Are you up for a problem? Mount Storm King Path is among the hardest however finest hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park. The Mount Storm King distance is deceptively low; don’t be fooled. You’ll want glorious health (or plenty of time) to finish the hike. The elevation acquire is unrelentless and fixed all through. There’s even a rope part for the reason that path will get that steep.
You’ll begin the hike on the Barnes Creek-Marymere Falls Path, taking a left onto Storm King Path at 0.6 miles. It’s all uphill from there.
So, what makes this hike so unbelievable? In a number of phrases, the summit. You’ll have breathtaking views over Lake Crescent and the encompassing Olympic Mountains. Mount Storm King has the most effective viewpoints in all the nationwide park – which is a lofty title contemplating its competitors.
Distance: 4.1 miles Issue: Tough Elevation acquire: 642 meters Trailhead: Mount Storm King Ranger Station
17. Moments in Time Path
The Moments in Time Path is essentially the most instructional of our hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park. The brief stroll takes hikers on a fifteen-minute stroll by means of an space of lakeside forest, offering informative signposts alongside the way in which. You’ll study Lake Crescent’s pure and cultural historical past, a uncommon alternative on most climbing trails. The Moments in Time Path is good for households or aged hikers who need an immersive expertise with out bodily exertion.
In fact, there are viewpoints to get pleasure from as properly. Hikers will discover plenty of little pebbled seashores alongside Lake Crescent’s shore – excellent for a cool-down dip. Don’t miss out on photograph alternatives right here, because the lake has lovely views.
Distance: 0.7 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 3 meters Trailhead: Lake Crescent Lodge
18. Enchanted Valley Chalet
In case you are searching for a backpacking journey in Olympic Nationwide Park, Enchanted Valley is the prime candidate. You’ll must receive a Wilderness Allow beforehand, however will probably be value it to camp within the Enchanted Valley. For the reason that path is so well-maintained, it is a superb choice for newcomers who need to dip their toes into multi-day climbing. The Enchanted Valley hike charges as average solely due to the space, as there may be minimal elevation acquire, and the route is completely untechnical.
The hike begins on E Fork Quinault River Path, crossing Pony Bridge and quite a few streams. You’ll emerge within the coronary heart of Enchanted Valley, proper by an outdated disused chalet. The chalet was as soon as a hub for tourism and exploring the Olympic Mountains by horseback and on foot, so it’s considerably of a historic image within the Olympic Nationwide Park. You possibly can arrange camp for the evening at one of many many campsites.
You possibly can take many different routes from the Enchanted Valley, together with the Graves Creek Path (that leads you to Graves Creek Campground) and the Anderson Moraine Path. Don’t be afraid to spend a number of days tenting within the Enchanted Valley to profit from the completely different day hikes.
Distance: 27 miles Issue: Average Elevation acquire: 989 meters Trailhead: E Fork Quinault River Path
19. Sand Level Path
Sand Level Path is a coastal observe that runs by means of a beachside forest on a photogenic boardwalk. The boardwalk by means of the coastal rainforest is as lovely because the endpoint itself, so take your time and snap loads of photos. While you emerge onto the seaside, you’ll attain Sand Level – which has beautiful ocean and seaside views. You possibly can admire the ocean stacks, discover to seek out tide swimming pools or simply chill out on the designated campsite space.
Many individuals select to increase the hike by venturing to the well-known petroglyphs at Marriage ceremony Rocks. Be sure that to solely do that at low tide, and you’ll proceed previous the Marriage ceremony Rocks to loop again to the Ozette Coast Trailhead by way of the Cape Alava Path if you want. In any other case, simply deal with the hike as an out-and-back path. At 6.2 miles, it’s simply the most effective Olympic Nationwide Park hikes to finish in half a day.
Distance: 6.2 miles Issue: Straightforward Elevation acquire: 104 meters Trailhead: Ozette Coast Trailhead
Visiting Olympic Nationwide Park is an unbelievable expertise, and these finest climbing trails are positive to make your go to much more spectacular. The Olympic Peninsula is stuffed with surprises, however one of the best hikes in Olympic Nationwide Park are positively our favourite.
Check out as many hikes as doable and have a improbable journey. For an additional particular expertise, take a look at one of the best cabins in Washington State for lodging inspiration.