The Olympic National Park, located in northwestern Washington, is characterized by beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and temperate rainforests.
The Olympic Mountains also surround it. This region is regarded as one of the largest mountain ranges in the state.
There are so many natural and geographical wonders in the park to explore. One of the best ways to experience the park’s beauty is by camping or hiking on the various trails available in the national park.
The article covers the best trails in Olympic National Park (WA).
Where Is Olympic National Park?
The park is located on the Olympic Peninsula, which is in Washington.
It has four regions:
- The Pacific coastline
- Alpine areas
- West-side temperate rainforests
- The drier east-side forests
Different types of plants and animals represent the diverse ecosystems within the park. These ecosystems include the temperate forest, the Pacific coast, and the wildflower meadow.
In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt designated the Olympic National Park as a national monument.
In 1938, it was re-designated as a national park. In 1976, it became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981, it was regarded as a World Heritage Site.
Trails In Olympic National Park (WA)
There are so many hiking trails in the Olympic National Park that it can be hard to choose just one to go on during your trip.
Here are some of the best trails in Olympic National Park;
1. Staircase Rapids Loop
One of the easiest ways to access the park is through the Staircase Rapids Loop, a short hike taking you through a dense old-growth forest and a temperate rainforest.
This trail ends at the Skokomish River. To reach the end of the loop, follow the river until it crosses a bridge.
It has an elevation of approximately 213 ft and is mainly regarded as an easy hiking trail.
This short and leisurely walk is suitable for both casual and experienced hikers. You can start at the parking area and walk along the rocky and sandy beach.
After you pass the sea stacks, you’ll come across a natural rock formation called Hole-in-The-Wall. This area is about 1.5 miles from the parking area.
The trail is about 3.3 miles long (out and back) with an elevation of 108 ft.
3. Quinault Loop Trail
The Quinault Rainforest provides a beautiful view of the old-growth forest and the park’s delicate ecosystem.
This 4-mile loop trail takes you through this area. There are interpretive signs along the way to help you understand this region’s various flora and fauna.
This is one of the best trails in Olympic National Park. This is regarded as an easy trail with an elevation of 367 ft with a total distance of 3.8 miles.
4. Spruce Railroad Trail
This family-friendly hike takes you through the shores of Lake Crescent. It features various bridges and tunnels that are designed to provide a variety of exciting experiences.
This trail is mostly flat and suitable for both experienced and casual hikers. Before heading out, it’s recommended that you bring a flashlight and a light for orientation.
The trail boasts 11.2 miles, out and back, with an elevation of 433 ft. The difficulty level of this unique trail can be rated moderately strenuous.
5. Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge Trail
One of the best first-time hikes in Olympic National Park is the Olympic Peninsula’s Hurricane Ridge Trail.
This trail is relatively easy and suitable for both experienced and casual hikers. It features a steady and slow elevation gain, which makes it an ideal choice for families and individuals.
The views from this area are unique, and with a moderate effort, you’ll be rewarded with views that extend to British Columbia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
This trail has a distance of 3.4 miles, out and back, with an elevation of approximately 826 ft.
6. Hal of Moss Trail in the Hoh Rainforest
One of the best places to take photos of the Hoh Rainforest is the Hal of Moss Trail. This well-maintained trail takes you through the forest’s delicate ecosystem.
This area has been well-maintained. There are also interpretive signs along the way that will help you understand this region’s various flora and fauna. This is an easy trail with a total distance of 1.1 miles.
7. Spruce Nature Trail
Another great way to explore the Hoh Rainforest is through the spruce nature trail. This is a shorter and more accessible trail that’s ideal for both experienced and casual hikers.
It can also be combined with the Hall of Moss to explore the area’s various attractions.
With an elevation of just 16 ft and a distance of just 1.4 miles, it is classified by most hikers as an easy trail.
8. Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail
One of the most popular attractions in Olympic National Park is the Sol Duc Falls. This natural waterfall in the Hoh Rainforest features a spectacular view.
It’s a must-visit for anyone who enjoys taking in the scenery and experiencing the natural beauty of this area.
The Nature Trail through the rainforest provides a relaxing and easy way to explore the area. After a few miles, you’ll reach the falls, a beautiful and unique natural feature.
Four waterfalls plunge into the canyon below.
Before you start exploring the area, make sure to bring your camera with you. There are two main sections of the falls, and the first one is filled with moss-covered rocks.
The second section is much more extensive and features a spectacular view. Although we only visited the first section, we enjoyed the second one more.
9. Marymere Falls Trail
This short and sweet hike through old-growth forests is ideal for all abilities and is located near Marymere Falls.
This area is also known for its beautiful natural features, including a 90-foot waterfall that falls over a massive basalt cliff.
It’s a popular choice for hikers enjoying the scenery and experiencing the natural beauty of the area. The trail has an elevation of 298 ft and an out and back distance of 1.7 miles.
10. Shi Shi Beach
To reach this remote beach, you’ll need to hike about two miles through a jungled path that’s part of the Makah Indian Reservation.
After crossing the ocean, you’ll have to walk on the sand to reach the sea stacks. Although this hike is very challenging, it’s worth it for the sunset.
This is one of the best trails in Olympic National Park, with an elevation of 561 ft and an out and back distance of 8.8 miles. It is a moderate trail.
11. Lovers Lane Loop
The Lovers Lane Loop is a popular loop trail that allows hikers to continue past the falls. It’s also an excellent choice for experienced and beginner hikers.
This trail has a minimal elevation gain and is perfect for people who enjoy taking in the scenery and experiencing the area’s natural beauty. It has a total distance of 6.1 miles and an elevation of 590 ft.
12. Sunrise Ridge Trail to Mount Angeles
This hike will allow you to enjoy panoramic views of Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Mountains from Klahhane Ridge.
The hike starts on the High Ridge Nature Trail, which leads to an excellent viewpoint. You’ll be rewarded with views of the Olympic Mountain Range and Puget Sound.
The next section of the trail is called the Sunrise Point Trail, which leads to an overlook.
Most people who hike to Mount Angeles follow the trail until they reach the start of Mount Angeles. However, an unmarked Class 3 scramble requires proper climbing equipment.
In addition, it is a problematic rail with an elevation of more than 2,000 ft and an out and back distance of 5.5 miles.
13. Klahhane Ridge to Lake Angeles
This moderate, long-distance hike will allow you to enjoy panoramic views of Lake Angeles from the top of Klahhane Ridge.
It starts from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center and continues through the Klahhane Ridge Trail.
After you reach the alpine lake, take the Sunrise Ridge Trail back to the High Ridge Nature Trail.
The Klahhane Ridge trail gets very narrow during winter, making it more challenging.
However, during the summer, you’ll be able to enjoy the views of the mountain and the wildflowers.
This is a difficult trail with an elevation of 4,514 ft and a total distance of 12.6 miles. This is one of the best trails in Olympic National Park.
14. Royal Lake
The Royal Basin (Royal Lake) is situated in Olympic National Park, a collection of subalpine meadows, rocky slopes, and spectacular waterfalls.
This is one of the most popular attractions in the area. This natural feature is easily accessible and offers a beautiful view of the park.
This short, easy hike connects the Upper Dungeness Trail and the Royal Basin Trail. It’s a good option if you plan to take a day trip to the Royal Basin.
You can turn the hike into a backpacking trip if you have a camping permit.
15. Enchanted Valley Chalet
This trail will take you through the forest, across the river, and through old-growth forests to the beautiful and diverse Enchanted Valley.
This area is known for its wildlife, such as elks and black bears. It’s an amazing multi-day hike that can be completed in just a few days.
It is a challenging trail with an elevation of 4,642 ft and a total distance of 30.6 miles.
16. High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop
The High Divide Trail will take you to the Seven Lakes Basin, a beautiful subalpine basin in Olympic National Park.
This area contains lakes and wildlife like mountain goats and black bears. This is an excellent option if you plan to take a short trip to avoid the crowds.
This challenging trail has an elevation of 5,308 ft and a 19-mile loop.
17. Mount Ellinor Trail
One of the tallest mountains in the Olympic Peninsula is Mount Ellinor, which offers panoramic views of the peninsula.
During the summer season, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Mount Baker and Mount Rainier.
There are two different trails that you can take to the summit of Mount Ellinor. One of these is a short but steep trail, while the other is a longer trail that has a more gradual incline.
The two trails are known as the Lower and Upper trailheads.
The former is an easy six-mile round trip that starts with a gentle grade through an old-growth forest, while the latter is a shorter 3.2-mile hike that requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
18. Mount Storm King
If you’re a severe hiking enthusiast, you should take the Mount Storm King trail in Olympic National Park.
This is an excellent option if you plan to take a short trip to avoid the crowds. The views from this trail are amazing.
19. Hoh River Trail to Five Mile Island
The Hoh River Trail is a great day hike if you’re looking for a longer hike that doesn’t require a lot of hills.
It follows the Hoh River through the temperate rainforest and is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
The trail ends at Five Mile Island, a beautiful site with amazing views of Bogachiel Peak and the surrounding area.
20. Ozette Triangle Trail
One of Olympic National Park’s most popular day hikes is the Pacific Ocean and the Ozette Lake triangle trail.
This is an excellent option if you plan to take a short trip to avoid the crowds. This route will take you through various areas, such as wetlands, coastal wilderness, and forests.
21. Cape Flattery
This is one of the best trails in Olympic National Park, with an elevation of 200 ft and a distance of 1.5 miles. Most hikers regard it as an easy trail.
Best Time To Visit Olympic National Park
The best time to visit the park is during the summer when the temperatures are warm, and most facilities and roads are open.
There are also various programs and activities available. The park’s digital newsletter, the Olympic Bugler, provides an updated list of all the seasonal activities.
How Much Does It Cost To Visit Olympic National Park?
For a week, a trip to Olympic National Park usually costs around $686 for a single individual. For two people planning to spend a week, a trip to the park costs around $1,392.
A two-week trip usually costs $2,784 for a couple.