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Olympic National Park Trails

Olympic National Park, located in the northwest corner of the state, has excellent year-round backpacking. The park totals 922,650 acres and receives nearly three million visitors annually. It was established as a national park in 1938, and as a World Heritage Site in 1981. Over 95 percent of Olympic National Park has been designated as the Olympic Wilderness, and as such a vast majority of the park is undisturbed by roadways or buildings. The park features four unique environments—Pacific coastline, alpine tundra, temperate rainforest, and drier forests created by the Olympic Mountains’ rainshadow. The highest peak in the park is Mount Olympus, at 7,980 feet, one of the most heavily glaciated peaks outside of the Cascade Range. There are several roads into the park, but many of the high peaks are accessible only by trail and can take several days to reach on foot.

The park includes the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, which both receive over 150 inches of precipitation a year. Unlike other rainforests, the Olympic National Park’s rainforest region is predominantly conifer. The unique ecology makes it an important habitat to species like the Roosevelt Elk, which is native only to the Pacific Northwest.

Olympic National Park: Mount Townsend via Little Quilcene River (No. 835)

A 7.4-mile hike with nonstop views of the Olympics, leading to a summit on the eastern edge of Olympic National Park.

Olympic National Park: Seven Lakes Loop

Explore old growth rain forest, ascend 5,474-foot Bogachiel Peak, and reap stunning views of Mt. Olympus from High Divide’s ridgeline on this 17.5-mile loop around a breathtaking subalpine lake basin.

Olympic National Park: Cape Alava Loop

Link rainforest, old-growth cedar stands, and a rugged sea coast peppered with isolated rock columns on this 8.7-mile loop in Olympic National Park.

Olympic National Park: Hoh River to Third Beach

Trace the rugged coastline past dozens of sea-carved rock formations on this five-star weekend trip along the Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic National Park: Elwha River Trail

Follow in the footsteps of one of the region’s earliest explorers.

Olympic National Park: Red Reef via Four Streams Trail

End your day with a splash on the Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic National Park: Hoh Lake and Heart Lake via Hoh River Trail

Link lush, mossy forests with alpine lakes and meadows on this 35.2-mile backpacking trip in Olympic National Park.

Olympic National Park: Bogachiel Peak, High Divide, and Sol Duc Loop

Pack a week’s worth of classic Northwest scenery (coastal rainforest, glittering lakes, thundering falls, and toothy peaks) into just three days on this 23.1-mile loop.

Olympic National Park: Glacier Meadows via Hoh River Trail

On this climb from the Hoh River’s silty riffles to high-country glacier views, you’ll pass through a
moss-hung rainforest that might be the lushest place in America.

Olympic National Park: Sunrise Ridge

Want low mileage and big views? Make a beeline to the Hurricane Ridge trailhead for this 5.6-mile out-and-back that rolls past far-reaching views on Sunrise Ridge.

Olympic National Park: Olympic Hot Springs via Appleton Pass

Climb up and over Appleton Pass–and past huckleberries, western red cedar, and hemlocks–to soak in this chain of natural hot springs.

Olympic National Park: Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier

Hike through temperate rain forest alongside the Hoh River to the tip of the Blue Glacier–the largest glacier in Olympic National Park–and 7,980-foot Mt. Olympus towering above the ice.

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Featured Videos
3D Flyover: Olympic National Park

Ramble from giant virgin cedar, hemlock, fir trees to high alpine peaks and classic Northwest rainforest on this 45-mile epic.

  • 3D Flyover: Olympic National Park

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