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    Hikes in Olympia, Washington

    Hikes in Olympic National Park

    Region in Washington State, United States

    Covering 4000 square meters in the Olympic Peninsula, the Olympic National Park is the jewel of Washington State, concealing a rich cultural and natural heritage. This gorgeous corner of the United States boasts a wild coastline, lush temperate rainforests, and glacier-clad peaks that tower over it all. Hiking in Olympic National Park is a dream come true – come and discover this remarkable wilderness.

    The Olympic National Park is most famous for the Hoh Rainforest, a dense temperature rainforest through which flows the mighty Hoh River. Hiking the Hoh River trail is an otherworldly experience, passing through trees covering in trailing mosses and lichens. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a fantasy world, with mythical creatures hiding behind every mossy rock.

    Beyond the rainforest, the Olympic National Park offers yet more attractions, rising through subalpine forest to high ridges and grassy meadows, covered in wildflowers. Alternatively, head for the coast, where you’ll find wild beaches, dramatic rock formations, and crashing waves. It could take a lifetime to uncover all of the hidden secrets this remarkable national park has to offer. To help you decide where to start, we’ve put together a list of the best hikes in the Olympic National Park!

    Types Of Hiking In Olympic National Park

    There are so many different types of hiking in Olympic National Park, you certainly won’t have difficulty finding a trail to suit you! The unique position of this beautiful park means it has it all, from rocky coastline and lush forests to towering mountains. If you’re a keen adventurer looking for a challenge in some remarkable scenery, this is the place for you.

    However, the Olympic National Park is also an ideal destination for families. Kids will love exploring the lush paths that snake through the Hoh Rainforest, or playing on the rock pools and beaches of the Pacific Coast. You’ll find trails to suit all fitness levels and abilities, and this is a wonderful way to introduce younger kids to the joys of backpacking.

    Easy Hikes In Olympic National Park

    Hole in the Walk Hike: This short, stunning trail is one of the best easy hikes in Olympic National Park. You’ll skirt the edge of the Pacific Ocean and make your way along the pebble beach to the impressive rock formations at the far end. For the best view out over the water, climb the short, steep forest trail up to the ridge, where you’ll have a fabulous outlook over the beach and ocean.

    Family Hikes In Olympic National Park

    Marymere Falls Hike: The short, easy route to Marymere Falls is a family favorite, and a great option for young kids. The lush temperate rainforest trail will transport your into another world, and the image of the falls cascading down into the gorge is a beautiful sight. The trail is steep in places, but very well maintained, with handrails and wooden bridges.

    Day Hikes In Olympic National Park

    High Divide Loop Hike: If you want to set out on a classic day hike in Olympic National Park, this popular trail is probably your best option. You’ll pass along a gorgeous continuous ridge, high above the treeline, offering some truly epic views over Mount Olympus. The steep climb is well worth the effort, and you’ll enjoy varied terrain, beginning in lush forest before rising to the stark, rocky ridge.

    Challenging Hikes In Olympic National Park

    Royal Basin Hike: Looking for one of the most stunning and challenging hikes in Olympic National Park? Look no further than this glorious trail, which follows Royal Creek all the way up to Royal Basin. It’s a steep climb, but well worth the effort, as you’ll pass by a gorgeous lake, a grassy plateau, and breathtaking views over the nearby mountains.

    Greatest Hikes In Olympic National Park

    Hoh River Trail Hike: The Hoh River Trail is, without doubt, one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park, largely as a result of the lush, temperate Hoh Rainforest. Walking through this natural paradise is like stepping into a fairytale, with moss and lichen hanging from the trees, creating a mythical ambience. The route passes along the river until Five Mile Island campground, home to deer and elk, and an excellent place for wildlife watching.

    Third Beach Hike: This easy hike will take you to the stunning Third Beach, where it’s easy to while away several hours exploring the sands and rocky outcrops. Don’t miss the lovely waterfall at the eastern edge of the beach. This is also a fun place for an easy family backpacking trip, and kids are sure to love picnicking on the beach!

    Obstruction Point Hike: This undulating trail is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park, and it’s a great option if you’re looking for a way to escape the crowds in the busy season. The landscape here is stark and otherworldly, with black rocks covered in lichen and stunning views over the valley.

    Klahhane Ridge Hike: If you’re looking for a spectacular hike that won’t require too much energy, head up to Klahhane Ridge. This beautiful trail is manageable for most moderately fit hikers, and you’ll enjoy incredible views over Mount Olympus and the surrounding snow-capped peaks. Pick a clear day, and you’ll see the Olympic National Park at its best.

    Ozette Triangle Hike: This quiet trail is the perfect way to get away from the crowds. Tucked away in the northwest corner of the Olympic National Park, this route will take you along a series of boardwalks to a beautiful rocky beach, best explored at low tide. You’ll enjoy fresh sea air and some remarkable rock formations, before heading back to the trailhead along a different route.

    Lake Angeles Hike: The hike up to Lake Angeles requires a stiff climb, but the stunning vista at the top is well worth all the effort! The serene waters of Lake Angeles are surrounded by fortress-like mountains, and you’ll see an enigmatic island floating in the middle. The peaks and forests are perfectly reflected in the still waters, making this a wonderful place for snapping some stunning photos.

    When Is The Best Time To Hike In Olympic National Park?

    It’s possible to get out on the trail throughout the year, but the best time to hike in Olympic National Park is between April and September, when you can expect the best weather, plenty of wildlife, and open trails and campgrounds throughout the park. Spring is a particularly lovely season to visit, with fewer hikers on the trails, and abundant wildlife, from black bears to Roosevelt elk. Higher-elevation trails and campgrounds start to open up from May onwards, although there’s always a chance of late snows on higher ground. July and August are the most popular months for visitors, with gorgeous wildflowers, good weather, and accessible hiking routes. However, you will need to compete with lots of other hikers for space on the popular trails.

    To experience the park at its most spectacular, come in September, when you can expect remarkable fall colors in the trees, and the incredible spectacle of rutting elk (with their distinctive bugle call!). The snows typically hold off until October, but the crowds are thinner, meaning you’re more likely to have the trail to yourself. Although lower-elevation trails are accessible in winter, they are likely to be very wet, but you can try your hand at snowshoeing, skiing, sledding and snowboarding on higher ground. Whatever time of year you choose to visit, remember that the weather in the Olympic National Park can be very unpredictable, so come prepared!

    Other Outdoor Activities In Olympic National Park

    Although hiking is by far the preferred option, there are plenty of other outdoor activities in Olympic National Park! This beautiful natural spot is an ideal location for backpacking and camping trips, with lots of excellent routes and campgrounds. The coastal location of the park, together with its many rivers and lakes, provide an abundance of watersports, including boating, canoeing, kayaking and tidepooling. Explore local wildlife with park rangers, or gaze at the night sky on a specially organized stargazing expedition. In winter, you can always try your hand at snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding.

    How To Plan A Trip To Olympic National Park

    Is a hiking trip in the Olympic National Park on your bucket list? If not, it should be! To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together everything you need to know about planning a trip to Olympic National Park, covering the best places to visit, best accommodation options, and of course, all our favorite hiking trails! There’s never been a better time to explore this lush, natural marvel of Washington State.

    Frequently-Asked-Questions About Olympic National Park

    How many days do you need in Olympic National Park?

    There are enough wonderful trails and activities on offer in Olympic National Park to keep keen adventurers busy for weeks on end! However, as most of us don’t have the luxury of that much time, we’d recommend staying for at least 3-5 days, allowing you to take in parts of the Hoh Rainforests, the beaches, and some mountain scenery before you leave.

    Can you drive through Olympic National Park?

    The vast majority of the Olympic National Park is intentionally road-less, as part of an endeavor to preserve the lush beauty and wilderness of this natural haven for wildlife. However, it is possible to drive along some roads that enter parts of the park, such as US Highway 101, which skirts the Olympic Peninsula and offers some excellent viewpoints and picnic spots.

    Can you see the Northern Lights from Olympic National Park?

    It’s very rare to see the Northern Lights at such a southerly latitude, but occasionally, they have been seen faintly from the Olympic National Park.

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    Best Hikes in Olympic National Park

    Showing 1 to 20 of 73
      Open details for Hoh Rainforest Hike

      Hoh Rainforest Hike

      Very Easy
      1.8 km
      24 m
      0.5h

      Hoh Rainforest is one of the most-visited trails in Olympic National Park. You’ll wander through lush temperate rainforest on an easy, family-friendly trail. You’ll see massive old hemlocks, spruce, ferns, and mosses. Watch for Coho salmon swimming in the creek, and name all the species of plant and animal you can. This is a true Washington rainforest adventure and it’s very accessible for beginners and young children.

      The trail presents no real challenge and is conveniently located near a visitor center and a campground. Although this trail gets busy, we recommend making the trip if you’re in the park. If you can, visiting on a weekday offers the best chance of a quieter trail.

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      Open details for Mount Storm King

      Mount Storm King

      Hard
      8.5 km
      633 m
      3-4.5h

      Mount Storm King is a hard hike in Olympic National Park. This hike is the site of a signature shot overlooking Lake Crescent, so you’ll see plenty of cameras out and the top. It’s not too long of a trek, taking most people about 3 or 4 hours, making it a popular destination for views that feel much further away.

      Mount Storm King has a rope climbing section to aid in getting up the steep summit, but anyone feeling less inclined to take on the steepest section can enjoy viewpoints along the way that offer similar sights. This hike isn’t one to do in poor weather since the trail can get too slick to safely climb and the upper portion of the trail is unmaintained. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll love the summit!

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      Open details for Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge

      Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge

      Moderate
      5.5 km
      252 m
      1.5-2.5h

      Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge is a perfect hike for beginners, families with kids, strollers, and hikers using wheelchairs, who can enjoy the first quarter mile. This 5.5 km route is paved and extremely easy to follow, allowing you to simply enjoy the expansive views. When it comes to views versus effort, this is an excellent payoff. With a rolling blanket of mountains stretched out before you, you’ll see why this hike is used by so many adventurers every year. It’s a great way to soak up the beauty of the Olympics without needing to work too hard, and the location makes it easily accessible from Port Angeles. Oh, and don’t worry- there are usually no hurricanes here.

      The road to the trailhead is subject to seasonal closures, so make sure you check the status before planning a winter trip. The ridge is open for skiing in the snowy season.

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      Open details for Ruby Beach Hike

      Ruby Beach Hike

      Very Easy
      1.6 km
      15 m
      0.5h

      Washington has no shortage of incredible beaches, and the endless coastline is always a treat to explore. Ruby Beach is an example of the scenery that makes the Pacific Northwest what it is: dramatic sea, rocky beaches strewn with driftwood, peculiar rock formations jutting out of the water. This beach walk is a go-to for locals and is often frequented by visitors as well. It’s only 1.6km in length and involves almost no elevation gain, making it a nice pick for adventurers of all levels.

      Ruby Beach tends to be somewhat busy, so try visiting in the mornings or midweek if possible. Additionally, plan to arrive as the tide goes out so you’re not trapped by high tide at the creek crossing.

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      Open details for High Divide Loop

      High Divide Loop

      Very Hard
      28.1 km
      1,197 m
      8.5-11.5h

      A classic full day hike along one of the most beautiful continuous ridgelines in the park. All the time spent above tree line on the High Divide Trail yields some of the greatest views of Mt Olympus the park has to offer!

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.8
      Technical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Advanced (Diamond)
      Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
      Open details for Ozette Triangle Trail

      Ozette Triangle Trail

      Moderate
      15.8 km
      122 m
      3-4.5h

      The Ozette Triangle is a classic loop hike that will bring you through the secluded northwest section of the park. You’ll pass by weird and wonderful rock formations, enjoy spectacular views over the wild ocean and see a whole new side of the Olympic National Park.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.5
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Hoh River Trail

      Hoh River Trail

      Hard
      16.3 km
      140 m
      3.5-4.5h

      The Hoh River area in Olympic National Park is an extremely popular place due to the beauty of the dense, temperate Hoh Rainforest. However, for those wanting to distance themselves from the crowds, we recommend hiking along the Hoh River Trail to Five Mile Island to experience probably the most scenic Hoh Rainforest trail in the park.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.9
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Open details for Third Beach

      Third Beach

      Easy
      8.1 km
      92 m
      1.5-2.5h

      This hike takes place on the rugged and powerful west coast of the Olympic Peninsula. This trek is also a great option for anyone wanting to do an easy one-night backpacking trip.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.6
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Marymere Falls

      Marymere Falls

      Very Easy
      3.2 km
      70 m
      1h

      This hike through the stunning temperate rainforest to the mystical Marymere Falls is one for the entire family. You might think you’ve been sent back in time to the Jurassic Period!

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.7
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Lake Angeles

      Lake Angeles

      Hard
      11.4 km
      719 m
      4-5.5h

      The sustained incline as you hike up to Lake Angeles is admittedly dull at times. However, the incredible, fortress-like views of the mountain’s cliffs surrounding the lake make the ache in your thighs feel justified.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.6
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Open details for Obstruction Point

      Obstruction Point

      Moderate
      12.1 km
      325 m
      3-4.5h

      A stunning alpine hike that is - surprisingly - not often done. You can choose to do this as a linear hike, with a car-shuttle. That takes a lot of time so we prefer to do either a long return dayhike or else turn around after 8.0 km as a more reasonable dayhike.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.5
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Open details for Royal Basin

      Royal Basin

      Very Hard
      24.7 km
      1,361 m
      8-11.5h

      This is an absolutely stunning hike, following Royal Creek up to the heavenly Royal Basin. Since this hike begins in the Olympic National Forest, and not the park, the crowds on this trail are greatly diminished. It is a challenging hike, but it’s well worth the work.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.7
      Technical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Advanced (Diamond)
      Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
      Open details for Klahhane Ridge

      Klahhane Ridge

      Moderate
      11.8 km
      521 m
      3.5-5h

      Beginning the hike from the incredibly high alpine-viewpoint that is Hurricane Ridge, the trail along Klahhane Ridge provides some of the most picturesque panoramas in the park. Plus, this hike isn’t too physically demanding.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.6
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Hole in the Wall

      Hole in the Wall

      Very Easy
      5.3 km
      23 m
      1-1.5h

      This is a jaw-dropping hike from the raw edge of the Pacific Ocean to a collection of massive boulders jutting out of the water. Be sure to go at low tide to more closely enjoy the impressive rock formations at the end of the beach.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.5
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Rialto Beach Trail

      Rialto Beach Trail

      Moderate
      21.6 km
      796 m
      6-8.5h

      Washington is lined with incredible beaches, and the wild coastline is always a treat to explore. The windswept beauty of Rialto Beach makes it a top walking destination. At 21.6 km, you can either make this a full-day adventure or just walk a portion of the beach to suit your timing and desired level of activity. Wear good shoes for rocky sections and consider bringing poles to help you along.

      Rialto Beach tends to be somewhat busy, so try visiting in the mornings or midweek if possible. Additionally, plan to arrive as the tide goes out so you’re not trapped by high tide as you try to get back.

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      Open details for Sol Duc Falls Trail

      Sol Duc Falls Trail

      Very Easy
      2.6 km
      69 m
      0.5-1h

      Sol Duc Falls Trail is a heavily trafficked waterfall hike in Olympic National Park that is rated as easy. This hike is a favorite for families and beginners due to its extremely modest elevation gain, and it’s a favorite for all others because of its beauty. The falls themselves are gorgeous, and it only takes about an hour to enjoy this entire trail. All that being said, it is an extremely popular hike and the trail sees heavy traffic. Try to hike midweek or early in the mornings for the best chance of a peaceful outing.

      The road to the trailhead is subject to seasonal closure. Please check current conditions if you’re visiting in the winter.

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      Open details for Olympic Hot Springs Trail

      Olympic Hot Springs Trail

      Moderate
      34.1 km
      965 m
      8.5-12h

      The Olympic Hot Springs Trail is 34.1 km long, but don’t write it off for a day trip. This popular trail is often travelled by a combination of biking and hiking, and the hot springs are a fantastic way to unwind however you reach them. This is also a popular backpacking route with two campgrounds on the way. With lush forest surrounding a wide, easy-to-navigate road, this trail presents no issues when it comes to routefinding or technicality.

      Many hikers bring bikes and only hike the last 4.8 km or so. If you choose to do so, remember to bring a lock for your bike.

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      Open details for Devil’s Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail

      Devil’s Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail

      Very Easy
      3.9 km
      44 m
      1h

      The hike on Spruce Railroad Trail to the Devil’s Punchbowl is a wonderful trip, and at under 4.0 km with only minimal elevation gain, it’s family-friendly. This hike follows part of the expansive Olympic Discovery Trail, a bike and hike route across the northern Olympic Peninsula. While this guide covers a short portion of the route, you can hike up to 10 miles on this part of the Olympic Discovery Trail, skirting around the shores of Lake Crescent. Devil’s Punchbowl is a gorgeous pool tucked next to a bridge on this trail.

      This hike is pleasant year-round, but it’s our favorite in the summertime when Lake Crescent is illuminated by the sunlight.

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      Open details for Shi Shi Beach Trail

      Shi Shi Beach Trail

      Moderate
      14.2 km
      171 m
      3-4h

      Shi Shi is one of the world’s premier wilderness beaches. This moderate hike follows a trail through the rainforest down to the beach itself. The beach is breathtaking, with sweeping views to Point of Arches and to the mountains of Vancouver Island. This is a top-notch hike in Washington, but visiting outside of peak hours could still earn you some peace and quiet. The trail is muddy year-round, so tall boots are a must.

      There is camping available near the beach. The trail and beach are on the Makah Indian Reservation and thus are subject to closure at the discretion of the community. Please check with the Makah on the current status.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Lovers Lane Trail

      Lovers Lane Trail

      Moderate
      9.8 km
      180 m
      2-3h

      Lovers Lane Trail is a loop hike that connects the Sol Duc Falls, the campground at Sol Duc, and the resort. It’s a relaxed walk through the forest at first, and then the trail becomes a bit steeper as it crosses through a prime example of temperate rainforest.

      While this moderately trafficked trail is a no-brainer for those staying at the campground or using the resort, it’s a good way to see Sol Duc Falls on a more encompassing route that shows off even more of the area.

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