While crowds gather in Yellowstone and Yosemite, you could set up a quiet camp off the beaten path. We highly recommend seeking out a national park you’ve never seen before. If you haven't yet been to Olympic National Park, it's worth the trek to northwest Washington.
Olympic National Park is located in Washington state, on the Olympic peninsula. Two Roosevelts had a hand in making this region into a national park: Teddy Roosevelt in 1909 made it a national preserve to help the declining moose population and in 1937, FDR took a trip to the Olympic peninsula and was so impressed he officially declared it a national park upon his return.
4 Things To Do in Olympic National Park in One Trip
In 1981, Olympic National Park became a world heritage site because of the uniqueness of the region and its history. With its natural beauty, variety of plant and wildlife, and cultural legacy, it’s easy to find a lot to do here. Below are five options and a list of basic gear.
1. Take a Coastal Hike
There are 11 different coastal trails in the national park. These hikes range in difficulty. Some are rated easy, like the famous Shi-Shi beach hike at 4 miles, to the strenuous South Coast Route, a 17 mile hike with 2,000 feet of elevation gain.
2. Visit the Hoh Rainforest
The Hoh Rainforest is a completely unique and incredible old world rainforest within the park. Getting about 140 inches of rain a year, this alien environment is covered in moss, ferns and incredible scenery. This subsection of the park has its own campground and a visitor center.
3. Kayak or Canoe on Lake Crescent
If you own a kayak or canoe, this park is the perfect place for a lake, river or ocean float. Every type of boating can be had here, including mild to class IV rapids. Check the boating page on the Olympic National Park website for details about the incredible number of boating options. We recommend Lake Crescent for an easy float.
4. Stay at Nearby Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
Cap your day of fun with a luxurious evening at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort between March and October. An affordable cabin, a luxury riverside suite or camping are all possible options.
When you visit the Olympic Peninsula you are entering a special climate. Be sure to bring a rain jacket and rain pants. Don’t skimp on a hat for when the sunshine does emerge. Our snapback trucker hats are stylish and practical.