Whether you are a beginner looking for a new adventure or an experienced avid hiker searching for your next challenge, you may be wondering about the best-hiking destinations and whether the Olympic National Park is any good when it comes to hiking.
The Olympic National Park is one of the best-hiking destinations in the US. It is one of the greatest and most diverse parks in the entire country and consists of almost a million acres. From ancient forests to breathtaking glacier peaks, there is a hiking trail available for nearly everyone.
With nearly a million acres of land, there is nothing the Olympic National Park can’t offer. Millions of travelers visit the park annually to hike through some of the most diverse landscapes. Whether you are searching for a slow-paced family adventure out in nature or you’re heading to conquer your next peak, the Olympic National Park has hiking trails suited to everyone’s individual needs.
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Is The Olympic National Park Good For Hiking?
The Olympic National Park is arguably one of the best destinations in the entire country regarding hiking. As the second-largest mountain range in the whole state of Washington, it is no wonder this park is so popular amongst hikers.
Hiking through the Olympic National Park will show you some of the most diverse and awe-inspiring scenery. From rugged coastlines to breathtaking waterfalls and ancient temperate rainforests, a day out exploring the park will not disappoint.
As much of the park is roadless, hiking and camping is the only way to explore the hidden natural beauty. With numerous trails available for hikers with any hiking experience, it is the perfect place for both families and beginners and avid experienced hikers seeking a new challenge.
The Best Hiking Trails In The Olympic National Park
While it may seem like the number of trails through this park are endless, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the most popular and scenic routes, especially if you’re only going for a day. Below is a list of some of the best hiking trails in the Olympic National Park.
Hoh Rainforest, Hall Of Moss Trail
Distance: 1.1 Mile Loop
Elevation: 78 ft
The Hall of Moss trail is not one to be missed. If you’re searching for an easy, family-friendly path that still includes some fantastic scenery, this is the spot. Through the magical moss-covered forest, you will feel like you’ve been transported to another dimension.
This trail is extremely popular because of the unique photography opportunities. If you leave in the early morning, you can snap some beautiful pictures of the sunlight filtering in through the dense trees overhead. There is even a short trail through the rainforest that is wheelchair friendly.
Sol Duc Falls
Distance: 1.6 Miles (Out and Back)
Elevation: 255 ft
The Sol Duc Falls trail is one of the most prevalent trails in the Olympic National Park, and for a good reason. After a relaxing walk through the rainforest, you’ll be able to see one of the finest waterfalls in Washington. You’ll need to remember to bring your camera with you on this trail, as you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to capture the four separate waterfalls plunging 48 ft into the canyon below.
Distance: 3.6 Miles
Elevation: 700 ft
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Hurricane Ridge is the perfect trail for those who are looking to spend a day out in nature with their kids. The difficulty rating of the hike ranges from easy to moderate, but the view of the park is well worth it in the end. The trailhead starts in the parking lot at the end of Hurricane Ridge Road.
Mount Storm King
Distance: 5.3 Miles (Out and Back)
Elevation: 2,076 ft
For those avid experienced hikers who are looking for a challenge, your search ends with Mount Storm King. With such a steep trail that there is a rope to help you pull yourself to the top before the summit, this hike is not for the faint-hearted. But don’t be too discouraged, as the views are spectacular and well worth the effort.
Distance: 1.8 Miles
Elevation: 200 ft
For an easy flat trail through an overgrown forest with the promise of a waterfall at the end, it’s no wonder Marymere falls is so popular. With ancient, moss-covered scenery and many old bridges to cross along the trail, it is the perfect hike to snap some picturesque photos.
High Divide Trail And Seven Lakes Basin Loop
Distance: 19-Mile Loop
Elevation: 5,308 ft
For those die-hard hikers who are looking for a backpacking experience of full-day hiking and overnight camping, the Seven lakes Basin Loop is a perfect choice. This trail is commonly accessed through the Sol Duc Falls, and its most breathtaking scenery can be found halfway through the hike on the High Divide Trail section.
Mount Ellinor Trail
Distance: 6 Miles (Out and Back)
Elevation: 3,385 ft
This trail is not for the faint-hearted. As one of the tallest mountains of the Eastern Olympic Peninsula, you can expect quite a strenuous hike. Although, the reward is being able to see magnificent panoramic views throughout the hike.
You can follow two different trails that will lead you to the summit, a shorter but steeper trail or a longer trail with a steadier incline. Depending on your fitness levels and how long you want the hike to last, you can opt for either path. Both have amazing views that are well worth the effort.
Tips For Hiking Through The Olympic National Park
Even if you have chosen a relatively easy and short trail, you should come prepared for any weather changes. Pack extra layers of clothing, and remember to always carry food, water, and a raincoat, even on short hikes.
In order to help preserve the wilderness, you are required to practice the Leave No Trace methods while on your hike. This means you should store all your garbage in a bag and not litter, use the pit toilets where available, or bury your waste in the ground away from water sources and campsites. Remember to remain on the trails and never venture out alone into the wilderness to avoid trampling the vegetation.
You should avoid drinking water from the streams and instead use a water filter or boil the water before drinking. Pets will not be permitted on any of the beaches and are banned from most of the park trails.
With numerous trails to choose from, almost a million acres of land, and some of the most diverse landscapes in the country, the Olympic National Park is an excellent destination for hiking. Both families, beginners, and experienced hikers can enjoy all that nature has to offer in this fantastic park.