About Olympic National Park

Meandering lush green forest trails, beautiful beaches with fascinating sea life pools, stunning waterfalls, snow-covered peaks and rich temperate rainforests—there's something in Olympic National Park to fascinate even the most reluctant outdoorsman!

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About Olympic National Park

The Olympic National Park (ONP) sits in the state of Washington and is made up of four areas—the Pacific coastline, Alpine territory, forests and temperate rain forest—around 95 per cent of which is genuine wilderness.

Native Americans fished and hunted here in the Olympic Peninsula's mountains, coastline and meadows for hundreds of years before the first European settlers arrived. The latter turned up in the early 20th century and began logging.

By 1920, there was plenty of vocal opposition to the tree-stripped hillsides—that's why the Olympus National Monument was created in 1909 (and to protect the wild beast grazing meadows). The Peninsula became a national park in 1938. UNESCO designed it an International Biosphere Reserve. Then, later in 1981, declared it a World Heritage Site. In doing so, it managed to ensure its natural beauty and the safety of native wildlife species.

Today, the Park boasts three separate—and impressive—eco-systems. See if you can spot them all during your stay

What to do in Olympic National Park

At low tide, investigate the sea life in the tide pools at Ruby Beach and take a walk round the cliffs. Take your camera for the stunning shots you'll get at sunset.

Drive up to Hurricane Ridge. It's a 17-mile trip up spiraling roads with enchanting forests either side.

Trek through Hoh Rain Forest and explore the various marked trails. At times, you'll feel like an extra in Lords of the Rings—it's a truly mystical adventure. And keep an eye out for some wild Elk, but don't get too close.

If you don't fancy a big walk, then head for Sol Duc Falls to see the amazing cascading waterfalls. It's just a 40-minute walk through some lush forest greenery.

Go kayaking, swimming or paddle boarding in Lake Cushman. Spend the night at nearby North Campground which even has its own nearby beach to chill out on.

Top travel tips for Olympic National Park

Get a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge, then drive to Port Angeles for access to the northern side of the Park, and Hurricane Ridge. It's the best spot to start your vacation.

If driving the whole way, take the I-5 corridor via a quiet state roadway. At the Olympic Peninsula, connect to Hwy 101. This will take you to whatever destination you like for the Park.

The nearest airports into the area (Greater Puget Sound) are Seattle's Sea-Tac International Airport and Victoria International. Hire a car rental on arrival to allow you to explore at your own pace.

There's no cover at Ruby Beach so take umbrellas—just in case it rains.

Olympic National Park is 'a must' if you're in the British Columbia or Washington states. There's so much to see that even a week isn't long enough for exploring. That's why it's a good idea to make sure you base yourself in a FlipKey vacation rental. From lake houses to secluded cabins, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect place for your trip.