The Best Hikes in Olympic National Park
Spruce Nature Trail is one of the best scenic walks in Olympic National Park for those who prefer leisurely walking over climbing mountain slopes. At 1.4-miles long, this hike immerses you in rainforest landscape with plenty of old-growth trees and fascinating nurse log phenomena.
This easy hiking trail features a short stroll through the Hall of Mosses and an eye-catching bridge over water, perfect for families, elderly visitors or anyone seeking an easier hiking experience. It provides an enjoyable alternative for families or anyone seeking a less-challenging journey.
Hurricane Ridge ? Trail
Hurricane Ridge provides spectacular panoramic mountain views in Olympic National Park. Although short and mellow in terms of difficulty, weekends from late June through September can become extremely crowded along this short yet enjoyable trail. Perfect for day hikes combined with camping at Kalaloch, Mora or Hoh Rainforest campgrounds; Hurricane Ridge makes an excellent addition to day hikes or camping experiences alike!
This rainforest trail will immerse you in nature as you wind through mossy old growth trees and ferns, looking out for wildlife such as Roosevelt elk or bugling moose. Additionally, this spot is an excellent opportunity to spot wildflowers.
Olympic National Park offers a diverse landscape within a relatively compact geographical area, from rugged coastline to alpine mountains and temperate rainforests. Each region of Olympic National Park has unique hiking opportunities dependent upon season. This post presents Olympic National Park’s top hikes by region so that you can easily identify ones which meet both your travel dates and skill levels.
Sol Duc River ? Trail
Sol Duc Falls is one of the park’s most visited destinations, offering breathtaking waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest. Depending on its flow, its 48-foot cascade splits into up to four separate falls that provide photographers with great photographic opportunities. Visit during late spring for vibrant forest colors and a magnificent panorama!
The trail to the falls is an easy, graded walk through towering Douglas firs and hemlocks with patches of Oregon grape and salal, eventually reaching a footbridge over Sol Duc River where you can gaze upon these breathtaking triple waterfalls – their images (and spray!) fully immersing themselves.
Sol Duc River Trail is part of Olympic’s Lover’s Lane Loop that spans its grand forests and showcases their abundant flora and fauna. Spend your first night at Deer Lake before ascending Bogachiel Peak/High Divide to witness panoramic ridgetop views of alpine lakes and snow-capped mountains on Day 2.
Rialto Beach Boardwalk
The Pacific Coast of Olympic National Park is one of its most captivating features, boasting idyllic beach walks and winding forested paths leading to ocean viewpoints. Additionally, hiking along its trails year-round – even during autumn’s shorter days and wetter conditions – makes for world-class experiences.
Rialto Beach is an amazing way to witness sea stacks, tide pools and marine wildlife without needing to traverse long distances on foot. The walk up Hole in the Wall takes just four miles round trip – an enjoyable outing perfect for all ages and abilities!
Hoh or Quinault Rainforest offers spectacular old growth forest trails adorned with incredible mossy moss-covered trees; The Hall of Mosses trail is one of the most stunning spots. Marymere Falls provides less challenging but equally breathtaking coastal walks, boasting high narrow waterfalls that drop down basalt cliffs; accessible from Lake Crescent via Moments in Time Nature Trail for an easy loop back to parking lot.
Lake Constance Rim Loop
Olympic National Park offers hikes of every variety imaginable – from driftwood-strewn beaches to moss-covered forest trails – that will take visitors on adventures of every sort. However, some of the best hiking opportunities lie at higher elevations such as summits with breathtaking views over Olympic Mountain Range or lakes said to have some of the clearest water anywhere on the globe.
The Oceanside Trail in the Quinault Rainforest offers hikers an engaging, more challenging trek that rewards them with breathtaking ocean and Olympic Mountain views. This trail varies between gravel, dirt, and boardwalks before leading hikers to three viewpoints of Cape Flattery as well as Wedding Rocks; an intriguing group of Makah petroglyphs which include whale carvings, European square riggers, and fertility figures.
Shi Shi Beach in Olympic National Park requires either a full day hike or overnight backpacking trip in summer for visitors to experience its beauty. Boasting impressive rocky pinnacles, sea stacks and tide pools – Shi Shi Beach makes for a stunning coastal walk!
Hoh River Rainforest Trail
Hoh Rainforest, known for its lush greenery and profusion of moss, is an iconic wilderness area in Olympic National Park and an attractive hiking destination. Hikers who want to experience its magical beauty should make the time to visit.
The Hall of Mosses Trail and Spruce Nature Trail are two popular trails in Hoh Rainforest. Both offer easy hiking experiences with stunning views of this magical forest as you stroll by ancient trees covered with thick moss, past “nurse logs” that host new plant growth, and vibrantly hued ferns on forest floors and floors.
For an especially challenging hike, check out the Seven Lakes Basin Loop. This trek often serves as a one-night backpacking trip and promises breathtaking mountain views, wildlife sightings and bucket list camping spots.
Olympic offers world-class hiking throughout the year, so don’t let rain or shorter days stop you from hitting the trails! Olympic National Park’s coastal hikes include rugged headlands, classic sea stack formations and picturesque tide pools – make time to experience them today!
The 2.2-mile hike to Second Beach features breathtaking cliffs, backcountry camping (be sure to check tide tables and stay away from headlands), and even a tree root cave! If you’re up for more of a challenge, add the one mile Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail for even more forest exploration and wildlife sighting!
Mount Storm King offers breathtaking views of Lake Crescent on its short yet challenging hike. Hikers must traverse forested switchbacks and rope scrambles with sharp cliff drop-offs! Keep an eye out for Roosevelt Elk roaming nearby as well as numerous types of mushrooms; thicket moss, banana slugs and more can also be found within this iconic temperate rainforest!
Cape Alava Trail
mountain lovers, the park offers world-class hiking all year round. No matter the weather, crowds dissipate quickly and the views are truly astounding. On this hike you will pass through old-growth forests with moderate elevation gain before reaching a breathtaking vista that overlooks both Olympic Mountains and Mount Angeles on clear days!
Mountain hiking may be popular during winter, but coastal environments offer their own special charms for adventure. Sea lions bark from rocky sea stacks while otters play in ocean waves and eagles perch from high cliffs – an amazing scene! On Cape Alava Trail’s Ozette Triangle loop you will experience forest walking as well as beach walking – starting at Ozette Ranger Station you can choose to hike this out-and-back or continue south along beach to connect to Sand Point Trail for a 9.4 mile loop!
Staircase Rapids Loop
Staircase Rapids is one of the best hikes year-round in Olympic National Park due to its low elevation. The trail winds its way through Hoh Rainforest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where summer crowds usually congregate. When they leave you’ll enjoy this picturesque forest all by yourself with thick mosses, Roosevelt Elk, and banana slugs!
Hiking through this gorgeous woods with children, families or nature enthusiasts is an amazing experience – with tall trees towering overhead and lush ferns adorning the trail – it makes for a picturesque walk through nature with an end destination being an impressive waterfall!
Hikers of all ages will delight in this easy loop hike through the lush old growth forests of Staircase area, featuring minimal elevation gain. Perfect for families staying at Staircase Campground or anyone seeking a quick yet beautiful short trek without undertaking longer treks like Hurricane Ridge and Mount Storm King, it offers beautiful sights at every turn!
Mount Storm King ? Trail
Mount Storm King offers an arduous yet manageable hike requiring traversing ropes sections in order to reach summit views, and should definitely be on your bucket list! Not only will the climb wear out your legs on its ascent, but once completed you’ll feel an immense sense of pride once back at sea level!
This trail begins as an easy half-mile stroll on Marymere Falls Trail before taking a sudden and sharp left onto a switchback leg-burner, before ending at an abrupt sign pointing toward Mount Storm King – here the hike truly begins!
The trail will lead you along steep switchbacks that lead to rope-assisted scrambles before reaching Crescent Lake, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Olympic mountains with breathtaking sweeping views. Make sure to bring sunglasses and warm layers as it can get windy on top!