One of the national parks closest to home for most of AdventureTripr’s team is Olympic National Park. It’s a bit underrated, which makes it better if you want to avoid the crowds and still have amazing hikes. Here you can hike through a real rainforest, on beautiful beaches, along mountain ridges, and in so many other beautiful places. Keep on reading for some of the best hikes in Olympic National Park.
Distance: 3.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 826 feet
The first hike is an Olympic National Park classic. It has the easiest access to mountain views in the park, and on a clear day, you can see Canada. Hurricane Ridge is a popular viewpoint for many people to drive up to, but if you’re down for a short hike, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views, and maybe even mountain goats! From this hike you’ll be able to see the Olympic Mountain Range, Puget Sound, Canada’s Vancouver Island, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Elwha River Valley. Hurricane Ridge is a popular destination, so try to arrive at the gate early in the morning or later in the afternoon to ensure they let you in! (They limit the number of cars when the parking lot reaches capacity.)
Note: The road to Hurricane Ridge closes frequently during the winter, and isn’t open on many days, so be sure to check the road status and hours before you go.
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 98 feet
Down on the Pacific Ocean you’ll find Kalaloch. See the famed Tree of Life, hanging on to the dirt around it by sheer strength and enjoy the views before you. The Tree of Life is close to the parking lot, so it’s not much of a hike, but you can continue to explore the beach if you want.
RELATED: AdventureTripr Olympic National Park Getaway
Distance: 2-6 miles
Elevation Gain: 68 feet
Just a few minutes north of Kalaloch is Ruby Beach. Known for its sea stacks and driftwood, Ruby Beach is a must-stop if you’re driving by. Make this as much or as little of a hike as you want, you can explore the area and have a picnic on the logs as you watch the ocean before you.
Distance: 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 255 feet
Hike through the old-growth forest to a stunning waterfall from the Sol Duc River. You may even see rainbows in the spray from the falls! It’s a great, easy hike to bring kids on, but try to arrive early to beat the crowds.
Distance: 3.2 miles or 6.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2,600 feet or 3,300 feet
Mount Ellinor stands nearly 6,000′ above sea level, making it a prominent feature in south-eastern corner of the Olympic Peninsula. It’s also considered one of the best places in Washington to spy mountain goats. There are two ways to access Mount Ellinor: The Lower Trailhead is 6.2-mile out-and-back adventure with a more moderate grade while The Upper Trailhead is a 3.2-mile route up and down the mountain with steep switchbacks. Also, you'll need a
Distance: 1.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 298 feet
Hike to another great waterfall on this short trail! You’ll head from Lake Crescent, through the tall forest, and see scenic river views before you get to the waterfall. It’s another great hike for kids, but again, arrive early to beat the crowds.
Distance: 5.6 miles
Elevation gain: 3,081 feet
Hiking along Klahhane Ridge on a clear day provides some of the best views in Olympic National Park. It's easy one of the best hikes in Olympic National park! This trail begins at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, but you'll soon leave the crowds behind as you move farther away from the visitor center and out on the ridge that leads toward the base of 6,454-foot Mount Angeles.
Take the short side trip to reach Sunrise Point, where you'll have stunning views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island, and Port Angeles to the north and the Olympic peaks to the south.
Distance: 2.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 213 feet
This popular hike takes you along a rushing river and has lots of fantastic spots to sit down to enjoy the views or eat lunch. If it’s a nice day, or you’re brave enough, you can splash around in the water before you head back to the trailhead.
Note: This hike has closed a few times due to crowds during COVID, so be sure to check the status before you go!
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,076 feet
This difficult hike isn’t for the faint of heart. It involves pulling yourself up a steep hill by ropes near the top so it’s not great for kids either. Make it to the top though and you’ll have amazing views of Lake Crescent. You’ll definitely need hiking boots for this trail, and since only one person at a time can use the rope section, there can be a wait during summer and on weekends.
Note: This is a fairly difficult hike and only those who aren’t afraid of heights and are in good shape should attempt this.
Distance: 1.25 miles and 0.8 miles
Elevation gain: 50 feet and 100 feet
The Hoh Rain Forest, pronounced "Hoe", is named after the Hoh River that carves its way from Mount Olympus towards the Pacific Coast. It's one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States! Both these short trails can be combined into one hike, and will take into the wet and mossy forest.
Distance: 10.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Sample the Hoh River Trail (which is 33 miles in total length) by just hiking out to Five Mile Island. This will give you a taste of the whole trail and still give you the opportunity to hike in the rainforest, have beautiful river views, and maybe even see elk!
And there you have it: some of the best Olympic National Park hiking trails. Get your gear ready and head out for some amazing adventures! We can’t wait to see where you explore! If you're interested in getting your accommodations booked and receiving a personalized itinerary, make sure to check out our Olympic National Park Getaway.
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