Experience The Beauty of Olympic National Park: A 7-Day Itinerary

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Tammy Kiefer

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An aerial view of the mountains and greenery during daytime.
Curator’s statement

The Olympic National Park, located in the state of Washington, is a natural wonder that offers a diverse range of landscapes to explore. From pristine beaches and lush rainforests, to snow-capped mountains and tranquil lakes, this park has it all. If you are an adventurer at heart, then a trip to Olympic National Park should definitely be on your travel bucket list.

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Where to stay

Lake Quinault Lodge

Rustic lodge in a converted boathouse from 1926 located within Olympic National Park.

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Day 1: Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge

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The gateway to Olympic National Park is the city of Port Angeles. You can start your trip by exploring this charming town and its waterfront area. From there, drive up to Hurricane Ridge, a mountainous area in the park that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Hike one of the many trails in the area and keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, elk, and even mountain goats.

Day 2: Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls

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On day two, head towards Lake Crescent, a crystal-clear lake surrounded by lush forests. You can rent a kayak or canoe and spend some time on the serene waters. Next, hike to Marymere Falls, a stunning waterfall that drops from a height of 90 feet. The trail to the falls is an easy 1.5-mile roundtrip, making it suitable for all fitness levels.

Day 3: Sol Duc

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Located in the heart of the park, Sol Duc is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Spend a day exploring the Sol Duc Hot Springs, a resort that offers natural mineral pools for relaxation. Take a dip in the hot springs and then hike to the Sol Duc Falls to witness the cascading waterfalls amidst the forest.

Day 4: Hoh Rainforest

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The Hoh Rainforest, one of the most iconic features of Olympic National Park, is a must-visit for its lush greenery and unique ecosystem. Explore the Hall of Mosses trail, a short loop that takes you through the heart of the rainforest and offers a glimpse into the diverse flora and fauna of the park. You can also opt for a longer hike on the Hoh River Trail.

Day 5: Rialto Beach

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Rialto Beach is a rugged and wild coastline that showcases the dramatic beauty of the Olympic National Park. Spend a day exploring tide pools, hiking along the coastline, and watching the spectacular sunsets from the stunning beach. Keep an eye out for whales, sea lions, and bald eagles while you are there.

Day 6: Quinault Rainforest

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On your sixth day, head towards the southern part of the park and explore the Quinault Rainforest. Take a drive around Lake Quinault, one of the largest and most picturesque lakes in the area. You can also go on a short hike to the Maple Glade, a lush trail lined with maple trees that change colors throughout the year.

Day 7: Dungeness Wildlife Refuge and Sequim

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End your seven-day adventure at Olympic National Park with a visit to the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, home to a wide variety of bird species. Hike to the top of Dungeness Spit, a five-mile-long sand spit that extends into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and offers breathtaking views of the ocean. On your way back, stop at the quaint city of Sequim and enjoy some delicious seafood at one of the local restaurants.

Pro Tip: The Olympic National Park is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the summer months from June to September when the weather is pleasant, and all areas of the park are accessible.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A Spring Adventure on the Tulip Time River Cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Travel advisor Tammy Kiefer smiling in a restaurant.

Travel Advisor

Tammy Kiefer

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Washington.