With three major ecosystems and almost a million acres to choose from, Olympic National Park is filled with possibilities. Olympic National Park is a land of beauty and variety. Created in 1938 to protect the Roosevelt elk, primeval forest and wild coast, the park encompasses nearly a million acres. A few days of exploration take you from breathtaking mountain vistas with meadows of wildflowers to colorful ocean tide pools or early homestead cabins. Nestled in the valleys are some of the largest remnants of ancient forests left in the country. Trees here can tower 300 feet tall, and the forests range from the westside's lush temperate rain forest to dry, fire-shaped eastside forests. The Elwha is the Olympic Peninsula's largest watershed and prior to the construction of two dams in the early 1900s, was known for its impressive salmon returns.