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 tidepools 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. Olympic is like three magical parks in one. Take some time to explore all of its faces.
Olympic National Park includes 73 miles of wild coastline. These beaches offer a glimpse into an environment that local tribes have called home for generations. Short trails or overnight backpacking trips offer ways to explore the rugged coast and its teeming tidepools.
Towering trees and rushing water greet visitors to Olympic's old growth forests. Lake Crescent, Heart O' the Hills, Sol Duc and Elwha offer old growth forests on the northern peninsula. Staircase is a popular eastern destination. The west side Quinault, Queets, Hoh and Bogachiel valleys are superb examples of temperate rain forests.
Head to Hurricane Ridge for vistas of the rugged Olympic Mountains. A winding 17-mile paved road climbs from Port Angeles to the nearly mile-high Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. On a clear day the park's mountainous interior and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and islands to the north are visible. The steep, dirt Deer Park Road (east of Port Angeles) also leads to the mountains and a small campground. This winding road is not suitable for trailers and RVs.