Olympic National Park's 10 Best Hikes

Olympic National Park is a true Pacific Northwest gem: centuries-old foliage and gorgeous alpine lakes combine to create one of the most unforgettable national parks that the country has to offer.

As soon as you arrive in Olympic National Park, the first thing you’ll want to do is get out of the car and lose yourself in the deep forests, towering peaks, and endless lakes and waterfalls. Spend the night at one of the beautiful lodges near the Port Angeles entrance and spend your days exploring the best trails nearby. These hikes are all within striking distance of the Port Angeles entrance, for more adventures all over the park, explore here

Photo: Jason Horstman

This hike is perhaps the best bang for your buck in the whole park. At 3.8 miles and 1700ft. of elevation gain, it’s not terribly difficult, but the views are unbelievable.

Photo: Kim Morris

This hike is quintessential Washington rain forest. If you love being completely engulfed by greenery, vibrant blue waters, and misty rainbows, this is the hike for you.

Photo: John Maurizi

Immerse yourself in an old growth forest full of huge redwood trees. This trail is accessible year round, so head here in the shoulder seasons for extra peace and quiet. 

Photo: Stephen Bellrichard

Share mind-blowing views of the park with the local wildlife. You’ve got a high chance of seeing goats, marmots, deer, and birds along the trail and at the ridge.

Photo: Nick Lake

Follow the route that some of the earliest explorers in Olympic National Park took and be sure to check out the historic homesteader cabins. If you’re looking for an overnighter, there are backcountry campsites available along the trail.   

Photo: Seth Whelden

The views on this hike start before you even hit the trail! The drive to the trailhead is pretty spectacular and it only gets better once you start hiking.

Photo: Matt Williams

Sure, hiking is all about the journey, but it doesn’t hurt when you reach the destination and there’s a hot springs waiting for you.

Photo: Michael Matti

This is another hike where the drive to the trailhead rivals the actual hike. After driving up the winding road, make your way to the summit for 360 degree views of the Olympic Mountains, Canada, the Puget Sound, Mt. Baker and Mt. Washington.

Photo: Rose Freeman

This hike comes with options, and both are great. Make it a quick and easy hike and turn around at Sol Duc Falls (1.6 miles round trip) or push on to Deer Lake for longer day (5.6 miles round trip).

Photo: Gaby Colletta

If you’re looking for a hike with gorgeous scenery that won’t take too long, PJ Lake is perfect. It’s only 1.8 miles round trip, but with 1000ft. of elevation gain, you’ll earn that post-hike meal.

Cover photo: Jason Horstman

Published: July 27, 2018

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