Olympic National Park is an awe-inspiring and diverse park for hiking. From family-friendly and strenuous to low mileage trails, this place offers loads of trekking options for everyone. Here, tourists see stunning waterfalls, emerald-green rainforests, pristine alpine lakes, and different wildlife species.
The extraordinary natural wonders open doors for epic photo sessions. Above all, unforgettable memories. Here are the 8 hikes and trails that provide the most jaw-dropping scenes along the way.
8 Hall Of Mosses
Covered with evergreen ferns, breathtaking scenery, and unmissable stops, the Hall of Mosses is an adventure any hiker shouldn’t miss. The easy yet exciting journey begins at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. Along the way, tourists will spot several educational signs that explain more about the forest, wildlife, and its ecology.
The trail is surrounded by temperate trees that are over 200 feet, covered with huge clumps of moss. The moss absorbs the sound around, only subjecting the travelers’ ears to some chirping bird sounds. Truly, this trail makes up for a therapeutic and unforgettable experience.
This route can be pretty muddy, so mountaineers are advised to wear comfortable boots.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance : 1.1 miles
- Elevation Gain: 100 feet
7 Hurricane Hill
Hurricane Hill holds several peculiar charms that make it a worthwhile hiking spot. The stunning trail enables hikers to drive past the visitor center and then start trekking at the end of the road. On a clear day, the roadway exposes guests to breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains, Vancouver Island, Strait of Juan de Fuca, among other jaw-dropping spots.
Hikers may be lucky enough to spot animals along the way, like a grouse or deer. The wildflowers make the landscape more picturesque, especially when in full bloom. While the last climb may be a bit strenuous, the entire trail is worth every time and effort.
- Difficulty : Moderately Challenging
- Distance : 3.4 miles
- Elevation Gain : 650 feet
6 Mount Storm King
Hiking Mount Storm King should be a must-do activity for any vacationer. Like its intriguing name, this trail promises to give adventurers an unforgettable hiking experience. The steep and relentless climb is no easy feat, but the panoramic and astonishing views of Lake Crescent will be worth every muscle tear.
This adrenaline-packed hike begins at the Storm King Ranger Station, where every traveler should provide a pass. The first-half mile takes hikers through a verdant forest before their legs start burning. But the good news is, the surrounding beautiful forest offers a shade to make sunny days less hectic.
- Difficulty: Hard
- Distance : 5.3 miles
- Elevation Gain : 2,077 feet
5 Rialto Beach Trail
This out-and-back adventurer kicks off at the Rialto Beach parking area. Along the way, hikers get to immerse themselves in spectacular scenes before arriving at the rocky shoreline of Rialto beach. However, travelers should be on the look for otters, spy whales, and sea lions. The path later leads guests to the Hole-in-the-Wall, which is a highly photogenic spot.
It’s best to check the tides charts since the route is only fully accessible when there are low tides.
- Difficulty: Easy during low tides
- Distance: 3.4 miles
- Elevation Gain : 172 feet
4 PJ Lake Trail
Rated hard, this out-and-back trail brings tourists to an exceptional sight of the emerald-green lake. Nothing but stunning nature stirs on this short but steep trail. The stillness makes travelers feel like they are in another world, thus bringing relaxation. There’s a picturesque waterfall along the route that brings hikers to a meditative state. After all, it’s something they need to escape from the burning sensation on their knees.
The trail is mainly closed during winter and can be heavily trafficked during some months. It’s advisable for tourists to make their hiking plans from June until October.
- Difficulty : Challenging
- Distance : 1.5 miles
- Elevation Gain: 820 feet
3 Mount Ellinor
For mountaineers who are up for a leg burner and strenuous escapade, Mount Ellinor delivers. However, the tremendous views at the end of the journey will be worth every heart-thumping experience. Travelers can choose between two routes to get to the peak; either a short but steep trail or a longer one with a more gradual ascent.
The ocean and Olympics views are incredible, but the blue water body of Lake Cushman looks more inviting. A quick deep in the lake during a hot day provides that much-needed relaxation.
Trekkers should bring lots of water and avoid messing with the mountain goats as they can be pretty aggressive.
- Difficulty : Strenuous
- Distance: 7.2 miles or 3.2 miles
- Elevation Gain : 3,270 feet
2 Sol Duc Falls Trail
The hike to this fascinating waterfall is short and easy, the reason it’s pretty popular among hikers of all levels. Vacationers pass over an old-growth forest loaded with red cedar, multi-layer canopy, and Douglas fir. The natural beauty captivates the mind of many while giving them a chance to capture remarkable photos and videos.
The viewing area allows hikers to observe and enjoy the falls from multiple angles. No wonder it’s one of the most photographed falls in Olympic park.
- Difficulty : Easy
- Distance : 1.6 miles
- Elevation Gain : 200 feet
1 Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail
Full of deep ferns, pristine waterfalls, and towering trees with rain-saturated mosses, this trail offers one of the most breathtaking hiking experiences. The route has several interpretive plaques that provide information on the constantly changing environment.
Here, mountaineers also learn the difference between a Sitka spruce, western red cedar, and Douglas fir. Better yet, admire and appreciate the stunning surrounding even more.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 1.6 miles
- Elevation Gain : 850 feet