Encompassing close to one million acres, the Olympic National Park is a collection of diversity. It’s home to glacier-capped mountains, staggering waterfalls, dense rainforests, rugged Pacific coastlines, different ecosystems, and thousands of wildlife animals. Thanks to these natural beauties, avid tourists can have a bucket-load of activities to do and wonders to see.
However, visiting the park requires careful planning, especially since most scenes are far apart. After all, no traveler wants to hear about a magnificent spot minutes before heading back to the city. This three-day itinerary eases the entire planning process, so tourists can program their getaway with confidence. More importantly, help them get the most out of their hard-earned money.
Day 1: Drives, Lakes, And Falls
Here are a couple of amazing places and things to do on the first day.
Enjoy Picturesque Views At Hurricane Ridge
The Hurricane Ridge drive is an early wake-up call that charms adventurers with the beautiful colors of the rising sun. It radiates the mountain peaks and evergreen forests to give travelers stunning morning views. Undoubtedly, it’s the best way to set a soothing mood for the entire day. There are several pull-outs that provide a chance to take gorgeous photos.
Viewing the dramatic scenes isn’t the only activity here. Hikers can drive up to the viewpoint to access the Visitor Center for more intriguing activities. Besides providing handy information about Olympic National Park, it lets travelers add another exciting experience by hiking. Hurricane Hill is the most popular trail, which offers exceptional forest views on a clear day.
Admire The Beautiful Lake Crescent
From Hurricane Ridge, vacationers explore Lake Crescent, which is one of the most wowing sites in the Olympics. The blue-green water amazes thousands of hikers. Most even wonder whether this exceptional spot is real or just a fantasy. This glacially-carved lake is surrounded by alluring meadows packed with wildflowers, making it a magnificent location for a late afternoon picnic.
Trek To Marymere Falls
Once mountaineers are fueled up and relaxed, they can take a trail to the 90-foot Marymere Falls. It’s an easy hike that complements the activities of the entire day.
- Recommendations: Lake Crescent Lodge, Emerald Valley Inn, A Hiden Haven, Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
Day 2: Trails And Rainforests
Looking to have fun on the second day? Here are activities visitors shouldn't miss trying.
Take A Short Hike At The Sol Duc Falls Trail
There are spectacular waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula, but the feeling this mossy wonderland gives hikers is magical. The 1.6-mile trail leading to this gem has a modest elevation gain, meaning it’s suitable for all levels. The hike is relaxing, taking tourists through several footbridges and unique plant species. Adventurers will be amazed by how outstanding the waterfall is. It’s so beautiful in a way that captured photos don’t do it justice. The site garners heavy traffic later in the day, so it’s best to do the hike in the early mornings.
Wander Around Hoh Rainforest
Filled with glacial blue rivers, imaginable shades of green, and mystique plant species, the Hoh Rainforest is an incredible getaway from the city. The moss-covered trees resemble the images in mystery novels, making mountaineers feel like they are in dreamland. Here, there’s something for everyone. And everything is intriguing enough that backpackers may yearn to explore the entire day. They can take the Hall of Mosses or Spruce Nature trails, which are pretty short and with manageable elevation gain.
Alternatively, vacationers can test their knee’s endurance with the 18-mile Hoh River Trail.
Enjoy Stunning Sunsets At Cape Flattery
There’s no glorious way to end the day than to visit the Cape Flattery. Although it’s outside the park’s boundaries, it would be a shame to come all that way to miss breathtaking sunset views. The end of the trail leads hikers to magnificent sea stacks and some amazing wildlife creatures.
- Recommendations: The Pacific Inn Motel, Forks Motel, Rain Forest Resort Village, Olympic Suites Inn
Day 3: Beaches
Looking to engage in some beach fun activities? These are the best beaches to visit in the Olympic National Park.
Admire Rialto Beach
After two days of wandering through magical trails, vibrant forests, and other-worldly lakes, it’s time for tourists to sum up the trip with other-worldly spots. Unique for its fierce tides, large driftwood logs, and rocky shoreline, Rialto Beach is a must-visit gem. While it doesn’t offer the swimming and sunbathing opportunities seen on most beaches, its wildness makes it magical. Adventurers should be on the lookout for whales and sea lions.
Take Photos At Ruby Beach
Olympic National Park isn’t short of iconic spots, and Ruby beach is a fine example. What makes the beach unique is its incredible sea stacks, massive driftwoods, and reddish sand. The sea stacks have unique-shaped arches that present lots of fantastic photo opportunities. Tourists should check the tide charts to avoid getting trapped by high-rising tides when crossing the creek.
Hikers should bring their binoculars to spot wildlife with ease, water shoes, drying towels, and rain jackets.
Catch Beautiful Views At Lake Quinault
Another fascinating waterbody awaits visitors as they make their way out of Olympic National Park. While Lake Crescent is the most popular natural wonder, this beauty deserves some hearty recognition. The calm waters are surrounded by a breathtaking temperate rainforest, which view is pleasing to look at. Later, guests can rest at the Lake Quinault Lodge for a refreshing drink while viewing the stunning landscape.
- Recommendations: Lake Quinault Lodge, Olympic Suites Inn, Rain Forest Resort Village, Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, The Waterfront at Potlatch Resort
The Olympic National Park is a remarkable hub for adventure, and this three-day itinerary helps backpackers get the most out of their visit. This park promises staggering scenes that will leave tourists in awe and with a better appreciation for nature.