Perhaps this is a debate no one thought was necessary, but travelers who have crossed the strait of Juan de Fuca and looked south at the towering mountains of the Olympics or north to British Columbia's thriving little capital of Victoria on Vancouver Island might have tried to decide which truly offered travelers more.

Towering mountains, lush forests, coasts exposed to the Pacific, and aesthetic waterfalls are signature characteristics of the Olympic Peninsula. Vancouver Island also boasts high peaks and verdant temperate rainforest, as well as stunning coast and the addition of the islands in the Strait of Georgia. Vancouver Island has Victoria, while the Olympic Peninsula has Port Angeles. But which offers travelers more?

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Why the Olympic Peninsula Offers More

On the side of the Olympic Peninsula, travelers benefit from easy access to Seattle-Tacoma airport. There is no need to ferry a vehicle out to the Olympic Peninsula. This is incredible for road trippers who want to add the peninsula to their route. It offers all the high mountain vistas and stunning coastal views, waterfalls, and coastal wonders that Vancouver Island can, do while simply being more convenient.

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Mount Storm King

Starting in Port Angeles, this out-and-back 6.6 km hike takes about three hours and 25 minutes to finish. This trail is popular from April to October, so travelers should expect others to be using them. Also, unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed.

  • Length - 6.6 km
  • Duration - 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Elevation gain - 642 m
  • Difficulty - Challenging
  • Route type - Out & back
  • Trail Map

Marymere Falls Trail

At just 2.7 km out and back, Marymere Falls Trail near Joyce is a great and fairly easy hike that allows travelers to experience the waterfalls of the area. Unfortunately, dogs are also not allowed on this trail.

  • Length - 2.7 km
  • Duration - 48 minutes
  • Elevation gain - 91 m
  • Difficulty - Easy
  • Route type - Out & back
  • Trail Map

Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park

Kalaloch Beach is generally considered one of the best Olympic Park beaches because of a combination of its size and ease of access off Highway 101. It offers sand shores, tons of trails, a campground, and a lodge. This beach is also famous for its Tree of Life and the Tree Root Cave beneath it.

La Push Beaches

La Push is one of the largest Olympic National Park beaches. It is actually divided into three different beaches named First, Second, and Third Beach. All three capture the stunning and occasionally stark coastal landscape of the Olympic Peninsula.

Contains Port Angeles and Everything to do There

Port Angeles is a city and county seat of Clallam County, sitting on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula, looking straight at Victoria. With a population estimated to be around 20,000, Port Angeles qualifies as quite a large city for the area. With a great variety of go-to travel destinations in the city, like Harbinger Winery, as well as being surrounded by outdoor destinations, Port Angeles is the perfect Olympic Peninsula home base.

Why Vancouver Island Simply Offers More

From the point of view of Vancouver Island, It isn’t overly difficult to reach the island or to even bring a vehicle. Once travelers have reached the island, getting around it is fairly easy regardless of whether travelers brought a vehicle or not. Vancouver Island may have a waterway between it and Vancouver, but between Victoria and Port Hardy, there is plenty for travelers on the Island itself. Vancouver Island has taller mountains and a scattering of small islands to explore on its coast too. Travelers shouldn’t hesitate about venturing to Vancouver Island as it does offer travelers quite a lot.

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Tex Lyon Trail

Starting near Port Hardy, this 12.7 km out-and-back hike is quite a challenging route. It usually takes just under four hours to complete. It is unlikely hikers will experience others as they trek through this stunning landscape. With stunning views of the water and dogs being 100% allowed, it's hard not to love this trail.

  • Length - 12.7 km
  • Duration - 3 hours 55 minutes
  • Elevation Gain - 484 m
  • Difficulty - Challenging
  • Route Type - Out & back
  • Trail Map

Osborne Bay Park: Yellow Trail

This 10 km out-and-back trail starts off near North Cowichan. It is considered a moderate hike, and it is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking. This being the case, hikers can expect to encounter others on the trail, but not too often. Dogs are welcome here, but they must be on a leash.

  • Length - 10.0 km
  • Duration - 2 hours 53 minutes
  • Elevation Gain - 323 m
  • Difficulty - Moderate
  • Route Type - Out & back
  • Trail Map

Port Hardy and Its Surrounding Beauty

To the far north of Vancouver Island, travelers can discover Port Hardy. This town, as its name suggests, is located on a port with great access to the surrounding nature. Travelers can rent kayaks and venture into the water, or they can simply explore the area by land. Port Hardy also has access to ferries heading in a great many directions.

British Columbia's Capital, Victoria

Victoria is a thriving city and popular travel destination. The city itself maintains its heritage architecture which gives it an old colonial feel. It also has easy access to much of the rest of the island. The city itself has much to explore and enjoy too.