Hit the Road: an outdoor adventure to Olympic National Park

A view of the Olympic Mountains from a river in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park offers diverse terrain + landscapes. | Photo by @kayadusk2dawn via Instagram

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We’re kicking off our summer road trip seriesHit the Road — with an outdoor adventure-themed trip to Olympic National Park. With majestic mountains, rocky beaches, and an honest-to-goodness rainforest, this region that covers nearly a million acres in the Olympic Peninsula is a great destination for experienced adventurers + novice nature seekers alike.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.

  • Drive time: ~2.5 hours to the visitor center in Port Angeles
  • Est. population: 20,000 (Port Angeles)
  • Avg. high in June: 68°
A view of the Hoh Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the US. | Photo by SEAtoday staff

🥾Things to do

  • Hurricane Ridge | If you need to sneak a peak for the ‘Gram, there may be no better spot in the park than this mountain area + its ridgetop hiking trails, located 17 miles south of Port Angeles. The road up is accessible by car during the warmer months.
  • Lake Crescent | Those who want to feel the serenity of a glacially-carved lake should head to this popular spot in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. Marymere Falls is one of the popular (and easy) day hikes, and there are rowboat rentals.
  • Hoh Rainforest | The lush landscape of this temperate rainforest will make you feel like you’re strolling through a fairy tale. If you want a really immersive experience, there are still a couple of Hoh campsites available in late June.
  • Shi Shi Beach | The shores along the peninsula’s coast are rocky, so not quite chill with a piña colada vibes. But the views are spectacular, particularly at this site, where you can camp and hit up a hidden shoreline trail that reveals itself at low tide.
A person serving a plate of oysters

Salty Girls has been serving local seafood since opening in 2018. | Photo by Salty Girls Seafood Co.

🍽️ Fuel up after hiking

  • First Street Haven, 107 E 1st St., Port Angeles | This diner is known for its cinnamon rolls, which may be worth the trek all on their own.
  • Next Door Gastropub, 113 W. First St., Port Angeles | Options for late dinners in the area can be few + far between, but this energetic spot fits the bill with live music, killer burgers + regional beers.
  • Salty Girls Seafood Co., 210 W. Washington St., Sequim | Snack on oysters at this playful, friendly joint, which sources its seafood from sustainable local farms + fisheries.
A pink cabin on railroad tracks at a campsite with a picnic table in the foreground

This small cabin has outdoor grills + a pond nearby. | Photo via Vrbo

🏕️ Cozy campsites + cabins

  • Caboose, outside Sequim | All aboard. Yup, this rental with three beds (a king + bunks) is in a converted, salmon pink train car, sitting on old railroad tracks. It even has WiFi.
  • Rialto Beach Club, Forks | For travelers who want to rough it (with a side of glamping) this first-come, first-serve RV campsite on private land near the coast has room to roam — and a sauna.
  • Sol Duc Rainforest Retreat, off Highway 101 | This camp near Lake Crescent and the Sol Duc river is conveniently located on the Olympic Discovery Trail, with options for sites that include covered kitchen areas + raised decks.
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