"Olympic National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Olympic National Park by goodfish
Olympic National Park Travel Guide: 303 reviews and 797 photos
The one million acres that is Olympic National Park encompass more diverse landscapes and ecosystems than just about any park in the United States. From lofty peaks and alpine meadows to deep, lush rain forests and rugged coastal beaches, the landscape of this isolated peninsula - just a stone's throw from urban Seattle - changes climate and appearance in just a few hours drive or less.
It's an old, old story of crushing glaciers, furry mastodons, ancient forests and indigenous peoples whose ancestors still hunt, fish and inhabit small villages along the coast. It was "discovered" by European explorers, settled by 19th century American homesteaders and is today driven, hiked and backpacked over by over 3 million visitors a year.
This is not the easiest park to visit - over 95% of it is wilderness that's inaccessible to all but hardy, back-country trekkers - and to do it properly involves the willingness and ability to deal with changing weather, crawls over giant drift piles, sharply ascending/descending trails, and getting one's feet wet.
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- Pros:Very different ecosystems within short drives of each other
- Cons:Few accommodations
The waters of the Pacific are frigid all year long plus rocks and wave-tossed debris make swimming dangerous here. We... more travel advice
Incoming tides toss up more than pebbles and driftwood. You'll probably see all kinds of junk and the more extreme the... more travel advice
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Olympic National Park Travel Guide
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