"Olympic National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Olympic National Park by goodfish

Olympic National Park Travel Guide: 300 reviews and 782 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.

The rewards?
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Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very different ecosystems within short drives of each other
  • Cons:Few accommodations
  • Last visit to Olympic National Park: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated Jul 22, 2011
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Reviews (36)

Comments (6)

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Those beaches look beautiful and scary too Kate. Gorgeous pix matey! Hugs, Ann.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Feb 23, 2014 at 3:56 AM

      Hi Ann! They are VERY beautiful but in a wild and rugged way. I live far away from the ocean so whether it's calm and blue or storm-tossed and grey, a walk on a beach is a treat for me. :O)

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Been thru Seattle countless times and never made it across the sound. Must be because I already live in the secluded paradise of Alaska. Great pages here. Thanks.

  • lisa85202's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    This is on my 'must see' list~ I love your photos here...the one of Rialto Beach is so beautiful

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Oh Kate! When you first made your posting to the Washington forum I thought "They're going to wish they had more time out there" but didn't say anything about it, figuring that you had set things up that way for a reason.

  • agapotravel's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Hi Kate! Wow! Your tips are so helpful, and your pictures are amazing. I got so excited about my upcoming trip to WA. Even though you think it's for sissies, I want you to look at my itinerary and tell me what you think. :-)))

  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    Wonderful pages. I really enjoyed my virtual travel and I am even keener to get there now myself. I look forward to checking out some of your other pages.

goodfish

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  • 36 Reviews
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