Top 8 Things to Do Near Olympic National Park

November 16, 2022
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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If you’re a big nature lover, you need to visit Olympic National Park at some point in your life. This popular park on the Olympic Peninsula is home to several different ecosystems, offering plenty of outdoor activities that everyone can enjoy. From vast forests to expansive beaches, the Olympic National Park really has it all. Planning an itinerary for your upcoming trip? Check out our guide to the top 8 things to do near Olympic National Park. 

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1. Bass Pro Shops

Get all of your essential supplies before leaving!

Locations around the United States | basspro.com

Before you head out, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary supplies for a great trip to Olympic National Park! Bass Pro Shops is a popular outdoor recreation store that offers the best in fishing, hunting, and boating gear. With locations all around the country, there’s a good chance you’ll find a branch located close to you.

Bass Pro Shops offers a wide range of items, including:

Whether you need a new tent to fit your crew or some comfortable hiking shoes, you can find both of these must-have items and more at Bass Pro Shops. 

“It's like Disneyland for outdoor enthusiasts! If hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, off-roading, boating, or just buying candy is your thing, you WILL love this store!  They have everything from old-fashioned candy to off-road vehicles and water vehicles.” - Yelp Review

Bass Pro Shops digital gift card.

2. Cabela’s

You can also check out Cabela’s for all things camping and fishing!

Locations around the United States | cabelas.com

If you don’t live near a Bass Pro Shops, you can also check out Cabela’s. This well-known retailer specializes in top-quality camping and outdoor recreation merchandise. From top-of-the-line binoculars to waders, Cabela’s offers everything you need to help make your trip to Olympic National Park unforgettable. 

You can find a number of supplies here, including:

Check out their website for their full list of products now!

“So fun to go in and look at all the camping gear, camping food, camping equipment, fly fishing, fishing and we love the selection of clothing. All the staff is super friendly and always have been very helpful. I WOULD recommend going back.” - Yelp Review

Cabela’s digital gift card.

3. Hurricane Ridge

Stuning ridge that is a popular site for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding

You can take in the gorgeous views of Hurricane Ridge during any time of the year. Image courtesy of Hike Olympic.

3002 Mt Angeles Rd | Port Angeles | nps.gov

Located within the Olympic National Park, Hurrican Ridge is one of the most popular destinations in the area. If you’re an avid hiker, skier, or snowboarder, you’ll want to put Hurricane Ridge on your to-do list. 

Hurricane Ridge boasts a number of different hiking trails that traverse through stunning lakes and valleys. It’s open all year-round, offering unique sights and opportunities no matter when you go. Before you embark on your hike, you can also visit the Hurricane Ridge Visitor center, which offers brochures, maps, and snacks to help ensure a successful trip. Check out their website for more information! 

“One of the highlights at Olympic National Park. We did the hurricane hill trail which provides excellent views of the ridge. The trail is uphill but is completely paved so it's not too difficult. There are amazing views of the ridge and on a clear day you can see the city of Port Angeles and beyond that to Canada.” - Trip Advisor Review

4. Lake Crescent Lodge

Upscale waterfront lodge located near a number of popular sites

There’s nothing better than relaxing outside and enjoying the peace and quiet of Mother Nature. Image courtesy of Olympic National Parks.

416 Lake Crescent Rd | Port Angeles | olympicnationalparks.com

If you’re looking for a place to stay, consider checking out Lake Crescent Lodge! This quaint waterfront lodge is a popular resting place for visitors due to its proximity to popular sites in Olympic National Park. 

Lake Crescent Lodge offers a number of amenities, including a lounge, bar, free guest parking, pet-friendly accommodations, and close proximity to the lake and beach. Their cozy, rustic rooms and peaceful lake views will make you feel right at home. 

Book a room on their website now! 

“I cannot stress enough that every person should stay here at least once in their life. It is very economical, the views are amazing and the service was outstanding. Not only do you have lake views, and plenty of chairs to sit by the lake, but they also have bar service and a restaurant to make your evening convenient as you visit Olympic National Park.” - Trip Advisor Review

5. Hoh Rainforest

One of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States

The Hoh Rainforest is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Washington State. Image courtesy of Olympic Peninsula

18113 Upper Hoh Rd | Forks | nps.gov

If you want to see one of the most breathtaking natural sites in the world, we recommend visiting the Hoh Rainforest. This historic rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the country. It’s also considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Washington State!

The forest is filled with Sikta Spruce and Western Hemlock trees, the former being the state’s official state tree. Both types of trees can grow over 300 feet high! Their known for the lush mosh and ferns that hang from their dark branches. 

Hoh Rainforest is open from April-November daily, and December-March on the weekends. Some people come to hike, but you can camp here too. Learn more on their website now!

“Breathtaking. What else can I say? The forest appears primeval with mammoth-sized trees covered in moss. The trails are easily navigated and the silence is both beautiful and deafening.” - Trip Advisor Review

6. Sol Duc Valley & Falls

Lush valley located 40 minutes west of Port Angeles

The Sol Duc Valley is filled with gorgeous forests, lakes, and peaks. Image courtesy of NPS.

Port Angeles | olympicpeninsula.org/drive-the-loop/waterfalls

Next up on our list is the Sol Duc Valley. This popular valley is filled with forest, lakes, and peaks, making it the perfect hiking spot for visitors. You can spend anywhere from several hours to the whole day here!

If you’re planning for a longer hike, we recommend trying the High Divide Loop. This hike typically takes 2-3 days to complete, and you will be treated to breathtaking views of Mount Olympus. Nearby, you can also check out the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort for a mineral pool bath or massage! 

“I've seen 4 waterfalls on my trip in Olympic National Park and this is my favorite! From the lush, mossy trees to mushrooms growing everywhere, encounter of banana slugs, wooden bridges, I love this trail. It was a really good workout going up and down. It seemed like forever, but the destination was worth the views and experience.” - Yelp Review

7. La Push Beach

Popular beach that is home to an assortment of wildlife

La Push Beach stretches across 70 miles. Image courtesy of Olympic Peninsula.

La Push | Washington

If the name “La Push” sounds familiar, it might be due to the fact that it’s mentioned in the popular Twilight franchise. But even if you’ve never picked up a book from the series or watched the films, you will sure to be awed by this historic beach. 

Spanning 70 miles of coastline, La Push is home to an assortment of wildlife, including salmon, trout, eagles, deer, cougars, and bears! Forest trails are also nearby, and perfect for hiking. 

“This was only the second NW Pacific beach I'd ever been to, having been to Rialto only an hour before. But it was still very nice and so different than the beaches I grew up loving. It's part of the experience and I recommend it very much.” - Trip Advisor Review

8. Olympic Discovery Trail

Popular multi-use trail that is located in the north end of the Olympic Peninsula

The trail is perfect for cyclists! Image courtesy of Olympic Discovery Trail.

La Push to Port Townsend | Sequim | olympicdiscoverytrail.org

The Olympic Discovery Trail is one of the most popular spots in the area for hiking and cycling. As a non-motorized trail, you can run, bike, horseback ride, or if you’re feeling ambitious, run the trail. 

The trail starts in Port Townsend and ends on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Throughout the trail, you’ll see numerous rivers, lakes, mountain peaks, and forests. Check out their website for more information!

“Love this trail! It's fun, lots of hills, but don't be intimidated. The uphills usually have big downhills before them so it's not a lot of work. The trail is maintained by volunteers mostly.” - Yelp Review

9. Elwah Valley

Popular hiking spot that is home to a rich ecosystem

This stunning valley features a flowing river surrounded by forested mountains. Image courtesy of NPS.

Port Angeles | nps.gov

The Elwah Valley is home to a number of unique plants, birds, mammals, and fish. It’s also the Olympic Peninsula’s largest watershed and was once known for its massive salmon returns. 

Nowadays, you can hike the valley and practice catch and release fishing in the river. You can choose from numerous trail and day hikes in the Elwah Valley, including the Goblins Gate, Cascade Rock, and Madison Falls. 

Learn more about the valley on the NPS website now!

“This is an interesting spot from where you can see the remains of the dam that used to be across the entrance to the canyon. It was built in 1927, but was removed in 2011 because of the damage caused downstream. The area of the old dam is still recovering. There are a number of information boards about the history and removal of the dam as well as the fish found in the area.” - Trip Advisor Review

10. Night Sky Programs

With an absence of human-caused light, the Olympic National Park offers breathtaking views of the night sky

Experience the stars like no other. Image courtesy of National Park Service.

Olympic National Park | nps.gov

If you come to the Olympic National Park in the summer, you’ll be treated with unforgettable night sky views. As most of the park does not have human-caused lighting, you’ll be able to see the natural night sky in all of its glory. 

The Hurricane Ridge Astronomy program is available for those who wanted a more “guided” viewing experience. During this free program, a Master Observer will guide guests through a night of astronomy and close-up views of distant galaxies and planets through provided telescopes. 

“At night don't forget to see the stars with astronomers. There are folks with professional telescopes in the parking lot in the evenings during the summer. They spend the night showing visitors star galaxies, new star clusters, Saturn, Mars, new moons in the sky.” - Trip Advisor Review

Visiting the Olympic National Park is a dream for millions of people around the world. Make the most of your trip by checking out some of our recommended activities above. 

What do you plan to do during your trip to Olympic National Park? Let us know!

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