Olympic National Park with Mount Olympus
On the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington State, the Olympic National Park extends over an area of around 4,000 km² in the low mountain range of Olympic Mountain. Untouched beautiful nature with alpine meadows, rainforest and mountain peaks with their glaciers make the Olympic National Park one of the largest nature reserves in the world.
Its name Olympic comes from the central point, Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus stands at a height of 2428 m as the central Olympus in the middle of the national park.
According to Mcat-test-centers, the national park was established in 1938 by US President Theodore Roosevelt to protect the Roosevelt deer in the area and to preserve the rainforest.
The first attempt in 1897 to designate the rainforest as Olympic Forest Preseve in Washington was ineffective.
In 1906 the area was declared Mount Olympus National Monument and renamed a national park in 1938. The national park has been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1976 and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
In 1988, the national park was placed under further protection as the Wilderness Area and Wildness Coast.
The national park’s location on a remote peninsula has a diversity of plants and animals found only in this part of the world, making the national park a popular research area.
Animals that can be seen in the park are: Roosevelt deer, deer, black bear, mountain lion, puma, bobcat, mink, skunk, mountain beaver, marten, marmot, arctic hare, coyote, raccoon, river otter, seal, gray whale and many species of birds.
The symbol of the Olympic Park is the critically endangered northern spotted owl. It is very rare because it places high demands on its habitat.
The Olympic National Park is divided into three parts. Once the mountainous region around the Olympic Mountains, the coastal area on the Pacific and the rain forest in the west of the park.
Due to the mountain slopes with their many glaciers, a lot of rain discharges with the humid Pacific air in the national park, so that part of the park consists of rainforest with large ancient trees. In this area is the rainiest point in the USA with 4000 mm of precipitation. The rainforest is home to ferns, mushrooms, mosses and huge cedar trees covered with plants.
On the coast with sandy bays such as La Push, Rialto Beach or Ruby Beach, you can observe sea otters, seals and gray whales during walks. Golden eagles, horned larks, common ravens and Olympic chipmunk, a species of chipmunk, live in the mountains, as well as the Olympic marmot.
The rainforest stretches from southern Oregon to Alaska, but not much remains outside of the national park.
Highlights of the park worth seeing are the snow-covered mountain slopes that almost circle the national park and the breathtaking 117 km long Pacific coast. The Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail, Quinault Rainforest, Quinault Rainforest Loop, Lake Quinault, Kalaloch Beach and Ruby Beach are particularly worth seeing places and hiking trails in Olympic National Park.
Many visitors use the wide range of nearly 1000 km of hiking trails to explore the park.
Activities that are popular in Olympic National Park include climbing Mount Olympus, horseback riding through the park, motorboat or kayak boating, and fishing in Lake Crescent or Ozette Lake. The water of the Pacific is usually much too cold for swimming, even in summer.
Climate & Weather in Olympic National Park
The Olympic Peninsula experiences high rainfall in the west and low rainfall in the east. The summers are dry and warm with temperatures around 20°C. But sudden fog and precipitation can also occur due to the maritime climate, as Mount Olympus is often covered with clouds.
In autumn and spring, the weather is mostly humid, cool and windy. The winters have temperatures around zero degrees. Heavy snowfalls can occur in the higher mountain areas.
Due to the climate, there is a variety of plants, animals and geological formations on the Olympic Peninsula.
For a visit to the Olympic National Park, it is recommended to bring appropriate clothing for the varied climate.
Visitor Center – Olympic National Park Visitor Center
The largest visitor center, the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, is located on the southern outskirts of the city of Port Angeles on the way to Hurricane Ridge at 3002 Mount Angeles Road.
From the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, at an altitude of 1670 meters, you have a wonderful view of the snow-capped mountains with their glaciers, the national park itself and as far as Vancouver Island in Canada. Many hiking trails lead to Obstruction Peak from here.
Other centers are in the Hoh Rain Forest in the rainforest, in the Hurricane Ridge Area at Fairholm on Lake Crescent, Sol Duc Area, Mora Area, Kalaloch Area and Quinault Valley.
The visitor centers are open all year round and offer a lot of information about the park.
Opening times & entrance fees to the Olympic Park
The Olympic National Park is open all year round. Admission is $15 per vehicle. Pedestrians or cyclists pay $5 per person. The admission ticket is valid for the following seven days. Children under 15 have free entry.
Admission to Olympic Park is included with the America the Beautiful Pass.
The main season in Olympic National Park is from June to September.
Campsites & Hotels in Olympic National Park
There are 17 campgrounds in Olympic National Park, the largest of which are: Heart of the Hills, Fairholm, Soleduck, Mora, Hoh Rain Forest, Kalaloch, Graves Creek and Staircase Campground. The campsites are all accessible to vehicles. In higher mountain areas, campsites are only open from May to September.
Most remote campsites are only equipped with drinking water, toilets and fireplaces.
There are two hotels in the park, Lake Crescent Lodge and Kalaloch Lodge.
Getting to & from the Olympic National Park
Many visitors come from Seattle, 150 miles away, to get to Olympic National Park. Drive 110 miles to Tacoma or take the ferry across Puget Sound.
Ferries operate between Victoria, British Columbia and Port Angeles most of the year:. Black Ball Ferry Line, The Coho Ferry, and Washington State Ferry System (does not service Port Angeles) operate a number of routes across Puget Sound.
The closest airport to Olympic National Park is the William R. Fairchild International Airport near Port Angeles. There are daily return flights between Port Angeles and Seattle. It is possible to rent a car at Port Angeles or take a bus to the park. In the park itself there is no shuttle service and no roads, as the park is a nature reserve.
Other airports to get close to the park are in Sequim and Olympia.
Address of the Olympic National Park attraction on the park map
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, Washington 98362-6798