The 5 Best Olympic National Park Tours
There are places within the Olympic National Park in Washington that seem to be straight out of a movie. The lush rain forest is picture perfect with rays of sun shining through the thick canopy of trees. In the old growth forest, you can find walkways and wooden bridges set perfectly amongst giant ferns and centuries-old trees covered in soft green moss. And then, there are the sprawling beaches teeming with marine wildlife that seem to appear as if on cue. One of the best ways to see some of these incredible areas of the park yourself is on Olympic National Park Tours. Take one of the following top tours to explore the flawless region from the mountains to the sea.
With more than 600 miles of hiking trails in the Olympic National Park, you’ll be able to experience the parks’ various ecosystems to the fullest on one of these Olympic National Park Tours.
Day Hikes and Walks
The Olympic National Park is unique in that with nearly 1 million acres of protected land, and its location in the Pacific Northwest, guests can experience its mountains, valleys and coastline all in one park.
Explore the Coastal Forest and Ocean Beach on one of the park’s many coastal hikes. Expect flat trails with a few steep overland trails and well-worth-the-hike views of the ocean and surrounding coastline. You’ll also have the opportunity to see tide pools, towering sea stacks and natural landmarks such as the Natural Arch. The arch is more than just a hole carved into the side of a cliff, simply because it’s occurred naturally after hundreds of years of waves have lapped (and sometimes crashed) into the rock wall. As a safety precaution, always check the tides before you explore the beach.
Whether you choose to explore the Northeast or Southeast Trails, experiencing the park’s “cathedral valleys” is something quite special. It’s here that you’ll be able to see first-hand the park’s lush rainforests as well as its rushing rivers and streams. There are more than 24 trails to choose from, so be sure to visit the park website to determine which route is best for you.
Hurricane Ridge is one of the best known mountainous regions in the park and offers access to several trails on which you can explore flower-filled alpine meadows or glacier-capped mountain peaks depending on the season. There are more than 35 mountain trails available in the park, including one that allows you to Climb Mount Olympus. This particular hike is not for the faint of heart, as Mount Olympus, at 7,980 feet, is the highest peak in Olympic National Park and has the third largest glacial system in the contiguous U.S.
Engaging with local experts will allow you to get even more insight into the park, its history, the wildlife that inhabits the three very different ecosystems, and more. The park’s Ranger-led programs are offered during summer months at various locations and include interpretive walks, night sky programs and campfire programs. Visit the website for additional information and a schedule.
The park’s audio tour is great for self-guided adventures or for brushing up before your visit. Simply call the given number and then select an area. Options include a park overview as well as honing in on specific areas including Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, Hoh Rain Forest, Lake Quinault and the Staircase.
Make Sure You Are Prepared
As the Olympic National Park rangers suggest, you should always be prepared and make sure you are carrying the 10 essentials: extra clothing, extra food and water, map, compass, flashlight, knife, sunglasses, matches, fire starter/candle, and a first aid kit.
Start Planning Your Visit
As you begin to plan your trip to the Pacific Northwest to explore the Olympic National Park, let the George Washington Inn serve as your home base. Our oceanfront inn is centrally located on the Olympic Peninsula at the gateway to the Olympic National Park, just minutes away from it all. View our luxurious accommodations on our website and be sure to download a copy of our free Vacation Guide for even more info.