Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA (with Map & Photos)

The Olympic National Park is a park in the United States with a wide natural beauty, snowy peaks and groves, virgin beaches and even a tropical forest climate with rains throughout the year, an ideal destination for those who enjoy camping, mountaineering, going out on hikes or backpacking excursions, kayaking on the ocean or simply enjoying the magnificent views. The Olympic Peninsulais located in the state of Washington, west of Seattle, in the extreme northwest of the lower 48 states and is a square peninsula, approximately 100 miles on each side, bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the west, the Canal Puget in the east and the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the north. The Olympic National Park covers about 50 miles of circular area in the center of the peninsula, plus the entire Pacific coast.

Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park

The Olympic Mountains rise up to 8,000 feet high, are covered with snow and glaciers during all seasons. The constant warm and humid breezes from the Pacific Ocean bring surprising amounts of rain to the western slopes of the mountains and lots of snow to their peaks.

At the Olympic National Park it is easily accessible after a few hours drive from Seattle, Washington. The fastest route is by car and passenger boat, from Seattle to Bremerton, or from the northern suburb of Seattle, Edmonds, to Kingston. The fare is around $ 7 per car or $ 3 per person and the ride is very beautiful, with beautiful landscapes. It lasts about an hour. You can also drive around the southern end of the Puget Canal in Tacoma and from there down the peninsula to the north.

The population of the Olympic Peninsula is very sparse, with most of its residents located in small towns on the eastern and northern coasts. Port Townsend and Port Angeles on the north coast are the most important urban centers. There are also other interesting little fishing villages on the north coast. The only major town on the west side of the peninsula is Forks. Port Townsend and Port Angeles that offer a wide variety of amenities for the tourist. Forks has approximately 6 motels and the same number of restaurants.

Route 101 almost completely bypasses the peninsula and the park. There are only a few access routes into the park, the preferred one leading south from Port Townsend for twenty miles and climbing about 5000 feet to Hurricane Creek. From there the view of Mount Olympus and the interior of the park is fantastic. There are picnic and restroom facilities at the visitor center and several hiking trails. A small unpaved road leads 9 miles to the south, from the Hurricane Creek to the Obstruction Point, to travel it an all-terrain vehicle is recommended but any car of a reasonable height could do it.

About 25 miles west of Port Angeles, another path follows the Sol Duc River for about 20 miles into the park and leads to the Sol Duc Hot Springs, a complex in that town offers a hotel to stay and a camping area. near these hot mineral-rich waters.

The path that follows the Hoh River Valley to the Olympic Mountains is about 15 miles south of Forks and leads to the Hoh Rainforest. Some 40 miles further south, another path leads east, accompanying the Quinault River Valley, until it reaches the Quinault Tropical Forest. Both attractions have visitor centers, with a camping area and tours through the surprising nature of the area. The tropical forests are fantastic and mysterious places, constantly covered with mist and fine rain, the floor is covered with huge ferns and a large number of various plants.

At the northern tip of the peninsula, the Makah Indian Reservation covers about 6 square miles. Here are some of the last Native Americans who still hunt whales with wooden harpoons from simple canoes. The Makah Cultural Center has an interesting museum that describes the history and culture of the tribe.

Olympic National Park Map