Explore the alluring Olympic Peninsula on your next vacation! Journey through this wondrous landscape with diverse ecosystems ranging from the rocky pacific coastline 🌊 to glacier formed mountains to a lush temperate rainforest. You’ll fall in love with the area by taking the best trails in Olympic National Park!
I have now been to Olympic twice- once in the Fall and once in the summer. Both times, I was completely captivated by trails that meander through the mystical forests and rugged mountains in this Washington park.
Read this post for a guide to five of the trails that you need to add to your Olympic Itinerary! It includes trail descriptions, hiking details, and more tips for hiking in Olympic National Park ⭐️. You’ll be set for your trip to this incredible park.
You Might Also Like These Posts:
- The Ultimate 3 Day Olympic National Park Itinerary
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Table of Contents
5 Best Trails in Olympic National Park
Mount Storm King is one of the best trails in Olympic National Park, but also one of the hardest 🥵. This trail climbs 2100 feet in under 2 miles, featuring sections with ropes and steep drop offs.
If you are afraid of heights, then you may want to avoid this trail.
Once you get to the top of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Lake Crescent with a backdrop of the alluring Olympic Mountains 🏔. This breathtaking landscape makes the strenuous climb worth it!
Personally, I didn’t mind the climb up and felt secure using the ropes. I thought the trail was incredible and it became my favorite in Olympic!
Mount Storm King Hike Info
Distance: 4 miles
Elevation: 2100 feet of gain
Type: Out and Back
Length: 2-4 hours
Difficulty: Hard (It’s very steep and you’ll have to use ropes at points)
Hurricane Hill is truly astounding and a wonderful hike for the whole family. Beginning just past the the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, this trail showcases the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula.
Following the ridge line, it leads to the top of Hurricane Hill where a stunning panoramic view unfolds 🤩. At the summit, you’ll be able to see Victoria, Canada, Mount Baker, and the vast expanse of water stretching for miles. The picture is so stunning, you’ll just want to stop for a while to take it all in!
One of the best parts about this trail is that it’s paved, which makes it one of the more accessible mountain hikes!
Hurricane Hill Hike Info
Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation: 870 feet of gain
Type: Out and Back
Length: 1.5-3 hours
Sol Duc Falls looks like a scene out of Tuck Everlasting. Moss covers the trees and the falls flow into a deep ravine down below. It’s definitely one of the best trails in Olympic!
The hike itself goes through the forest 🌳 until you come across a bridge over the falls. It’s a very straightforward and family friendly trail. However, there are a lot of roots in the ground so make sure to watch your step as you go!
Sol Duc Falls
Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 225 feet of gain
Type: Out and Back
Length: 30 mins- 2 hours
Surround yourself in the magical rainforest as you walk along the Hall of Mosses trail. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a mystical fairytale world 💫.
This trail is one of the most popular in the park and for a good reason! It’s an easy trail that really allows you to take in the natural phenomena of the Hoh Rainforest, which is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the country.
However, if you want to do this trail make sure to go early! The parking lot 🅿️. at the Hoh Rainforest is small and access is restricted when it reaches capacity. We learned this the hard way – on our first visit, we waited patiently for an hour and a half before gaining entry.
Hall of Mosses Hike Info
Distance: 1 mile
Elevation: 79 feet of gain
Length: 20 mins-1 hour
Waterfall lovers will enjoy the quick and easy hike to Marymere Falls. The trail begins in the forest and then continues over a charming creek until you get to the wooden staircase that ascends to the falls 💦!
Water cascades over moss and stone into a pool down below! Immerse yourself in the sounds of the rainforest 😌 as you listen to the falls under the lush trees. Climb up the staircase for various vantage points over the scene.
It’s a great hike to add to any Olympic National Park itinerary. It’s one of the most popular, so you’ll likely see many other travelers on the trail, but it still constantly feels serene under the forested canopy.
Marymere Falls Hike Info
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation: 300 feet of gain
Type: Out and Back
Length: 45 mins-1.5 hours
Planning Your Hikes in Olympic
Best Time to Hike in Olympic National Park
Olympic is rainy throughout much of the year, but the rain slows down in the summer months. July and August are great times to go for a hike in Olympic with longer days, warmer temperatures 🌡, and less rain. However, there are more visitors during this time of year.
The best time to hike in Olympic National Park is the dry period during the summer months. ☀️
If you’d prefer quieter trails, then visit in the late spring 🌸 or early fall 🍂. Most trails are still open, the weather is temperate, and you’ll find less crowds. We’ve been in July and October and we had better weather on our Fall trip! So, you might get lucky too.
What to Pack for Hiking in Olympic
Because Olympic is so rainy, the best way to prepare for hiking is to pack waterproof clothing. My favorite purchase of the past year was rain paints 🙌🏻. Because they’ll keep your legs dry.
Also, it’s important to pack a good pair of shoes 🥾 for the trail. Again, you’ll want them to be waterproof and have good traction. You can read a detailed list below!
Packing List for Olympic
- Comfortable Hiking Boots
- Day Pack
- Hiking poles
- Water Reservoir
- 3-4 Liters of Water
- Snacks and Food
- First Aid Kit
- Bug Spray
- Rain jacket
- Rain Pants
- Light winter jacket
- Downloaded Maps -there is little service in the park
Things You Need to Know Before You Go
💵 Olympic charges an entrance fee of $30 for a private vehicle that covers 7 days. You can also use any of the annual interagency passes like the America the Beautiful Pass to get in.
☀️ Weather changes quickly in the rainforest around the Olympic Peninsula. The Park averages over 100 inches of rain a year. So, you’ll want to be prepared with waterproof gear.
⛺️ There are a number of campgrounds in Olympic National Park. Some of them require reservations and others are first-come, first-served. You can read more about them here.
🐻 Olympic has a large black bear population, but there are no grizzlies on the peninsula. Make sure to stay a large distance away from any wildlife that you see!
🦮 Pets are allowed on a few trails in the park, but they are not allowed on many others. If you bring them on the trail, then they must be leashed.
⚠️ Hurricane Ridge road is only open seasonally. In the winter, it is often open just on the weekend days. You can stay updated on the road closures by looking at the NPS website.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
Final Tips for Hiking in Olympic
Olympic is a large park, which means it can take a long time to drive between destinations 🚗. Factor in additional time into your schedule to get from one spot to another. As long as you plan your itinerary and prepare for rain, then you’ll have a wonderful time! I hope you enjoy all of the best trails Olympic National Park has to offer.
Let me know if you enjoyed this hiking guide in the comments!
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