Olympic National Park gets more than 200 days of rain 🌧 a year! Although you might have grand hiking plans or dream of sunshine, you may want to have an alternative plan. There are still so many wonderful things to see. Find out exactly how to spend a rainy day in Olympic National Park below!
Recently, I went to Olympic National Park during our travels around the US 🇺🇸. I have honed my skills at crafting itineraries to visit parks. Although, originally, I had different plans, we were still able to make the most of the rainy weather. I loved Olympic and I would love to go back again to see even more of the park!
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Table of Contents
4 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Olympic National Park
#1 Go Waterfall Chasing
Rainy weather is great for waterfall chasing 💦. Waterfalls are usually raging and it adds to the moody vibe, which is a lot of fun. Olympic National Park has a plethora of waterfalls, so you can start your time in the park by viewing the various falls in the park.
Waterfalls in Olympic
- Marymere Falls – This is one of the most popular waterfalls in the park. You can hike a short 1.7 mile trail to see the stunning falls.
- Madison Falls – Few people go to this falls, because it’s a bit off the beaten path. However, you only need to walk a short distance from the parking lot to see this wonderful waterfall.
- Sol Duc Falls– These waterfalls will make you feel as if you have entered a magical forest. Hike on this trail 1.6 miles round trip to see the prettiest falls in the park.
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#2 Visit the Rainforest
Drive down to the Hoh Rainforest 🌳 to see a temperate rainforest in the US. This area thrives in the rain and is beautiful all year long. It’s one of the most popular areas in the park and the parking lot gets full, so go early to avoid the crowds! When the parking lot is full the rangers allow one car in and one car out at a time.
Explore the visitor center, watch a ranger talk, or go on one of the hiking trails in the Rainforest. There are three main trails in the area that vary in length and difficulty.
Trails in Hoh Rainforest
- Hall of the Mosses– This trails is .8 miles and easy, so you can wander through the Old Growth forest and look out for banana slugs.
- Spruce Nature Trail– Stroll 1.2 miles through the Old Growth forest to the river. This is a nice peaceful trail that is perfect for families!
- Hoh River Trail – Finally, you can Backpack or trek a portion of the Hoh River Trail. It travels 17 miles into the forest and has many campgrounds along the way.
#3 Walk the Coastline
Visit the moody and magnificent Rialto Beach to see the coastline on the Olympic Peninsula 🌊. Here, you can observe the sea life in the tidepools or walk along the coast. For a great hike, you can walk at low tide to the Hole in the Wall. This trail is 2.5 miles long and at the end you will get to the opening in the rocks where you can see the large rocks through. It is quite an incredible sight and a popular attraction!
#4 Explore Forks
Forks, Washington is located right outside of the Park and you may have to travel through it to get from one area to another. Twilight fans flood this adorable town, because the book series took place in Forks 🧛. Even though most of the film was filmed in Oregon, you can go around town and view all of the best sights from the movie and book like Bella’s truck, the No Vampires sign at the Treaty Line, or Jacob Black’s house.
Things to Know Before You Go
💵 Olympic costs $30 for a private vehicle that covers 7 days. You can also use any of the annual passes like the America the Beautiful Pass to get in.
🌧 It rains more than 200 days a year in the Olympic Peninsula. Pack a raincoat and watch the weather report for any incoming storms.
🚗 This park is very large and driving times between locations can be incredibly long. Plan ahead and route your trip before you go!
⛺️ Most of the campgrounds in Olympic are on a first-come, first-served basis. However, you can book reservations at Fairholm, Kalaloch, Hoh Rainforest, and Mora up to six months in advance on recreation.gov. There are many backcountry trails, but you will need to get a permit.
🐻 Olympic is bear country, so make sure to stay bear aware and make loud noises when hiking on the trails. Use the rule of thumb when viewing wildlife, so that you stay the correct distance away.
🦮 Pets are allowed on a few trails in the park, but they must stay leashed at all times. The trails they’re allowed on are Peabody Creek Trail, Rialto to Ellen Creek, Beaches between Hoh and Quinault, Madison Falls, Spruce Railroad and July Creek Loop.
⚠️Hurricane Ridge is open during the summer and on weekends in the weather. You can stay updated on its status on the NPS website.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
Let me know if you enjoyed this guide in the comments!
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