10 Must-See Olympic National Park Destinations

10 Must-See Olympic National Park Destinations

Ten Olympic National Park Highlights That Every Explorer Should See.

  1. Hurricane Ridge
  2. Elwha River Valley
  3. Lake Crescent
  4. Sol Duc
  5. Ozette Lake
  6. La Push
  7. Hoh Rainforest
  8. Lake Quinault
  9. Ruby Beach
  10. Lake Cushman
  11. Bonus – Cape Flattery (Makah Reservation)
Hurricane Ridge – Northern Olympic National Park

1. Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge sits on the north side of Olympic National Park just above Port Angeles, Washington. A 17-mile drive up from Port Angeles puts day trippers around a mile high with big views, mountain meadows, and summer wildflowers. For most visitors, Hurricane Ridge and its visitor center will be the highest elevation they explore in the National Park.

Our Favorite Walk: The Hurricane Hill Trail from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center (appx. 3.2 miles RT, 650′ of elevation gain if you head up the hill).

Elwha River Valley – Northern Olympic National Park

2. Elwha River

The Elwha River is home to the world’s largest dam removal project – the deconstruction of the nearly 100-year-old pair of Glines Canyon & Elwha dams. Essentially complete, the removals usher in an exciting new chapter for residents (human or otherwise) of the peninsula. The ecological significance of the freeing of the Elwha likely can’t be overstated; visit the river from Highways 101 or 112, or drive down to the mouth of the river through the Lower Elwha Klallam Reservation.

Our Favorite Walk: River highlights are currently difficult to access after the Olympic Hot Springs road washed out in 2018 (still in need of repair). There is a bypass foot trail from Madison Falls. Instead, we recommend the easily-attained coastal views from the mouth of the river via the Lower Elwha Klallam Reservation just beyond Port Angeles.

Lake Crescent – Northern Olympic National Park

3. Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent…

Sol Duc Falls – Northern Olympic National Park

Sol Duc…

4. Sol Duc

Ozette Lake – Northwestern Olympic National Park

5. Ozette Lake

Ozette Lake…

La Push – Western Olympic National Park

6. La Push

La Push…

Hoh Rainforest – Western Olympic National Park

7. Hoh Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest…

Lake Quinault – Southwestern Olympic National Park

8. Lake Quinault

Lake Quinault…

Ruby Beach – Southwestern Olympic National Park

9. Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach…

Lake Cushman – Eastern Olympic National Park

10. Lake Cushman

Lake Cushman…

Cape Flattery – Northwestern Peninsula – Makah Reservation

11. Bonus – Cape Flattery – Makah Reservation

Cape Flattery…