Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse national parks in the US. With nearly a million acres of land to explore, you’ll find old-growth forests, the Olympic Mountains, and alpine lakes. No wonder Olympic National Park hikes are so popular.
The national park is just outside Seattle, like North Cascades and Mount Rainer National Park. It is easy to access on a day trip from Seattle and is one of the most convenient national parks to visit on a city break.
Top Hikes in Olympic National Park
Looking to visit Olympic National Park? It is one of the best places to visit in the US and a fantastic choice. This guide will cover the very best hikes in Olympic National Park – from following the Hoh River to walking the Hall of Mosses. Let’s dive straight in.
1. Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier
The Hoh River Trail is a stunning yet difficult hike in Olympic National Park. As you may have guessed, the trail follows the Hoh River, but it also cuts through the Hoh Rainforest and passes wildlife like elk. At 34 miles in total, the Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier is often completed in sections or as a multi-day backpacking trip.
So, where to begin? Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. It is here that you’ll find the Hoh River Trailhead and start your hike. You reach the Hoh River after approximately a mile. From that point on, be prepared for multiple river crossings and muddy sections of the path. Until you reach Glacier Meadows, the trail is flat and heavily wooded. You’ll pass various campsites and Five Mile Island, a hotspot for elk spotting. After, it becomes a bit steeper, so plan a few extra stops and snacks after you pass the meadows.
If you are completing the hike as a day trip (no permit needed), most people just hike to Five Mile Island and back. Alternatively, you can tackle the whole hike to Blue Glacier as a backpacking trip (as long as you have a camping permit). Hoh River Trail is an out-and-back trail, so just remember that however far you walk, you’ll have to retrace your steps again.
- Distance: 34 miles one-way
- Difficulty: Hard
- Elevation gain: 1,837 meters
- Trailhead: Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center
2. Lake Crescent Via Spruce Railroad Trail
Lake Crescent Trail is also known as the ‘Spruce Railroad Trail’ and is a beautiful disused railway that cuts along a section of Lake Crescent shores. Lake Crescent is a glacial lake surrounded by mountain peaks. It is one of the most popular attractions in the Olympic National…
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