Explore Olympic National Park with this 3-day itinerary


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  • Day 1: walks, lakes and waterfalls
  • Day 2: Trails and rainforests

Spanning nearly a million acres, Olympic National Park is a collection of diversity. It is home to glacier-capped mountains, staggering waterfalls, dense rainforests, rugged Pacific coastlines, different ecosystems and thousands of wildlife. Thanks to these natural beauties, avid tourists can have plenty of activities to do and wonders to see.

However, visiting the park requires careful planning, especially since most of the scenes are remote. After all, no traveler wants to hear about a beautiful place minutes before heading into town. This three-day itinerary makes the entire planning process easy, so tourists can plan their getaway with confidence. More importantly, help them get the most out of their hard-earned money.


Day 1: walks, lakes and waterfalls

Here are some amazing places and things to do on day one.

Enjoy picturesque views at Hurricane Ridge

The Hurricane Ridge route is an early morning wake-up call that charms adventurers with the beautiful colors of the rising sun. It radiates across mountain peaks and evergreen forests to provide travelers with stunning morning views. Without a doubt, this is the best way to create a soothing ambiance for the whole day. There are several drawers that allow you to take wonderful photos.

Watching the dramatic scenes isn’t the only activity here. Hikers can drive up to the viewpoint to access the visitor center for more intriguing activities. Apart from providing practical information about Olympic National Park, it allows travelers to add another exciting experience by hiking. Hurricane Hill is the most popular trail, which offers exceptional views of the forest on a clear day.

Related: From Seattle to Olympic National Park: What to do along the way

Admire the beautiful Crescent Lake

From Hurricane Ridge, vacationers explore Lake Crescent, which is one of the most awe-inspiring venues of the Olympic Games. The blue-green water amazes thousands of hikers. Most even wonder if this exceptional place is real or just a fantasy. This glacier-carved lake is surrounded by alluring meadows teeming with wildflowers, making it a beautiful spot for a late afternoon picnic.

Hike to Marymere Falls

Once climbers have had their fill and relaxed, they can take a trail up to the 90-foot Marymere Falls. This is an easy hike that complements all day activities.

  • Recommendations: Lake Crescent Lodge, Emerald Valley Inn, A Hiden Haven, Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Day 2: Trails and rainforests

Looking to have fun on day two? Here are the activities that visitors should not miss trying.

Take a short hike on the Sol Duc Falls Trail

There are some spectacular waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula, but the feeling this mossy wonderland gives hikers is magical. The 1.6 mile trail to this gem has a modest elevation gain which means it is suitable for all abilities. The hike is relaxing, taking tourists through several walkways and unique plant species. Adventurers will be amazed at how exceptional the waterfall is. It’s so beautiful in a way that the captured photos don’t do it justice. The site gets very busy later in the day, so it’s best to hike early in the morning.

Walk through the Hoh Rainforest

Filled with glacial blue rivers, imaginable shades of green, and mystical plant species, the Hoh Rainforest is an incredible getaway from the city. The moss-covered trees resemble images from detective novels, giving climbers the feeling of being in dreamland. Here, there is something for everyone. And it’s all intriguing enough that backpackers can yearn to explore all day. They can take the Hall of Mosses or Spruce Nature trails, which are fairly short and with manageable elevation gain.

Alternatively, vacationers can test their knee endurance with the 18-mile Hoh River Trail.

Related: Hoh River Trail: How to Get the Most Out of America’s Most Beautiful Forest Trail

Enjoy stunning sunsets at Cape Flattery

There’s no better way to end the day than visiting Cape Flattery. Although it is outside the park boundaries, it would be a shame to come all the way to miss some breathtaking sunsets. The end of the trail leads hikers to beautiful sea stacks and amazing wildlife.

  • Recommendations: The Pacific Inn Motel, Forks Motel, Rain Forest Resort Village, Olympic Suites Inn

Day 3: Beaches

Looking to engage in fun activities on the beach? These are the best beaches to visit in the Olympic National Park.

Admire Rialto Beach

After two days of wandering through magical trails, vibrant forests and otherworldly lakes, it’s time for tourists to wrap up the trip with otherworldly places. Unique for its fierce tides, large driftwood logs, and rocky shoreline, Rialto Beach is a must-see gem. Although it doesn’t offer the swimming and sunbathing opportunities found on most beaches, its rugged nature makes it magical. Adventurers should be on the lookout for whales and sea lions.

Take pictures at Ruby Beach

Olympic National Park has no shortage of iconic locations, and Ruby’s Beach is a prime example. What makes the beach unique are its incredible sea stacks, massive driftwoods and reddish sand. The sea stacks have uniquely shaped arches that provide plenty of fantastic photo opportunities. Tourists should check tide charts to avoid getting trapped by high tides when crossing the creek.

Hikers should bring binoculars to easily spot wildlife, water shoes, drying towels, and rain jackets.

Admire beautiful views of Lake Quinault

Another fascinating body of water awaits visitors as they exit Olympic National Park. While Lake Crescent is the most popular natural wonder, this beauty deserves heartfelt recognition. The calm waters are surrounded by a breathtaking temperate rainforest, the view of which is pleasing to the eye. Later, you can rest at Lake Quinault Lodge for a refreshing drink while taking in the beautiful scenery.

  • Recommendations: Lake Quinault Lodge, Olympic Suites Inn, Rain Forest Resort Village, Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, The Waterfront at Potlatch Resort

Olympic National Park is a remarkable hub for adventure, and this three-day itinerary helps backpackers get the most out of their visit. This park promises stunning scenes that will leave tourists amazed and with a better appreciation for nature.


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