Photos above and right: Two great view of the seasons at Olympic National Park. Photos courtesy National Park Service.
Olympic National Park
Nestled in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State sits this gem of a national park with a wide variety of landscapes. From the slopes of Mount Olympus to rain forests and rugged seacoasts, Olympic challenges the senses of the casual visitor, the hiker, camper, mountain climber, and all others who traverse its land.
- Then and Now
- Things You Should Not Miss
It has amazed those who wander its trails since the days of the last frontier, and has been doing so as a federal monument since the turn of the century. It was first proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909 as Mount Olympus National Monument, then made a national park in 1938. And the visitors surely come. Olympic has been drawing visitors at a high rate, over 3 million visitors a year, right up there with the most visited natural wonder in the United States such as Yosemite and Yellowstone.
Perhaps the most amazing part about Olympic National Park is in its three variety of landscapes. From exploring the mountains with those glacier peaks to the rain forests to the Pacific Ocean seacoast, there is an unending variety of sights to see and activities to do within the 922,000 acres that constitute the park. And what is there to do. Take a drive. Take a hike. Walk along seventy-three miles of coastline. Olympic National Park is also a great place to camp.
Olympic National Park Then
Cutural, Historic Sites, and History - Yes, it's the land you've come to see, but within the boundaries of Olympic sit over five hundred archaelogical and cultural sites to see. The two hundred years of homesteading and exploration are evidenced within all this nature. Just take for example the Elwha region. Carved from the Fraser glacier, it was inhabited by the Klallam Indians until nearly 1900 when Port Angeles became a growing settlement and held some of the richest salmon runs south of Alaska. The Olympic Power Company built the Elwha Dam in 1910, followed by the Glines Canyon Dam in 1927. Olympic National Park was created in 1938.
Olympic National Park Now
Rugged glacier-topped mountains to rain forest beauty and the Pacific Ocean to boot. There are so many sites to see, including ...
Hoh Rain Forest
Mora and Rialto Beach
SOl Duc Valley
Olympic National Park
1. Spend your time outside. At Olympic National Park, that's where you'll want to be most days. Whether you like to take a hike, listen to a park ranger during one of the many free summer tours and hikes, or drive to the various points around the park from Hurricane Ridge to Lake Crescent or Rialto Beach. Look for some of the Roosevelt elk herd; it is the largest herd of unmanaged elk in the world.
2. The orientation film at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center is a good starting point to know where you'd like to go. Then go. It's what makes a visit here special.