Epic Guide to Olympic National Park Hikes includes everything from epic waterfalls to breathtaking mountain views, lush rainforests, and sweeping ocean views!
Olympic National Park Hikes
This guide covers hikes for all abilities from easy to moderate, and strenuous hikes, and what you need to know to plan a great adventure hiking in the Olympics.
Common Questions about Olympic National Park Hikes
What are the most popular and best hiking trails in Olympic National Park?
Olympic National Park is a vast oasis of a variety of different landscapes, making hiking in the park an absolute blast!
With over 150 trails, it can be hard to pick the ones you want to explore, especially if you’re constrained for time.
Some of the most popular hikes are the Hoh River Trail, Lake Crescent Trail, Sol Duc Falls Trail, Hurricane Hill Trail, and more — each offering unparalleled vistas of the mountains, leading to cascading waterfalls and promising a view worth hiking to.
What are the best easy hikes in Olympic National Park?
Though there are a variety of hikes in the park, not all of them are easy to traverse.
So if you’re a beginner hiker looking for some trails to get you started, some of the best easy hikes in Olympic National Park are the Maymere Falls Trail, Sol Duc Falls Trail, Staircase Rapids Loop, Moments in Time Trail, and more.
These trails won’t take too long to traverse and don’t have high elevation gain, making them relatively easy for a beginner hiker!
Are pets allowed on trails in Olympic National Park?
Pets are allowed on specific trails within the Olympic National Park as long as the guidelines are well followed.
The trails you can explore with your pets are Peabody Creek Trail, Rialto Beach to Ellen Creek, Spruce Railroad Trail, July Creek Loop Trail, Madison Falls Trail, and more. Leashed pets are permitted on trails of the Olympic National Forest which are located nearby.
What is my favorite hike in Olympic National Park?
Do you need a permit to hike in Olympic NP?
For most trails in the Olympic National Park, you do not require a permit; however, tracks such as the Hoh Rain Forest Trail and Sol Duc Falls Trail may require a fee due to limited parking and popularity.
You may also need a permit if you plan to camp and hike overnight in the wilderness backcountry at Olympic National Park.
What should I wear when hiking in Olympic NP?
We always suggest having the ten essentials with you when hiking. Olympic NP Hikes can have different trail conditions from other parks.
You need to be prepared for walking on uneven rock depending on the trails you plan to explore.
Make sure to bring a first aid kit, trail map, signaling device, plenty of water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and anything you need for the day.
Hikers are required to pack out everything they pack in.
When hiking in Olympic National Park, it’s essential that you dress according to the weather and also bring a rain jacket and proper hiking boots, as some trails can be marshy and hard to traverse without appropriate gear.
We always suggest having the ten essentials with you when hiking. Olympic National Park Hikes can have different trail conditions from other parks, and you’ll need to be prepared for walking on uneven rock depending on the trails you plan to explore.
Make sure to bring a first aid kit, trail map, signaling device, plenty of water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and anything you need for the day.
Easy Hikes in Olympic National Park
These great easy hikes in Olympic NP are perfect for a quick hike in the park.
Trail Length: 1.8 miles
Elevation gain: Approx. 375 feet
Difficulty rating: Easy
Time: One Hour
Location: The trail starts at either the Storm King Ranger Station or at Lake Crescent Lodge.
The trailhead, which encompasses the Marymere Falls Trail, is located in the Olympic National Forest on Forest Road 27.
The trail starts at either the Storm King Ranger Station or Lake Crescent Lodge and, in less than two miles, leads you to the magnificent Lake Crescent. This easy, relatively flat trail is a family favorite, so if you're looking for something to traverse with the whole tribe, choose the Maymere Falls Trail.
To follow this trail, after beginning at the Ranger Station, you'll hike through the forest for half a mile until reaching a junction, from where you'll continue upstream. Surrounded by a variety of towering trees, you'll cross Barnes Creek and Falls Creek before heading into a ravine which is the site of a 90-foot-tall waterfall. Shortly after, you'll arrive at Lake Crescent's edge and soak in the beautiful views!
Trail Length: 1.6 miles Roundtrip out and back trail
Elevation gain: 200 feet
Difficulty rating: Easy to moderate
Time: 90 minutes to 2 hours
Location: Coming from Port Angeles, take US 101 West. In about 25 miles you will take a left onto Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. Travel for 9 miles then continue on Sol Duc Road for another 4.7 miles and you will arrive at the trailhead.
Bound to be one of the most majestic trails you’ll have explored, the Sol Duc Falls Trail commences behind the Sol Duc Hot Springs and Resort, leading you into a lush green forest.
You’ll follow the trail, encounter a bridge, trees canopies that’ll shield you from the sun, and an enchanting oasis before reaching the waterfall and shelter just a mile in. The nearly 50 feet tall magnificent waterfall splits into several channels as it falls down the canyon.
Since this is a particularly popular spot, try and make the hike early in the day to enjoy the views devoid of loud crowds and photographers hoping to get the perfect shot!
Trail Length: 0.8 miles
Elevation gain: 75 feet
Difficulty rating: Easy to Moderate
Time: 1 hour
Location: Located in the Hoh Rain Forest Area, by the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. From Port Angeles, follow US Route 101 towards Forks, turn onto Upper Hoh Road, and follow it for nearly twenty miles until you arrive at the visitor center.
A one-of-a-kind loop that travels through the beautiful old-growth forest, the Hall of Mosses trail is a must-do when visiting Olympic National Park.
If you’re searching for a short hike to do, especially with kids, this is the one taking you through a myriad of maple trees clad in moss, which looks straight from a movie!
Madison Falls Trail
Trail Length: 0.2 miles out and back trail
Elevation Gain: 25 feet
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Time: 15 minutes
Location: From Port Angeles, Washington. Drive 7.3 miles west on US 101 to Elwha Valley - Olympic Hot Springs Road. Turn left (south), and the trailhead will be 2.0 miles further on the left.
Leading to one of the most beautiful waterfalls of the Olympic National Park, the Madison Falls Trail is an easy one to check off the list.
Bonus: this easy 0.2-mile hike is one of the only ones that allow pets, so if you bring a furry friend to your tour of the national park, you can explore this trail with them!
Devil's Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail
Trail Length: 2.4 miles out and back trail
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Difficulty Rating: easy
Time: one hour
Location: The trailhead for the Spruce Railroad Trail is found at the end of East Beach Road, north of Highway 101 around Lake Crescent.
Though slightly longer than the trails above, the Spruce Railroad Trail leading to the lovely Devil’s Punchbowl is an excellent option for new hikers.
A relatively flat route, you’ll get to immerse yourself in the Spruce forest before you encounter a collection of waterfalls that lead into an awe-inspiring pool, namely Devil’s Punchbowl.
Easily one of the most loved attractions of the Olympic National Park, this trail is perfect for getting some steps in before taking a dip in the pool!
Staircase Rapids Loop Trail
Trail Length: 2.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 575 feet
Time: 1 hour
Location: From Hoodsport, Washington traveling on Hwy 101, turn left onto SR 119. Drive a little more than nine miles where SR119 'T's with FR 24. Turn left here. Drive 1.7 miles to where the pavement ends. The road continues as gravel and in 3.7 miles until you arrive at a junction. Make a right turn and continue 1.2 miles to the Staircase Ranger Station. The parking lot is on your right.
Taking you along the North Fork of the bubbling Skokomish River, the Staircase Rapids Loop Trail can be traversed in both directions.
One route would begin by following the Rapids Nature Trail and, just short of a mile, crossing the suspension bridge that amasses over the river - a sight worth admiring.
Gradually, you’ll come across the crossing of this trail with the North Fork Skokomish River Trail and, eventually, within a mile, the Ranger station.
Moderate Hikes in Olympic National Park
You will want to plan a little more time for these moderate hikes in Olympic NP!
Hurricane Hill Trail
Trail Length: 3.2 miles out and back trail
Elevation gain: 700 feet
Difficulty rating: Moderate
Time: Two Hours
Location: Begins at the end of Hurricane Ridge Road
A popular trail for first-time visitors at Olympic National Park, this 3.2-mile-long hike promises stunning views of the Bailey Range.
To begin, you’ll follow the wide trail road through the pine-filled forest up to the summit of Hurricane Hill (a sight for heavy winds, so be sure to dress accordingly!).
Here, you’ll be able to take in majestic views of the Bailey Range, Port Angeles, the gateway town you probably traveled from, and amidst the water, Vancouver Island.
Hole-In-The-Wall Trail from Rialto Beach
Trail Length: 3.3 miles round trip out and back trail
Elevation Gain: 286 feet
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Time: two hours
Location: Rialto Beach Parking Area
Much different from the other hikes within Olympic National Park, the Hole-In-The-Wall Trail from Rialto Beach trail is bound to be the beach stroll of your dreams.
You’ll begin in the Parking Area, leading you to the beach. You’ll pass by Gunsight Rock, sea stacks, and countless other attractions along the way.
While you walk, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife that might surprise you from the sea.
As you make it over a mile, you’ll cross Ellen Creek, and ultimately Hole-in-the-Wall will appear. If the tide is in your favor at the time you go on this hike, be sure to explore the tide pools and take in the sweeping views of the beach, especially at sunset.
Ozette Triangle Trail Loop Trail
Trail Length: 9.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 100
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Time: 4-5 hours, there is an option to camp overnight (permits required)
Location: Ozette Parking Lot
Definitely one of the more challenging hikes, the Ozette Triangle Loop is a great trail to explore if you’ve had some experience hiking. With part of the trail traversing through the forest and another part through the beach. This unique hike will begin at Lake Ozette, famous for being the largest natural lake in Washington, which is connected to the gushing Ozette River.
At the first trail junction, you’ll proceed to the right, and eventually, you’ll find yourself engulfed in trees. Towering cedars and other evergreens, as you walk over the boardwalk, where the elevation may start to increase, you’re bound to feel the magnitude of the forest.
As you cross the two-mile mark, you’ll pass a massive valley called Ahlstrom’s Prairie which was historically a large farm heeded to by two immigrants. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the coast of Cape Alava, where you’ll encounter stunning views of the beach and the horizon in the distance.
Once you explore the beach, you’ll either be able to turn and go back the way you came or head south to follow along the loop.
You’ll pass by petroglyphs that tell stories of past antecedents at the Wedding Rocks, some of the prettiest sandy beaches at Sand Point, and more. If you’re a fan of the area and want to explore it more, you can get a permit to camp overnight under the stars, steps away from the beach!
Deer Lake Trail
Trail Length: 6.3-mile out-and-back trail
Elevation Gain: 590 m
Time: 4 hours
Location: Trailhead is located at the junction of Sol Duc River Trail, west of Sol Duc Falls
As you begin the trail, you’ll follow the route with the bridge over the Sol Duc River, passing by a part of Lover’s Lane Trail. The elevation gain increases steadily as you make your way to the hillside, known to be the western end of Canyon Creek.
Ultimately, you’ll reach the bridge that amasses Deer Creek - a great place to pause and admire the surroundings. The tail end of the hike will take you through a series of viewpoints and campsites, ending at a crossing with the High Divide Trail.
Bonus: A hint from its name, you’ll likely spot Deer along the route, especially during summer.
Strenuous/Difficult Hikes in Olympic National Park
Mount Storm King Trail
Trail Length: 4.1 miles
Elevation gain: 2100 feet
Difficulty rating: Strenuous
Time: 2.5 to 3 hours
Location: The Mount Storm King trailhead is located along HWY 101 at the Storm King Ranger Station. You'll look for the turn-off around mile marker 228 for Lake Crescent and make a right turn for the Marymere Falls parking lot
One of the most loved hikes in the US, if not the world, the Mount Storm King Trail ends at an iconic rocky tip overlooking the glistening Lake Crescent. Definitely, one for experienced hikers; this trail will challenge you, especially on a bad weather day, but the payoff is totally worth it!
You’ll begin the hike at the Storm King Ranger Station and pass beneath Highway 101 toward Maymere Falls. About half a mile in, you’ll encounter a boulder with a sign leading you to your trail and the elevation gain that will come with it.
As you hike, you’ll move through the forest, a collective of tall pines, twisted trees, cedars, and more, while getting glimpses of the scenic view. As you near the 1.5-mile checkpoint, you’ll encounter a view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the beautiful Lake. The trail goes on to the tip of the canyon, offering unobstructed vistas of the region!
Mount Ellinor Trail
Trail Length: 6.2 Mile Roundtrip out and back trail
Elevation Gain: 3,344 Feet
Time: 5-6 hours
Location: From Hoodsport, Washington you will take SR 119 off Hwy 101. Follow SR 119 for 9.3 miles to its end. Turn right on Forest Road 24 and follow for 1.6 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 2419. You’ll reach the lower trailhead in 4.9 miles. Parking here is limited, but usually not crowded.
Mount Ellinor is one of the iconic peaks of the entire National Park, and completing the hike is definitely considered to be a feat!
There are two trailheads you can begin the trek from - the lower trailhead starts off at a lower elevation, with the beginning half of the hike being relatively flatter, with the upper trailhead set at 3,500 feet, promising a rather steep climb.
The upper trailhead is recommended for experienced hikers hoping for a challenge, although do keep in mind that if you choose this route, you’ll require a Northwest Forest Pass.
The lower trailhead is 6.2 miles round trip, commencing in the Old Growth Forest, with various ridgeline openings along the route. The routes merge at 3,900 feet and gradually increase in elevation, making it a reasonably precipitous climb.
As you hike, you’ll progressively come across more and more viewpoints, each with a view better than the last.
Finally, the trail will exit the forested region onto the canyon slopes and valley before you catch a glimpse of the southern Olympic mountains!
Bonus: The summit offers a stunning panorama of the mountains and the encroaching meadows where you may spot Roosevelt Elk, Black-Tailed Deer, Mountain Goats, and more.
Have you ever visited Olympic National Park? What are some other incredible hikes worth tackling? If you have any other recommendations, please feel free to drop them in the comment section below!
Additional Olympic National Park information
Complete Guide to Olympic National Park - This complete guide will help you plan a perfect trip to Olympic National Park. Includes general park information, camping, lodging options, weather by season and so much more!
Things to know before your visit to Olympic National Park
7-day single-vehicle park pass - $30
7-day motorcycle park pass - $25
Olympic Annual Pass - $55
Valid for one year through the month of purchase. Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle or its pass holder.
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per-vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation, and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Learn more about National Park Passes for parks that have an entrance fee.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
National Park Passport Stamps
You’ll be able to get your own National Park Passport stamps from the visitor center
We use the Explorer Edition Passport Book that can be expanded and updated. This is a great way to track all of the parks you have visited over time.
The National Park Service strives to make the parks accessible to all. Olympic National Park has several landmarks that are easily accessible, like visitor centers, self-guided trails, campgrounds, scenic lookouts, and more.
There are four accessible trails within the park
- Madison Falls Trail
- Hall of Mosses Trail
- Spruce Railroad Trail
- Lake Quinault Lodge Loop Trail
Guided tours are a great way to explore the park!
Where to stay when visiting Olympic National Park
There are multiple National Park Lodges within the park. Deciding on which lodge to stay in will largely depend on what part of the park you plan to explore because it certainly is one of those National Parks that you'll visit multiple times and still have something new to see (like we do!)
Location: Along Highway 101 on the Pacific Ocean
The Kalaloch Lodge is a perfect place to stay while exploring the Olympic Peninsula and was indeed one of our favorite National Park Lodges we've ever stayed at. With well-equipped rooms and unbeatable views of Kalaloch Beach, you're sure to fall in love with this lodge.
Season: May to January
Location: Beside Lake Crescent, approximately 30 minutes from Port Angeles, Washington
The Lake Crescent Lodge boasts phenomenal views of Lake Crescent and offers a variety of accommodating options like cottages, lodge rooms, single tavern cottages, and more for you to choose from. If you end up deciding on a cottage (like we did), you'll get a chance to catch the gorgeous sunsets over the lake from your front porch. You can also rent kayaks from the property to go kayaking on the lake.
Season: May to September
Location: On the shore of Lake Crescent, 30 minutes from Port Angeles, Washington
The Log Cabin Resort includes chalets, camper cabins, RV/tent-camping sites, and more with stellar views of Lake Crescent. We stayed in a 2 Bedroom Kitchenette Cabin and had a great time at the place, which was spacious, had all the essentials, and a picnic table with a view, right outside the room.
Season: Mid-April to the end of October
Location: Right by the Sol Duc Hot Springs
The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is a rustic, serene property located by the hot springs. With a reservation at this resort, you'll also get access to swim in the hot springs, which was undoubtedly the highlight of our stay there. The property's prime location in the forested region also gives you easy access to the nearby trails, the Sol Duc Falls, River, and Valley.
Lodging near Olympic NP
Olympic NP borders multiple gateway communities including Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, La Push, Olympia, Forks, and Shelton.
Lake Quinault Lodge - At Lake Quinault Lodge, you can look forward to golfing on site, on a terrace, and shopping on site. For some rest and relaxation, visit the sauna. The onsite family restaurant, Roosevelt Room, features American cuisine. In addition to a firepit and mini golf, guests can connect to free in-room Wi-Fi. Available to book on Expedia
Olympic Inn & Suites - located in Port Angeles. Olympic Inn & Suites provides everything you need. Stay connected with free in-room Wi-Fi.
Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles Harbor - Take advantage of dry cleaning/laundry services, a fireplace in the lobby, and a bar at Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles Harbor. This hotel is a great place to bask in the sun with a beachfront location. Be sure to enjoy a meal at 48° North, the onsite restaurant. Free in-room Wi-Fi is available to all guests, along with a gym and a business center.
Quality Inn & Suites - Located in Sequim. Take advantage of a free breakfast buffet, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a gym at Quality Inn & Suites at Olympic NP. For some rest and relaxation, visit the hot tub. In addition to a business center, guests can connect to free in-room WiFi.
Olympic Railway Inn - located in Sequim. Stay in converted Caboose Train cars!!! Each caboose has a different theme!
Click on the map below to see additional lodging and vacation rentals near the park.
National Park Camping
Make sure to check out the Complete Guide to Campgrounds in Olympic National Park.
There are multiple campgrounds spread throughout the park. Kalaloch, Mora, and the Hoh campground take reservations during the summer. All the other campgrounds work on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure you're there bright and early during the summer weekends as it can get quite busy!
Most campgrounds have RV spaces limited to 21 feet or shorter, while others have RV spaces that permit vehicles up to 35 feet.
For a fun adventure check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built-in beds, kitchen areas with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
Escape Campervans has offices in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, New York, and Orlando
National Parks near Olympic National Park
Mount Rainier National Park - This complete guide will help you plan a perfect trip to Mount Rainier National Park. Includes general park information, camping, lodging options, weather by season and so much more!
North Cascades National Park - This complete guide will help you plan a perfect trip to North Cascades National Park. Includes general park information, camping, lodging options, weather by season and so much more!
National Park sites to visit near Olympic National Park
Minidoka National Historical Park - learn about the Japanese encampments
San Juan Island National Historical Park - Learn all about the pig war!
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Seattle Unit
Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
Check out all of the National Parks in Washington