80 years ago this week (June 29, 1938) President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill to establish Olympic National Park in Washington. The bill continued the legacy of Presidents Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt who also protected areas of the Olympic Peninsula. Since its founding, Olympic National Park has also been one of the most visited national parks in the NPS.
Since our June 2016 camping trip, it’s also been one of our favorite parks (and most blogged about topics on Park Chasers).
To celebrate the park’s 80th birthday this week, we’re sharing a “Best of Olympic National Park” collection. We hope it showcases the amazing diversity in the park. From rainforests to snowy mountain peaks, from big trees to beaches, Olympic has it all!
It might even inspire your first trip to the park (or a repeat vacation!)
Park Chaser’s Best of Olympic National Park
Before you check out the list, if you’ve already done some #parkchasing of your own in Olympic, we’d love to have your “Best of Olympic National Park” list.
Share your favorites in the comments of this post or pop over to our Facebook page. Add to the recommendations of your favorite hikes, favorite places to see wildlife, and best places to stay. We’d love to hear your favorite memories of Olympic National Park!
While we sort through the laundry and pack away the camping gear, we thought we’d give you a recap of our Olympic National Park Trip and an itinerary to help plan your own tour. Just make sure you pack wisely, you just may find yourself on the beach and at 10,000 feet on the same day!
One of the most popular hikes in the park, “The Hall of Mosses Trail” travels through the Hoh Rain Forest. With minimal elevation gain and easy terrain, the 0.8 mile loop hike is perfect for all the hikers in your family, including those junior rangers. If you have time for only one hike in Olympic National Park, Park Chasers recommends it’s the Hall of Mosses Trail.
Of its nearly 1 million acres, some of Olympic National Park’s best hiking and scenery can be found along the Pacific coastline. The Kalaloch (pronounced Klay-Lock) Campground sits ocean side along this westernmost edge of the park. With 170 reservable sites Kalaloch also one of the most popular campgrounds.
The Olympic Peninsula provides perfect weather for many different types of conifers to grow to record size. There is a long list of record spruce, fir, and cedar trees that live in and around Olympic National Park. During our recent visit, we hiked in the Hoh Rain Forest and Sol Duc Area. Both are great spots if you’re interested in seeing gigantic trees!
Waterfalls are one of the many reasons people visit the Olympic Peninsula. With many spots receiving more than 10 feet of rain annually, there’s no shortage of destinations. Sol Duc Falls is one of the more scenic waterfalls in the park. It is also one of the most accessible.
At just over 100 campsites, Heart O’ The Hills Campground is one of the three largest organized campgrounds in Olympic. It’s also one of the most centrally located, about 5 miles from the gateway town of Port Angeles, Washington. Visitors to the Heart O’ The Hills area are only a short distance from key hiking in Olympic as well.