10 Best Hiking Trails In Olympic National Park, Washington

hiking in olympic national park
Alfred
Alfred
Updated

Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington, the United States of America, in the northwestern region of the Pacific. This sprawling national park boasts many stunning features: lush green rainforests, a beautiful landscape, subalpine meadows of wildflowers, gigantic mountain ranges, and wonderful rivers with amazing waterfalls. In particular, the Olympic Mountain range is a popular destination for climbers, hikers, and nature lovers who like traversing through the many well-maintained trails meandering through forests filled with huge trees and wildlife. Check below for a list of the best hiking trails in Olympic National Park, Washington.

1. Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail

Quinault Nature Trail Sign, Olympic National Forest
Source: Photo by user U.S. Forest Servi... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This maintained gravel trail is open for hiking activities all year round. The heavily used 0.9-mile (1.5-kilometer) trail offers a great opportunity to explore the temperate rainforest ecosystem in the Olympic Peninsula. The trail is a nice, easy hike that meanders along Willaby Creek. It features small waterfalls and centuries-old giant trees that are typical of a rainforest. The trail is marked with comprehensive signs complete with illustrations all throughout. You will no doubt learn how to differentiate the tree species and reflect on the importance of these forests. While enjoying nature’s majestic beauty, you may be able to spot either elk or deer.

Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail

Address: S Shore Rd, Quinault, WA 98575, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

2. Hoh River Trail

Hoh River Trailhead
Source: Photo by user daveynin used under CC BY 2.0

This trail is an apt hiking spot where you can spend a day away from the busy streets of the city. Starting at Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center, the well-maintained 32.8-mile (52.8-kilometer) trail gives you the opportunity to explore this beautiful ecosystem featuring a temperate forest and subalpine meadow. The enchanted trail is relatively flat at first then steeps at an elevation of between 600 feet (183 meters) to 4,300 feet (1311 meters) towards Glacier Meadows. You will no doubt enjoy the hike among trees, where you might be lucky to spot some wildlife. While here, enjoy the breathtaking views of Mount Olympus and Blue Glacier at the tail end of the trail. The level of difficulty here is rated as easy to moderate.

Hoh River Trail

Address: 18113 Upper Hoh Rd, Forks, WA 98331, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

3. Ozette Triangle Loop

Ozette triangle loop

Posted by Ben Leeper on Tuesday, 27 August 2019

This fascinating loop is 15.4 kilometers (9.6 miles) and you can start from either the parking area or the ranger station off Seafield Road. The trail is well-maintained and features boardwalks and some parts with stairs. The ground is mostly flat, with a number of rolling segments throughout the wet forest. Towards the end, the trail descends to a beach with camping sites and a beautiful shoreline worth exploring. The trail loops southwards along the rugged coastline to Sand Point, where you can enjoy picturesque views of Ozette Island and Cannonball Island. From Sand Point, you head away from the coast through the dense forest then back to the starting point to complete the loop. Ozette Triangle’s moderate grading makes it perfect for a family hike.

Ozette Triangle Loop

Address: 21261 Hoko Ozette Lake Road, Forks, WA 98331, United States

4. Sol Duc Falls Trail

Sol Duc Falls
Source: Photo by user daveynin used under CC BY 2.0

Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail which is a popular, 1.6-mile-long (2.6-kilometer) trail situated close to Port Angeles, Washington. This easy trail that features a waterfall is suitable for all skill levels, so perhaps you can bring your entire family. The nice, flat path is mainly used for hiking, walking, and camping. Hike through the rainforest to the beautiful Sol Duc Waterfall, where fascinating colors of the rainbow are captured in the spray. This trail runs past a number of creeks towards a wooden platform at the tail end, which is a nice place to stop and enjoy the breathtaking views of the waterfall.

Sol Duc Falls Trail

Address: Sol Duc Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

5. East Fork of the Quinault River Trail

Enchanted Valley, East Fork Quinault River
Source: Photo by user Deckerla used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Hiking the 15-mile (24.6-kilometer) Quinault Trail will take about 7 hours of your time. This trail has an elevation gain of 2,533 feet (772 meters) and is one of the most popular trails in the park. Many hikers traverse this trail every year to visit Enchanted Valley for the picturesque views. The trail starts from Graves Creek Trailhead and runs through towering firs and cedar trees, with a series of ups and downs. The valley is a vibrant wildlife scene full of animals, including deer, elk, coyote, and river otters, among many more.

East Fork of the Quinault River Trail

Address: 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362, United States

Website: East Fork of the Quinault River Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

6. Mount Ellinor Trail

Group hiking at Mt Elinor, Olympic National Forest
Source: Photo by user U.S. Forest Servi... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The summit of Mount Ellinor is the most reachable peak of the Olympic Mountains. Mount Ellinor Trail near Hoodsport, Washington is a 6.5-mile (10.5-kilometer) trail that is said to be difficult. Though the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, the steep climb with a few rocky sections is what gives it the difficult rating. Here, there are two trailheads to choose from. The lower trailhead, which is at 2,600 feet (792 meters) is an easy start, while the upper trailhead at 3,500 feet (1,067 meters) is steep from the start. The rating notwithstanding, these trails meander through subalpine meadows of beautiful wildflowers teeming with wildlife.

Mount Ellinor Trail

Address: Olympic National Forest, Washington 98363, United States

7. Third Beach to Strawberry Beach

Third Beach, Washington coast
Source: Photo by user Ron Clausen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Third Beach Trailhead is on La Push Road, 53 miles (85 kilometers) away from Port Angeles. Strawberry Beach is a 5.1-mile (8.2-kilometer) hike south of Third Beach. This trail along the wild primitive coastline is very beautiful and definitely worth your time. At some point, the trail gets very steep and muddy, but there are ropes and cable ladders available to offer stability. Several campsites dot the trail both in the forest and the sandy beach, although Strawberry Beach alone boasts more than a mile of potential camping ground. The difficulty level along this trail is rated as moderate, so it’s suitable even for amateur hikers.

Third Beach to Strawberry Beach

Address: La Push Rd, La Push, WA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

8. Hurricane Hill

Hurricane Hill, Olympic National Forest
Source: Photo by user Richard Probst used under CC BY 2.0

The atmosphere at Hurricane Hill is characterized by a combination of wind and snow. The winds blow at an amazing speed of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, hence the name “Hurricane”, and the snow gets to 35 feet (10 meters) deep every year. As you hike the hill, you will no doubt notice the evidence of snow shaping the landscape. The paved Hurricane Hill trail that is 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) long ascends at an elevation gain of 700 feet (213 meters), with a picturesque view of mountains and the beautiful valley below. The only regulation here is that you should always stay on the designated trails and never attempt to feed the wildlife.

Hurricane Hill

Address: Port Angeles, WA 98363, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

9. Ruby Beach

Sea stacks at Ruby Beach, Washington coast. Olympic National Park
Source: Photo by user Ron Clausen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ruby Beach is a pretty beach situated along the coastal region of Olympic National Park. The beach draws its name from the ruby-like crystals found on the sand. The marine environment and the coastal waters abound with thousands of marine species. The rocky sections of the coast provide perfect nesting spots for colonies of birds such as the common murres and the tufted puffins. Hiking this amazing southern coast of the park will reward you with gorgeous views of the beautiful beaches and the marine wildlife found here. When tired of the hike, sit on some driftwood and enjoy the sound of the waves. If time allows, watch the amazing sunset from the beach.

Ruby Beach

Address: Olympic National Park, Washington 98363, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

10. Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach morning
Source: Photo by user Ron Clausen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Rialto Beach is located near Mora Campground in Olympic National Park. This location features a beach and a coastal forest close to the mouth of Quillayute River. This hole-in-the-wall hiking spot is one of the best that Washington has to offer and is worth visiting any time of the year. The 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometer) round trip trail on the sandy beach is rated easy but best sought out during low tide. The amazing features here include sea stacks, tide pools, huge driftwood logs, and picturesque scenery that will ensure you enjoy your hike.

Rialto Beach

Address: Mora Rd, Forks, WA 98331, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Hiking Washington's Olympic National Park

The famous United States of America is one country you must have in your bucket list. For nature lovers, Olympic National Park is the perfect destination. With several attractions and touring activities liking hiking, climbing or perhaps nature trips, you will no doubt enjoy your vacation to the last day.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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