Ultimate must-see spots in Olympic National Park

By Stef Zisovska
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Ultimate must-see spots in Olympic National Park

Stef Zisovska
 
 
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One of America’s most spectacular national parks, the Olympic National Park, is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The park is unique for its four distinct natural environments that include the coastline on the Pacific, the temperate rainforest on the west side, alpine areas, and the forests on the east side. There are three different ecosystems bursting with flora and fauna species of all kinds. Inside the Park, there are a number of beautiful spots that everyone must visit. The awesome scenery of the area is the best things you can experience. Here’s a list of the ultimate must-see spots in Olympic National Park.

Hoh Rainforest

Bigleaf maples in the Hoh Rainforest – Author: Doug Dolde – CC BY-SA 3.0
Bigleaf maples in the Hoh Rainforest – Author: Doug Dolde – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Hoh Rainforest is the most visited part of Olympic. Always green and wet, the rainforest has 134 inches of annual rainfall. The only months without rain showers are July, August, and September, therefore, those are the best months to visit Olympic if you don’t like to get wet. The ferns, mosses, and sitka spruces will mesmerize you with their emerald and turquoise display. The best way to see the verdant glitter of the thick vegetation is to hike the Hall of Mosses Trail.

Quinault Rainforest

Camping site on the shores of Lake Quinault – Author: Adbar – CC BY-SA 3.0
Camping site on the shores of Lake Quinault – Author: Adbar – CC BY-SA 3.0

Quinalt Rainforest is home to the largest trees in the world. This group includes the famous Sitka spruce that grows up to 191 feet tall and reaches an age of 100 years. The walking trail will take you on a journey among these arboreal giants and awaken your imagination. The luckiest visitors may even get to see a Roosevelt elk if they pay enough attention.

Sol Duc Falls

Sol Duc Falls, a waterfall in Olympic National Park – Author: Kimon Berlin – CC BY-SA 2.0
Sol Duc Falls, a waterfall in Olympic National Park – Author: Kimon Berlin – CC BY-SA 2.0

The falls are part of the Sol Duc River that after joining the Bogachiel River forms the Qullayute River which then flows four miles to the Pacific Ocean. The hike to the Sol Duc Falls is 0.8 miles, and it takes you to a stunning viewpoint where you can take in the three whitewater columns crashing down the black rocks. Don’t forget your camera and waterproof clothes and boots.

Kalaloch Beach

Kalaloch Beach – Author: Scott Catron – CC BY-SA 2.0
Kalaloch Beach – Author: Scott Catron – CC BY-SA 2.0

Go to the southern end of the Olympic’s coast to enjoy the endless wave-battered shoreline that will dazzle you with its unique beauty. Kalaloch is one of the best beaches you can see the sunset from, or go hiking and bird watching. Western gulls and bald eagles are the bird species that you can see here while listening to the crashing waves. If you want to spend a night here, rent a room at Kalaloch Lodge, only 100 feet from the Pacific.

Lake Crescent

Along the shores of Lake Crescent – Author: Bobak Ha’Eri – CC-BY 3.0
Along the shores of Lake Crescent – Author: Bobak Ha’Eri – CC-BY 3.0

Lake Crescent is a glacial lake in the hills of the northern part of Olympic National Park. It’s a deep, clear water lake, with stunning scenery and natural beauty. The Beardslee and Crescenti trout are two fish species that live in the lake’s waters and aren’t to be found anywhere else in the world. The best time to visit Lake Crescent is during the spring.

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington, looking to the north – Author: DimiTalen – CC BY-SA 3.0
Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington, looking to the north – Author: DimiTalen – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Rialto Beach is a wonderful mixture of ocean beach and coastal forest. It’s a public beach, near to the mouth of Quillayute River and on the other side of La Push Beach. Peace and tranquility is what everybody finds on the beautiful beach named by the magician Claude Alexander Conlin after the Rialto theater chain. If you want to go hiking or camping on Rialto’s rocky shores, do it on low tide and go to the sea-carved arch, the Hole-in-the-wall, about 1.5 miles away from Rialto.

There are more beaches, lakes, rivers, and forests in the Olympic National Park that people like visiting for recreation, sports, meditation, and inner peace. The natural surroundings are so breath-taking it’s inconceivable that you won’t like them. The good thing about Olympic is that there is something for every taste. It’s up to you to choose which way to go. Enjoy and good luck!

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