With three major ecosystems and almost a million acres to choose from, Olympic National Park is filled with possibilities. One of the key challenges that visitors face is how to tackle all of these choices - but we're here to help!
Our first recommendation is to start your visit at a Visitor Center and get the most current park information. Ranger program times, opening and closing schedules, tides, weather, road conditions, and many other factors can influence your visit. An informed visitor is a happy and safe visitor!
Here are some other tips:
- Pick up a copy of the Bugler park newspaper. It is published twice annually, to target the summer and winter seasons. Click here for the digital PDF version.
- Plan your park activities with time and distance in mind. The park is very large and can be accessed by vehicle only in certain areas. Think of the access roads like spokes of a big wheel, with Highway 101 as the wheel's rim.
- Consult the park's mileage chart for distances between key destinations, and note that in many areas reduced speed limits and winding, two-lane roads may increase your travel time. Click here for some recommendations based on your available time (a few hours, a day, or multiple days).
- Call the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at (360)565-3130 for the current status of park roads, facilities, and campgrounds.
- Time permitting, we recommend that you try to sample destinations within each of the park's major ecosystems: sub-alpine, coastal, and forest (which can be further sub-divided into lowland forest and the famous temperate rainforest).
- Check the park's Event Calendar for interesting programs and activities
- Don't spend all of your time at Olympic in the car! There are hundreds of trails, viewing points, and other opportunities to experience the park beyond your windshield. Take a walk in the woods, watch for wildlife, or listen to a river. Even if it's a five minute stop at a pull-out, don't miss the opportunity.
- Try out the park's phone-based audio tour, details pictured below: