• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

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  • Madison Falls Trail Closed for Repairs Beginning July 7

    The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail and trailhead parking lot located in Elwha Valley will close to public entry beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

  • Hurricane Ridge Road Closed to Vehicles Sunday 8/3 (6:00a - noon)

    Due to the "Ride the Hurricane" bicycle event, the road to Hurricane Ridge will be closed above the Heart o' the Hills entrance station from 6:00a to noon on Sunday August 3rd.

California Sea Lion

Four California sea lions on a rock

California sea lions often lounge on offshore rocks of the Olympic Peninsula.

California Sea LionZalophus californianus

Identification:
Maybe best known for their distinctive circus-like bark, California sea lions are so called because of their breeding grounds in California's Channel Islands. They are smaller and more vocal than the Steller's sea lions that haul out alongside them in the offshore waters of the Olympic Peninsula. Though usually darker in color than Steller's sea lions, California adult males are further distinguished by a prominent crest on their head.

Habitat:
The Olympic coast lies along the migratory path of both California and Steller's sea lions. On the way to foraging areas in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, California sea lions feed in the coastal waters in the late summer and early fall. They haul out in masses on the abundant offshore rocks, amiably alongside their larger cousins. These whiskered creatures are often visible on the islands off the coast of Cape Flattery and Cape Alava, arriving in late summer or early fall, and often staying through spring.

Diet:
California sea lions feed mainly on squid, smelt, codfish, rockfish, and most other available fish.

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Did You Know?

closeup of cow elk face

Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world. Olympic was almost named "Elk National Park" and was established in part to protect these stately animals.