• 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 from 6:00a to noon on Sunday August 3rd.

Mountains

BaileyRangeFromHurricaneRidge_BB
Bailey Range from Hurricane Ridge
 

From the 7,980-foot summit of Mount Olympus, the Pacific Ocean shimmers in the distance, less than 33 miles west. Between the highest peak in the Olympic Mountain range and sea is a jumble of rugged peaks, whose shoulders are decorated with meadows and lakes. Below treeline, scattered subalpine forests give way to steep forested slopes ending in broad, U-shaped valleys. In all directions mountains and valleys radiate from Mount Olympus like spokes on a wheel. How did this range rise to glacier-capped heights from its birth in the ocean? What is the weather like? What does the future hold for the glaciers still shaping the highest peaks? And what plants and animals survive in the mountains, coping with conditions humans would find very challenging?

Where to See Mountains

On a clear day, Hurricane Ridge, at nearly a mile above sea-level, offers the easiest place to view the Olympic Mountains. Sit on the visitor center terrace or walk the nature trails. Or, if your vehicle is appropriate (no trailers or RVs), drive the narrow, dirt Obstruction Point or Deer Park roads to sample the alpine.

Though most of the peaks do not have trails to their summits, dayhikes or overnight backpacks on the park's trail system can take you to basins, lakes and passes surrounded by peaks.

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.