• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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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.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5

    Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed from the Lyre River TH to approximately 0.25 miles east of Devil’s Punchbowl. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The remainder of the trail will be accessible from the Camp David Jr. Road TH. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats

    NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Rabies

    Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »

Natural Features & Ecosystems

sharp, craggy, snow-covered peak

Chimney Peak in winter

Mountains
The Olympic Mountains are host to montane forests giving way to subalpine meadows, rocky alpine slopes and glacier-capped summits. Most of the area's endemic plants and animals are found in these high elevation ecosystems.

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creek flowing through forest, many moss covered rocks

Unnamed creek flows through an ancient forest.

Rivers & Lakes
Linking ocean and land ecosystems, rivers and streams provide a highway for fish and other wildlife to move both up and downstream.

As fish swim upstream to spawn and later die, they bring with them vital nutrients from the sea, replenishing the forest in ways that science has only recently defined.

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Temperate rain forest

Sitka spruce in temperate rain forest.

Forests
Olympic National Park was established in 1938 in part to preserve some of Washington's quickly disappearing primeval forests. Now the park protects one of the largest remaining blocks of old growth forest and temperate rain forest in the lower 48 states.

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ocean breakers with rocky offshore island in background

Waves break on Rialto Beach.

Coast
From sandy beaches to rocky offshore islands, Olympic's shoreline harbors a wealth of marine and intertidal communities.

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Mt. Anderson

Mount Anderson

Geology
The Olympic Mountains were born in the sea. The basalts and sedimentary rocks that form the mass of these peaks were laid down 18 to 57 million years ago offshore, then uplifted, bent, folded and eroded into the rugged peaks you see today.

Did You Know?

star-shaped purple flowers growing in a crack of a rock

That the Piper's bellflower is unique to the Olympic Mountains? Named after an early Olympic peninsula botanist, the Piper's bellflower grows in cracks and crevices of high elevation rock outcrops.