• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

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  • Work Scheduled for East Beach Road at Lake Crescent Starting July 10

    East Beach Road will be reduced to one-lane of traffic through work zones and delays of up to 15 minutes should be expected. Work will occur weekdays between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. through mid-July, weather permitting.

  • 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 for three weeks beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

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?

Mossy downed log in dense forest

The old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest produce three times the biomass (living or once living material) of tropical rain forests. More...