Olympic National Park encompasses 922,651 acres (373,397 ha) in the center of Washington's Olympic Peninsula and includes a 60-mile strip of wilderness coastline on the Pacific Ocean. Ranging from sea level to almost 8,000 ft (2,435 m), Olympic National Park encompasses a broad gradient of habitats.
The Olympic Mountains intercept moisture-laden Pacific winds, resulting in a significant rainshadow effect. Olympic National Park is the wettest spot in the conterminous United States; the west slopes of Mount Olympus receive about 200 inches (508 cm) of precipitation per year, while less than 34 miles to the east, precipitation is less than 20 inches (50.3 cm) per year. Park ecosystems range from the rich intertidal zone, to rainforests, montane forests, alpine meadows, and glaciers. Temperate rainforests blanket the western slopes of the mountains, while alpine tundra conditions prevail in the dry, northeast section of the park.
The North Coast and Cascades Network provides natural resource inventory and monitoring information to help parks make effective, science-based management decisions. Inventories have been completed for birds, fish, mammals, reptiles & amphibians, and vascular plants (see species lists further down the page). Maps and reports detailing Olympic National Park's vegetation are complete and are in progress for soils and geologic resources.
For more information about Olympic National Park, visit the Park website.
* Elk monitoring has been suspended with protocol redesign pending.
** Fish monitoring was conducted from 2005 thorugh 2011.
*** Forest monitoring is intermittent due to funding limitations.
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Last updated: August 24, 2023