Visiting in Winter

Deep snow covers Olympic Mountains in winter.

Courtesy of Bill Baccus NPS Photo

From snow-blanketed mountains to evergreen forests dripping with rain and ocean beaches pounded by winter storms waves, there are many ways to experience winter in Olympic. Although most of the areas of the park remain accessible, there are few ranger-led programs and many facilities are closed. Before your visit, check the weather forecast and current road conditions and be prepared for rain and snow. Conditions can change quickly and what starts as a sunny day can end with hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions!

Hurricane Ridge parking area in winter.
Cross country skiing is a popular sport in the high country.

NPS Photo

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is the focal point for snow and winter recreation, with opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Weather permitting, Hurricane Ridge Road opens Friday through Sunday during the winter season, but storms or avalanche hazards can lead to road closures at any time.

Waves crash on 3rd Beach in winter.
Winter waves crash on 3rd Beach.

Courtesty of Sheltren NPS Photo

Pacific Coast

Winter is the perfect time for storm watching along the Pacific Coast. Rain, wind, and tides combine to create massive swells that crash against the shore. Coastal beaches are relatively snow-free and a walk along a sandy beach during low tide is a great way to explore the diversity of the intertidal zone.

Winter conditions can bring strong winds, stronger tides, and big waves. Carry a tide chart, pay attention to your surroundings, and never underestimate the power of the Pacific Ocean! Learn more about visiting the coast
A log bridge crosses a ravine in Quinault Rainforest.
Log bridge in the Quinault Rainforest.

NPS Photo

Temperate Rain Forests

The Hoh and Quinault rain forests are excellent destinations once a bit of the snow melts. Winter is the wet season and the rain forest radiates in deep, healthy greens. Be prepared to get wet though, the rain forests get an average of 12 feet of rain per year.


Helpful Links for Winter Travel

A person snowshoes across a wintry, snow-covered landscape.
Plan Your Visit

Find information on operating hours, fees and passes, places to go and things to do at Olympic National Park.

Road work near Lake Crescent.
Alerts & Conditions

Don't be caught unaware! Check our Alerts & Conditions page before your visit.

A cross-country skier travels across a snowy landscape with the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
Visiting Hurricane Ridge in Winter

Learn more about visiting Hurricane Ridge in winter.

Snow plow works to clear heavy snow on Hurricane Ridge Road.
Hurricane Ridge Winter Access Twitter

Find up to date information on winter road conditions on our Hurricane Ridge Winter Access Twitter page.

Two hikers travel through a snowy, mountainous landscape.
Wilderness Winter Travel

If you're planning to visit the Olympic Wilderness during the fall, winter, or spring, be prepared for inclement weather! Learn more here.

Visitors look at a newspaper in front of a visitor center
Park Newspaper

The latest edition of the park newspaper, the Bugler.

Last updated: December 1, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362


360 565-3130

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