"I have found that people go to the wilderness for many things but, the most important is perspective. They may think they go for the fishing or the scenery or companionship but, in reality it is something far deeper. They go to the wilderness for the good of their souls".
- Sigurd Olson
Over 95% of Olympic National Park's 876,669 acres is designated wilderness, encompassing and protecting one of the largest wilderness areas in the contiguous United States and offering visitors a chance to experience the park's amazing diversity in its natural and pristine state.
What is Wilderness?As defined by the 1964 Wilderness Act, a wilderness is "...an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." The Wilderness Act created our National Wilderness Preservation System and provides the means for Congress to designate "wilderness areas," our nation's highest form of land protection. Today millions of Americans enjoy wilderness for hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, mountaineering, solitude, and more.
Planning Your Wilderness Trip While planning your wilderness trip, keep in mind this remnant of wild America is undeveloped and fragile. Make sure you are familiar with safety requirements and regulations before you go.
Wilderness Trip Planner
Plan your back country wilderness trip here, to include places to go, rules and regulations and safety.
Wilderness Permits and Reservations
The Wilderness Information Center is located in the Olympic National Park main Visitor Center in Port Angeles.
Wilderness Travel Basics
Are you prepared for what you will encounter on your hike? Read these travel tips to help prepare for your trip.
Wilderness Trail Guide
Find more information on wilderness trails at Olympic National Park.
Before you travel into the wilderness, be sure you know and follow wilderness regulations.
Wilderness Group Camping
Traveling into the wilderness with a group? Read through our safety tips and regulations first!
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.
Safety is the key to a great trip to Olympic National Park! Be prepared for wildlife, weather, tides, and wilderness.
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This playful video will prepare backpackers to venture into the Wilderness areas of Olympic National Park. Viewers will learn what to pack, how to treat the natural resources with care, and how to avoid and survive the common risks and dangers of backpacking in Olympic National Park.
Last updated: September 6, 2022