Check out 16 of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. One of the biggest national parks in the U.S., it offers everything from dense forest to meadows and coastal bluffs.
Located in the northwest of Washington State, Olympic National Park is a massive region preserving nearly one million acres of land. Its coast is over 60 miles long, spanning the longest undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States. The park encompasses a few distinct ecosystems, including the Pacific coastline, wildflower meadows, glaciers and several forested areas home to Douglas firs, cedar trees and western hemlocks.
Appreciated for its rich diversity, Olympic National Park is a designated UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The park offers myriad beautiful hiking trails with access to rivers and waterfalls, rainforests, coastal views and alpine areas. The National Park Service manages this Pacific Northwest gem year-round. Do your part when you visit by paying your $30 entry fee and keeping the trails clean and tidy. Check out some of our favorite recommendations.
1. Ericson’s Bay Primitive Trail
On the north coast, Ericson’s Bay Primitive Trail is a moderately difficult out-and-back trail, accessible by boat from the east side of Ericson’s Bay. At just over 11 miles, including about 840 feet of elevation gain, the trek covers sandy beaches and forested areas. It is not maintained, so watch out for slippery or hazardous areas.
2. Hoh River Trail
Hoh River Trail is an easy three-mile out-and-back trail popular among campers, backpackers and hikers alike. The hike leads to a beautiful waterfall perfect for a summer swim.
3. High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop
The High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop is a challenging trail meant only for serious hikers. This trek is an all-day trip. Wake up early to hike 19 miles, including over 5000 feet of elevation gain. The workout is worth it for the views of Mount Olympus and other mountain peaks. The trail winds through beautiful lakes, creeks and waterfalls, as well as meadows and thick old-growth forests.
4. Ozette Loop
The Ozette Loop is a long but relatively easy trail. Although the path is over nine miles long, the elevation change is only 100 feet. This trek takes you through the northern coastal forest as well as rocky beaches and boardwalks. Pack a picnic and hang out at the water for a while.
5. Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels
This fairly difficult trail is intended for avid hikers. Putvin Trail to the Lake of Angels covers just under eight miles out and back, including almost 4000 feet in elevation gain. It takes an average of five hours to complete, but it’s well worth it for the views. Visit in the spring for the wildflower meadows, or experience the snow when hiking in winter.
6. Toleak Point to Mosquito Creek
Hike along the south coast from Toleak Point to Mosquito Creek. This trek passes by several waterfalls and creeks as well as massive bluffs. The four-and-a-half-mile trail covers an expanse of beach before entering the forest.
7. Boulder Creek Trail
Boulder Creek Trail is a flat and easy two-and-a-half-mile trek through montane forest. The out-and-back trail ends at natural hot springs, perfect for a nice warm swim.
8. Cameron Creek Trail
Located in the park’s northeast quadrant, Cameron Creek Trail is a moderately challenging seven-mile trail with about 2000 feet in elevation gain. The route takes you through montane forest and subalpine meadow areas.
9. Heather Park Trail
Heather Park Trail is a relatively steep, moderately difficult trail spanning just over six miles, including over 3000 feet in elevation gain. Campsites are available at Heather Park.
10. South Fork Hoh River Trail
This trail is an easy, flat walk through ancient temperate rainforest. Covering just over eight miles, the South Fork Hoh River Trail is a nice long walk for those in the mood to explore without working up too much of a sweat.
11. Ruby Beach
Head to Ruby Beach for a pleasant nature walk and a refreshing swim. The iconic Ruby Beach is only one mile out and back from the trailhead. The path is completely flat and easily doable for the whole family. Leashed dogs are welcome.
12. Lillian River Trail
Lillian River Trail is an easy trek through lowland forest and montane forest in the northeast part of the park. The trail has only 600 feet in elevation gain and covers just over two miles.
13. Martin’s Park Trail
Martin’s Park Trail is an easy two-mile hike through subalpine meadow and forest. Enjoy mountainous peaks, spring flowers and winter snow. Elevation change is less than 1000 feet.
14. Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge
This moderately difficult out-and-back hike takes under two hours on average. At three and a half miles long, the trail to Hurricane Hill offers beautiful landscape views of the mountain region and forests.
15. Staircase Rapids Loop
This hike is surprisingly easy considering its name. At only two miles long and just over 200 feet in elevation gain, the Staircase Rapids Loop is a great area to explore year-round.
16. Lovers Lane Loop
This six-mile trail is popular among runners and walkers alike, as it has less than 600 feet of elevation gain. With elevation spread out over the entire path, it ends up feeling relatively flat. Check out Lovers Lane for the dense forest and beautiful waterfalls.
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