Let's start with trees; lots of trees, an ocean of trees—tall, green, majestic trees. What's next? Maybe some mountains; big mountains with snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Oh, and while we're at it, let’s throw in some crystal blue rivers and turquoise lakes. And to top it off, let’s add an ocean, beaches, bald eagles, salmon, waterfalls, elk and black bears.
Is this outdoor heaven? Close, it's Olympic National Park.
A mere three-hour drive west of Seattle, nestled in the mighty Olympic Mountain Range lies one of our nation's most awe-inspiring natural landscapes. And this jewel of a park has three distinct and remarkable regions that make it unlike any other place on the planet.
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Hoh Rainforest1 of 4
Have you ever wanted to explore a rainforest but didn't want to deal with the heat and humidity of the Amazon or the Congo? The Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park is for you.
Formed by glaciers thousands of years ago, today the forest is heavily coated in thick layers of vibrant green moss. Diverse and distinct fauna, including spotted owls, roaming herds of elk and foraging families of black bears call Hoh Rainforest their home, which is one of the largest temperate rainforests in America.
Glacial Mountain Peaks2 of 4
The further you climb, the crisper the air and the more stunning the vistas. Drive up to Deer Park, Hurricane Ridge or Obstruction Point to experience some of the most jaw-dropping panoramas our national park system has to offer.
In the summer, the snow recedes and the wildflowers come to life with explosions of purple, red, white and yellow. The warmer months also grant visitors the opportunity to witness the area's stunning collection of wildlife, including mule deer, mountain goats, Olympic marmots and mountain lions.
Rugged Wilderness Coast3 of 4
The roar of colossal tree trunks crashing in the surf, the soar and scream of bald eagles overhead, the mystical fog and the elusive sun make the coastal regions of Olympic National Park a majestic yet brooding and primitive landscape.
La Push, Kalaloch and Rialto are the names of a few of these wonderfully distinct areas, which include miles of scenic beaches hugging thick forests of spruce and evergreen. In the summer months, these spots make for some of the best and most popular campsites in the U.S.