Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Best Places To Stay In Olympic National Park

When Is The Best Time To Visit Olympic National Park

8 Amazing Places in OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK [4K]

The Olympic National Park has plenty of seasonal activities! However, its undeniable that the most popular time to visit is in the summer season. Crowds are inevitable, but the advantage of the summer season is that nearly everything is open and available to experience!

In the winter season, Hurricane Ridge is open for snowshoeing on the weekends, and most of the Washington coast is shrouded in clouds for a moody and dramatic vibe and some awesome opportunities for photography.

Winter season in the Olympics has its perks and disadvantages, just like any other season. Youll experience far fewer crowds, but only a limited number of attractions are open!

Home Sweet Home For One Night

We spent the night back at the Red Lion in Port Angeles and headed back to Seattle the next morning. It took 2 1/2 hours to get from Port Angeles to downtown Seattle, including the ferry ride. Once home, we unpacked, then immediately repacked for leg two of our epic trip honoring my amazing mom and her 70 years of making this world a kinder, happier, funnier place.

When To Visit Olympic National Park

The best time to visit most places in the Pacific Northwest is going to be the summer months between mid-June and Labor Day in early September. We were in Olympic National Park just before Labor Day in 2020, and it was incredible weather blue skies, 70 degrees, and completely clear. That seems to be pretty common in the summer, at least more common than other times of year when youre likely to get a pretty constant drizzle.

However, those summer months also are a double edged sword, because everyone is going to be trying to go to Olympic National Park at that time making it much harder to get campsites, parking spots at trailheads, and backcountry permits.

To avoid the crowds, late spring and early fall are also a good time to be there, though the weather is going to be a little more hit or miss. If youre prepared for some rain, youll be fine. And youre heading to the rainforest, so isnt a little bit of rain part of the charm anyway?

Winter in Olympic National Park looks beautiful, but its going to be stormy and wet. Some of the higher elevation hiking trails are covered in snow making them inaccessible, but you can still explore some of the beaches and the rainforests. Be prepared to be very, very wet though. It rains A LOT. Its like its a rainforest or something.

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Juan De Fuca Cottages

A charming boutique hotel, the Juan de Fuca Cottages offer an idyllic setting on a low bluff along the shores of Dungeness Bay in Sequim, Washington. The waterfront cottages offer marvelous views of the Dungeness Spit, New Dungeness Lighthouse, Olympic Mountains, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Victoria, British Columbia. The hotels guests will enjoy easy access to water activities that include ocean kayaking, sailing tours, and deep-sea fishing charters. The cottages are bright and airy, rustic in design, and furnished with eclectic vintage pieces. All of the cottages are equipped with private bathrooms, whirlpool tubs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and cable TV.

182 Marine Drive, Sequim, WA, Phone: 360-683-4433

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Roomy Guesthouse In Lake Quinault: Timber Haven

Best Places To Visit In Olympic National Park ~ RIFOF

Another stunning timber house with views of the lake and mountains, this holiday cottage comes with two bedrooms, making it ideal for smaller families on a budget. The deck area is the length of the house, meaning it has ample space for the barbecue, gas heater and dining table. The interiors are a little dated, but this gives it a more rustic atmosphere.

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Long Weekend In Olympic National Park

This Olympic National Park Weekend Itinerary is perfect for people who live in Seattle. This is the perfect weekend trip from Seattle, where you can drive through the park and see the highlights!

  • Day 1: Seattle to Port Angeles, Sunset at Hurricane Ridge
  • Day 2: Sol Duc Falls, Cape Flattery, sleep in Forks, WA
  • Day 3: Rialto Beach Hiking, La Push Hiking, sleep in Forks, WA
  • Day 4: Hoh Rainforest, Ruby Beach, Kalaloch, sleep at Lake Quinault Lodge
  • Day 5: Visit Staircase in the morning, drive back to Seattle

Where To Stay In Olympic National Park To Explore Each Region

Since its such a huge park with so much to see and do, youre probably not going to tackle it all in one trip. If you have just a short time here, we recommend choosing one area to explore. Otherwise, consider where to stay on the Olympic Peninsula carefully, ideally choosing different places on a longer trip to reduce the amount of driving time.

For example, if you were to stay in Port Angeles, youd spend four hours behind the wheel to get to and from the Hoh Rainforest, wasting much of the day. For that trip you might want to overnight in Port Angeles or at Lake Crescent for half your trip and spend the other half right in the Hoh Rainforest or along the coast.

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Lodging Inside Olympic National Park

You have a few choices that will allow you to stay right in this national park.

The only coastal hotel inside Olympic National Park isKalaloch Lodge, which dates back to the 1920s. This is set in a rural area, but if you are looking for a cozy getaway, youve come to the right place. We stayed here for a night with the kids in the winter, and it was fantastic. You can stay in cabins that face the ocean . They do not have televisions or Wi-Fi, so its a great place to disconnect they do, however, have wood-burning stoves and comfortable beds.

To the south, at the Quinault entrance to the park, you can stay atLake Quinault Lodge.This historic lodge is nearly a century old and is open year round.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is located in the northern part of the park, with the mineral springs being its main draw note this resort is closed from October to March.

Lake Crescent Lodge only operates from April through November, but is located right on the shores of beautiful Lake Crescent, also at the north end of the park.

Log Cabin Resort is also located on the shores of Lake Crescent, open May through the beginning of October, and has camping and RV sites as well as cabins for rent.

Campgrounds Near Lake Quinault

Things to do in Olympic National Park (What to expect Where to Stay & Self Q& A)

The Graves Creek Campground is inside the Quinault Rainforest, just an hours drive away from Lake Quinault. The cost to camp here is $20 per night. A closer option is the North Fork Campground, which is 40 minutes away by car and charges the same per night.

No matter which are you pick for where to stay in Olympic National Park, youll love your time in this beautiful area!

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+ Best Things To Do In Olympic National Park

Post Summary: The Best Things To Do In Olympic National Park

More than ever, Berty and I are yearning for some enchanting adventure. An opportunity to get outside and be taken aback by the magic of the Pacific Northwest.

Do you feel that way, too? The perfect mix of tranquility and the trip of a lifetime is actually not that far away! You can find it tucked away on Washingtons Olympic Peninsula.

Were talking about the Olympic National Park a haven for hikers, backpackers, photographers, and beachcombers!

With 70 miles of wild coastline, endless rainforest trails, and snow-capped mountains, this 1-million acre area will surely leave you breathless. Experience it in a long weekend or with an epic road trip theres no wrong way to visit this Washington gem!

In this post, were breaking down all the things to do in Olympic National Park into separate areas, and sharing our favorite activities, hikes, and so much more. Were also sharing our favorite camping spots, lodging options, and more juicy tips for your best trip yet!

Lets get exploring!

How Many People Visit Olympic National Park Every Year

In 2019, Olympic National Park saw 3.2 million visitors, and every year since then its seen similar numbers. The areas of the park that receive the most visitors include the Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, and Lake Crescent.

There are so many things to do in Washington, but its a no-brainer that the Olympic National Park receives a lot of visitors. Its a place where you can see a lot of diversity while not traveling very far!

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Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is a scenic place to stay next to the Sol Duc River, south of Lake Crescent. The property offers a popular campground and a large selection of cabins to spend the night. Standard cabins for two to four people are available, as well as kitchen cabins and duplex cabins. A select few riverside suites are also available.

Each cabin rental or campsite comes with access to the resort’s three mineral pools. These geothermal natural attractions are a big draw to the area and provide a relaxing outlet during any visit. The resort is also home to the exquisite Springs Restaurant, featuring locally sourced ingredients for all three meals of the day.

The area surrounding Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is particularly adventurous. Less than two miles down the road is the trailhead for Sol Duc Falls. The short hike to Sol Duc Falls is an iconic route in the park that’s popular for family treks. And beyond Sol Duc Falls, the trail leads further into the breathtaking Seven Lakes Basin.

Address: 12076 Sol Duc-Hot Springs Road, Port Angeles, Washington

Getting From Seattle To Olympic National Park

10 Top Places to Visit in Olympic National Park

To get from Seattle to Olympic National Park, youve got a couple of options.

The ferry routes below will save you a a little bit of time, but it will cost more since you have to pay the ferry crossing on the route from the Seattle area heading west.

First isdriving through Tacoma, which avoids the cost of the ferry to Bainbridge Island, but takes a bit longer if theres any traffic at all between Seattle and Tacoma which there usually is.

There are two ferry routes you could take, and they take roughly the same amount of time.

The first option is the Edmonds-Kingston ferry, which is north of Seattle. This one drops you in Kingston on the other side of the Hood Canal, and from there youd head west until meeting up with US 101, which you follow to the park. You can see costs here, which varies depending on how many people are in the car, and what kind of vehicle you have. Ferry schedule here.

The second option is the Bainbridge Ferry, which leaves from downtown Seattle and drops you on Bainbridge Island. From there, youd take a couple of different roads that bring you northwest to meet up with 101. Ferry costs here, and the schedule can be found here.

Both ferries cost roughly the same, and take roughly the same amount of time. The main difference is where they leave from and where they drop you off, and we dont have a strong perspective on which one is better.

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The Ultimate Guide To The Olympic National Park In Washington

Where is The Olympic National Park?

If you think of Washington as an oven mitt, Olympic National Park is located on the thumb.

In more official terms, its located in the westernmost section on the state, on the top on the Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic National Park has about 1 million acres of land, and the surrounding area generally consists of the Olympic National Forest.

Both of these entities work together to preserve the unique biodiversity of the area, for the enjoyment of all visitors!

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Map Of Olympic National Park

Below is our map of favorite activities in the Olympic National Park. You can actually save this map for your own future use by clicking on the upper left corner! It will open up in a new browser, and you can save it for future use!

Make sure to check out our road trip planning tools for our tricks on how to download maps offline, so you can explore without cell service!

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Where To Stay In Olympic National Park

Wondering where to stay in Olympic National Park? The Olympic Peninsula is a fantastical landscape, home to impossibly tall, moss-covered trees, snow-tipped mountain peaks, and a wild coastline. Highway 101 rings the vast wilderness of the park and there are various entrances along the way. We recommend choosing lodging close to the part of the park you wish to visitunless you love driving instead of experiencing nature at its finest.

Theres Quinault and Hoh rain forests in the west Sol Duc Hot Springs, Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge in the north and Staircase and Dosewallips in the east. You have a wide range of choices when looking for a place to lay your head at night after a day of marvelous vistas: historic lodges, camping and RV sites, charming bed and breakfasts, and nightly home rentals are all options in this area.

Heres a breakdown of what kinds of lodging youll find in Olympic National Park and where youll find it.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase through one of the product or hotel links. You can read our full disclosure statement here.

Where Is Olympic National Park


Olympic National Park covers most of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, and is the furthest west you can go in the state. It totals just under a million acres and features staggeringly diverse landscapes youll find everything from sandy beaches to temperate rainforests, and even jagged snow-covered mountain peaks.

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From Seattle And Seatac

There are a couple of easy options if youre coming from Seattle drive around, or take the ferry to Bainbridge. Both take roughly the same amount of time, but the ferry costs $22 for a car, drive, and one passenger .

First, you can drive around through Tacoma, cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and head north along the Hood Canal. Eventually, youll connect with Highway 101, which runs from the northeast side of the park alllll the way down the coast to the southwest edge of the park, and even down to California.

Another choice is to take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. The Washington State Ferries system has a few routes that allow you to reach the Olympic Peninsula by crossing the Puget Sound. You can take a look at the ferry schedule for all the specific ferry times.

If youre planning to come from somewhere farther out, like another state, then flying into SeaTac International Airport is your best choice.

Youll need to make sure you have a rental car theres really no way to explore the Olympic Peninsula without one. I wouldnt recommend options like the bus because the sheer size of the park will require you to have a car to explore it!

From SeaTac Airport, its going to take you two and a half or three hours to drive to your first stop.

Quality Inn & Suites At Olympic National Park Sequim

Sequim offers another popular home base for Olympic vacations. It’s 30 miles east of Port Angeles and accessible from Seattle with a 2.5-hour commute, including a ferry ride. Alongside quick access to places like Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent, the town also has a reputation as the Lavender Capital of North America.

One of the most dependable stays in Sequim is the Quality Inn & Suites at Olympic National Park. This pet-friendly accommodation has 60 rooms, including a handful of suites. Alongside modern decor, each room features free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and a mini-fridge. In addition, coffee is available throughout the day, and the hotel offers a complimentary breakfast every morning.

Address: 134 River Road, Sequim, Washington

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Best Places To Stay Near Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is situated on 1,406 square miles of land sheltering an abundance of glaciated mountain peaks, a one-of-a-kind rainforest, and 57 miles of the Pacific coastal wilderness. The parks ecosystem features an impressive biodiversity making it an ideal place to explore via hiking, kayaking, or skiing, and activities such as fishing and camping are encouraged here. For those who would rather forgo roughing it in the wilderness, here are 25 amazing Olympic National Park accommodations. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

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