Where do I even start with this one? Olympic National Park was Alex’s #1 park to visit since we started this endeavor, and spending a long weekend in the park was exactly what we hoped – magical.
If anybody ever talks about her weekend in Olympic National Park and does use the word magical…well, there is something very wrong with that person. Magical can’t quite capture this multi-environment park. It’s other-wordly. I was able to go from an Alpine mountaintop, to the rainy and secluded coast, and to the moss-covered wonderland of a rainforest.
All in one freaking day.
The clearest way into the Universe
is through a forest wilderness.
We stayed at the Super 8 Motel in Port Angeles, which offers free wifi, free parking, and a free breakfast in the morning. If you’re not concerned with staying in a fancy hotel, this is a great option for you. It even came with a small fridge, so we were able to have “hotel dinner” to help save money.
We started our adventure on Thursday at the Visitor Center on the way to Hurricane Ridge, the rangers were super helpful with letting us know about the closures in the park. One ranger spent quite a bit of time with us, writing out the high tide and low tide times for the next few days, giving us the driving times between different areas of the park, making suggestions for seeing what the park had to offer, and showing us photos she took on her tablet. Honestly one of the best interactions with a ranger we’ve had at any of the parks.
We started our day early on Friday, grabbing a quick breakfast before heading out to Rialto Beach. We spent a few hours on the (really, really wet) beach, exploring the shore, taking photos of the sea stacks, being followed by a few river otters, and chatting with a local about the history of the areas. Magical.
Our adventure didn’t stop there, we had a more proper breakfast in Forks (please see below for my suggestion on dealing with anything having to do with Forks), and then drove to the Hoh Rainforest. The Hoh Rainforest should not be missed…yes, it’s a drive, but it wouldn’t be as magical of a trip if you don’t go there. All I need to say: banana slugs. Because, why wouldn’t you want to drive a couple of hours in search of a banana slug? We did about 5 miles of the Hoh River Trail before stopping for lunch…and the shore called to us again so we decided to check out Ruby Beach. It wasn’t as deserted as Rialto, but it was much drier.
Where to visit on your next weekend in Olympic National Park
- Hurricane Ridge
- Hoh Rainforest
- Rialto Beach
- Ruby Beach
I cannot capture the magic that we encountered over the few days we were in the park, so I’ll be back with more posts. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of the photos I took while in Washington. If you don’t, you can find me at @CampfireChic.
Before you go
- Check the park website or call the ranger station for closure updates
- Get your fill of Mexican food, the area isn’t known for it and the last thing you want to do is be disappointed when trying to satisfy a craving
- Bring extra water – I only remember 2 water fountains and neither were water bottle-friendly
- If driving from SEA-TAC, load up your phone/music player with some podcasts…it’s a long drive to Port Angeles
- Practice saying, “No, I’m not here for the Twilight Tour”
Have you been to Olympic National Park?