Olympic National Park , located Washington state , USA, is a land of contrasts and variety. Here you can find Pacific Ocean beaches, rain forest valleys, glacier-capped peaks and a stunning variety of plants and animals. Roads provide access to the outer edges of the park, but the heart of Olympic is wilderness.
The coastal portion of the park is a rugged, sandy beach along with a strip of adjacent forest. It is 73 miles (117 km) long but just a few miles wide, with native communities at the mouths of two rivers. The Hoh River has the Hoh people and at the town of La Push at the mouth of the Quileute River live the Quileute.
Within the center of Olympic National Park rise the Olympic Mountains whose sides and ridgelines are topped with massive, ancient glaciers. The western half of the range is dominated by the peak of Mount Olympus, which rises to 7,965 feet (2,428 m). Mount Olympus receives a large amount of snow, and consequently has the greatest glaciation of any non-volcanic peak in the contiguous United States outside of the North Cascades.
The western side of the park is mantled by a temperate rain forest, including the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, which receive annual precipitation of about 150 inches, making this perhaps the wettest area in the continental United States .
Like everything else about Olympic, the weather is extremely variable, from season to season and place to place. Visitors should come prepared for a wide range of conditions. Rain gear and layered clothing are essential.
Things to do in Olympic National Park
Hiking & Backpacking
There are several roads in the park, but none penetrate far into the interior. The park features a network of hiking trails, although the size and remoteness means that it will usually take more than a weekend to get to the high country in the interior. The sights of the rain forest, with plants run riot and dozens of hues of green, are well worth the possibility of rain sometime during the trip, although months of July, August and September frequently have long dry periods .
Olympic has 16 NPS-operated campgrounds with a total of 910 sites. Concession-operated RV parks are located within the park at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and Log Cabin Resort on Lake Crescent.
Fishing in Olympic National Park
With over 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, hundreds of lakes and 73 miles of Pacific Coast, Olympic National Park has plenty of habitat for fish. Opportunities for recreational fishing abound within the park. The primary objectives of the fisheries management program at Olympic National Park are to preserve and restore native fishes and their habitats and provide recreational fishing opportunities for the enjoyment of park visitors.
When you visit the Olympic Wilderness, whether to clamber along the beautiful beaches of the wilderness coast, to immerse yourself in the freshness and healing of the old-growth forests, or to push your limits climbing Mount Olympus , keep in mind that Olympic National Park is a fragile remnant of wild America.