The Olympic Peninsula is one of the most beautiful and diverse places on earth. Olympic National Park has been named a World Heritage Park and a Biosphere Reserve. The main attractions include the Hoh Rain Forest, Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, Sol Duc Falls and Hot Springs, the ocean beaches near La Push and Rialto, the ocean beaches near Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, and Lake Ozette.
The Makah Reservation, although not within Olympic National Park, is where you will find the Makah Museum, Shi Shi Beach, and Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the lower 48, known to the native people as the beginning of the world.
The park is not one continuous area. It is spread out in different locations over the peninsula. When planning your visit it is a good idea to keep in mind Highway 101 makes a loop around the perimeter of the peninsula. There are no highways through the center. It makes sense to move in one direction and visit the attractions in each area before moving along to the next.
Most of our visitors are coming from the Seattle area, either having flown in to Sea-Tac or being some of our million plus urban neighbors. Approaching Port Angeles on Highway 101 coming from the north or east, you will see much beautiful scenery but your first encounter with Olympic National Park will be Hurricane Ridge, towering above the city to the south.
The main park visitor center is located on the route up to Hurricane Ridge. Continuing west and south on 101 toward our cabins, you will go past the Elwha River section of the park, Lake Crescent, and Sol Duc Hot Springs. You will arrive at the cabins about 10 miles past Lake Crescent.
Continuing south on Highway 101 toward Forks about eight miles, you can follow Highway 113 connecting to 112, leading to the Lake Ozette section of the park, as well as the Makah Indian Reservation.
Or, continue another nine miles on 101 to 110, (La Push Road) which will take you to beautiful 2nd and 3rd beaches, Rialto beach, and 1st beach accessible through the Quileute Indian village of La Push.
A little past the turn to 110, you will arrive in the city of Forks. South of Forks, still on 101 for about twelve miles, you will come to the Hoh Rain Forest, then another twenty or so to the beaches along the coastal strip including Ruby Beach, and Kalaloch.
If you’re coming from the south, you’ll come to the different areas in the opposite order, but again, it’s good to know where the different “clusters” of attractions are so you can see more and drive less.
Olympic National Park is such a special place it has been named a World Heritage Park and a Biosphere Reserve. A few of the more popular destinations include:
For additional information about the park and some of the activities you can enjoy in the park, we recommend these websites:
- Victoria Visitors Center
Sol Duc Hot Springs has 3 mineral pools to soak your cares away. Sol Duc Falls is a short and easy hike through a towering old growth forest.
Other interesting websites: