12 Best Hikes in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park Overview

Located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington’s coast, Olympic National Park has some of the most diverse ecosystems in the National Park System. From mountains, to valleys, to beaches, to rain forests, there is plenty of gorgeous scenery to take in as a visitor. In the center of Olympic National Park are the Olympic Mountains whose massive glaciers feed running water throughout the rest of the park below. Further down from the mountains are the temperate rainforests, including Hoh and Quinault, where visitors have numerous hiking opportunities and a chance to see Olympic’s plentiful wildlife. Further still is the rugged coastline with its beaches that stretch for miles along the Pacific Ocean. Visitors need to come well prepared as there is so much to see and do. Below are the 12 best hikes in Olympic National Park!

StateWashington
Nearest Metro AreaSeattle, WA
Area Size922,651 acres
EstablishedJune 29, 1938
Hiking Trails611 miles

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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Olympic National Park

Hurricane Hill Trail (Hurricane Ridge Area) 
Hurricane Hill, Photo by Chris Haffler

Spectacular panoramic views of river-carved valleys to glacier-capped peak of Mount Olympus. This is a favorite amongst visitors and widely considered one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. The trailhead is located 1.5 miles west of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center at the end of the road.

  • 3.2 miles out and back
  • 700′ elevation gain
  • Moderate
Hoh River Trail (Hoh Rainforest Area)
Near Hoh River Trailhead, Photo by Chris Haffler

Long trail leading to Blue Glacier at the north face of Mount Olympus. Day hikers can hike part way through Hoh Rain Forest. The trailhead is located next to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.

  • 34.6 miles out and back
  • 3,700′ elevation gain
  • Easy (Strenuous if hiking entire trail)
 Mount Storm King (Lake Crescent)
Crescent Lake from Mount Storm King Trail
Crescent Lake from Mount Storm King Trail, Photo by Zengame

Steep switchbacks climb part way up Mt. Storm King in one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. The trailhead is located off of the nature trail heading southward along Barnes Creek

  • 4.4 miles out and back
  • 2,000′ elevation gain
  • Strenuous
Hall of Mosses Trail (Hoh Rainforest Area)
Hall of Mosses, Photo by Chris Haffler

Loop trail through old-growth rainforest. The trailhead is located next to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.

  • 0.8 mile loop
  • 100′ elevation gain
  • Easy
Mount Angeles (Hurricane Ridge Area)
Mount Angeles, Olympics WA
Mount Angeles, Olympics WA, Photo by Rick McCharles

Begin on the paved High Ridge Nature Trail until it intersects with Klahhane Ridge Trail. The short jaunt to Sunrise Point is highly recommended and a good warmup for the climb you are about to have. Continue on Klahhane Ridge for 2.5 miles until you come to a distinct climbers trail branching off to the left. From there the arduous part of the hike begins as hikers will have to rock scramble up a spree field to the summit of the highest point in the Hurricane Ridge area. The views from the top are worth the effort; especially on a clear day. The trailhead is located at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center parking lot.

  • 6.2 miles out and back
  • 2,100’ elevation gain
  • Strenuous
Sol Duc Falls (Sol Duc) 
Sol Duc Falls, Photo by Chris Haffler

Old-growth forest leading to 3-legged falls. The trailhead is located at the end of Sol Duc Road.

  • 1.6 miles out and back
  • 200′ elevation gain
  • Moderate
Spruce Nature Trail (Hoh)
Spruce Nature Trailhead, Photo by Chris Haffler

Trail runs to the Hoh River. The trailhead is located next to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.

  • 1.2 mile loop
  • 100′ elevation gain
  • Easy
Rialto Beach (Mora)
Rialto Beach, Photo by Chris Haffler

Fun path leading to ocean view. Beach covered with giant drift logs. The trailhead is located near Mora Ranger Station.

  • 1.5 miles out and back
  • No elevation gain
  • Easy
Ruby Beach Trail (Kalaloch) 
Ruby Beach at Olympic National Park, Photo by Jeffhollett

Walk along Ruby Beach covered with giant drift logs and get a close look at tide pools. The trailhead is located off Highway 101

  • 0.25 miles out and back
  • No elevation gain
  • Easy
Marymere Falls Trail (Lake Crescent) 
Marymere Falls, Photo by Chris Haffler

The most popular day hike at Lake Crescent is the 0.9 mile one way trail to Marymere Falls. This trail goes through old growth forest to a 90-foot waterfall. The trailhead starts from the Storm King Ranger Station but can also be accessed from Lake Crescent Lodge.

  • 1.8 miles out and back
  • 400′ elevation gain
  • Moderate
Heart O’ the Forest (Heart O’ the Hills) 
Drive to Heart O’ The Forest Trailhead, Photo by Chris Haffler

This 2.3 mile one way trail is a lovely, level trek through the forest. The trailhead starts at Loop E in the Heart O’ the Hills campground.

  • 4.6 miles out and back
  • 900′ elevation gain
  • Easy
Madison Falls (Elwha) 
Madison Falls, Photo by Chris Haffler

Short hike on paved trail to 60′ waterfall. The open field nearby is the site of the late 19th century Sweet family homestead, and is now used in summer for the park’s horses and mules to pasture. The trailhead is located off Olympic Hot Springs Road right next to the Elwha River.

  • 0.4 miles out and back
  • No elevation gain
  • Easy

Featured Image: Olympic View, Photo by Jonathan Miske

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