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Easy Hiking: Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park Day Hiking Travel Tips

  • For a relaxing and easy exploration of the Hoh Rainforest, take either of the two short trails that start near the visitor center. Both the Hall of Mosses Trail, an 0.8-mile loop trail, and the Spruce Nature Trail, a 1.2-mile loop trail, are wonderful introductions to the lush forests.
  • To get your heart beating, head to Hurricane Hill. It begins at the end of the Hurricane Ridge Road and is 1.6 miles one-way. There is a gain of about 700 feet in elevation, providing panoramic views.
  • For a fun jaunt along the coast, take an easy walk along the Ozette Coastal Loop. Following an elevated boardwalk trail, you will see coastal forest and the beach. The best season for this trail is April through October.
  • At Lake Crescent, stroll along the shores of the 12-mile-long glacially carved lake. Be prepared for a very chilly swim if you dare get in the water.
  • If the coast is your favorite spot in the park, head to Rialto Beach where you can walk along a rocky beach, watch waves crash onto offshore islands, and perhaps spot a bald eagle.

We have divided the park up into six sections , spiraling clockwise from the coast. The Olympic Coast - , the longest wilderness coast in the lower 48, offers hikes both on the beach itself and on boardwalks. The northern edge of the Olympic Mountains - offers high peaks and Lake Constance. Elwha River-Hurricane Ridge - - has opportunities for day hikers up into the alpine meadows or longer trips following the Elwha River into the heart of the national park.

The Easier Trails are generally short and less strenuous - good for exploratory day hikes and family jaunts. A couple are even wheelchair accessible.

Easy Hikes


Northern Olympics

Elwha River-Hurricane Ridge


Hood Canal Country

Western Approaches

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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