Best Hikes in Olympic National Park
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18 Best Hikes in Olympic National Park

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We absolutely LOVE the hikes in Olympic National Park!

This amazing park encircles nearly a million acres in northwest Washington state. Its beauty ranges from glacier-topped peaks to raging ocean waves and sea stacks, to tranquil old-growth forests.

For those wanting to explore and see some of the best sights, you’re going to have to hike to experience it.

Many of the best vistas and adventures only come to those willing to tackle rugged coastal hikes and precipitous peaks. So which are the most worth-it hikes? Which will give you the most bang for your buck? We have you covered with the best!

Best Hikes in Olympic National Park

Before exploring Olympic National Park, make sure to grab a pass if you don’t already have one!

Either purchase the pass that covers you for a week or purchase an America the Beautiful National Park pass if you plan on visiting more national parks in Washington or the country (it lasts a year!)

The Olympic National Park hikes below are clustered into separate areas to help you better navigate your time here. This park is massive, and to complete all of these hikes, you’ll likely need a week.

A map of all the hikes in Olympic National Park.
Click the image to view the clickable map for the best hikes in Olympic National Park.

Best Hikes in Olympic National Park Around Lake Crescent

There are tons of great hikes in this area of Olympic National Park, all starring Lake Crescent itself! This gorgeous blue lake is a highlight, and if you can only choose one area for hiking in Olympic National Park, let it be this one!

These are the best hikes at Lake Crescent

1. Mount Storm King

Distance: 5.3 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation: 2,077 feet

Mount Storm King is a pretty challenging hike. Let’s get that out there from the beginning. But it also serves as one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park, without a doubt.

Nina standing on the summit of Mount Storm King with an amazing view across the rolling hill and huge alpine lake.
Mount Storm King is hands down one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park.

Its saving grace is that it’s relatively short for a mountain hike, so that the leg burn won’t last too long. Before you even get to the top of this semi-maintained trail, there are several lookouts to spur you on.

You might think the whole climb is steep enough, but wait until you are almost near the summit. At this point, unless you are a mountain goat, you will need to use strategically placed ropes to help pull you up

Nina climbing up the rope section on the Mount Storm King hike with a view of Lake Crescent in the back.
Sketchy rope section!

Once at the summit, you’ll be able to see Crescent Lake from above, along with that classic shot on the rocks with the lake stretching out before you, surrounded by mountains like something in a nature documentary.

READ MORE: Hiking Mount Storm King in Olympic National Park

2. Marymere Falls Trail

Distance: 1.7 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 298 feet

Everyone loves a waterfall hike, and you won’t be disappointed with Marymere Falls! The trail itself is stunning, filled with moss-covered forests and tall trees reaching up to the sky.

For the majority of the time, you’ll be following a flat, winding path, so all you have to concentrate on is enjoying the scenery.

Nina in a yellow jacket looking at Marymere Falls.
Great views on the trail!

Before long, you’ll come to a series of stairs (don’t worry, they aren’t too tricky) that will bring you up to a stunning viewpoint where you can take in the 90-foot waterfall in all its glory.

A moody image of Marymere Falls during dry season surrounded by foliage and trees.
Marymere Falls (usually fuller, but this was in the dry season).

The upper viewpoint is beautiful, and the hike is full of cool elements, including two bridges crossing the creeks surrounding Crescent Lake. Because it is such a scenic, short hike, on weekends and holidays it is pretty busy.

READ MORE: Marymere Falls Trail in Olympic NP

3. Spruce Railroad Trail Lake Crescent

Distance: 11.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 410 feet

Chug your way along the scenic Spruce Railroad Trail to Crescent Lake on this Olympic National Park trail, taking in the beautiful surroundings as you go.

Nina in hiking gear and a backpack walking along a road towards a wooden bridge surrounded by trees along the Spruce Railroad Trail.
Nina along a section of the trail.

We love a rail-to-trail path—it just makes everything a little more interesting, especially as you can learn about the history of the railway as you hike.

Part of the trail is paved, and there are some interesting features, such as the McFee Tunnel.

Nina entering a tunnel that heads into a cliff along the Spruce Railroad Trail.
The Spruce Railroad Trail is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park for families.

Although long, this is a great one for families as it is relatively flat, taking you along the lakeshore. Of course, if you have little legs with you, you can always make the hike shorter if you want to.

It makes up part of the accessible Olympic Discovery Trail, and this part has recently undergone some renovations, so head there now while everything is relatively new!

4. Devil’s Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail

Distance: 2.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 137 feet

Just a short walk down the Spruce Railroad Trail will bring you to the epic swim spot that is Devil’s Punchbowl. The trail hugs the shore of the beautiful Crescent Lake and is primarily flat, making it easily accessible to everyone.

Nina standing on the edge of the Spruce Railroad Trail on the shores of the Devil's Punchbowl frame by trees.
Admiring the lake at the Devil’s Punchbowl.

At first, you will be walking through a thick forest, but before long, glimpses of bright blue will spring into view… this is Crescent Lake calling.

When you get to a bridge spanning the water, you have reached the stunning area known as Devil’s Punchbowl. It is a popular spot for cliff diving for all those daredevils out there, and some people even choose to jump off of the bridge itself into the freezing waters below.

Nina crossing over a wooden bridge on the Devil's Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail on a moody, overcast day.
The walk to Devil’s Punchbowl is one of the most scenic options here.

For such a short and easy walk to such a beautiful spot, be sure to stop off for a look if you are in the area!

5. Pyramid Mountain Trail

Distance: 6.6 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation: 2,486 feet

The Pyramid Mountain Trail is one of the longer hikes in Olympic National Park, so give yourself at least half a day to hike, take in the views, and admire the beauty of Lake Crescent and the surrounding mountains

You’ll start by walking through a beautiful forest, and shortly after, your heart will start pumping pretty hard.

A view of Lake Crescent from the Pyramid Mountain Trail with a tree-covered mountain in the distance and logs on the lake's beach.
Crescent Lake and Pyramid Mountain from below.

Luckily, you’ll have lake views most of the way to distract you. From the summit, the views stretch for miles in all directions.

If you’re considering Mount Storm King and this one, note that Mount Storm King is much tougher and steeper and should maybe be left for the more athletic hiker, or at least those who love a challenge.

6. Moments in Time Trail

Distance: 0.7 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 9 feet

Take a walk around Crescent Lake on this self-guided hike, basking in the impressive sights as you go.

The forest here is large and lush and beautiful, so bring a picnic and make a day of it—you won’t get a much more scenic spot to enjoy a sandwich or two.  

Nina posing in the forest along the Moments in Time Trail between two large trees and surrounded by ferns and other foliage.
Fairytale scenery on the Moments in Time Trail.

For some of the hike you’ll be walking along the lake shore, and other parts of the trail wind through towering trees and open meadows.

This is a great Olympic National Park trail to hit if you are short on time but still want to stretch those legs and get a quick feeling about what the park has to offer.

RELATED: Exploring Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park

Best Hikes in Olympic National Park’s Hoh Forest

This is the iconic moss forest of Olympic National Park. The hikes here are short and sweet, and you get rewarded with cool scenery the entire way.

The only thing to keep in mind is this road is a dead-end, and you’re driving anywhere from 30-60 minutes away from La Push or Ruby Beaches (and the main road).

This road is known for its narrowness and crowds. Aim to get to this section early or late with the intention of camping at your reserved space.

7. Hoh Rain Forest Hall of Mosses

Distance: 1.1 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 78 feet

Experience life in the rainforest right in Olympic National Park, a stark contrast to the frigid peaks of some other parts of the park.

You’ll start this shorter hike from the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and delve into the lush rainforest, learning as you go thanks to the numerous interpretative signs.

Garrett in hiking gear taking a photo of a group of large, moss-covered trees in the rainforests of the Hall of Mosses Trail.
Experience the rainforest on the Hall of Mosses Trail.

You have a great chance of spotting local wildlife such as Roosevelt elk and the brightly colored banana slug

Although the Hall of Mosses may sound a little like a museum dedicated to the fuzzy green stuff, it is so much more than that and makes for an incredibly scenic and exciting hike.

Everything you see is covered in dripping moss, from the rocks to the trees, making everything look very surreal!

8. Spruce Nature Trail

Distance: 1.4 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 16 feet

Delve deep into the wonders of the Hoh Rainforest on the Spruce Nature Trail. Although short, it is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park.

Nurse logs are a natural phenomenon you may not have heard of, but you’ll get to see them on this trail.

No, not trees that the other trees go to when they are not feeling great, but fallen trees that provide the perfect condition for new seedlings to grow and flourish.

A winding path through the forests of the Spruce Nature Trail with trees covered in moss.
The Spruce Nature Trail is one of the best hikes for nature lovers.

See if you can spot a nurse log at different stages of its life cycle, from freshly fallen to old and rotting, with almost fully grown trees sprouting out of its carcass.

Listen to the sounds of the Hoh River as you walk, and note the milky hue it has thanks to the water from the glaciers. 

This is a great one to pair with the Hall of Mosses Trail, as they are both relatively short, so you can get a two-for-one kind of deal.

RELATED: Things To Do in Olympic National Park

Best Hikes in Olympic National Park’s Coastline

What’s better than a gorgeous hike? Having a dramatic beach with towering sea stacks alongside you, of course!

It’s perhaps the signature of Olympic National Park and the PNW coast in general—Epic sea stacks getting battered by the tides.

These coastal hikes in Olympic National Park are hands down the most worth it.

9. Hole in the Wall Trail

Distance: 3.3 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 108 feet

Hit the coast at the Hole in the Wall Trail.

This Olympic National Park trail is nice and easy, which makes it perfect for families or if you want a gentle stroll. Although the walk is gentle, the Pacific Ocean that roars alongside you certainly isn’t.

Nina wearing a yellow jacket and standing beside a rock arch on the Hole in the Wall trail on a foggy day.
Nina beside the Hole in the Wall.

This is the Washington coast in all its raw beauty. As you traverse Rialto Beach, you’ll soon reach a series of impressive rocky boulders.

This is where the rock formations can be found, including the hole in the wall that gives the hike its name.

Garrett in a bright blue jacket and holding a camera walking along Rialto Beach on a foggy day with a view of giant rocks and trees.
Garrett strolling along Rialto Beach.

From the trailhead, depending on the tide, you’ll either be walking on the sand or up through the trees. It’s recommended to come at low tide so you can walk on the beach and explore the tidepools and the hole in the rock better.

RELATED: 25 EPIC Hikes in Washington to Tackle

10. Ruby Beach Trail

Distance: 1 mile
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 49 feet

Ruby Beach is breathtaking. Sun-bleached hunks of driftwood dot the shore, and massive rock formations dominate the coast. This is Washington state at its finest, with raw, rugged beauty and nature showing what she can do.

Driftwood laying in a puddle along the Ruby Beach Trail while a tourist walks along the beach in the distance at sunset.
One of the shortest Olympic National Park trails is the stroll to Ruby Beach.

Some people wouldn’t even really call this a hike, as it’s just a little walk down to the beach from the trailhead, over the driftwood, and down onto the sand, although we still think it is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park.

One of the most prominent landmarks is the onshore arch and some of the larger sea stacks, and this hike gives you a great chance to see them much closer. 

A view across Ruby Beach at golden hour while people going about their day admiring the sea stacks.
Golden hour view over Ruby Beach.

The beach is beautiful at both high and low tide, but low tide gives you the best chance of viewing some of the local sea life, from starfish to giant green anemones, and gives you much more sand and land to explore and enjoy.

RELATED: 9 Incredible Olympic National Park Beaches to Explore

11. La Push Second Beach Trail

Distance: 2.1 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 278

For an interesting hike ending in a stunning beach, it is no wonder that Second Beach Trail is one of the most popular coastal hikes in Olympic National Forest.

The trail is varied and hilly, with multiple natural elements like sea stacks and other rock formations that help to keep things interesting.

A small child playing on La Push Second Beach with a view of an island out in the ocean.
The views at Second Beach are worth the hike.

The start of the trail might not be the best impression, with a porta-potty and what looks like an almost derelict kiosk. You may be thinking, what have I got myself in for, but don’t let this put you off; it only gets better from here. 

The path will take you through the beautiful old-growth forest before climbing down a huge hill with the help of a rickety staircase.

At this point, the hike turns into a kind of adult obstacle course, as you’ll have to make your way through a field of huge logs before making it to your reward, the beach!

Garrett holding his jacket and standing on La Push Second Beach admiring the view out to sea.
Garrett enjoying the views of La Push Second Beach.

The beach is impressive, with sea stacks jutting out of the surf and even a natural arch in the rock. Roll up those hiking trousers and check out the tide pools for sea life if you make it during low tide.

PS – In case you’re wondering, yes, there is a La Push Beach #1 and #3, too!

READ MORE: Your Guide to La Push Beaches in Olympic National Park

12. Shi Shi Beach Trail

Distance: 8.8 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 561 feet

Located in the park’s northernmost reaches, Shi Shi Beach Trail starts in the Makah Indian Reservation and ends on a remote beach surrounded by, you guessed it, some pretty awesome sea stacks.

A view over Shi Shi Beach and the sea stacks in the ocean bordered by trees and with driftwood laying on the beach.
Unique sea stacks at Shi Shi Beach.

You’ll start your hike trekking through cedar and spruce forests, and you’ll likely have to contend with lots of mud, though there are several boardwalks to help you out along the way.

Eventually, you’ll descend about 200 feet onto the glorious Shi Shi Beach, where you can spend some time tidepooling or keep walking along the shore until you reach the famous sea stacks (about 2 miles).

Rocks at Shi Shi beach and the blue sea.
Shi Shi Beach

This hike is especially beautiful if you can get to the beach by sunset, but you won’t want to hike back in the dark. So, if you can snag one (they are hard to come by), try to get a camping permit so you can stay the night right on the beach!

Note that you will need a Makah Recreation Pass in addition to your park pass to hike Shi Shi Beach Trail.

13. Cape Flattery Trail

Distance: 1.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 229 feet

If you loved the ethereal feel of the Makah Indian Reservation and want to explore the area further, check out Cape Flattery Trail. This is a much shorter and easier route, with a shockingly rewarding viewpoint for such little effort required.

Giant sea stacks with trees growing on top out in the ocean along the Cape Flattery coastline.
Views across the Cape Flattery coastline.

The trail is a mix of boardwalks, gravel, and dirt, meandering through blufftop forests along the coast. You’ll get some pretty great views as you hike, but the real highlight is at the end of the trail, where you’ll find three viewpoints of Cape Flattery.

Because the trail sits within the reservation, you’ll need a Makah Recreation Pass in addition to your park pass to hike here.

Best Hikes in Olympic National Park Around Sol Duc Falls

There’s a gorgeous nook full of verdant forest, teeming rivers, and waterfalls to hike to in Olympic National Park.

This is another dead-end road that will take you to yet another woodland paradise—The highlight here is Sol Duc Falls! This is one of the best waterfalls in Olympic National Park.

14. Lovers Lane Trail to Sol Duc Falls

Distance: 5.8 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 485 feet

This hike may not be the romantic, hand-in-hand stroll that the name suggests, but why would you want that when you have forested trails and a beautiful waterfall?

Lovers Lane trail takes you through a rich, thick forest filled with cedar, maples, huckleberries, and ferns before landing you at Sol Duc Falls.

Nina stepping up onto a log bridge on the Lovers Lane Hike in the middle of the forest.
The bridge leading to the waterfall.

Begin the hike following the Sol Duc River, starting relatively flat, but slowly getting steeper the further upstream you go. Before long, the waterfall should come into view, with a great viewpoint from a strategically placed bridge.

Once you have had your fill of waterfall views, you can then continue the hike back downstream via the trail on the other side of the river.

We love this longer version of the otherwise shorter Sol Duc Falls trail because the forest is gorgeous, and you get a few smaller, more tranquil bonus waterfalls this way too!

A long exposure image of the three cascades at Sol Duc Falls in the middle of the forest.
Sol Duc Falls.

Although this is not a particularly strenuous hike, it is always nice to have an excuse to relax, so after the walk, why not book yourself into the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort at the end of the trail for a bit of treat?

What better way to top off hiking one of the best trails in Olympic National Park?

READ MORE: 21 Epic Waterfalls in Washington

15. Ancient Groves Nature Trail

Distance: 0.5 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 59 feet

You’ll fall in love with the Ancient Groves hiking trail. There is just something so magical about following the winding path through the old-growth forest.

A boardwalks pathway winding through the trees of the forests of the Ancient Groves Nature Trail.
The short and sweet Ancient Groves Nature Trail.

As the trail is short and sweet, you won’t have to worry about how long you take reading the interpretive signs along the route or stopping to take that perfect shot of the river.

This hike is the essence of Washington state, with moss hanging atmospherically from every surface it can and knarled trees reaching their way skyward. 

Ancient Grove Nature Trail winding through giant trees in the forest.
Ancient Groves Nature Trail.

There is easy parking on Sol Duc Springs Road, making the whole experience nice and stress-free. Be sure to check out the nearby Salmon Cascades to see salmon jumping upstream to respawn!

RELATED: Your Guide to Hiking The Sol Duc Falls Trail

Best Hikes in Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge Area

Here is our last area and yet another dead-end road into a totally different world within Olympic National Park. Here, there are precipitous peaks, sometimes dusted in snow or engulfed in clouds.

There are tons of small scenic trails near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, but for more of a challenge, these two are a favorite.

16. Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge

Distance: 3.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 826 feet

This is undoubtedly one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. As soon as you step foot outside your car, you’ll be treated to the first views of the hike, with an expansive vista of the Bailey Range.

Nina along the Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge hike with amazing views across the mountains and valleys.
Views for days from Hurricane Hill.

The trail is wide, and although you’ll be heading uphill most of the time, it is a relatively gradual ascent with plenty of views and interpretive signs to help take your mind off the climb.

The views from the hill’s summit are incredible but don’t take its name lightly.

The weather in the park can be unpredictable at the best of times, and the mountain is very exposed, meaning the wind can batter you if you’re not adequately prepared with the right kit.

A view across to the Hurricane Ridge Trail carved into the side of Hurricane Hill on a misty day.
The Hurricane Ridge trail.

From your lofty viewpoint, you should be able to pick out the town of Port Angeles, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the surrounding mountains on a clear day.

READ MORE: Your Guide to Hurricane Ridge Trails

17. Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail

Distance: 3.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation: 1,571 feet

Do your stretches and eat a banana or two before tackling this trail; you’ll need it, trust us.

Just kidding, this Olympic National Park trail is not that bad. You will be tackling about 1500 feet in elevation gain in under 1 mile, though, so it is a steep one.

Nina in hiking gear taking a break along the Switchback Trail on Mount Angeles with trees and mountains in the distance.
Nina pausing along the Switchback Trail.

As the highest peak in the Hurricane Ridge region, it is not surprising that it is on many hikers’ bucket lists of mountains. Despite its height, it is one of the easiest in the area to summit. 

Although there are a few different ways to reach the summit, this one is via the Switchback Trail, as the switchbacks make it a bit easier to climb such a steep gradient.

Although it is hard going, there are views pretty much all the way to the top, which makes the climb that little bit easier.

Nina along Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail heading up to the summit while walking along the ridge of the mountain.
Mount Angeles is one of the Olympic National Park trails that hikers love to tackle.

Once you have followed the switchback trail for a while, you will join the Klahhane Ridge Trail.

At this point, you’ll have to decide whether you want to go all the way to the summit, as from here on out, it is a Class 3 scramble and not suitable for your average hiker.

Once you do finally manage to reach the peak, you will be awarded a stunning vista of the Olympic Mountains and even out as far as the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

Best Multi-Day Hike in Olympic National Park

If you’re up for a real challenge, you can hop on one of the multi-day hikes in Olympic National Park.

This is not for the fight of heart, and you’ll need to plan and prepare for your excursion well in advance. Backcountry permits are required, and reservations can be hard to come by!

18. Enchanted Valley Chalet via East Fork Quinault River Trail

Distance: 25.5 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation: 3,254 feet

Our favorite multi-day hike in Olympic National Park is the Enchanted Valley Chalet. The name itself is straight out of a fairytale, and while the trail is technically hard, this is considered a beginner-friendly overnight trail.

A historic ski chalet made out of logs and wood standing at the base of the Enchanted Valley with a waterfall behind.
Historic ski chalet in the Enchanted Valley.

You’ll trek through old-growth forests, across pastoral bridges, and eventually, through the lovely Enchanted Valley. You’ll likely encounter plenty of wildlife as you hike, including elk and black bears.

This is a popular trail, so you’ll likely encounter plenty of other hikers, plus some great spots to pitch a tent once you’ve had enough hiking for the day.

Final Thoughts

No doubt hiking in Olympic National Park is absolutely epic. It’s one of the best things to do in Washington and one of our favorite places in the state. We can’t get enough of hiking in the area!

We hope you can get to all these hikes!

We hope this post helped you learn more about the best hikes in Olympic National Park! Don’t forget to check out more terrific hikes in Washington.

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