best time to visit Olympic national park

Best Time to Visit Olympic National Park

Let’s see what is the best time to visit Olympic National Park. Finest Instances to Go to Olympic National Park. The perfect time to go to Olympic National Park in July by way of August when temperatures often heat, most roads and amenities are open, and a full vary of applications can be found.

There are numerous issues to think about when planning a visit to Olympic National Park. In this article, I am going to talk about the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Best time to visit Olympic National Park

The very first thing it is best to take into accounts is that Hurricane Ridge Street is closed on all days within the winter besides Friday by way of Sunday, and holidays that fall on Mondays.

Hurricane Ridge offers you quick access to the Olympic Vary and is without doubt one of the hottest locations within the park, so you’ll want to plan your journey accordingly.

Secondly, it is best to take the crowds into consideration; the summer season is the busiest time of 12 months, and crowds start to decrease within the fall. Lastly, and most significantly, you’ll want to take the climate into consideration.

The rainforest environments of Olympic National Park can obtain as much as 140 inches of rain every year, so you’ll want to ensure you go to at a time of year when you may see all of the stuff you need to see.

Try our pages, with hyperlinks on the suitable, for what to anticipate when visiting throughout every season.


Mountaineering in Olympic National Park is finest within the spring and summer when the climate is most amicable.

The excessive nation can begin to see snow as early as September, so if you wish to get excessive within the Olympic Vary, it might be finest to plan your journey for the spring or summer season, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

You will need to at all times verify the path circumstances earlier than beginning on any path to see what circumstances are impacting the route.

With over 600 miles of trails within the park, there’s something for everybody in Olympic National Park.

Trails vary from flat and straightforward to very strenuous, so it doesn’t matter what your degree of expertise or skill is, you’re certain to discover a path that’s best for you.

We advocate occurring a guided day hike, the place a neighborhood and skilled information will take you on one of the best of one of the best and share their data in regards to the biology, geology, and cultural historical past of this spectacular area.


Summer season is one of the best times of the year for backpacking within the Olympic Peninsula—since it’s the driest season of the year, and most of the snow has melted from greater elevations.

Trails are open to the excessive nation for the reason that snow has sometimes melted by May and June, and trails by way of the rainforest are much lusher after the moist spring, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Additionally, it is splendid in the summertime as a result of its heat through the day and delicate within the night—good climate for sleeping below the celebrities.

Be sure to are accustomed to learning how to acquire backcountry permits so you may get the websites you need.

Because the climate is finest this time of 12 months, backpacking is an extremely popular exercise. With many guests vying for similar backcountry campsites, it might be harder to acquire the itinerary that you’ve got in thoughts.

By selecting to go on a guided backpacking journey with Wildland Trekking, you’re selecting to let the corporate plan all of the logistics, so you may totally benefit from the journey with none of the stress of planning it.


You’ll be able to argue that Olympic National Park is definitely three parks in a single, with the mountains, rainforest, and shoreline. Every one of those environments assists a novel habitat for its fish populations.

In case you are trying to fish within the mountain area of Olympic National Park, you can be fishing a few of the finest rainbow trout in western Washington.

Lake Crescent was remoted after a landslide 1000’s of years in the past, so it helps a setting for 2 completely distinctive species—the Crescenti and Beardslee trout. Fishing is right in these areas of the park in the spring and summer season, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

The Elwha River has not too long ago been restored to its native state, each dam eliminated by 2004—now, it’s house to a big Coho salmon inhabitants.

The perfect time to catch a salmon is within the fall after they use the river as a freeway to succeed on the coast for spawning.

Steelhead and trout additionally reside within the Elwha River, and the summer season is one of the best times for fishing these species.

In case you are trying to fish within the rainforest areas of the park, you can be fishing Winter steelhead. Whereas they’re known as “Winter” steelhead, they’re truly finest catch within the spring.

The rainforest can expertise as much as 50 inches of rain within the winter, so ready till spring lets the water heat up, making the fish extra aggressive and extra probably so that you can catch one.

And lastly, in case you are trying to fish alongside the coast, you can be making an attempt to catch Cutthroat trout, Redtail surfperch, and rockfish.

Summer season and fall are perfect for fishing alongside the coast. Be sure to are up-to-date on the park’s fishing rules.

You aren’t required to have a Washington State leisure fishing allow, except you’re fishing on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Nonetheless, you’re required to hold a Washington State catch file card when fishing steelhead and salmon.


Boating is an extremely popular exercise in Olympic National Park—the rivers present a nice alternative for whitewater rafting or kayaking, and Lake Ozette and Lake Crescent present wonderful alternatives for Stillwater kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding.

The perfect time for boating within the park is late-spring to early-fall. Sometimes, by the top of spring, the quantity of precipitation has decreased, and the climate is heating throughout the day; this climate sample sometimes lasts into the start of fall.

The climate can change drastically and without warning, and the temperature can vary 10 to 20 levels between the coast and the mountains, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Lake Ozette has many backcountry campsites alongside the shore, so in case you are interested in a multi-day canoe or kayak journey, you may acquire backcountry permits and camp alongside the shore and beneath the mountains. Additionally, Lake Crescent provides kayak, canoe, and paddleboard leases.


The perfect time of year for sightseeing in Olympic National Park is spring by way of fall. This time of 12 months is right as a result of the rainforests can expertise as much as 50 inches of rain within the winter, and by late spring, the panorama is lush and vibrant with life.

Additionally, the mountains can see a substantial quantity of snow through the winter, and by late spring, most of it has melted from the excessive nation, supplying you with entry to unbelievable vistas of the Olympic Vary.

Late spring sometimes sees a lower in general precipitation, so you’ll be able to get pleasure from all facets of the park.

And, the wet season begins once more in fall, however, in case you are there early sufficient within the season, it’s nonetheless a beautiful time to sightsee within the park.


There are 56 species of mammals and over 300 species of birds in Olympic National Park.

If you go to and the place you’re within the park determines which wildlife it is possible for you to to look at, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Under are one of the best instances of 12 months to view the commonest wildlife within the Olympic Peninsula:

Migratory marine mammals: The Olympic Coast provides many nice places to view the whale migration in spring (April-Might) and summer season (October-November).

Among the many finest whale-watching places are Kalaloch, Rialto, and Shi Shi Seashore. The next are a few of the whale species you could be fortunate sufficient to see, and one of the best seasons to see their migration:

Orca whale—finest seen in summer season and fall; Grey whale—spring and fall; Humpback whale—fall; Harbor porpoise—summer season.

Roosevelt elk: Seen all year long, Roosevelt elk have very versatile habitats, residing in montane forests and meadows, in addition to rainforests.

Hoh Rainforest is a particularly frequent place to view elk since there’s a nice supply of meals for them.

September is when the mating season, generally known as the rut, begins for elk; this time of year is characterized by bull elk with spectacular antlers combating to win or defend their harem of feminine elk, known as cows.

Olympic marmot: This charismatic species of marmot is discovered nowhere else on the earth moreover the

Olympic Peninsula. They’re usually seen on alpine trails, close to Hurricane Ridge, nuzzling, chirping, and taking part in collectively. Since marmots hibernate within the winter, one of the best times to see them is in the summertime, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Mountain goats: Launched to the Olympic Peninsula within the 1920s, mountain goats are sometimes seen on alpine trails, alongside Hurricane Ridge.

Their mating season goes from October to December, they usually placed on fairly a present.

Use warning round mountain goats; they’ve to turn into accustomed to people, so they may allow you to method them, however then the can use their horns as a protection mechanism in the event that they really feel threatened.

Birds: There are over 300 species of birds that reside in Olympic National Park. The Audubon Society is a good useful resource and accommodates discipline information of all of the birds in Olympic.

Right here you could find out the habitat of every fowl, in addition to its behaviors and different traits, and seasonal patterns.


Fall and winter are some of the best instances of year to keep away from the crowds. Summer season is, by far, the busiest season, however, because the climate begins to show into the wet time of year, the crowds start to vanish.

Though fall and winter might not maintain one of the best climates, there are methods to benefit from the park even with all of the precipitation:

Fall colors come to life beginning in October, bringing drastic reds, oranges, and yellows to the same old inexperienced panorama, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

With over 3,500 miles of streams and rivers and over 10,000 waterfalls, the large quantity of precipitation turns these into spectacles of dashing waterfalls and rapidly-flowing rivers.

Even when the rain does fall, the thick cover within the rainforest protects the bottom and trails from getting drenched.

The moody climate on the coast creates an idyllic setting—good for images.

Hit the slopes at Hurricane Ridge—the place you may go from sea to summit in simply seventeen miles.

Benefit from the quiet of this unbelievable park without the crowds!

Nonetheless, in case you can solely make it to Olympic National Park in the summertime, you may nonetheless expertise tranquility and be capable of escaping the crowds.

Listed here are some ideas for visiting in summer season:

Arrive early; the sooner you rise and hit the path, the extra of it you’ll have to your self earlier than others present up. And the sooner you’re out and about, the higher are your possibilities of seeing wildlife.

Have an agenda, this manner you aren’t crisscrossing by way of the park. You’ll be able to have a look at the park’s mileage chart for distance and time between every space of the park.

Be versatile; know that it might be crowded, parking heaps might refill and there could also be lengthy traces at entrance stations. You’ll be able to take a look at the park’s webcams for it’s hottest locations.

Go to extra off-the-beaten-path areas of the park-like Deer Valley and the Quinault Valley.

Yosemite climbing excursions

Olympic National Park is house to a few of the most epic and wonderful climbing holidays on the earth.

Wildland Trekking provides journeys with one of the best of Olympic: the coast, the mountains, wildlife, solitude, journey, and engaging pure and cultural interpretation, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Guided Olympic National Park treks are all-inclusive which covers permits, native transportation (excluded on sure excursions), meals, gear, security techniques, {and professional} climbing/wilderness guides; all of which permits guests to maximize their time in Olympic and focus completely on having fun with the Park.


GUIDED BACKPACKING ADVENTURES: these are for individuals interested in a genuine Olympic National Park journey away from the roads and crowds.

INN-BASED PACKAGES: these excursions are all-inclusive packages with lodging, wonderful each day hikes, professional guides, meals, transportation, and extra!

CAMPING-BASED HIKING PACKAGES: camping-based climbing packages present all-around climbing experiences of the Olympic Coast on great outside holidays.

DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day in Olympic National Park on a completely guided, award-winning climbing tour on one of many Park’s finest trails.

The perfect time of year to go to Olympic National Park for wildlife viewing is throughout spring (Might & June) but the summer season is preferred – discover out why:

April, May, June, July, August, and September often bring hotter, drier climate to the Olympic Peninsula.

Precipitation within the type of fog or a lightweight drizzle provides to the chic pure expertise always of the year and maybe useful for Olympic National Park wildlife viewing.

Learn extra about Olympic National Park rainforest animals within the winter, spring, summer season, and fall courtesy of Expertise Olympic excursions of Olympic National Park, Port Angles, WA.

Spring Olympic National Park wildlife: April, May, and June

Early spring within the lowlands of Olympic National Park begins in March and continues to be one of the best times of the year for viewing Roosevelt Elk close to the Olympic National Park rainforests, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

May and June are mostly one of the best times of 12 months to go to Olympic National Park so as to view Black Bears.

Through the spring, these fascinating massive mammals begin to turn into life within the river valleys the place they eat the early spring plant development.

Moreover, spring fowl migration ends in wonderful Olympic National Park fowl watching alternatives, particularly when visiting in Might.

Banana Slugs, amphibians, snails, and different typical Olympic National Park rainforest animals are sometimes seen through the spring season on climbing trails as temperatures rise and humidity ranges stay excessive.

Spring and summer season are one of the best times of 12 months to go to Olympic National Park tidepools, as animals just like the Large Inexperienced Anemone are finest seen beginning as early as April and persevering with into August.

Spring can also be one of the best instances of the 12 months for viewing and photographing waterfalls in Olympic National Park.

The Hurricane Ridge highway often transitions from winter season operations to opening each day based mostly on spring climate circumstances in Might.

You’ll be able to affirm the highway is open the morning you propose to move as much as Hurricane Ridge by calling Olympic National Park’s automated highway situation report at 360-565-3131 or verify Twitter Hurricane Ridge by way of March.

Each day experiences ought to be up by 9 AM on the morning you have an interest in visiting Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge.

Olympic National Park wildlife is commonly seen by the aspect of the highway as you drive up in elevation, particularly within the early morning or at nightfall as soon as the snow begins to soften and the subalpine wildflowers and crops begin rising.

Profile shot of a brown snowshoe hare taken in the summertime in a subalpine meadow dotted with Olympic National Park wildflowers

best time to visit Olympic national park

Summer season Olympic National Park wildlife: July and August

If the quantity of precipitation is considered one of your essential standards, then the summer is one of the best times of 12 months to go to Olympic National Park.

The month of July traditionally has the bottom degree of common month-to-month precipitation, which is the best time to visit Olympic National Park.

Though you’ll usually get pleasure from sunny climate and scenic mountain surroundings through the summer season season, most of the typical Olympic National Park rainforest animals, similar to Banana Slugs, won’t emerge below low humidity circumstances.

The season for accessing the excessive nation, together with Hurricane Ridge climbing and wildlife viewing excursions, usually begins within the late spring.

Because the snow melts, the Olympic Mountains come alive with Olympic National Park wildlife like Olympic Marmot, Columbian Black-tailed Deer, Olympic Chipmunk, Snowshoe Hare, Black Bears, butterflies, and breeding birds.

A male Columbian Black-Tailed Deer with velvet-covered antlers is pictured subsequent to a subalpine fir and wildflowers at Hurricane Ridge

Olympic National Park wildflowers begin blooming as days lengthen and snow recedes. Flowers will proceed blooming so long as moist soil circumstances stay.

Peak wildflowers at Hurricane Ridge (at simply over 5000 ft) may be as early as the top of June. Nonetheless, peak wildflower season varies every year because of seasonal temperatures influencing snowfall and snowmelt.

The gleaming yellow eye of a grownup Bald Eagle appears down at you from the highest of a tall Douglas Fir tree laden with cones

Within the lowlands, many various wild berries ripen through the summer season and entice Olympic rainforest animals, particularly birds.

Photographers usually time their Olympic National Park visits from about mid-July to mid-September as a result of dependable sunny climate may be an essential consideration.

Moreover, beginning in September, Chinook (King), Pink, and later Coho salmon migrate and spawn in Olympic National Park rivers.

Study in regards to the largest river restoration undertaking on the earth on Elwha River climbing and dam removing excursions.

Twenty-two Olympic National Park wildlife species have been discovered feeding on salmon carcasses and the place there are salmon, Bald Eagles will definitely comply with.

Traditionally, individuals inform tales about Olympic National Park wildlife being so noisy as they consumed Elwha salmon at night time that you can stay awake subsequent to the river.

Fall (Autumn) Olympic National Park wildlife: September and October

Olympic Peninsula locals would possibly argue that fall is one of the best times for Olympic National Park wildlife viewing.

Fall provides thrilling Olympic National Park rainforest animal spectacles, similar to bugling Roosevelt Elk through the breeding season in September.

Olympic National Park was initially organized to guard the Roosevelt Elk (and supplies each summer season and winter habitat), so no journey is full without observing these quintessential rainforest animals.

A Hoh Rainforest elk and climbing tour within the fall supplies one of the best alternatives to get pleasure from Roosevelt Elk towards a backdrop of colorful Massive-Leaf and Vine Maples.

Fall continues to be a good time to discover the excessive nation as snow usually doesn’t arrive till October. So long as there may be nonetheless meals out there, like huckleberries, Olympic National Park wildlife like Black Bears will proceed to forage within the mountains.

Except for wildlife viewing, exploring the mountains of Olympic National Park within the fall can also be simply stunningly lovely.

Fall fowl migration contains common sightings of much less generally noticed birds like Golden Eagle, Merlin, Crimson-breasted Sapsucker, and Western Meadowlark beginning in late August and persevering with into October.

An outstretched pale yellow, nearly white, banana slug contrasts with the moist soil beneath it

Temperatures proceed to stay excessive within the fall and as soon as humidity ranges additionally rise, basic Olympic National Park rainforest animals begin crossing climbing trails once more, similar to Banana Slugs, snails, and amphibians.

October often introduces a plethora of colorful and weird mushrooms together with prized edibles like chanterelles.

Fall rain additionally will deposit snow on the best peaks and pockets of deciduous timber and shrubs flip sensible shades of yellow and purple. For all the causes listed, fall is one of the best times of years to go to Olympic National Park.

A ten level bull elk appears up from feeding on grass subsequent to the highway in Olympic National Park
Winter Olympic National Park wildlife: November, December, January, February, and March

For these wishing for solitude, contemplate planning your Olympic National Park rainforest trek through the winter season.

Except for two weeks around Christmas and New Year, you may just about have your choice of lodging and may due to this fact make final minute journey choices based mostly on Olympic National Park climate.

The ultra-green temperate rainforest comes alive as precipitation is at its most.

Olympic National Park waterfalls are nearly unrecognizable from their summer season counterparts given the rise in precipitation.

Many typical Olympic National Park rainforest animals conceal within the winter because of barely cooler temperatures, shorter days, and sluggish plant development.

Nonetheless, winter is undoubtedly a good time for viewing rainforest moss and lichen. Moreover, Roosevelt Elk stays lively year-round and the winter in Olympic National Park is a good time to view them foraging within the lowlands.

Port Angeles, WA, USA, receives significantly much less annual precipitation in winter when in comparison with Forks, WA, or Seattle, WA, because of the rainshadow impact of the Olympic Mountains.

Winter is one of the best times of year to go to Olympic National Park for winter actions like snowshoeing, sledding, snowboarding, and snowboarding. Small mammals discover on high of the snow and resident birds may be heard and seen throughout winter within the subalpine.

The highway to Hurricane Ridge is open Friday to Sunday and vacation Mondays when the climate permits through the winter.

The highway is often additionally open throughout the winter holidays, together with the time around Christmas and New Year.

All customer automobiles are required to hold tire chains with them through the winter and parking may be very diminished (when in comparison with the summer season).

Test that the highway is open by calling 360-565-3131 or the Twitter feed for Hurricane Ridge between eight and 9 AM on the morning you have an interest in driving up the Hurricane Ridge highway within the winter.

Storm Watching

Whereas Seattle could also be experiencing the same old gentle mist through the winter months, the coast brings a few of the most lovely stormy climate.

Downpours of rain matched with crashing waves onto driftwood lined seashores is a very distinctive sight you could solely expertise within the winter.

Seize a coat and a cup of espresso and witness this unbelievable phenomenon. To seek out our favorite storm watching spots, learn our weblog submit Storm Watching on the Pacific Northwest Seashores.

Fewer Crowds

Summertime is an excellent time of 12 months to go to Olympic National Park, however, there’s something extremely magical about planning your go-to through the winter.

Whereas the park continues to be open and bustling, there are lots fewer individuals and you will discover an extra intimate reference to the huge wilderness.

Do you know that a lot of the iconic images taken inside the Olympic National Park are from the wintertime?

The dearth of crowds makes for completely surreal pictures and panoramic views with no individuals insight, simply the best way the park was meant to be seen.

Olympic Scorching Springs

The volcanic grounds of the Olympic Peninsula have created a couple of distinctive treasures hidden within the woods.

Folks journey from everywhere in the world to take a soak within the magical Olympic Scorching Springs situated simply exterior of Port Angeles.

Whereas one can go to these springs nearly any day of the 12 months, the winter is by far one of the best times to plan your outing.

These secluded scorching springs can solely be accessed by a 10-mile trek deep into the woods. Through the summertime, a heat soak within the pool is good, however, through the wintertime, the distinction between the crisp winter air and the recent therapeutic waters is totally unbelievable.

After an extended day of scorching spring explorations, cozy up by the hearth at Maitland Manor Mattress & Breakfast simply blocks away from downtown Port Angeles.

Overflowing Waterfalls

The steep terrain of the rugged mountains paired with the immense yearly rainfall makes for some jaw-dropping waterfalls.

Through the wintertime, these falls actually shine. The vast majority of annual rainfall arrives through the winter months which makes for greener mosses, flourishing ferns, and swollen rivers.

Test the climate periodically and head to your favorite waterfalls proper after a coastal storm to see the falls at full capability.

Try Sol Duc Falls and Marymere Falls close to Port Angeles to see the most important flows, or Enchanted Valley, also referred to as the Valley of 10,000 Waterfalls, to see a panorama of gushing waterfalls.

Winter Getaway Specials

You’ll be able to tour the Olympic Peninsula for much less through the winter season. Automobile rental charges are down, eating places have seasonal eating specials, and a number of other inns boast winter getaway specials.

Discover the gathering of distinctive inns, quaint B&Bs, and boutique lodges everywhere in the peninsula with the Washington INNSiders search and see what sort of low season offers you could find!

Salmon Recognizing

Washington’s salmon is recognized for one of the unbelievable yearly migration paths. Many journeys 1000’s of miles out to sea after which again up the rivers into the Pacific Northwest Mountains.

Through the summer season months, these salmon are out within the Pacific Ocean, however through the winter months, you may spot Salmon swimming by way of the crystal clear rivers.

Maintain an eye fixed out for Coho Salmon October-December, Steelhead Salmon February-Might, and even Cutthroat Trout January-April.

Discover the Rainforest

With the elevated precipitation, the Hoh Rainforest close to Forks radiates a deep green that merely can’t be witnessed through the summer season months.

A visit to the famed Corridor of Mosses is surreal through the winter months, resembling the magic forests usually depicted in fantasy movies.

the day exploring the woods (no reservations wanted!) and return to the Misty Valley Inn Mattress & Breakfast the place you may heat up within the scenic outside spa and calm down in your complimentary plush robes for the night.

The ‘Massive 3’ of Olympic National Park are at their finest through the winter season.

Seashores are good for storm watching and exploring, rainforests are greener than ever, and the mountains are snow-covered and beautiful.

Plan your journey and comfortable up at one of many many Washington INNSiders member inns, B&Bs, and comfortable lodges everywhere in the peninsula for a visit you won’t quickly overlook.

I hope this article on the best time to visit Olympic National Park was worth to you.

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