Described as being “Three Parks in One”, Olympic National Park is definitely a contender for the most diverse park due to its wonderful variety. First, Olympic offers a beautiful forest area for those wishing to experience a walk through a green park with plenty of trees and plants to explore. If that isn’t your cup of tea, luckily Olympic offers both a water area for a swimming and oceanic feel, and a mountain area for those interested in hiking and reaching extravagant observation points.
Essentially the Olympic National Park is divided into three main areas: The Coastline, The Glaciated Mountains, and the Temperate Rainforest. Each of these individual areas has something exciting to offer that you aren’t going to see in the other areas. The Coastline is located on the eastern side of the park, and the Temperate Rainforest is located on the western side, placing the Glaciated Mountains right in the middle.
Coastline at Olympic National Park
Olympic Parks water area is referred to as the Coastline, and it is located right next to the Temperate Rainforest. The coastal area is 60 miles of sandy beach terrain, and there are two rivers, the Hoh River and the Quileute River. Two native communities live at the mouths of these rivers, the Hoh people and the Quileute people respectively.
The main attraction of the Coastline is the Ozette Loop. This strip of the Coastline at Olympic National Park is 9 miles broken up into 3 mile legs that all explore different areas of the park.
Glaciated Mountains at Olympic National Park
Almost directly in the center of the park is where you’ll find the Olympic Mountains or what is more commonly referred to as the Glaciated Mountains. The name is derived from the multiple glaciers that can be found at these mountains, with the largest and most popular being the Hoh Glacier, which reaches almost 5 kilometers in length.
Temperate Rainforest at Olympic National Park
The third and final zone at Olympic is located at the western side of the park, this is the Temperate Rainforest. This zone is broken up into two main areas, the Hoh Rain Forest, and the Quinault Rain Forest. Olympics rainforest is actually the second wettest area in the US, coming second to only Kauai in Hawaii. The annual precipitation at Olympic National Parks Rainforest reaches nearly 150 inches.
How much does it cost to visit Olympic National Park?
Entrance is granted upon purchase of either an annual pass or a seven day pass. Those travelling in a non-commercial vehicle may purchase this pass for $15, and it will grant access to parking and entrance to the park for all passengers in the vehicle. Individuals who are travelling on motorcycle, bicycle, or walking, can purchase a pass for $5. Also, individual youth who are under the age of 16 will have their entrance fee waived. Annual passes can be purchased for $30, and will grant access for one full year after purchase.
Olympic National Park Camping and Wilderness Outings
If you plan to camp out at Olympic, you’ll be required to pay an additional fee to rent one of the campsites. Fees for camping run from $10 up to $18 depending on the specific campsite, and time of year. There are permits available for those who wish to stay in the wilderness areas overnight, the price for a permit is $5, and an additional $2 for each person, and each night spent in the wilderness. There is an RV dump station available at Olympic, and it will cost $5 per use of the station.