13 Best Hikes in Olympic National Park for All Levels (+ Map!)

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Are you an active traveler and looking for the best hikes in Olympic National Park for your upcoming trip? This guide has you covered!

Olympic National Park is one of the most spectacular destinations in the US. From the Pacific Ocean to the Hoh Rainforest, this is absolutely one of my favorite destinations in my home country. Some of my favorite stays are at cabins near Olympic National Park, too!

ABOUT THIS LAND

Olympic National Park is on the unceded land of the Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Skokomish, Quinault, Hoh, Quileute, and Makah peoples. We ask you to join us in acknowledging their communities, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.

We also acknowledge that Olympic National Park was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples, including those on whose land these US National Parks are located.

⇒ Do your research before visiting National Parks and places in the US. Native Land and Whose Land are good starting points.

⇒ Hire Native guides when possible and encourage National Parks and government organizations to start hiring them.

⇒ Donations matter. Part of the proceeds from this blog is donated monthly to the Native Women’s Wilderness.

This is a guide to the best hikes in Olympic National Park for all levels. The Washington national park is a mysteriously beautiful place and it is, in my opinion, one of the most diverse parks in the US for hiking.  You can find trails over mountains, by the sea, and through dense forests.

If you have any favorite Olympic National Park trails that you recommend and we didn’t cover, please leave a comment! In addition, if you have any tips for awesome hikes near Seattle, ones on the Olympic Peninsula, or other opportunities for hiking in Olympic National Park, let us know!

VISIT A LOT OF U.S. NATIONAL PARKS?


If you are visiting Olympic National Park, or any of the other 2,000 federal registered sites in the US, we highly, highly recommend
purchasing an ‘America the Beautiful’ pass that lasts for 1 year and grants you admission to all registered sites.  At only $79.99, it is a steal and one of the best values for your buck for US travel!

>> Purchase your National Parks Pass here and start traveling!

What to Know Before Hiking in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park encompasses nearly a million acres of the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state. The coolest thing about the park is that it has so many different ecosystems within it and it truly is fascinating for visitors. 

Another cool thing about the US park is that there are over 611 miles of hiking trails in Olympic National Park!  That is pretty astounding but given its size and beauty, it is certainly not surprising.

The types of ecosystems you’ll witness in Olympic National Park are rainforests, beaches, mountains, and the remote regions in the north. You’ll find waterfalls, lush forests, and so much more. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.

On the coasts, you will find about 73 miles of raw and wild beaches. The shores are brimming with driftwood and tide pools and you will see sea stacks as far as meets the eye.

Sea stacks on the wild Rialto beach, Olympic National Park
Sea stacks on Rialto Beach

ONP is broken down into three main beach areas: Second Beach, Shi Shi Beach (and Point of the Arches), and Ruby Beach. You will find some of Olympic National Park’s best trails will go to and through these beach destinations.

Perhaps the most impressive ecosystem in Olympic NP is the rainforests. One of the most notable ones inside the park is the gorgeous Hoh Rainforest. It does not disappoint!

Another gorgeous rainforest is the Quinault Rainforest which also contains some of the best hikes in Olympic National Park.

In the rainforests in Olympic National Park, you will not only find some of the best trails but also waterfalls for days.

If the rainforests and beaches weren’t enough, Olympic National Park also has mountains and the gorgeous landscapes in the remote northern region of the peninsula. There are also several lakes, including Lake Crescent, the second deepest lake in the state of Washington.

This is, hands down, my favorite weekend getaway from Seattle (and many other places in the PNW!).

Quick Facts About Olympic NP

Location: Washington
Size: 922,650 acres
Annual Visitors: 3,245,806 (2019)
Established: June 29, 1938
Closest city: Port Angeles
Olympic National Park Highlights: Sol Duc Waterfall, Hoh Rainforest, its prime location on the Olympic Peninsula, 611 miles of hiking trails

Best Time to Go Hiking in Olympic National Park

The best time to visit Olympic National Park is most definitely from spring until fall.

During the winter months, Olympic National Park will become especially rainy and it is not uncommon to see up to 50 inches of rain during winter, which can be a hiker’s nemesis!

In spring, however, the forests turn an even more vibrant shade of green and everything comes to life once again.  This is one of the best US national parks to visit in March as a result.

Olympic National Park Hiking Map (Trailheads)

To add this map to your Google Maps account, click the ‘Star’ icon next to the map name. You can then view it on your cell phone or computer by heading to your Google Maps account, click the menu and add it to ‘Your Places’.

Best Trails in Olympic National Park – The List

We have broken down the best hikes in Olympic National Park into three categories: easy, moderate, and difficult hikes.  If you have a favorite hike in ONP that is not on the list- please leave in the comments! 

Here is a quick roundup of the Olympic National Park hikes on this list. 

Easy Hikes 

  • Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail
  • Blue Mountain Trail
  • Madison Falls Trail
  • Cirque Rim to Sunrise View Point Trail

Moderate Hikes

  • Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge
  • Humes Ranch Loop Trail
  • Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail
  • Olympic Hot Springs Trail

Difficult Hikes

  • Grand Pass Trail
  • Klahhane Ridge Trail to Lake Angeles
  • Olympic National Park Switchback Trail
  • PJ Lake Trail
  • Sunrise Ridge Trail to Mount Angeles

Please see below to also see some of the top-rated day hikes in Olympic National Park as well as the top-rated hikes in Hoh Rainforest.  Not all are on this guide, so please refer to All Trails to get additional information!

The number of hikes in Olympic National Park makes it hard to choose only a handful of remarkable ones- but I am certain there are many more great ones!

Best hikes in Olympic National Park and Hoh Rainforest
Best hikes in Olympic National Park and Hoh Rainforest

Best Day Hikes in Olympic National Park

Based on our list below, here are some of the top-rated day hikes in Olympic National Park.  You can find the details about each of the trails below.

  • Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail (1.6 miles)
  • Cirque Rim to Sunrise View Point Trail (1.2 miles)
  • Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge (3.1 miles)
  • Humes Ranch Loop Trail (5.9 miles)
  • Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail (3 miles)
  • Klahhane Ridge Trail to Lake Angeles (6.8 miles)
  • PJ Lake Trail (1.5 miles)
  • Sunrise Ridge Trail to Mount Angeles (5.5 miles)

Hoh Rainforest Hikes

One of the most popular places to go hiking in Olympic National Park is in the gorgeous Hoh Rainforest.  These are some of the best hikes in Hoh Rainforest.

  • Hoh River Trail (33 miles)
  • Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles)
  • Hall of Moss (1.1 miles)
  • Hoh Lake Trail (29 miles)
  • South Fork Hoh River Trail (8.5 miles)
  • Snider Jackson Traverse Trail (22 miles)

If you want additional details about hiking in Hoh Rainforest, be sure to check out the website for the NPS.

Hiking in Hoh Rainforest
Hiking in Hoh Rainforest

Best Easy Hikes in Olympic National Park

The following list contains the best hikes in Olympic National Park for beginners.  They are pretty easy but definitely not less beautiful (because everywhere in ONP is remarkable).

Blue Mountain Trail

Distance: 0.4 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Elevation Gain: 131 feet

Another easy hike in Olympic National Park is the Blue Mountain Trail, a 0.4-mile, moderately-trafficked trail located close to many Port Angeles Airbnbs you can book. It is kid-friendly and fantastic for bird watching, nature, and wildflowers.

The trail is best used from April until October. If the day is clear, you may be gifted with outstanding views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

In order to reach the Olympic National Park trail, you will need to drive several miles on Deer Park (the 8 last miles are graveled and winding) and this could be narrow in many places so be sure to be cautious! It is recommended not to go over 20mph on these roads.

Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail

Distance: 1.6 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 255 feet

Sol Duc Falls at Olympic National Park

One of the most popular hikes in Olympic National Park is Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail. Located near Port Angeles, the 1.6-mile hike has a lake and is best hiked from May until October.

As the name suggests, this gorgeous Olympic NP hike will take you to the famous waterfall of the same name.

The train is known for being well-maintained and you will pass several streams along the way. This trail is truly worth it and the prize at the end is spectacular!

Madison Falls Trail

Distance: 0.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 26 feet

Madison falls in olympic national park
Madison Falls Trail

If you’re traveling with children, this extremely short hike is for you. It is stroller friendly, wheelchair friendly, and dogs are permitted on this trail (most trails in ONP do NOT allow pups).

The Madison Falls Trail is 0.2-miles long and is heavily trafficked and paved. The waterfall isn’t huge but it definitely is impressive and worth the hike!

There is a parking lot that may be a bit full so opt to go on a weekday if it is an option.

Cirque Rim to Sunrise View Point Trail

Distance: 1.2 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Elevation Gain: 209 feet

Sunrise Point Trail in Olympic National Park
Sunrise Point Trail in Olympic National Park

The Cirque Rim to Sunrise View Point Trail is located near Port Angeles, WA and is great for all levels of hikers. Best used from June until October, the 1.2-mile-long trail is moderately-trafficked.

On the Cirque Rim part of the trail, it is paved and at least three-feet wide. However, some parts of this portion of the trail can be steep and have an 8% grade.

You may be greeted by wildlife on the trail and it is not uncommon to see deer, marmot, and other animals. There are incredible 360-degree views on this trail in Olympic National Park.

Moderate Olympic National Park Trails

The following list contains the best hikes in Olympic National Park for moderate level hikers.  Please take in mind that these will be difficult for those who are not experienced and perhaps easy for those who are well-seasoned hikers.

Humes Ranch Loop Trail

Distance: 5.9 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Elevation Gain: 1,030 feet

Located close to Port Angeles is the Humes Ranch Loop Trail in Olympic National Park. This 5.9-mile, heavily-trafficked trail features a beautiful, blue river and is used mainly for hiking, birdwatching, and walking.

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This trail is best accessed from April until October and can be a bit challenging to reach if the road is washed out.

The hike in Olympic National Park offers variety and a spectacular stroll through lush forests. Expect to see deer and other wildlife along the way. This is easily one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park and it is a fantastic day hike option.

Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge

Distance: 3.1 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 797 feet

Beautiful Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park with Wildflowers in foreground
Hurricane Ridge

A 3.1-mile, heavily-trafficked trail located near Port Angeles is Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge, one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park.

This trail is known for its river and it is best used from May until October. It does close on occasion, so please check the current conditions here.

This Olympic NP trail begins 1.5-miles beyond the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center inside of the gorgeous park. This trail is paved but does not permit dogs on it.

One of the best things about hiking on this ONP hike is that it offers a beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and Vancouver Island. The first 1/4-mile of this hike is wheelchair accessible.

Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail

Distance: 3.0 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 1,541 feet

If you’re seeking a lightly-trafficked trail in Olympic National Park, look no further than the moderate Mount Angeles via Switchback Trail near Port Angeles.

The trail does not permit dogs and is great for its magical forest setting and views.

It is highly recommended to wear good, waterproof shoes. There can be snow on the trail and you will need to go a bit further and climb rocks in order to get to the summit.

If the weather is clear, you will be greeted with a 360-degree view of the Olympic Mountains, Juan de Fuca Strait, and British Columbia.

Olympic Hot Springs Trail

Distance: 21.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 3,166 feet

Sunrise Point hiking in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park trails

**Before embarking on this trail, do be sure to make sure it is open and not closed due to flooding or a washed-out road.

The Olympic Hot Springs Trail is a long one. At 21.2 miles long, the moderately-trafficked trail is located near Port Angeles and is known for its hot springs, as the name suggests.

It is best used from May until October and the first nine miles of this hike are paved.

You will pass mossy grounds, forests, and places to camp (with free permits). The hot springs are really the appeal of this Olympic National Park hiking trail, however. This is also a popular trail to bike on.

Difficult Olympic National Park Hikes

These trails in Olympic National Park are all listed as difficult.  Some are long distances and some are short- but all can be challenging for hikers regardless of experience.

Grand Pass Trail

Distance: 14.0 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 5,869 feet

The Grand Pass Trail is a difficult Olympic National Park hike and is 14 miles and is located near Port Angeles.

This is only recommended for experienced hikers and the highlight is a gorgeous lake. This trail is best used from June until October.

If you are scared of heights, this trail could be a bit of a challenge as there are some loose rocks on both sides of the trail on sections of it.

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If you’re seeking to break this trail up, Moose Lake has a campground that you can sleep at.

You will see a lot of wildlife along the trail from deer to marmots. But, beware of the ruthless mosquitoes that are prevalent in the evenings in this part of the Olympic Peninsula! A lot of this trail remains exposed, so bring sunscreen.

Klahhane Ridge Trail to Lake Angeles

Distance: 6.8 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 246 feet

A narrow hiking path heads through a pine forest, up a steep mountain ridge. Taken at Olympic National Park in Washington

The Klahhane Ridge Trail to Lake Angeles trail is a heavily-trafficked trail near Port Angeles that is known for its beautiful lake and opportunities for bird-watching, hiking, and horseriding opportunities.

This is definitely a challenging hike, so please don’t consider this trail without ample experience! There can be really steep parts.

You will get views of Mount Olympus and the Strait of Juan de Fuca here. The trailhead leaves around the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center where you can start off to Klahhane Ridge.

The trail may seem crowded at first but once you get past the initial fork, the people seem to dwindle.  This is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park for experienced hikers.

Olympic National Park Switchback Trail

Distance: 12.6 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 4,514 feet

The Olympic National Park Switchback Trail is a difficult, 2.7-mile long trail that features a lake. There are many activities here and it is best accessed from March until October.

While the trail is short, it is strenuous and is a good workout on the way up. The views from the top are spectacular and well worth the hike!

Be sure to bring good shoes as the trail can get a bit slippery.

PJ Lake Trail

Distance: 1.5 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 715 feet

If you’re on the hunt for another short trail but with a lot of challenging sections, the PJ Lake Trail is the one for you.

The 1.5-mile hike is heavily trafficked and is best used from June until October. It is primarily used for hiking and birdwatching and please note, this trail is closed during the winter months!

This trail can be a challenge on the knees so bring hiking poles if you own them! This trail offers multiple switchbacks along steep terrain and is one of the best trails in Olympic National Park.

Sunrise Ridge Trail to Mount Angeles

Distance: 5.5 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 2,017 feet

Trails in Olympic National Park

Another difficult Olympic National Park trail is the Sunrise Ridge Trail to Mount Angeles. The 5.5-mile trail is heavily-trafficked and located close to Port Angeles.

It has a river and is best used from June until October, however, it is a sensational place to go during the winter for snowshoeing. Please keep in mind that you MUST have the right equipment to give this trail a shot!

The out and back trail can have ice and snow on the trail, even during early autumn, so be sure to check conditions and wear the right shoes.

There is a lot of loose rock on this trail and hiking trails are essential to keep your gait if you struggle with that.

The trail is said to take around 4-4.5 hours in total and the view from the top is pretty spectacular.

Hiking in Olympic National Park sign

What to Pack & Wear

Your packing list for Olympic National Park will truly depend on the season you head there and the trail you decide to hike on.  Here are some essentials that will be useful no matter which trail you decide to embark upon.

Hiking boots: I swear by my Keen Targhee hiking boots and they are an excellent choice for traipsing the wild trails at Olympic National Park. Click here to see the Keen hiking boots I use.

Reusable water jug: Water is so essential if you’re on one of the hikes in Olympic National Park and you definitely need to remain hydrated. I always tote along a Klean Kanteen water jug with me for the journey.

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Sunscreen: While not every hike seems like you would need sunscreen, some of the ones on this guide are pretty exposed and you will want to put sunscreen on before your hike if you want to help protect your skin!

Hiking poles: There are some trails on this guide that have loose rock and you will want to bring along a set of trekking poles with you for safety purposes. Trust me!

We hope that you found this guide to the best hikes in Olympic National Park useful for planning your trip!  If you have any recommended Olympic National Park trails, please let us know in the comments!

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Are you an active traveler and looking for the best hikes in Olympic National Park for your upcoming trip? This Olympic National Park trails post has you covered! | Olympic National Park hiking | Olympic National Park hikes | Hoh Rainforest hikes | Hoh Rainforest trails | Washington hiking | US National Parks | Washington National Parks | PNW hiking | PNW trails | Olympic National Park nature | Olympic National Park photography | PNW waterfalls | Olympic National Park itinerary

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