Explore nearly one million acres of wilderness in Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula, WA. Known as one of the most diverse national parks in the USA, Olympic National Park has something for everyone. This UNSECO World Heritage Site offers plenty of spots for hiking, kayaking, camping, wildlife viewing, backpacking, fishing, tidepooling and more. From lush forest to coastal beaches, and glacial mountain ranges to roaring waterfalls, here's the top things to do in Olympic National Park. 1. Hoh Rain Forest Distance from Port Angeles: 2 hoursDistance from Seattle: 3.75 hoursDistance from Portland: 4 hours Stroll through lush greenery in one of the largest temperate rainforests in the USA. The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the most iconic destinations in Olympic National Park. Don't be surprised if you see some wildlife on your journey — The Hoh Rain Forest is home to Roosevelt Elk, many bird species, black bears, black-tailed deer, and more. Explore the Hoh Rain Forest on one of the following trails: - Hall of Mosses Trail: 0.8 miles / 1.2 kms loop trail- Spruce Nature Trail: 1.2 miles / 2.9 kms loop trail- Hoh River Trail: Full trail is 18.5 miles / 30 kms, but there are several turnaround points throughout the trail For more information on the Hoh Rain Forest, visit the National Park Service website. 2. Lake Crescent & Marymere Falls Distance from Port Angeles: 30 minutesDistance from Seattle: 3 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.5 hours Known for its crystal-clear blue waters, this glacier-fed lake is the second deepest lake in Washington State. Lake Crescent has many hiking trails, including the hike to Marymere Falls (1.7 miles / 2.7 kms round-trip), and Spruce Railroad Trail (11.2 miles / 18 kms round-trip). Water sports, including kayaking, canoeing, SUPing and plain-old swimming are also popular, with rentals available at Lake Crescent Lodge. For more information on Lake Crescent, visit the National Park Service website. 3. Hurricane Ridge Distance from Port Angeles: 45 minutesDistance from Seattle: 3 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.5 hours Drive 45 minutes from Port Angeles to the summit of Hurricane Ridge, at 5,242 feet elevation. Hurricane Ridge is open year-round and is very accessible — Take in the mountain views at the Visitors Center (you can see Victoria on a clear day!), hike one of the trails, or during the winter months go snowboarding, skiing or tubing with a small lift service on weekends. The Visitors Center is equipped with an information desk, gift shop, restrooms, and cafeteria. For more information on Hurricane Ridge, visit the National Park Service website. 4. Rialto Beach Distance from Port Angeles: 1.5 hoursDistance from Seattle: 4 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.75 hours Pack a picnic and spend the day, or pitch a tent and stay overnight at Rialto Beach, located 1.5 hours south of Port Angeles near La Push. Rialto Beach is known for Hole-in-the-Wall, a 3 mile / 4.8 km round-trip trek, with ample tidepooling opportunities along the way. If you're going out to Hole-in-the-Wall, be sure to plan your trip during low tide, as it's only fully accessible during this time. For more information on Rialto Beach, please visit the National Park Service website. 5. Sol Duc Falls Distance from Port Angeles: 1 hourDistance from Seattle: 3.75 hoursDistance from Portland: 5.25 hours Located in the Sol Duc Valley, Sol Duc Falls is arguably the most popular waterfall on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. Follow lush old-growth forest until you reach Sol Duc Falls. The hike is an easy 1.6 miles / 2.6 kms round-trip. Peak viewing season is May through October, with early spring and autumn being the best time to visit due to heavier water flow (typically). Other areas of interest in the Sol Duc Valley include:- Mink Lake: 5.2 miles / 8.4 kms round-trip- Lover's Lane: 6 miles / 9.7 kms loop trail following Sol Duc River (continuing past Mink Lake Trail)- High Divide Loop: A 2-3 day hike with views of Mount Olympus- Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: Stay overnight in a cabin in Olympic National Park, and experience the hot mineral-springs pool- Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground: RV & campground with access to several hiking trails For more information on Sol Duc Falls, visit the National Park Service website. 6. Ruby Beach Distance from Port Angeles: 1.75 hoursDistance from Seattle: 3.5 hoursDistance from Portland: 4 hours Known for its abundant amount of driftwood strewn along the shore and towering sea stacks, Ruby Beach is a favorite on the Olympic Peninsula. During low tide, explore the tide pools filled with starfish and other marine life. Plus, it is one of the few destinations in Olympic National Park that allow leashed dogs. 7. Devil's Punchbowl Distance from Port Angeles: 30 minutesDistance from Seattle: 3 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.75 hours Take a dip in the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Crescent from Devil's Punchbowl! Walk (or bike) about 1 mile / 1.6 kms of the Spruce Railroad Trail to Devil's Punchbowl and experience the best view of Lake Crescent (in our opinion!). If you continue past Devil's Punchbowl, you'll end up at the trail to Mount Storm King, another popular spot in Olympic National Park. Bonus: The Spruce Railroad Trail is pet-friendly! Dogs must be kept on-leash at all times. 8. Shi Shi Beach Distance from Port Angeles: 2.25 hoursDistance from Seattle: 5 hoursDistance from Portland: 6 hours While the trail to Shi Shi Beach is moderately easy, there are areas of the trail that are quite muddy, so be sure to pack your hiking boots/waterproof shoes. If you'd like to hike all the way to Point of Arches (the beautiful sea stacks), the trek is about 8 miles / 12.9 kms round-trip. If you don't want to hike all the way, you'll arrive at the beach about 2 miles / 3.2 kms from the beginning of the trail. Shi Shi Beach is located on the Makah Indian Reservation, and you must purchase a Makah Recreation Pass to access the beach. Camping on the beach is permitted (we highly recommend it!), and reservations are not necessary. However, during summer months, expect it to be busy. For more information on Shi Shi Beach, visit the National Park Service website. 9. Mount Storm King Distance from Port Angeles: 30 minutesDistance from Seattle: 3 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.5 hours While Mount Storm King provides extravagant views of Lake Crescent, it is not your average trail walk. The hike is 4 miles / 6.4 kms round-trip, with 2,065 ft of elevation gain. Be prepared for a steep incline, rough terrain, and ropes to aid you to the top... BUT it's all worth it! The view from the top of Storm King is one of the most iconic in Olympic National Park. For more information on Mount Storm King, visit the Washington Trails Association website. 10. Lake Quinault & Quinault Rain Forest Distance from Port Angeles: 2.5 hoursDistance from Seattle: 2.75 hoursDistance from Portland: 3.25 hours Known as the southern gateway to Olympic National Park, Lake Quinault is home to a temperate rain forest, Lake Quinault Lodge, a few campgrounds including Falls Creek Campground, Willaby Campground and Gatton Creek Campground, ample waterfalls including Cascade Falls and Gatton Creek Falls, and six of the largest living trees in the world (also called the Valley of Rain Forest Giants). There are plenty of opportunities for hiking around Lake Quinault and Quinault Rain Forest:- World's Largest Spruce Tree Trail: 0.3 miles / 0.5 kms- Quinault Rain Forest Nature Loop: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kms- Willaby Creek Trail: 1.3 miles / 2 kms- Quinault Loop Trail: 4 miles / 6.4 kms- Pony Bridge Trail: 5 miles / 8 kms- Enchanted Valley: 26 miles / 41.8 kms 11. Salt Creek Recreation Area Distance from Port Angeles: 20 minutesDistance from Seattle: 3 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.5 hours Previously a World War II military camp called Camp Hayden, Salt Creek Recreation Area is just a short distance from Port Angeles with beautiful views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island and glacial mountains. The 196-acre park has numerous camping spots for tenters and RVers, remanence of World War II with two concrete bunkers, and access to Tongue Point with perhaps some of the best tide pooling on the Olympic Peninsula. For more information on Salt Creek Recreation Area, visit Clallam County Parks' website. 12. Second Beach Distance from Port Angeles: 1.5 hoursDistance from Seattle: 4 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.75 hours Enjoy an easy 0.7 mile / 1.1 km one-way, forested walk from the parking lot down to Second Beach. You'll be in awe of the seastacks, and depending on time of day, you may be able to do some tidepooling. Plus, a walk along this coastal beach during sunset is a must! Camping at Second Beach is also allowed (and recommended), but you must have a wilderness camping permit. Permits can be purchased in advance through the National Park Service website. For more information on Second Beach, visit the National Park Service website. 13. Staircase Distance from Port Angeles: 2.25 hoursDistance from Seattle: 2.25 hoursDistance from Portland: 2.75 hours Staircase is a hidden gem in Olympic National Park. While a little less traveled, it is home to many hiking and backpacking trails, a campground, and ranger station. Lake Cushman (located nearby) is also perfect for kayaking, SUPing or canoeing. Trails around Staircase:Staircase Rapids Loop: 2.1 miles / 3.4 kms round-tripFour Stream Trail: 7.1 miles / 11.4 kms round-tripWagonwheel Lake Trail: 4.9 miles / 7.9 kms round-tripShady Lane Trail: 1.8 miles / 2.9 kms round-tripFlapjack Lakes Trail: 15.8 miles / 25.4 kms round-tripNorth Fork Skokomish River: 30.4 miles / 48.9 kms round-trip Be sure to check the status of the road to Staircase before you go, as it is unpaved, and sometimes closed due to weather conditions. For more information on Staircase, visit the National Park Service website. 14. Kalaloch Distance from Port Angeles: 1.75 hoursDistance from Seattle: 3.25 hoursDistance from Portland: 3.75 hours Explore, hike, beachcomb, admire wildlife, or just relax. Your options for adventure (or seclusion) are endless at Kalaloch. Things to do at Kalaloch:Kalaloch Lodge: One of the most popular places to stay on the Olympic Peninsula. Choose from a room in the lodge or a cozy cabin. Open year-round.Kalaloch Campground: Each campsite comes with a fire pit and picnic table. Reservations are a must in the peak season.Kalaloch Ranger Station: Filled with information, maps, books and exhibits. Open daily in the summer.Kalaloch Beach: If you stay at Kalaloch Lodge, Kalaloch Beach is right outside your front door. Enjoy your coffee as you watch the waves roll in. Beach 4: Located between Kalaloch Beach and Ruby Beach. Find all kinds of marine life in the abundant tide pools at Beach 4.Tree of Life: With only a few roots planted, and the rest exposed, the Tree of Life is something of a spectacle. Located just south of Kalaloch Lodge, near Kalaloch Campground. Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail: One mile / 1.6 km loop trail through coastal forest. 15. Elwha Valley Distance from Port Angeles: 15 minutesDistance from Seattle: 2.75 hoursDistance from Portland: 4.5 hours The Elwha Valley is home to the Elwha River - one of the largest ecosystem restoration projects in National Park history. The Elwha Valley has several day trip hikes, including:Madison Falls: 0.2 miles / 0.3 kms round-tripCascade Rock: 5.2 miles / 8.4 kms round-tripGriff Creek: 9.6 miles / 15.4 kms round-tripOlympic Hot Springs: 21 miles / 33.8 kms round-trip For more information on the Elwha Valley, visit the National Park Service website.