This Is One Of The Best But Lesser-Visited National Parks In The U.S.

This Is One Of The Best But Lesser-Visited National Parks In The U.S.

More and more travelers are searching for off-the-beaten-track destinations, even when it comes to national parks. And we’re not surprised. First of all, they are often less busy, and you can immerse fully in the peaceful outdoor experience. Also, they tend to be more budget-friendly. 

Are you one of those who prefer a remote setting? We have a tip for your next trip. The Olympic National Park in Washington is one of the lesser-known, yet the best ones to visit.

Why should you get hyped up about this park in particular? The answer is simple. With an area of more than a million acres, it’s home to mountain peaks, rainforests, and stunning sandy beaches, providing activities from which even the pickiest traveler will choose. 

How to get there

The park is set on the Olympic Peninsula in the northwestern corner of Washington State and is easily reachable from various locations. It’s less than three hours of drive from Seattle, and about four hours from Portland, Oregon. You can also take a ferry from the Seattle area and even Canada.

Top activities at Olympic National Park

There is a plethora of things to see and do at Olympic National Park, with hiking being one of the most popular activities. In Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the States, you will find the Hall of Mosses Trail. It’s not even one mile long but will take you through a fairy-like canopy of mosses and ferns.

Hall of Mosses

To enjoy some views, head to the Hurricane Hill Trail. It’s a pretty long hike, about 6 miles roundtrip, but the panoramic vistas from the top are amazing. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Vancouver Island or San Juan Islands.

Another must-see attraction is the ​​Marymere Falls. They are at their best in spring when melting snow from the mountains feeds them. A short hike through a virgin forest, log bridges, and lush streams will take you there. 

Last but not least, Olympic National Park boasts some incredible beaches, such as Ruby Beach, Shi Shi Beach, and Rialto Beach. From Rialto Beach, you can hike to the iconic Hole-In-The-Wall and snap a dramatic pic of the iconic rock archway. Watersports enthusiasts can engage in paddling and boating at Lake Crescent.

Where to stay

Looking to sleep under the stars? There are plenty of campsites to choose from at Olympic National Park, both from secluded hike-in and boat-in sites to vehicle-friendly sites. You can also get a backcountry permit and camp at the beach. The whole list of campgrounds can be found here.

If you don’t want to rough it, don’t worry. Plenty of lodges and cabin rentals are also available in the park and the surroundings. Some of the most beloved options include Lake Crescent Lodge or Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.

Best time to visit it

The Pacific Northwest is notoriously known for its rainfall. If you want to stay dry, summer is the season. The blooming of the meadows is at its peak and offers a truly magnificent scenery. The downside is that summer also brings the most tourists. On the other hand, in spring and fall, there will be fewer crowds, but be prepared for unpredictable weather.

In winter, the temperatures drop down and camping and other accommodation facilities might be closed, so we wouldn’t recommend it.