5 Dec 2018
When it’s time to get out and explore the Pacific Northwest, there isn’t a better place to experience some of the country’s most stunning and unbridled wilderness than the Olympic Peninsula. This section of land filled with mountains, rivers, beaches, and wildlife is a welcome reprieve from the unique metropolitan area of Seattle just a little over two hours away. Whether you want to discover your inner explorer or photograph some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country, this list gives you a play-by-play analysis on the best things to do in Olympic National Park. There are also plenty of activities and events in the town of Seabrook! Check out our Things to Do page for a full rundown of what makes our beach town so unique!
10 of the Best Things to Do in Olympic National Park
The Olympic Mountains are literally and figuratively the crown of the entire peninsula. Mount Olympus towers over the whole park at almost 8,000-feet tall. Snow-capped peaks spread across the skyline of this 3,600-square-mile area. The mountain range stretches from coast to coast, so visitors have to maneuver their way through to explore all of the national park’s top sights. Hiking, biking, and camping are big hits during the spring and summer while skiing and snowboarding are the best activities during winter.
Get ready for stunning views atop one of the highest lookout points in the Olympic Mountains. Hurricane Ridge offers guests skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in the winter in addition to hiking, landscape photography, and wildlife viewing in the summer. The drive from Port Angeles takes you up over 5,000 feet where eagles soar overhead, mountain goats and deer walk among you, and alpine trees seem to reach up and poke the blue canvas above you.
This glacially carved lake features canoeing and kayaking on its 12 miles of pristine blue water bordered on every side by steep mountains. Lake Crescent gets its name from the moon-like shape of its shoreline. There are several stops along Route 101 where you can get out, stretch your legs and hike on trails that wind through the Olympic Peninsula wilderness. Spruce Railroad Trail takes you past the “Devils Punch Bowl,” a popular diving and swimming area, to an old railroad tunnel.
The Barnes Creek trail branches off from Lake Crescent and takes you through woods that look like you are in a movie. While there is plenty of jaw-dropping flora and fauna to see along the trail, Marymere Falls is the main attraction. This 90-foot waterfall cascades down the side of a tall mountain down into a creek below. A viewing deck gives you a great photo opportunity before heading back to the lake.
Ruby Beach lies just beyond the technical border of Olympic National Park, but copious amounts of driftwood, the collection of sea stacks off the shore, and walking ability during low tide makes this a great stop. You can take a long walk down the long stretch of beach and explore the many tidepools during low tide, make sure you check the schedule before heading over!
Hoh Rain Forest
There are plenty of fantastic options for discovering new and exciting landscapes, but the Hoh Rain Forest is arguably the single best thing to do in Olympic National Park. This temperate rain forest is full of lush vegetation, towering trees that are so thick you can’t rain your arms around them, and a turquoise river that runs along the edge of the forest. Hiking and camping are the two main activities here, but you should also keep your eyes open for the native banana slug and herds of elk traipsing through the forest.
Sol Duc River Valley
The Sol Duc River flows through this valley full of massive old forest growth. In addition to hiking, the river has a couple of good fishing spots, especially near the Salmon Cascades overlook. The river serves as a key highway for coho salmon, which leap up the foamy white Sol Duc Falls to spawn upstream in October and November.
Pacific Beach State Park
Pacific Beach is a great spot to relax and watch the waves crash on the sand, but during the spring it turns into one of the best places to watch whales migrate up north for the summer.
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
This long spit of sand stretches out like a long arm into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, forming a bay. Fishing, shellfishing, kayaking, wildlife photography, and hiking are the highlights in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, where you may see elephant and harbor seals sunning themselves on the beach.
The northern tip of the contiguous United States showcases the beauty and fury of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Cape Flattery has several hiking trails, but the overlook is the main attraction here, giving you views of waves repeatedly striking steep, rocky cliffs topped with a smattering of green pines.
Things to Do in Seabrook
Our charming beach town of Seabrook sits 40 minutes from Olympic National Park and holds plenty of activities and events throughout the year! Boutique shops, dining options, and a spa are only a few of the Things to Do in our oceanside town. Regardless of what season you visit us, Seabrook has something to do for everything!
The Perfect Home Base for Exploring Olympic National Park
After finish exploring the best things to do in Olympic National Park, head back to your luxurious and cozy Seabrook cottage. Our list of high-end accommodations features top-notch furnishings and convenient town amenities. Whether you want to take a dip in our indoor community pool and Jacuzzi, ride a bike on the beach, or workout in our fitness center, our town makes travel to the Olympic Peninsula easy and comfortable.