The Olympic Peninsula Loop is a spectacular way to see the natural beauty and wildlife of Washington State. This scenic drive, which defines the perimeter of the Olympic National Park, is over 300 miles of mountains, rainforests, wildlife, waterfalls, and viewpoints to explore from start to finish.
You can catch the loop at Highway 101 in Hoquiam for a daytrip from Seabrook or begin at Highway 101 in Olympia and head north around the loop or west to experience a slice of the loop. However you choose to do the Olympic Peninsula Loop, following are some of standout things to see within a trip to and/or from Seabrook:
Olympic Peninsula Loop map
10 FACTS TO SHARE
- President Franklin Roosevelt designated the Olympic National Park a national park on June 29, 1938.
- Olympic National Park covers almost one million acres of land (922,650 acres). There are 611 miles of trails, over 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and more than 650 archaeological sites.
- Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
- Olympic National Park was almost named Elk National Park due to the importance of saving the Roosevelt elk, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, who created the Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 to protect the elk from being overhunted and wiped out. By the time the park was named in 1938, the elk population had recovered.
- The Olympic Mountains formed over 30 million years ago. Mount Olympus is the highest point, standing 7,965 feet in the center of Olympic National Park.
- Ruby Beach along the Olympic National Park coastline is called Ruby Beach because of the ruby-like crystals in the beach sand.
- The Quinault Rainforest is in a valley called the “Valley of the Rain Forest Giants” because of the record-sized trees there.
- Hurricane Ridge, a popular spot year-round in Olympic National Park, earns its name from winds 70 mph and higher whipping through.
- The Elwha River was used for hydropower to supply power to local milling operations, but now runs free due to The Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act passed in 1992.
- Coast guard stations were established on the beaches of the Olympic Peninsula during World War II because of its highly vulnerable location at the northern tip of the United States.
Sources: Summaries of numerous corroborative websites.