Great Washington State Birding Trail

Olympic National Park
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The Great Washington State Birding Trail

Consisting of 3,000 miles and 7 complete loops that offer bird watchers quite an eyeful, the Great Washington State Birding Trail includes an Olympic Loop that’s quite impressive and fun to explore regardless of the time of year. Read More

  • The Olympic Loop of the Washington State Birding Trail provides an opportunity to view as many as 200 species of birds. 
  • The loop includes a variety of ecosystems including alpine, sub-alpine, rainforest, and lowland forests as well as stunning coastal lands. 
  • This trail can be enjoyed all year long, with species varying according to season.

Why can I see drive the Great Washington State Birding Trail?

While the entire Washington Birding Trail is fascinating, the portion on the Olympic Peninsula is especially notable as it traverses a wide variety of eco-systems and, therefore, provides aficionados of winged creatures with a look at a huge selection of birds, from those that live in the deep forests on the Olympic National Park or near its glacial peaks to the shorebirds on the rugged coast. An estimated 200 of Washington State’s annually recorded 346 species can be found along the Olympic Loop.

Where does the Great Washington State Birding Trail begin and end?

Officially, Stop #1 on the Olympic Loop is near DuPont, just south of Tacoma, at the Nisqually River delta on Puget Sound. There are a total of 54 suggested stops along the Olympic Loop, which literally circles the peninsula, venturing both inside and outside of Olympic National Park, mostly along Highway 101 but also along the coastal road that leads to Neah Bay. Therefore, if you have a map, you can start just about anywhere and eventually make the complete circle, traveling in whatever direction works best for you.

How long does the Great Washington State Birding Trail take to drive?

The entire trail covers some 3,000 miles and the Olympic Loop consists of 400 miles. If you’re doing just the Olympic Loop, it’s best to stretch out the adventure over about 4 days, perhaps staying at some of the National Park lodges or tribal-owned resorts along the way. The entire trail can consume a few weeks or more.