Olympic National Park Hiking Trails, Washington Hikes

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Hiking

Outdoor lovers who enjoy communing with nature can explore dozens of trails within Olympic National Park, accommodating trekkers of a variety of skill levels and rewarding them with breathtaking scenery.

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Where can I go hiking and backpacking in Olympic National Park?

The park service has a fantastic Backcountry Trail and Camping Map. We feature a few of the most popular trails below.

Hoh River Trail
Truly one of the most popular backpacking treks in the park due to its easy accessibility, this one provides a look at everything from rainforest to ice fields. It gets crowded in the summer so if you’re flexible, make it a spring or fall destination. 

  • Distance: 17.5 miles from the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center to Glacier Meadow 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 3 days/2 nights 
  • Elevation: 4,200 foot elevation gain 
  • Difficulty: easy until Olympus Meadows, then moderately strenuous 
  • Trail Type: backpack 
  • Trailhead: From Forks, drive south on Highway 101 to marker 178.5. Turn east on Hoh River Road and continue for 18 miles to trailhead.

Point of the Arches
Leading from Ozette Lake to the north end of Shi Shi Beach on the coast, this trail includes inland forest and some magnificent views of rugged Pacific Coastline that’ll knock your socks off. Note that you’ll need a Makah Reservation Pass to do this hike. 

  • Distance: 17.2 miles 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 3 days/2 nights 
  • Elevation: minimal gain 
  • Difficulty: easy to moderately strenuous 
  • Trail Type: backpacking 
  • Trailhead: From Port Angeles take US 101 west five miles to Highway 112. Follow Highway 112 west for 32 miles to Hoko-Ozette Road, just past Sekiu. Turn left (south) on Hoko-Ozette Road and drive about 20 miles to its end at the Ozette Ranger Station.

Olympic Hot Springs Trail
This pretty trail takes hikers through the forest and across a few small streams to the soothing Olympic Hot Springs. It’s well-maintained, accessible all year, and attainable by most hikers.

  • Distance: 2.7 miles 
  • Average Time of Hiking: less than an hour 
  • Elevation: about a 500 foot gain 
  • Difficulty: easy 
  • Trail type: hiking 
  • Trailhead: The trail starts at the Lake Mills boat launch parking area. Take 101 West from Port Angeles to left on Olympic Hot Springs Road. Follow the road for 5.5 miles and make a sharp left at the boat launch sign.

Seven Lakes Loop
This hike literally has it all and this loop is considered a premiere Olympic National Park hiking trail. Lakes, waterfalls, streams, rivers, alpine peaks, fields of wildflowers, and plenty of animals will appear within your sights so you’ll want to have your camera ready at all times. Stunning! 

  • Distance: 16.8 miles 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 9-11 hours 
  • Elevation: total gain 6,900 feet 
  • Difficulty: moderate to strenuous, including some ridge walking 
  • Trail type: hiking 
  • Trailhead: Take US 101 W from Port Angeles for 32 miles, turn L onto Sol Duc Hot Springs Rd. Follow to end of road and park at trailhead.

Mount Townsend
With easy access and a long hiking season, this trail is one of the most popular summit hikes in Olympic National Park. The trail is well-maintained and the views of the Olympic Mountains from the top of Mount Townsend are spectacular. 

  • Distance: 8.2 miles roundtrip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 4 hours 
  • Elevation: 2,900 foot gain 
  • Difficulty: moderate 
  • Trail type: hiking 
  • Trailhead: From Quilcene, take US 101 south for 1.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto Penny Creek Road. After 1.5 miles, bear left onto Big Quilcene River Road (Forest Road 27). Drive 13.5 miles, ignoring the sign at 12.5 miles for the Mount Townsend Trail (that's the lower trail to Sink Lake). Turn left onto FR 27-190 and in 0.75 mile come to the trailhead.

Do I need a permit to camp in the backcountry?

Wilderness Camping Permits are required to stay overnight in Olympic National Park's backcountry. Some permits have limited availability and require advanced reservations.

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