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Visiting Olympic National Park: The Complete Guide (2021 Update)

Post Summary: Visiting Olympic National Park

There are few national parks where one can spend the morning viewing tidepools, then go for a walk in the rainforest, and end the day playing in the snow. In Olympic National Park, you can do just that. This diverse and unique National Park is located on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The park is a wilderness park that is conveniently located near Seattle. This makes the park a popular national park weekend getaway and when combined with Washington’s other National Parks a great road trip stop.

Olympic National Park is made of up several different regions and there is a lot of park to explore. This guide is designed to given you an overview to help get you started planning your visit to Olympic National Park.

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Are you planning a trip to Olympic National Park? Click here for the complete guide to visiting Olympic National Park written by a National Park Expert. 

Olympic National Park Trip Planning / visit Olympic National Park / Olympic National Park Vacation / Olympic Trip

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The Quick Guide to Visiting Olympic National Park

Map of Olympic National Park

Map of Olympic National Park

Click on the Olympic Map above to download the official brochure map. If you’d like a PDF copy of this Olympic Map click here.

Olympic National Park Basics

Region: Pacific-West / West / Pacific Northwest

Park Size: 922,650 acres (1,441.64 sq miles) (3,733.83 sq km)

Location: Jefferson, Clallam, Mason, and Grays Harbor counties

Closest Cities: Port Angeles, Washington

Busy Season: May to September

Visitation: 3,245,806 (in 2019)

The snowy mountain tops of the Olympic Range

How much does Olympic National Park Cost?

Olympic National Park costs the following:

  • 7-day Passenger Vehicle Pass – $30
  • 7-day Motorcycle Pass – $25
  • 7-day Individual Pass – $7

An annual Olympic National Park Pass costs $55 but it is not recommended you buy this pass. For an extra $25 you can get an American the Beautiful Pass. This $80 pass offers free admission to all 116 fee-charging National Park Units.

When is Olympic National Park Open?

Olympic National Park is open year-round.

Are dogs allowed in Olympic National Park?

Yes, pets are allowed in Olympic National Park. Dogs are welcome on most of the park’s trails and carriage roads. Please review the Olympic Pet Policy before bringing your dog to Acadia.

Where are Olympic National Park’s visitor centers?

Olympic National Park Visitor Center – Open Year Around

Wilderness Information Center – Open Year Around

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center – Open during summer

Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center – March to December

Kalaloch Ranger Station – Open during Summer

Land Acknowledgments for Olympic National Park

The National Park known as Olympic National Park sits on Coast Salish, S’Klallam, Quinault, ChalAt’i’lo t’sikAti (Chalat’), and Quileute lands.

Thank you to the Native Land Digital for making the Indigenous territories accessible to all. They have mapped the known territories to the best of the current knowledge and is a work in progress. If you have additional information on the Indigenous nations boundaries, please let them know.

Native Land Digital is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization with the goal to creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.

A fallen log in the Hoh Rain Forest

When was Olympic National Park Created?

Olympic National Park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt on March 2, 1909 as Mount Olympus National Monument. It was re-designated as Olympic National Park in June 29, 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Olympic National Park was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976, and in 1981 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The purpose of Olympic National Park is to preserve for the benefit, use, and enjoyment of the people, a large wilderness park containing the finest sample of primeval forest of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, Douglas fir, and western red cedar in the entire United States; to provide suitable winter range and permanent protection for the herds of native Roosevelt elk and other wildlife indigenous to the area; to conserve and render available to the people, for recreational use, this outstanding mountainous country, containing numerous glaciers and perpetual snow fields, and a portion of the surrounding verdant forests together with a narrow strip along the beautiful Washington coast.

Olympic National Park Foundation Document

Fun Facts about Olympic National Park

  • The highest point in Olympic National Park is Mount Olympus which is 7,962 feet (2,427 m) above sea level.
  • The lowest point in Olympic National Park is the Pacfici Ocean which is 0 feet (0 m) in elevation.
  • Olympic by the numbers
    • 168 miles of roads
    • 611 miles of hiking trails
    • 60 named glaciers
    • Over 650 archeological sites
    • There are 130 historical structures
    • Over 3,000 miles of rivers and streams
    • at least 16 kinds of endemic animals and 8 kinds of endemic plants
  • The park has 3 distinct ecosystems – sub-alpine forest with wildflower meadow, temperate forest, and the Pacific Shore
  • The Olympic Mountains formed over 30 million years ago.
  • Olympic’s Hoh Rain Forest receives over 12 feet of rain a year.
  • You can see over 60 ft down in Lake Crescent. This is due to the lack of nitrogen in the water.
  • The world’s largest dam removal took place in Olympic National Park. The 210-foot-high Glines Canyons dam and 108-foot-high Elwha dam were removed from the Elwha River in 2014.
  • Olympic National Park is International Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Where to stamp your National Parks Passport Book?

Looking for a cheap National Park souvenir? The National Park Passport Books is one of the best and cheapest souvenirs. If you have don’t have a National Park Passport Book click here to learn more about the program or click here to buy.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT stamp your government-issued passport.

There are 29 official stamps in Olympic along with a handful of bonus stamps in the park.

  • Eagle R.S.
  • Eagle Ranger Station
  • Eagle RS Was
  • Elwha Ranger Station
  • Hoh Rain Forest
  • Hoh Rain Forest, WA
  • Hoodsport WIC
  • Hurricane Ridge
  • Hurricane Ridge, WA
  • Kalaloch Ranger Station
  • Kalaloch, WA
  • Lake Crescent
  • Mora Ranger Station
  • Mora, WA
  • NPS Centennial
  • Port Angeles Visitor Center
  • Port Angeles WIC
  • Port Angeles, WA
  • Quinault Rain Forest
  • Quinault Rain Forest (Upside Down)
  • Quinault Ranger Station
  • Sol Duc Hot Springs
  • Solduck, Wash
  • Staircase R.S.
  • Staircase Ranger Station
  • Storm King
  • Storm King Ranger Station
  • Storm King, WA
  • WIC P.A. WA

Olympic Bonus Stamps:

  • Banana Slug
  • Bird
  • Fern
  • Hoodsport Visitor Center
  • Owl
  • Sea Otter
Discover Your Northwest

Discover Your Northwest is located at 3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362. It is open from summer. Stamps located here:

Discover Your Northwest Passport Stamps
Eagle Ranger Station

Eagle Ranger Station is located at Soleduck Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363. This Ranger Station is also known as the Sol Duc Ranger Station It is open during the summer. Stamps located here:

Eagle Ranger Station Passport Stamp
Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center

Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is located at 18113 Upper Hoh Road Forks, WA 98331. It is open from March to December. Stamps located here:

Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center Passport Stamps
Hoodsport USFS NPS Ranger Station

Hoodsport USFS NPS Ranger Station is located at 150 N Finch Creek Rd, Hoodsport, WA 98548. It is open year-round. Stamps located here:

Hoodsport USFS NPS Ranger Station Passport Stamps
Kalaloch Lodge Gift Shop

Kalaloch Lodge Gift Shop is located at 157151 Highway 101, Forks, WA 98331. It is open year-round. Stamps located here:

Kalaloch Lodge Gift Shop Passport Stamp
Kalaloch Ranger Information Station

Kalaloch Ranger Information Station is located at 156954 U.S. Highway 101. It is open from spring and summer. Stamps located here:

Kalaloch Ranger Information Station Passport Stamp
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is located at Hurricane Ridge Road, Washington 98362. It is open year-round Stamps located here:

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center Passport Stamps
Lake Crescent Lodge Registration Desk

Lake Crescent Lodge Registration Desk is located at 712 Lake Cresent Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363. It is open from May to January. Stamps located here:

Lake Crescent Lodge Registration Desk Passport Stamp
Mora Ranger Station

Mora Ranger Station is located at 2619 Mora Rd, Forks, WA 98331. It is open in summer. Stamps located here:

Mora Ranger Station Passport Stamp
Olympic National Forest Quinault USFS NPS Ranger Station

Olympic National Forest Quinault USFS NPS Ranger Station is located at 351 S Shore Rd, Quinault, WA 98575. It is open year-round. Stamps located here:

Olympic National Forest Quinault USFS NPS Ranger Station Passport Stamp
Olympic National Park Visitor Center

Olympic National Park Visitor Center is located at 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362, USA. It is open year-round. Stamps located here:

Olympic National Park Visitor Center Passport Stamp
Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station

Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station is located at 913 N Shore Rd Amanda Park, WA 98526. It is open during the summer. Stamps located here:

Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station Passport Stamp
Sol Duc Entrance Station

Sol Duc Entrance Station is located at Sol Duc-Hot Springs Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363. It is open year-round. Stamps located here:

Sol Duc Entrance Station Passport Stamps
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Registration Desk

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Registration Desk is located at 12076 Sol Duc Hot Springs Rd. Port Angeles, WA 98363. It is open from April to October. Stamps located here:

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Registration Desk Passport Stamp
Staircase Ranger Station

Staircase Ranger Station is located at Natl Forest Develop Road 24 Rd, Hoodsport, WA 98548. It is open from May to September. Stamps located here:

Staircase Ranger Station Passport Stamps
Storm King Ranger Station

Storm King Ranger Station is located at 227769 Olympic Hwy, Port Angeles, WA 98363. It is open during summer. Stamps located here:

Storm King Ranger Station Passport Stamp

National Park Obsessed’s Detailed Guides to Olympic National Park

Itineraries for Olympic National Park

One Day in Olympic National Park

National Parks for Spring
National Parks for Summer
Best Hikes

Pin for Later: Visiting Olympic National Park: The Complete Guide

Are you planning a trip to Olympic National Park? Click here for the complete guide to visiting Olympic National Park written by a National Park Expert. 

Olympic National Park Trip Planning / visit Olympic National Park / Olympic National Park Vacation / Olympic Trip

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