The Best Hikes in Olympic National Park: Any Season, Any Terrain

f you're living in or visiting Kitsap County, you're lucky enough to be a drive away from one of the most diverse and dramatic national parks in the country -- Olympic National Park.

Olympic National Park is particularly unique because the 141,000 square-mile park contains three different ecosystems, towering mountains, rugged coastline, subalpine forests, meadows and temperate rain forests. Plus, you can explore all the park has to offer in any season. Coastal, valley and mountain trails abound in Olympic National Park, and you can find recommendations for the best of all worlds right here.

Mountains: Hurricane Hill at Hurricane Ridge

Photo by brewbooks Photo by brewbooks

Head to Hurricane Hill trail in any season for sprawling views of Puget Sound, Vancouver Island and the Olympic Range. A breathtaking place to snowshoe in the winter and hike in the summer, Hurricane Hill is a 3.2 mile out-and-back trail that's located near Port Angeles, Washington. Hurricane Ridge is a favorite destination for winter recreation of all kinds, including sledding, skiing and snowboarding.

Lowland Forest: Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent

Olympic National Park Photo by Ken Lund

The historic Spruce Railroad trail is an old rail trail that borders the glacial blue-green waters of Lake Crescent. It was once used to bring Sitka Spruce logs out of the forest for WWI biplane construction, and it is now part of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT), a trail that traverses the entire Olympic Peninsula. Spruce Railroad trail is an 8-mile round-trip trail that runs along the north shore of Lake Crescent. While many prefer to enjoy the lake in summer, the Roosevelt Cottages at Lake Crescent Lodge are the perfect winter retreat, and the surrounding trails are perfect for snowshoeing.

Rain Forest: Hoh River Trail in Hoh Rainforest

Olympic National Park Photo by daveynin

Explore one of the temperate rainforests of Olympic National Park on the Hoh River Trail. The Hoh rainforest receives a ton of rain in the winter, so if you head that direction between October and May, be sure to bring your best waterproof gear and wear dependable footwear. Hoh River trail covers 17.4 miles (one-way) of rain forest, subalpine meadow and montane forest. The first 13 miles are relatively flat until the steep ascent to Glacier Meadows. Hikers will enjoy wildlife sightings, views of Mt. Olympus and Blue Glacier, a river crossing, and some small stream crossings.

Coastline Hike: Cape Alava & Sand Point Trails (Ozette Triangle) on the North Olympic Coast

Photo by Miguel Vieria Photo by Miguel Vieria

Coastal beaches are relatively snow-free in the winter and mild in the summer. The coastline of Olympic National park varies greatly, so you could spend days exploring all it has to offer. Hike the 9 mile Ozette Loop to explore the coastal forest and beaches of the North Olympic Coast. Start on Cape Alava Trail at Lake Ozette and connect with Sand Point Trail for an awesome loop. Pick up a tide chart at a ranger station before hiking coastal routes.

Ready to head to Olympic National Park? Stop by the Sierra Trading Post store in Silverdale, Washington to pick up the layers, outerwear and gear you need to make the most of your trip!

sierra Trading Post Washington
Join the Conversation