10 Things to Know Before Visiting Olympic National Park


Olympic National Park is a diverse and stunning destination in Washington. Learn 10 things to know before visiting this amazing park, from fees and weather to wildlife and camping.

Olympic National Park charges $30 per vehicle or $15 per individual for a seven-day pass, also valid at Mount Rainier. An annual pass is $55, while the $80 America the Beautiful pass covers multiple national parks

Park Entrance Fees and Passes


Olympic National Park's climate varies by location: coastal areas are wet, rainforests are cool, high elevations have heavy snow, and the east side is drier. Summer is busiest; spring and fall offer wildlife, and winter invites snow activities.

Weather and Climate


In Olympic National Park, admire diverse wildlife from a distance, including bears, cougars, and whales. Never feed animals, store food in bear-proof containers, and back away slowly if you encounter wild predators. Avoid disturbing marine mammals on beaches.

Wildlife  Safety


Olympic National Park has 16 campgrounds with basic amenities, some offering RV facilities. Lodges or cabins provide more comfort, including heating and private bathrooms. Nearby towns like Port Angeles and Forks have hotels and other accommodations.

Camping and Lodging Options


To explore Olympic National Park's backcountry, obtain a permit for $8 per night or an annual pass for $45. Camp in designated areas, use bear canisters for food, and follow leave-no-trace principles.

Backcountry Permits and Regulations


Explore Olympic National Park's tidepools to see marine life. Check tide charts, visit during low tide, walk cautiously, and avoid disturbing the ecosystem. Don't remove anything, and watch for waves and slippery surfaces.

Tidepool  Etiquette


Olympic National Park features free ranger programs on wildlife, history, and ecology, with schedules available online or at visitor centers. Fee-based guided tours, including boat, kayak, bike, and horseback, can be booked through authorized operators.

Ranger Programs and Guided Tours


Olympic National Park's highlights like Hurricane Ridge and Ruby Beach draw global crowds, especially June-September. Visit early or late in the day to avoid crowds, or consider quieter spots like Shi Shi Beach or Ozette Lake.

Popular Destinations and Crowds


Check road conditions before visiting Olympic National Park, as some roads may close seasonally. Reach the park via I-5, quieter state roads, or ferries. Limited public transport is available, with private shuttle/taxi services also an option.

Park Road and Transportation Information


Preserve Olympic National Park for future generations by following Leave No Trace principles: plan and prepare, use durable surfaces, dispose of waste, leave nature as is, minimize campfire effects, respect wildlife, and consider others' experiences.

Leave No Trace Principles


Next: 7 Must-See Natural Wonders in Olympic National Park

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