Olympic National Forest. Forest in Washington, United States

Olympic National Forest

Forest in Washington, United States

Olympic Natl Park, WA Photo © Alex Green

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Olympic National Forest

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Olympic National Forest - Olympic
	National Forest
Olympic National Forest - Olympic National Forest. Photo by Kyle Greenberg
Olympic National Forest is the only destination where you can experience green till your eyes hurt. Olympic has it all in one set-up; breathtaking mountain vistas- fields of wild colorful flowers, ocean tide pools- its magnificent features and different faces are endless.

The marvels at Olympic National Forest are simply breathtaking. Burrowed in the valleys are some of the greatest remainders of ancient forests in Washington, USA. Feel close to everything that is virgin and refined when you get to experience the immense features fringed in Olympic National Forest from deep canyons and exuberant rain forests to high mountain and ocean beaches.

Its diverse and attractive forest extends to the mid altitude of the Olympic Mountains skirting Olympic National Park. Just one look at the Olympic and you are in love! This is what’s likely to happen when you breathe in the dewy fresh air at the Olympic National Forest and Park in Washington, USA.

Olympic Forest - Olympic National
Olympic Forest - Olympic National Forest. Photo by Alex Green


Olympic National Forest is situated in Washington, USA and it is a U.S. National Forest. It covers an area of 2, 541.89 km2 (628, 115 acres) almost encompassing the Olympic Mountain and Olympic National Park. The Olympic National Forest also holds parts of Grays Harbor, Clallam, Mason and Jefferson counties. It also has four main regions; alpine areas, Pacific coastline, east side shriveled forests and temperate rainforest of the west side.

In the year 1897, the Olympic National Forest was initially forged as Olympic Forest Reserve. In 1907, it was renamed to Olympic National Forest. In the year 1993, a Forest Service study approximated that the initial growth in the Forest had stretched by 108,000 ha (266,800 acres). Olympic National Forest is managed in two ranger districts namely the Hood Canal Ranger District on the east side and Pacific Ranger District on the west side.

Olympic National Forest headquarters are situated in Olympia with ranger district offices in Quinault, Quilcene and Forks. The original creator of Mount Olympus National Monument was Theodore Roosevelt, former U.S. President, on 2 March 1909. On June 29, 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt designated the forest as a national park which later became an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976. It was appointed a World Heritage Site in 1981, and in 1988, Congress delegated 95% of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.

What to See

Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rainforest
Hoh Rainforest
Hoh Rainforest offers a great rich spectrum of greens; it is always green and virtually always wet annually. Experience nature’s green wonders in the wild, wet forest with gigantic trees of over 500 years; with it receiving averagely 150 inches of rainfall annually, woods grow faster in this area than anywhere else in the world. The Hoh rain forest is a must-see.

Sol Duc Falls

Soc Duc Falls are a Northwest waterfall that’s totally breathtaking. It too is a must-see destination; with luxuriant greenery all over, white water charging pristine mountain and crashing down into a breach of black rock, and august hiking trails.
It is usually active throughout the year and it is the most viewed fall in Olympic Peninsula since you can view it from above the water level. It’s even more perfect during early spring and rainy season, runoff from the fall is amazing as it thunders underneath your feet.

Quinault Rainforest
Quinault Rainforest

Quinault Rainforest

Quinault rainforest is among the three temperate forests in the western hemisphere. It hosts the greatest Sitka Spruce tree worldwide (58 meter tall and 1,000 years old) as well as Western Red Cedar trees, Douglas fir and Hemlock. The trails user you in through mossy forests to extraordinary esteemed arboreal giants. Look out for Roosevelt elk as well.

Kalaloch Beach

Located south of Forks in Washington (about 56 kilometers), Kalaloch Beach is a broad, sandy spread along the Pacific coastline. Kalaloch Beach bears the meaning ‘good place to land’. It is among the most popular areas in Olympic National Park and is home to thousands of sea life. Kalaloch Beach offers phenomenal oceanic views and remarkable sunsets.

Lake Crescent

It’s a 10 acre glacially-carved, natural lake situated at a height of 183 meter. Lake Crescent is an immaculate area that offers visitors an outstanding site for relaxation and recreation.

It’s clear waters of up to 18 meter deep is perfect for viewing Crescenti Trout and Beardslee, two types of fish only found in that location and nowhere else in the world. Lake Crescent Lodge provides visitors the be-fitting setting to stay and experience the picturesque lake.

Hurricane Ridge

It is over a mile high, offering spectacular views of wildflowers, mountains, marmots, black bear, and other wildlife. The Olympic wouldn’t be any better than this!

Lake Quinault

Lake Quinault is a central location for camping, lodging and several other trails to explore the rain forest valleys. It also offers extensive variation of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and fishing.

There is so much to explore in Olympic National Forest; the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail, Quinault Rainforest Loop, Ruby Beach, La Push, Sol Duc Salmon Cascades, Sol Duc Hot Springs, Marymere Falls and Hood Canal.

How to get there

You can get to Olympic National Forest either by land, water or air. If you are travelling by car, you can access the park via several routes from 1-5 corridor and greater Seattle area.

By road

Use one of Washington State Ferries to cross Puget Sound. Enter U.S. 101 from Port Townsend (State Route 20), Bainbridge Island (State Routes 305 & 104) or Kingston (State Route 104). Take note that State Route 104 crosses the Hood Canal Bridge hence closes periodically for boat traffic.
Take State Route 16 to Bremerton from Tacoma (I-5) then access State Route 3 north from Bremerton to State Route 104. Also note that State Route 104 crosses the Hood Canal Bridge hence closes periodically for boat traffic. Access U.S. 101 at Olympia (via I-5).

U.S. 101 north from Aberdeen, through the Washington/Oregon coast or U.S. 12 west from I-5 will also allow you access to Olympic National Park.

By boat

If you are travelling by ferry, Washington State Ferry system has several routes that access the Olympic Peninsula across Puget Sound. The A commercial ferry runs between Port Angeles and Victoria, BC.

By air

The closest airport to Olympic National Park is William R. Fairchild International Airport, Port Angeles. Seattle, Tacoma, and the greater Puget Sound region are served by Sea-Tac Airport.

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Author: marisa. Last updated: Jan 27, 2015

Pictures of Olympic National Forest

WA:  Olympic  National Forest - Olympic National Forest
WA: Olympic National Forest - Olympic National Forest. Photo by GD Taber

Olympic National Forest
Olympic National Forest. Photo by Rebecca Boyd


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