Inside the Book: Olympic National Park Travel Guide
An excerpt from the Jungles & Rain Forests chapter of Ultimate Journeys for Two…
“Western Washington State gets a lot of flack for ‘bad’ weather, but the rain forests of Olympic National Park make it all worthwhile. The 12 to 14 feet of annual rainfall in the Olympic Mountains yields an intensely lush landscape of moss-draped cedars, towering spruces, and fog-shrouded Douglas firs, some over 300 feet tall. The relative rarity of a rain forest in the United States has obvious appeal, though that’s just one card in this park’s ecological full house. In addition to the mystical Hoh and Quinault temperate rain forests, this heart-shaped peninsula is nestled amid glacier-capped mountains, wildflower meadows, 13 teal rivers, and 70 miles of rugged coastline. Its diversity of ecosystems is so impressive it has earned status as an international Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site. In theory, you could ice climb, beachcomb, mountain trek, fly-fish, and soak in volcanic hot springs, all in the same day. And we hope you try. No matter your interests, the million acres of national park and 611 miles of trails will surely lead to excitement.”
Where to Stay: Lake Quinault Lodge: A historic and well-appointed lodge within the park; spring for the Boathouse. Kalaloch Lodge: For ocean views, try these cozy cabins along the windswept bluffs.
Get Romantic: Take Boulder Creek Trail to the natural hot springs. Seven pools, some reaching 118°F, are nestled into the forest. (FYI: Skinny-dipping is a common practice.)
HoneyTrek Tip: Even if you’re not a camper, spend at least one night in an old-growth forest. Book in advance for a prime riverside spot at Hoh Campground, or go early for same-day booking at the serene Graves Creek.
Our Nat Geo Video
Olympic Peninsula is just one of 75 destinations in Ultimate Journeys for Two, all equally amazing and alive. Though don’t just take our word for it; get a signed copy of the book and discover them for yourselves.