Olympic National Park for Hiking in Olympic National Park: contrasting trails

When we’re not lounging on a beach in the hot sun or gallivanting the globe, we love to hike locally.  Local, to us, is anything within a few hours’ drive of Seattle.  One of our favorite local activities is hiking in Olympic National Park.  It’s such an interesting place, with beaches, lowland rainforests, snow-capped peaks, and sweeping views from terrifying ridges.  From Seattle, Hurricane ridge is one of the closest access points to the Park.  A little over an hour beyond is the Hoh Rainforest.  Both are great for hiking with kids and each is drastically different.

Hiking in Olympic Natl Park, contrasting trailsI think most people in the Pacific Northwest will tell you that no visit to the Seattle area is complete without going hiking.  There are tons and tons of options, but we truly prefer and will direct visitors to either Mt Rainier National Park or Olympic National Park.  Both can be done as day trips or long weekends.  Since we live closer, we more often go hiking in Olympic National Park, so you should listen to our advice and enjoy either of these awesome places on the Oly Pen that we’re highlighting for you now.

Hiking in Olympic National Park at Hurricane Ridge

As you’re driving on Highway 101 looping around the Olympic Peninsula, you must go through Port Angeles.  Although the town itself might not grab your eye immediately, it’s worth investing a day in…but we’re talking about hiking, not playing tourist.  So, you’re driving through downtown PA and you see a sign for Hurricane Ridge and you turn.  You instantly start heading up hill.  You wind past the Port Angeles Olympic National Park Visitor Center, up through a few tunnels and keep going up out of the forest.  All of the sudden you’re driving on the side of a mountain with little to no shelter and you keep going up.  Eventually the road flattens out and you’re in a parking lot… on the top of the mountain.  Weird.

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