Things to do on the Olympic Peninsula
Hurricane Ridge sits 5,200 feet above sea level in the Olympic National Park. There are many spectacular views from the ridge of majestic peaks with their resident glaciers, alpine meadows, wildflowers, numerous deer, panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Victoria B.C., and Vancouver Island.
This recreation area offers hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, bird watching, and picnicking.
Ozette Wilderness Hike
Ozette is located at the Northwest entrance to Olympic National Park's coastal wilderness. Primitive coastal beaches and Indian Petroglyphs await your exploration. Two trails leave the Lake Ozette Ranger Station for the ocean beaches. The first trail is the more northerly Cape Alava Trail, which leads 3.3 miles through lowland coastal forest to the beach.
The second trail is Sand Point, which guides you three miles through the forest to the beach. Both trails are boardwalk to the beach. Another option you have is to take a 9.3 mile loop hike made by taking one of these trails to the beach, hiking along the beach for three miles and returning by the other trail to the ranger station.
Lake Crescent and Sol Duc Hot Springs
Lake Crescent is a pleasant sight to behold. This glacier carved lake with its glorious colors of aqua green and blue will entice you to spend some time soaking in its beauty and the area that surrounds it.
Located 20 miles from Port Angeles, this lake sits in the bottom of a glacial valley surround by steep terrain and gentle slopes along the lake shore. The lake area offers a variety of recreational activities.
There are several easy hikes in the area around Crescent Lake:
- Marymere guides you from the lake through the old growth forest, ferns, and mushrooms to a 90' waterfall
- Sol Duc, a mile hike from the end of the Sol Duc Hot Springs (a great place to relax after a day of hiking) through lush forest to a picturesque water fall
- Madison Falls, a 600 foot paved path wanders along Madison Creek through forest and meadows to Madison Falls
Cape Flattery is located on the tip of the Olympic Peninsula on the Makah reservation. The 3/4 mile trail incorporates a boardwalk, stone and gravel steps with hand rails for easy access to the viewpoint.
At the end of the trail, there are observation decks affording unsurpassed views of the ocean, sea life, and the lighthouse on Tatoosh Island. The lighthouse was built in 1857 and is still operational at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest is a must see when visiting the Olympic Peninsula. The drive is about 2 hours from Port Angeles but is well worth the time. It is the only temperate rain forest in the northern hemisphere. Each year it receives 12 feet of rain. Once in the forest, you will feel like you have stepped back in time to a prehistoric period.
The old growth forests are home to lush vegetation, huge trees draped in moss, deer, elk, and birds. There are a couple of short walks that will lead you through this thriving ancient forest: Hall of Mosses Trail, is 3/4 mile round trip, will escort you through the moss draped trees, and Spruce Nature Trail, is 1 1/4 miles round trip, will guide you along the Hoh River.
Dungeness Spit and Wildlife Refuge
The spit is the largest natural sand hook in the nation. The main arm of the spit is 5 1/2 miles long. In 1857, a lighthouse was built at the end of the spit. The lighthouse is now manned by volunteers.
Tours are given by the keepers to any that brave the 5 1/2 mile walk out along the spit or who come by small boat or Kayak. The recreation area includes a hiking trail that goes along the bluffs that provides an excellent view of the Strait, and at times, the spit.
Rialto Beach, Ruby Beach, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Beach
Each beach has something different to offer. Ruby Beach offers views of crashing waves against the sea stacks that tower above the ocean. Its shoreline is surrounded by lots of trees, and the beach has collected many logs that have been washed ashore.
Rialto Beach is one of the easiest beaches to access and offers beautiful views of the Pacific Coast. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Beaches are each unique and offer the beach explorer diverse experiences.
Salt Creek Recreation Area
Salt Creek Recreation Area was once the site of Fort Hayden, a World War II harbor defense military base.
The park is well known for the Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary. One of the best places on the Peninsula to discover tidepools and their inhabitants.
Salt Creek Recreation Area includes forest, tide pools, sandy beaches, and rocky bluffs along with access to Salt Creek River and remnants of Fort Hayden's two concrete bunkers. Along the bluffs you will enjoy panoramic views of the Crescent Bay, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Victoria, British Columbia.
Kalaloch (pronounced Kalay-lock) Beach is a beautiful place to linger and explore the ocean beaches while you await the magnificent sunsets over the seastacks.
Just a day trip away on the MV Coho to tour Victoria, The Royal British Museum, shop, enjoy street entertainers and the Butchart Gardens.
When you are through with all that ... Consider
- Museum at the Carnegie
- Bird Watching
- Scuba Diving
- Arthur D. Feiro Marine Science Center
- Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary
- Whale Watching
- Sea Kayaking
- Olympic Game Farm
- Fly Fishing
- Taking a nap!
- Charter Fishing
- Sunset Picnics on the beach
- White Water Rafting
- A Bike Ride on the Olympic Discovery Trail
- Wine Tasting
- Mountain Climbing
- Art Galleries
- Art on the Town Outdoor Sculpture Gallery
- Shopping in the Historic City Center
Popular Day Trips
We want to make your stay with us as relaxing and pleasurable as possible as you travel and explore the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park and Port Angeles.
If you would like to take a day trip to explore the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, we can assist with resources for a range of day trips as follows:
- Sea Kayaking
- Mountain Climbing
- Whale Watching
- Llama Treks
- Bird Watching
- Cross-country skiing
- Whitewater Rafting
Current information on Olympic Peninsula activities and sightseeing and exploration options in Olympic National Park are always available.
However you decide to spend your day, you will start the day with an artfully presented gourmet breakfast by candlelight served on antique china and silver. Your day will end with a welcome back to a cozy room and homemade cookies -- the perfect end to a perfect day on the Peninsula.
Car rental is available through Budget Rent-a-Car.
For information on Victoria and Vancouver Island click here.