Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park
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Olympic National Park is an isolated area with a varied topography from seashore to glacier. It is the lowest altitude in the world in which glaciers begin at an elevation lower than 2000m and exist below 1000m.

The park can be divided into three basic regions: the Pacific coastline, the Olympic Mountains, and the temperate rainforest. The park has complex and varied vegetation zones, with endemic wildlife including the Olympic Marmot.

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Kyle Magnuson

California - United States of America - 31-May-17 -

Olympic National Park by Kyle Magnuson

Olympic National Park offers a diverse landscape that includes glaciers, rainforest, and tide pools. With a rental car and early starts beginning at 5:45 AM, my wife and I explored all three major portions of the park over two days.

We were blessed with 3 days of sunshine on the Olympic Peninsula during the Memorial Day weekend. Taking the earliest ferry from Seattle (6:10am) we beat all holiday crowds and never had an issue as we began exploring Hurricane Ridge. Deer and elk are common in several areas of the park, the alpine meadows of Hurricane Ridge are one such place, my binoculars were put to good use here.

We stayed in Port Angeles, which allowed us to extensively explore Hurricane Ridge, the Elwha River, and Storm King Ranger Station. Elhwa River is truly a hidden gem and is almost universally ignored by visitors heading to Lake Crescent or to the rain forests. One of the greatest successes in Olympic National Park is the destruction of the massive dam on the Elhwa River. The demolition project was only completed in 2014. The salmon have returned! After 100 years this portion of the park is truly special and stands as an exemplar partnership between the National Park Service and Native American Tribes. Pictured below is a massive bloom of Spring wildflowers adjacent to the Elhwa river.

Olympic National Park (16)

The Hoh and Quinault Rain Forests were both superb, small and large trails are available. The moss and bird life are bountiful, though I slightly prefer the Quinault Rain Forest. On the rugged Olympic Peninsula Coast, there are sea anemones in tide pools, sea stacks, and pristine coastline forests. This amazing diversity is the highlight of Olympic National Park, in some sense it feels like you are visiting 3 top notch national parks in one.

Read more from Kyle Magnuson here.


Pauline

USA - 18-Jul-09 -

Olympic National Park is one of those places you may never seen enough of .... on one side is Hurricane Ridge (with lovely mountainous views of the Olympic Mountains and of the Strait of Juan de Fuca), Lake Crescent (a pristine, clear lake with relatively little development) and our favorite, Rialto Beach (we saw a cluster of starfish, huge masses of bone-dry trees -- be careful, though, you have to watch the tide reports so you won't be on the water when high tide comes in: those trees start moving around). That's about half a day, if you want to see it all. It takes another three hours to get to the interior, where the Hoh Rainforest is located. It's a bit of everything all in one package!


Emilia Bautista King

USA - 14-Jun-09 -

I've been longing to visit the temperate rainforest in the Pacific Northwest and it was definitely worth the wait! If your time is short like mine was, the heart of the park is the Hoh Rainforest, which is a 19-mile drive from the highway. Here, you will see heavy fringes of moss hanging from the trees, as well as nurselogs that have newer trees growing on top of them. I was also fortunate to see a banana slug. If you are a WHS plaque seeker, the plaque is located outside of the Hoh Rainforest visitor center, right beside the bathrooms. I hope to visit Olympic National Park again, since I missed Hurricane Ridge and Sol Duc Springs. One last thing, I was forewarned to bring my raingear (which I did), only to have a bright, sunny day. I guess it's better to be prepared!


Joyce van Soest

The Netherlands - 27-Dec-05 -

We visited Olympic National Park for a weekend once, and it's a beautiful piece of nature. We drove up to a campsite where we pitched up our tent, and after another drive through the forested mountains, we got out of the car and hiked into the forest until we ended up at a group of natural hotsrpings. All the springs were seperated from each other and the water was very warm. If there wasn't a rotting smell coming from it (due to all the natural gasses) it would have been very romantic. We spent the night in the hotsprings, but since I saw a documentary once about the park with its cougars and bears I didn't feel quite comfortable (who wants to be eaten in the dark in a hot spring?). The fact that we saw a bear and heared cougar sounds on our way back were a bit exiting. But the park is beautiful, great for a weekend (or longer!) getaway.


Ben Pastore

USA - 07-Jun-05 -

Anyone who visits here had better like the color green and I'm not talking about money. It seemed like everything was covered with moss and other green growths, and the forest had a real primeval feel about it. If you're coming from Seattle, be aware that the distance is deceivingly long, and for a day trip you had better start early and plan on getting back late-not that it's not worth the time and effort.


Klaus Freisinger

Austria -

My visit to Olympic National Park happened some time ago, but I still remember vividly the enormous tress, high peaks, big glaciers, and breathtaking views. The vegetation especially was great and seemed to be right out of the Amazon jungle. Finally I knew what was meant by "temperate rainforest". A portion of the park is on the Pacific Ocean, and you can spend endless hours wandering along the untouched beach, seeing only birds, driftwood, and the occasional whale (seriously). For anyone visiting the Seattle area, this is a must-see.


jaxon nobori

USA -

Went 'matsutake' (mushroom) hunting one weekend. It was a memorable day amidt the conifer and temperate rain forests, plus gravel beaches and alpine streams. Like most natural parks, it takes time to really experience it.


Site Info

Full Name
Olympic National Park
Unesco ID
151
Country
USA
Inscribed
1981
Type
Natural
Criteria
7 9
Categories
Natural landscape - Diverse ecosystems
Link
By ID

Site History

1990 Extended

New boundaries, to include the coastal strip

1981 Inscribed

Locations

The site has 2 locations

Olympic National Park: Olympic Mountains Washington,
Olympic National Park: Pacific Coastal Area Washington,

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The site has

Architecture
Constructions
Ecology
Geography
Human Activity
Timeline
Trivia
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Adam Hancock Alessandro Votta Alex Goh Shaw Peng Alex Pflugfelder Alexander Fenster Alexander Lehmann Andrea Gormley Anna Wludarska Anthony Olson Atila Ege Auserican Baudy-Floc h Ben Pastore Bgbaum Bob Finnie Bram Cleaver Brett Baumann Brigitte Huber Brooke Dawson Buffy CH Cameron Wilde Chenqtao Circlingthebucketlist ClaireWhiteley Clem C Colossus Corinne Vail Craig Harder Crider52 DL Dan Pettigrew Dave wood David Aaronson & Melanie Stowell David King Davied Devon Diane Murphy Don Irwin Donald M Parrish Jr Dsch2oman@me.com Eanna81 Elaine Baran Emilia Bautista King Eric Lurio Eva Kisgyorgy Eva Rooks Farinelli Ferrocastor Fool79 G. ingraham G.L. Ingraham Gary Arndt George Evangelou George Gdanski Gi Gianmarco Grendel Gongan Grzegorz Andruszkiewicz Hadas Midbari Handballrama HaraldOest Hsaenzjr1 Iain Jackson Jacob Choi Jakecarlson Jakob Frenzel Janina Lehmann Jarrod_Byham Javier Coro Jay T Jeanne OGrady Jessica Rademacher Joanne Lee John Varner Jonas Kremer Joyce van Soest Judith Tanner KYLE ROUSSEL Karen Kunzel Karen M. Keith Johnson Kelly Henry Kelly Rogers Kim, Soo-youn Klaus Freisinger Kyle Magnuson Lale Eralp Turkey Lloyd Cross Lucia Luke725 Luke725 MMM Maggie Majkl20 Malcolm Martin Lind (Switzerland) Mary ann janicki Matthewsharris Mepilokisazt Meredith Carter Michael Ayers Michael Novins Michael Wojcik Michal Marciniak Mike Mike Harper Miles Hu Mkprescott Moreworld2c Nicole Kilian Nihal Ege Nils Kronenberg Pat Pat Martin Patricia Schwindt Patrick Matgen Paul Hilder Peter Lööv Peter mathews Petersona Petteri Philip T.K. Pingxian Xu Piotrurbanski Prasadsawant ProZac34 Rascleberry RobbyBob Roger Ourset Rswood Rwestervelt3 Ryan Ryan watkins Ryan09sb Sam Begley Simon Penton Simone Cannon de Bastardo Sjboyd Solivagant Stacie Yeldell Stephen S. Kamin Steve Newcomer Susan Mead Susan Stair Suzanne Tamara Ratz Ted Barnett Teresa J. Wilkin The Salmons Theresa Goh Therese Steen Timallen Timothy C Easton Tom Wong Tommy W Torkjell Djupedal Toya HornHoward Travel Addicts Travelindan Trevni Tsunami Werner Huber Wolfgang Hlousa WolfgangHl Xander Taylor Xiquinho Silva Yi Han Goh Zoë Sheng