Olympic National Park
Glacier capped mountains, wild Pacific coast and magnificent stands of old-growth forests, including temperate rain forests -- at Olympic National Park, you can find all three. About 95% of the park is designated wilderness, which further protects these diverse and spectacular ecosystems. Olympic is also known for its biological diversity. Isolated for eons by glacial ice, and later the waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Peninsula has developed its own distinct array of plants and animals. Eight kinds of plants and 15 kinds of animals are found on the peninsula but no where else on Earth.
Outdoor recreation is enjoyed in a variety of ways at Olympic National Park. No matter what the season, there are always a number of ways and opportunities to explore Olympic National Park. Whether it's hiking for miles through the high-country, enjoying a picnic, cross-country skiing at Hurricane Ridge, or strolling on a beach or nature trail, Olympic is always a gateway to enjoyable outdoor experiences.
Seasonality / Weather
Olympic National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, although some roads, campgrounds and other visitor facilities close in winter. Emergency situations including flooding, blowdowns or wildland fire may also close areas temporarily.
Like everything else about Olympic, the weather is extremely variable, from season to season and place to place. Visitors should come prepared for a wide range of conditions. Rain gear and layered clothing are essential. Overall, the Olympic Peninsula has a moderate marine climate with pleasant summers and mild, wet winters. Summers tend to be fair and warm, with high temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F. July, August and September are the driest months, with heavier precipitation during the rest of the year. While winters are mild at lower elevation, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, snowfall can be heavy in the mountains, with accumulations of up to 10 feet common.
All park destinations can be reached by U.S. Highway 101, which circumnavigates the Olympic Peninsula.
From the greater Seattle area and I-5 corridor, you can reach U.S. 101 by several different routes.
* Cross Puget Sound on one of the Washington State Ferry System's car and passenger ferries.
* Drive south to Tacoma and cross Puget Sound at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
* Drive south to Olympia and access U.S. 101 there.
Port Angeles is served daily from downtown Seattle and SeaTac Airport by Olympic Bus Lines. Clallam Transit System provides service within Port Angeles and commuter services to locations around the northern Olympic Peninsula.
Ferry service is available throughout most of the year between Victoria, British Columbia and Port Angeles. The Coho Ferry offers vehicle and passenger service throughout the year, except for a two-week winter maintenance shutdown. Victoria Express operates a summer passenger-only ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria. The Washington State Ferry system serves a number of routes across Puget Sound, but does not provide service in or out of Port Angeles.