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The Olympic Peninsula’s Most Breathtaking Trails: Our Guide to Hiking on the Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula, home to Olympic National Park, possesses an otherworldly landscape teeming with life and ripe for adventure. The Olympic Peninsula contains a diverse grouping of ecosystems that make the area truly unique, including lowland forests, glaciated mountain ranges, and temperate rainforests. With the weather warming up, it’s the perfect time of year to get out and explore the Olympic Peninsulas and Olympic National Park. Getting to the Olympic Pensinula from Seattle is easier than you think with the Bainbridge Ferry it takes about 90 minutes and costs $8.50 per person. Alternatively, you can drive south through Tacoma to the 101, and add about 2 hours to your journey. You’ll need to pay $30 vehicle entry fee to enter the park. To learn more about Gearhouse’s favorite hikes in the Olympics, continue reading below for The Olympic Peninsula’s Most Breathtaking Trails: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking in the Olympic Peninsula.

Hall of Moses

Hall of Moses Hike
Image Credit: Washington Trail Association

Hall of Moses is an easy yet serene journey deep into the Hoh Rain Forest. Stroll through the evergreen world of the Olympic National Park and marvel at how moss covers nearly everything the eye can see. The trail begins at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and is an easy hike that comes in at around a 1-mile jaunt with 100 feet of elevation gain, all under 200-foot-tall moss-covered trees.

Hurricane Hill

Hurricane Hill Hike
Image Credit: All Trails

Hurricane Hill is a moderately challenging 3.4-mile hike with views of the snowcapped Bailey Range to the south and Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the North. On an extremely clear days, you can just make out Vancouver Island across the water. The trail takes you up an exposed ridgeline where the weather and wind can change quickly, so be sure to pack a windbreaker or/ rain jacket.

Mount Ellinor

Hiking in the Olympic Peninsula
Image Credit: Hiking Project

Mount Ellinor is another challenging trail that offers hikers two trail options: a short, strenuous, and steep 3.2-mile (round trip) trail or a slightly less steep but still challenging 7.2-mile (round trip) trail. No matter which path you choose, you’re rewarded with the same panoramic peak view from the top. With an elevation gain of 3,270 feet, Mount Ellinor is not for the faint of heart but is well worth it for mountain lovers hiking in the Olympic Peninsula. If you feel like taking on Mount Ellinor, stock up on hiking gear at Gearhouse. Our trekking poles will help you navigate the steep terrain along the way.

Rialto Beach Trail

Rialto Beach Trail
Image Credit: Washington Trail Association

For many, the biggest draw of hiking in the Olympic Peninsula is the rocky coastline and charming cove beaches. Rialto Beach gives hikers a fairly easy way to access one of the region’s most pristine beaches. Like many beach hikes, the Rialto Beach Trail is best done at low tide, so be sure to check tide charts before setting out. The trail is an out-and-back that starts in the Rialto Beach parking area and leads hikers to the surreal Hole-in-the-Wall rock formation. This hike is as easy or challenging as trekkers want it to be, as the full out and back distance is 13.4 miles with an elevation gain of 2,611 feet. Trek all the way to the end or stop short once you find your own pristine cove. Do it all in one go or break the hike up for an epic beach backpacking trip. Make sure to secure a wilderness camping permit if you plan to backpack, and keep an eye out for otters, seals, and sea lions along the way.

Mount Storm King

Mount Storm King
Image Credit: Washington Trail Association

Mount Storm King is a moderately challenging trail that is 3.8 mile round trip day hike with 1,700 feet of elevation gain. Strom King offers hikers panoramic views of Lake Crescent after a grueling climb.nThe trail begins at the Storm King Ranger Station and then travels through lush forests before turning vertical. Storm King is an incredibly popular trail, despite its difficulty, thanks to the iconic rock outcrop towering over Lake Crescent at the summit.

Hiking in the Olympic Peninsula Ultimate Hike: Obstruction Point

Obstruction Point Hike
Image Credit: Olympic Hiking Co

Obstruction Point is no mere walk in the park. It’s a steep 7. mile one way 14 mile (round trip) out and back with a substantial elevation gain of 3,250 feet and breathtaking views Obstruction Point is an ideal single night backpacking trip, although a wilderness camping permit is required for campers. To get to the trailhead, drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge Road, where you’ll find a left turn that takes you down a gravel road to the Obstruction Point Trailhead. The trail serpentines past stunning alpine lakes and carries you through pockets of dense fog up to some of the best mountaintop views in the park.

If you’re planning on hiking on the Olympic Peninsula this spring or summer (or fall or winter; the Olympics offer great rainy-day coastal hiking and storm watching too!), head to Gearhouse for all your essential hiking and backpacking gear. Thinking of backpacking in the Olypics, Gearhouse can help you trip plan too! Stock up on gear, trip plan with experts, and meet adventure buddies at Gearhouse. Gearhouse is the only Seattle Social Club for outdoorsy people and offers members exclusive access to premium outdoor gear rentals, courses, and group activities.

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