Olympic National Park 3-day Itinerary (A Perfect Adventure)

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Olympic National Park is a large national park popular with local and international tourists. It houses waterfalls, diverse wildlife, a rainforest, a beautiful coastline, and glacier-capped mountains.

Considering that the park is very large, most touristy spots are not close to each other. Therefore, having a well thought plan is ideal to ensure you enjoy everything the park offers.

This Olympic National Park 3-day itinerary will not only make your experience at the park awesome, but it will also save you time.

Olympic National Park 3-day Itinerary

Visiting Olympic National Park in three days
Visiting Olympic National Park

Our itinerary aims to give a breakdown of all the top attractions and guide you on how you will effectively manage your time.  

This will ensure you get the most out of your gateway to the park.

Day 1

Your first day entails a host of activities, including riding the iconic ferry to the Park, hiking, learning about the Olympics’ natural and cultural history, and picnicking. 

The first day mainly entails orienting yourself with the Park due to travel and arrival times. However, if you can arrive in the morning, your day will be fun-filled. 


6.00 am – 9.30 am: Arrival at Olympic National Park (Ferry ride)

To get to Olympic National Park, you can take a ferry from Seattle to Port Angeles.

While at the ferry, ensure you get a glimpse of scenic views and the architectural marvel of downtown Seattle.

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Depending on the season and time of travel, you can also see the Olympic mountain, whales, and harbor seals. 

The ferry crossing ride takes around 30 minutes, while a drive from the ferry terminal to Port Angeles is around 1hr 30min.

Therefore, the earliest you can arrive at the visitor center in Port Angeles is 10.30 am. 

If you do not prefer the ferry, you drive to the visitor center via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. 

Keep In Mind – If you plan to camp, ensure that you book before embarking on the day’s activities.

11:00 Am – Noon: Hike Sol Duc Falls Trail

Sol Duc Falls trail in Olympic National Park
Sol Duc Falls trail

Located in the Sol Duc Valley, the trail is 1.6 miles long with an elevation gain of around 200 feet.

To access the trail, head to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Although the resort has ample parking, it fills up, so ensure to reach early. 

The trail starts at the end of Duc Hot Springs Road. The path has stunning views, including waterfalls, lush forests, historic shelters, and wooden platforms. 

While crossing the wooden bridge, take your time and take selfies or family photos while staring at the rushing water. 

Pro tip – Rainbows are common, so be on the lookout for them and have your camera ready to get that million-dollar snap. 

1:00 pm – 2.00 pm: Drive to Hurricane Ridge

After a fascinating short hike at the Sol Duc trail, drive to Hurricane Ridge. The distance is only 17 miles, which will take you 45 minutes. 

Hurricane Ridge view
Hurricane Ridge

Before embarking on hiking expeditions, you can visit the Olympic National Park Visitor Center to learn about its cultural and natural history. 

While at Hurricane Ridge, it is possible to see the Olympic Range, Mt. Olympus, and a variety of wildlife, such as black bears, deer, and Olympic marmots. 

The Ridge has several hike trails, including:

  • Hoh Ridge Trail
  • Cirque Rim Trail
  • Hurricane Hill Trail

However, I recommend the Hurricane Hill Trail as it provides visitors with a 360-degree view of the area. 

After trying out the spectacular hurricane hill trail, you can hike one of the short trails before heading back to the visitor’s center. 

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Head to Lake Crescent 

After a fun-filled and tiresome day, it’s time to relax and try other less strenuous activities. 

Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent

Head west to Lake Crescent from Hurricane Ridge to enjoy some quality beach time.

Other activities include kayaking, canoeing, or touring the historic Lake Crescent Lodge. 

However, if you still have time and energy, you take a 3 miles round-trip trek to Marymere falls. Or, you can visit the mouth of the Elwha River to relax or look out for eagles. 

Day 2

The second day is a fun-filled day that will take you through breathtaking sceneries, including Rialto Beach, hiking trails, and hot springs. 

Rialto beach in Olympic National Park
Rialto beach

It will be a day to enjoy the diversity that Olympic Park has to offer. Wake up early, have your breakfast and start the day early to maximize the number of sites to visit. 

7.00 am – 9.00 am: Drive from Port Angeles to Sol Duc Valley

Sol Duc Valley is just an hour’s drive from Port Angeles. Once at Sol Duc Valley, trek to Sol Duc Falls.

It’s a smooth 1.6 miles trek with an elevation gain suitable for all hikers. It is vital to start your day with a walk through the rainforest.

9.00 am – 1:00 pm: Hoh Rain Forest

The Hoh rainforest is a temperate rainforest with a stunning ecosystem.

Hoh rain forest walk
Hoh rain forest

Its huge and old trees covered with mosses and fungi make the rainforest a fascinating wilderness.

Additionally, as you take the trails, you will be awed by the sound of singing birds, the rush of rivers, and the moving wind. 

Firstly, ensure that you visit the visitor center to understand the history and composition of the Hoh rainforest. 

However, the hallmark of visiting the rainforest is going out and experiencing and interacting with the environment on a personal level. 

There are both short and long nature trails in the rainforest. The short nature trails include:

  • The Hall of Mosses
  • The Spruce Trail

These trails combined are only two miles and generally flat. 

While hiking on the Hall of Mosses take time to look up at the ancient trees and Banana Slug. You will also be able to see various wildlife, including elk. 

You can also opt for a longer nature trail like the Hoh River Trail that will take you to the Blue Glacier. The trail is 36 miles long, therefore you have to be adequately prepared.

I recommend turning at Tom Creek, which is a 6-mile round trip, but if you have the energy, you can turn at Five Mile Island, which is a 10-mile round trip. 

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Relaxing in the Sol Duc Hot Springs

After a long day of hiking and exploring, it is time to relax and unwind as you enjoy a dip in the Sol Duc Hot Springs.

Sol Duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park
Sol Duc Hot Springs

Temperatures of each pool vary, thus, giving you the option to choose the one that fits you.

While there, it is important to sample local cuisines at the on-site restaurant. The restaurant offers the best Northwest cuisines ranging from sumptuous beef to finger-licking appetizers. 

Day 3

The best way to end your tour of the Olympic National Park is to visit the beach as you head back to Seattle. 

7:00 am – 10:00 am: Drive to Neah Bay

Drive to Neah Bay to understand and spend time with the Makah tribe.

It is essential to understand the culture and history of locals as you enjoy their land. The best place to learn about the Makah tribe’s culture and history is the Makah Cultural and Research Center. 

To view splendid sea stacks, take a hike to Cape Flattery.


The walk is less than a mile with an elevation gain of only 200 feet, making it excellent for everybody. While on the trail, you can see Tatoosh Island and Vancouver Island. 

Some other highlights of the Park worth visiting include Shi Shi Beach, Cape Alava, and Ozette Lake.

The trek from Shi Shi Beach to Cape Alava & Ozette Lake is long but worth your time. 

Noon – 2:00 pm: Exploring Forks

Before unwinding at the beach, spare time to explore Forks, some of the areas you can tour include:

  • Bella’s trucks
  • The Cullen House
  • Jacob Black’s House
  • The Forks Chamber of Commerce 

3:00pm – 6:00pm: Visit the Beaches 

Any tour’s highlight is relaxing at the beach as you enjoy the sunset and take your favorite drink.

Kalaloch beach in Olympic National Park
Kalaloch beach

The best place to sum up your exploration is by visiting Rialto beach to enjoy a feel of fierce tides, rocky shorelines, and large driftwood logs. 

The downside of Rialto Beach is that you cannot swim or sunbathe, but it offers magical scenery. Occasionally, whales and sea lions can be seen. 

Other beaches you can visit include:

  • Ruby Beach:  This beach is characterized by tidepools, reddish sand, sea stacks, and massive driftwood. 
  • Kalaloch Beach: If you want that sandy beach feel, head to Kalaloch. It is also an excellent spot to go tide-pooling and bird-watching. 

If you still have time, drive to Lake Quinalt and take a hike on either the Spruce Tree Trail, Maple Glade Trail, Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail, or visit Merriman Falls and Bunch Creek Fall.

Accommodation At Olympic National Park

@booking.com 7 Cedars hotel & casino
@booking.com 7 Cedars hotel & casino

There are plenty of places you can stay while in or around Olympic National Park.




Final Thoughts

Olympic National Park is must visit Park for nature lovers. The Park has fascinating flora and fauna.

Although more than 3 days are needed to cover the entire Park, this Olympic 3-day itinerary provides a guide on enjoying your visit without missing anything. 

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