Best Hikes In The Olympic National Park & Nearby Camping

Your Guide To Hiking and Camping in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

Visitors to the Olympic National Park might be caught off guard by its nearly-million acres. It could be a bit intimidating during the first trip or two, with several variations in landscapes and ecosystems, including 70 miles of wild coastline, ice-capped mountains, and rain forests. With high peaks, green forests, and never-ending shorelines, it might be confusing to know which hiking trails to take. For guidance, you’ve come to the right place. This article will highlight some of the best hikes in the Olympic National Park and nearby campgrounds, helping you take the guesswork out of the trip. There are 185 hiking trails throughout the national park, and nine are detailed below. Also, learn where your four-legged baby can and can’t go. 

Family-Friendly/Beginner Best Hikes In The Olympic National Park

These trails are easy enough for the whole family to enjoy.

Hoh Rain Forest Hall of Moss

Located in the beautiful Hoh Rain Forest, this 1.8 -km loop trail takes approximately 24 minutes to complete. Open year-round; this area is listed as partially paved, rocky, and lined with wildflowers. It’s kid-friendly, and there are several stopping points throughout the loop.

Campgrounds Near Hall of Moss

Hoh Rain Forest Campground
  • Open Year Round
  • 72 Sites
  • Reservations are available through recreation.gov.
Travel trail in a campsite at Hoh Rain Forest Campground.

Marymere Falls Trail

This trail takes about 48 minutes to finish. The 1.7-mile path runs within view of a river and waterfall. It is worth mentioning that some consider the steps to be steep.

Campgrounds Near Marymere Falls Trail

Shadow Mountain Campground RV Park
  • Full Hookup
  • Big Rig Access
  • Pets Allowed
  • Tent Camping
Entrance to Shadow Mountain Campground RV Park
Log Cabin RV & Campground
  • Full Hookup
  • Big Rig Access
  • Pets Allowed
  • Tent Camping
Log Cabin RV & Campground
Port Angeles, WA
Fairholme Campground, Olympic National Park
  • Primitive Campsites
  • 88 total sites
  • RVs up to 21 feet
Fairholme Campground, Olympic National Park
Port Angeles, WA

Staircase Rapids Loop

Near Lilliwaup, Washington, this area is popular for campers and hikers alike. This well-kept loop trail is a bit over two miles and highlights some breathtaking views, short bridges, and sights of the rapids. While the trail is mostly flat, there are a few hills but it’s still considered an easy trail.

Campgrounds Near Staircase Rapids Loop

Staircase Campground
  • Primitive Campsites
  • 49 total sites
  • RVs up to 21 feet
Campsites at Staircase Campground

Photo by Park Ranger John

Big Creek Campground
  • Primitive Campsites
  • 53 total sites
  • Pottable Water & Vault Toilets Available
  • Pull-thru Sites
Map of Big Creek Campground

Best Moderate Hikes In The Olympic National Park

Are you looking for the best hikes in the Olympic National Park for a bit of a workout? These may be the trails for you.

Heart O’ the Forest Trail

To participate in this moderately challenging trail, you will need to start near Port Angeles. Plan on spending about two hours on this out-and-back trail. Have the camera ready to snap some pics of downed, decaying trees, huge evergreens, and plenty of ferns and other greenery. The lush forest will provide some wet and muddy spots as well as above-ground roots, but overall it is a well-maintained route.

Campgrounds Near Heart O’ the Forest Trail

Heart O’ The Hills Campground
  • Primitive Campsites
  • 105 total sites
  • Pottable Water & Flush Toilets Available
  • RVs up to 21 feet, a few for 35 feet
  • No dump station.
An RV at Big Creek Campground

Photo by Park Ranger John

Ozette Triangle Trail

For those looking for a longer path, Ozette is for you. This 9.4-mile loop trail averages a bit more than three hours. A cave and river are visible along the way, along with plenty of wildflowers, wildlife, and a stretch of beach. Plan on going during low tide and keep in mind that the boardwalk and the beach rocks will likely be slippery.

Campgrounds Near Ozette Triangle Trail

Forks 101 RV Park
  • Full Hookup
  • Big Rig Access
  • Laundry
  • Tent Camping
A line of RVs at Forks 101 RV Park

Lovers Lane Trail

Starting near Forks, Washington, this mildly-challenging route provides a six-mile loop that averages a few hours to complete. A waterfall, river, and plenty of wildlife add up to make an entertaining outing. It’s a relatively flat walk, with plenty of shade. Another option to begin the hike is to park at Sol Duc Falls and connect to Lovers Lane after the falls.

Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail
Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail Source: AllTrails.com

Campgrounds Near Lovers Lane Trail

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground
  • Partial Hookup (water/electric)
  • 17 RV sites and 81 tent camping sites
  • 1/4 mile from the resort, (hot springs pools and swimming pools, onsite massage, restaurant, poolside deli, and gift shop)
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground

Best Advanced Hikes In The Olympic National Park

For those wanting to push through a long trail with slippery walk spaces and difficult paths, this section has you covered. Here are the three best hikes in the Olympic National Park that are considered advanced trails.

Mount Storm King

With a starting point near Port Angeles, Washington, this challenging out-and-back route averages 3.5 hours. Views and sights will include a river, wildlife, and a rock scramble. Don’t plan on much flat land on this route, as most of it is a noticeable incline. There are ropes to climb up the side of the cliff—a steep climb but worth the challenge to take in breathtaking views.

Campgrounds Near Mount Storm King

Shadow Mountain Campground RV Park
  • Full Hookup
  • Big Rig Access
  • Pets Allowed
  • Tent Camping
Entrance to Shadow Mountain Campground RV Park

Lake Angeles Trail

Spend some time on this trail that is also near Port Angeles. The eight-mile, out-and-back trail is considered pretty challenging and takes nearly five hours to complete. Sharp inclines and occasional fog fill out this path. Scenic views range from a lush forest floor with streams and a waterfall to a deep forest setting with lots of downed trees. On a low-cloudy day, views at the lake at the end of the trail are picture-perfect. Don’t forget to take advantage of the resting area along your journey. 

Campgrounds Near Lake Angeles Trail

Heart O’ The Hills Campground
  • Primitive Campsites
  • 105 total sites
  • Pottable Water & Flush Toilets Available
  • RVs up to 21 feet, a few for 35 feet
  • No dump station.
An RV at Big Creek Campground

Photo by Park Ranger John

High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop

This loop is a doozy, measuring in at 19 miles. It’s a great choice for making camp in the middle of the route. Hikers average a trip time of 11 hours. Views from this extended hike include a waterfall, a river, and lots of wildlife and wildflowers. The elevation gain is 5,308 ft. Even in summer, prepare for snow to be covering everything. There are amazing views of Mount Olympus and the Seven Lakes Basin.

Campgrounds Near High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground
  • Partial Hookup (water/electric)
  • 17 RV sites and 81 tent camping sites
  • 1/4 miles from the resort, (hot springs pools and swimming pools, onsite massage, restaurant, poolside deli, and gift shop)
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground

Dog-friendly Trails

While many campgrounds within the Olympic National Forest are pet-friendly, most hiking trails are not. The following locations and trails allow dogs, however.

Pets are also welcome in the picnic areas, drive-in campgrounds, and paved and dirt roads. Dogs shouldn’t be left unattended and should always be on leashes. For the dog’s safety, please don’t bring them onto tidal rocks as their paws can be cut by the sharp stone, leading to infection.

Start Planning Your Outdoor Adventures

Are you ready to grab your day pack and try some of the best hikes in the Olympic National Park? For help mapping out your route for your epic Pacific Northwest getaway, look no further than RV LIFE Trip Wizard. This online planning tool makes it easy to plan an RV-safe route. It can also locate interesting sites along the way, estimate gas and trip costs, and more—all according to your travel preferences. Get RV LIFE Trip Wizard with its accompanying RV LIFE App, and start planning your adventure today!

  • Levi Henley is a freelance writer and has also been full-time RVing with his wife and pets since 2015. You can follow their adventures and RV-related tips on their blog henleyshappytrails.com as well as their YouTube Channel also called Henley's Happy Trails. In addition, he writes for various RV magazines, blogs, marketing outlets and is the co-author of Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It, available on Amazon.


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3 thoughts on “Best Hikes In The Olympic National Park & Nearby Camping”

  1. For those not wanting/able to hike the 5,000ft elevation change to 7 Lakes Basin, do the much shorter hike/walk on the same trail, to Sol Duc Falls. For inspiration, do a Google search for Sol Duc Falls and click on “Images”. My first time there was on a Boy Scout 50 Miler Hike in 1964.

  2. One of my favorite places, Olympic National Park is one of the least visited per acre of all Ntnl Parks. The west coast side is more welcoming the east, except for the rain. August is the best month to visit. It features:
    1. Twelve feet of annual rain fall in the Olympic Rain Forest (on the west side). Pacific Ocean waves are breaking on trees growing on the beach there is so much rain run-off, a sight to behold!
    2. The world’s greatest annual snowfall occurs on Mount Olympus.
    3. The world’s wettest snow falls on the Blue Glacier on Mount Olympus.
    4. The rugged Olympic Peninsula was not transversed until the 1930’s and is still very wild with multi glaciers and free roaming bears.
    5. Large wild samon runs in late August/September when the rain starts.
    6. The east side is quite different, the mountains form a rain shadow. Wonderful multi-colored mushroom forests.
    7. Park is quite challenging for kids and dogs, lots of RV parks on HWY 101E east side, can walk on beach and collect mussels and clams in season or net Dungeness Crab.

  3. One more thing – travel prices/routes
    Before traveling, check out fuel and ferry boat RV prices. The park can be reached by ferry boat from Seattle or Edmonton or a number of other less direct routes (Port Townsend/ Coupeville). All are expensive.
    Alternately, drive from the south end of the Olympic Peninsula, HWY 101W, up the Pacific Ocean Coast, HWY 101E, up the Hood Canal Coast or Washington State Hwy 16. All are very scenic and modestly developed. Fuel prices tend rise to the north on the peninsula checkout gas stations at food supermarkets for lower prices.

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