ruby beach sea stack at sunset, with beautiful light hitting the seastack under a cloudy sky filled with pink and purple hues, in the foreground is a sandy beach

9 Best Views In Olympic National Park With Minimal Hiking

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If you’re on the hunt for the best views in Olympic National Park without having to scale a mountain or trek for days, you’ve landed in the right spot.

We’re just like you, always on the lookout for those awe-inspiring landscapes without being drenched in sweat. And let us tell you, Olympic National Park is a goldmine for such views.

We’ve had our fair share of wandering through this Pacific Northwest gem, and it’s safe to say we were left speechless every single time.

From sunsets that paint the sky in a palette of colors to breathtaking panoramic views, these scenic spots require minimal hiking but deliver a maximum ‘wow’ factor.

And because we’re such big-hearted people who can’t bear the thought of you missing out, we’re spilling the beans on these hidden havens.

Trust us; when it comes to national parks and photogenic views, we’ve got a Ph.D. in ‘Been There, Seen That.’

Best Views In Olympic National Park With Minimal Hiking

We’re about to reveal our secret stash of the best views in the park that won’t have you huffing and puffing up steep inclines.

Yes, you heard it right: there is no need to pack those high-energy snacks. We’ve got the lowdown on where to find the most fantastic views, so let’s get started on this lazy hiker’s guide!

1. Hurricane Ridge

Let’s start with Hurricane Ridge, a place so beautiful that even the trees have trouble standing up straight. We kid you not, the views here are so stunning; it’s like Mother Nature herself got carried away with a paintbrush.

a red volkswagon bus sits in the hurricane ridge parking lot with a backdrop of snowy mountains, hurricane ridge is one of the best views in olympic national park

Situated within the heart of the park, Hurricane Ridge offers a panoramic spectacle that would make Ansel Adams jealous.

The best part? You can feast your eyes on this beauty without even breaking a sweat.

The well-paved road leads you straight to the top, and every twist and turn reveals a new view of the Olympic Mountains that will have you pulling the car over for just one more photo.

But don’t take our word for it; see it for yourself.

As you drive, the landscape unfolds like a pop-up storybook, with each page more breathtaking than the last.

As you ascend, you’ll notice the shifting topography, from lush forest to alpine meadows, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the local residents – black-tailed deer, mountain goats, or maybe even an elusive bobcat.

Make sure to take a moment, or several, to breathe in the crisp mountain air and let the sheer beauty of it all sink in.

When you reach the top, brace yourself because the panoramic views are enough to make even the most seasoned of us weak at the knees.

The snow-capped Olympic Mountains stretch out in all their glory, with the Strait of Juan de Fuca shimmering in the distance.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be torn between wanting to capture it all on camera and simply standing there, awestruck.

⭐️ Dive into a pool, but not just any pool – get ready to explore the dazzling underwater kaleidoscope of Olympic National Park’s tide pools, where starfish are the celebrities and crabs do the conga!

2. Lake Crescent Lodge

Located amidst the towering trees of Olympic National Park, Lake Crescent Lodge offers a feast for the eyes and a sense of serenity that’s hard to come by these days.

the aqua blue crescent lake surrounded by treed mountains and a blue sky

As you approach the lodge, you’ll be awestruck by the mirror-like waters of Lake Crescent, reflecting the surrounding forest and mountains with an elegance that leaves even the most eloquent of us fumbling for words.

The scenic drive to the top is a spectacle in its own right.

With every bend and turn, a new panoramic view of the majestic Olympic Mountains reveals itself, making the journey as memorable as the destination.

Trust us, your camera will be working overtime.

The mountains stretch out, their snow-capped peaks reaching for the heavens, while the ever-changing hues of the lake seem to echo the colors of the sky.

Once you’re at the lodge, you’re not just a spectator; you’re part of the scene.

You can bask in the glory of the Olympic Mountains, feel the cool breeze from Lake Crescent, and maybe even share a moment with the local wildlife.

Lake Crescent Lodge is not just a beautiful view of Olympic National Park; it’s a retreat that invites you to slow down, breathe, and be present in the moment.

It’s a spot that stirs something within you, a sense of awe that lingers long after you’ve returned to the hustle and bustle of your daily life.

⭐️ Springtime in Olympic National Park: when the flowers bloom, the animals frolic, and Mother Nature slaps on her best makeup!

3. Ruby Beach

Speaking of the best views in Olympic National Park, let’s chat about Ruby Beach.

a sea stack sits on the pebbles of ruby beach with driftwood scattered around

This place, let us tell you, is a sight for sore eyes and a balm for tired souls.

It’s right there with the parking lot, easy-peasy, so no need to trek through miles of wilderness just to dip your toes in the water. Yes, we considered your lazy side, too!

Let’s paint a picture. Imagine coastal views that make you forget all your social media apps (because who needs them, right?).

Imagine a place where the ocean kisses the shore, where the wild waves dance around majestic sea stacks, and the sun paints a kaleidoscope of colors across the sky.

You’d think we are exaggerating, but no, this is Ruby Beach for you.

Look around, and you’ll see forested cliffs standing tall and proud, adding a dash of drama to the landscape. It’s like nature took a canvas and went wild with its imagination.

The sea stacks rise mysteriously from the ocean, their ruggedness softened by the gentle touch of the waves.

And the beach itself? It’s not your typical sandy paradise.

It’s studded with weather-beaten driftwood, each piece carrying stories from far-off places, adding a touch of rustic charm to the scene.

Oh, and did we mention the pebble-strewn shore that glistens under the sun, almost as if sprinkled with rubies?

This beach is a place where every view is a postcard, every moment a memory.

What are you waiting for? Pack that picnic basket, put on your sunglasses, and prepare to be dazzled.

⭐️ When choosing between Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier, remember — one offers you the whole oxygen tank, and the other is like winning a respiratory lottery!

4. Sol Duc Falls

If you thought Olympic National Park was just about beaches and mountains, well, we’ve got news for you.

Sol Duc Falls seen with 4 waterfalls falling down the rocky cliff edge next to a viewing playform

Enter Sol Duc Falls, a lesser-known but equally jaw-dropping gem in the park’s repertoire.

Now, wouldn’t you agree that sometimes the best spots come with a dash of adventure? And by adventure, we don’t mean the kind that requires you to summon your inner Bear Grylls.

A leisurely hike is all that separates you from this marvel.

An easy, well-maintained trail guides you through a lush, green canopy, leading you to the falls. We’re talking about a 1.6-mile round-trip hike that even your grandma could ace!

And the reward? A spectacle of nature that’ll leave you spellbound.

There’s something incredibly soothing about the sight of the Sol Duc River cascading over a series of terraces and plummeting into a deep gorge.

With moss-covered trees standing as silent spectators, the scene looks more like a fantasy painting than a real place.

But here’s the real kicker – the falls aren’t just a one-trick pony.

Depending on the time of day and the sun’s mood, you might catch a rainbow hovering in the misty spray of the falls. Now, that’s something that could give a unicorn a run for its money!

To sum it up, Sol Duc Falls is one of those Olympic National Park best spots that makes you fall in love with Mother Nature all over again.

The peaceful hike, the symphony of the cascading water, and the serene beauty that surrounds you – it’s a package deal that screams ‘Do Not Miss!’

⭐️ Explore Olympic National Park on tour, where trees stretch for the stars and the wildlife puts on a better show than any reality TV!

5. Elwha River & Valley

Prepare yourself for an exhilarating journey through the captivating Elwha Valley.

elwha river runs through the forested scene with tree covered mountains on all sides, some of the best views in olympic national park are down in the elwha valley by the river

It’s not just about the majestic Elwha River; it encompasses the entire experience. From the awe-inspiring river to the picturesque valley and the historic Glines Canyon Dam site, this scenic spectacle is a treat for the senses.

Driving through the valley is like that opening scene in a movie where the protagonist in a convertible, wind in their hair, takes in the immense beauty of the land. You’re that protagonist.

The twist in the tale? The scenic pullovers. Trust us; they’re not just there for you to catch your breath. It’s where the magic happens.

It’s at the former site of the Glines Canyon Dam, where you can witness the indomitable spirit of nature and its triumphant tales.

The Elwha River, once held back by the dam, now flows freely, carving its path, reshaping the landscape, and reminding us that nature always finds its way.

And now for the river itself. Those crystal clear waters, flowing unrestrained, mirroring the surrounding mountains and trees – a sight that could make even a seasoned traveler go weak in the knees.

And let’s not forget the serenity it brings. The sound of the flowing waters, the chirping birds, the rustling leaves – it’s like a symphony that soothes the soul.

It’s not just a river; it’s the Elwha River. It’s not just a view; it’s one of the best views.

It may not have a rainbow-like Sol Duc Falls, but who needs a rainbow when you have a whole river playing a symphony just for you?

⭐️ Head over to Olympic National Park — it’s not just a vacation; it’s a chance to breathe freely and know what it’s like to have lungs of steel!

6. Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center

Stepping foot into the Hoh Rain Forest, you might think you’ve just stepped into a scene from a fantasy movie.

a tree covered in hanging moss in the hoh rainforest area of olympic national park in winter, hoh rain forest is one of the best views in olympic national park

A place where elves might just pop out from behind a fern or where a unicorn could be hiding amongst the moss-covered trees.

And you don’t have to wander off into the wilderness to experience one of the best views in Olympic National Park.

Just right there at the visitor center, you’re greeted by a lush, emerald-green spectacle of moss-draped trees, creating an enchanting green canopy that seems to come alive with every gust of wind.

You can literally inhale the freshness in the air, and it has a certain crispness that you can only find in places unspoiled by human interference.

But if the drama at the visitor center isn’t enough, let’s not discard the Hall of Mosses trail too quickly.

This trek is quite easy, and honestly, it’s like stepping into a storybook.

Oversized ferns, moss-draped trees, and the constant hum of forest life make it one of the most memorable walks you’ll ever take. It’s like nature walked itself down a runway, and you, dear friend, have a front-row seat.

Why are we raving about the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center? Well, it’s simply because it’s one of the best places in Olympic National Park.

It’s the kind of place that not only challenges your idea of beauty but also leaves you considering whether there isn’t a bit of magic left in the world after all.

⭐️ From Seattle to Olympic National Park: trade your city smog for mountain fog, because who needs skyscrapers when you’ve got evergreens!

7. Madison Falls

Let’s shift our gaze to Madison Falls, adorned with all the beauty Mother Nature could muster.

a thick log draws the eye to the waterfalls seen behind a pool of water in the rainforest of Olympic national park

And did we mention it’s literally a stone’s throw away from the parking lot? That’s right! There is no need to worry about your boots getting soggy or your Fitbit going haywire trying to count your steps.

Madison Falls is no shy wallflower.

With its thundering water cascading down an impressive cliff, it’s a sight that leaves you both awestruck and a tad bit jealous of the birds that get to see this view daily.

It’s like the universe decided to put on a magic water show just for you, right in the heart of Olympic National Park.

And what’s more enchanting than the falls themselves? The trail leading up to them!

It’s short and sweet, just the right amount of adventure for those not keen on extensive trekking.

We’re talking about a leisurely stroll, not a full-blown expedition here. You can almost hear the falls playfully beckoning you from the parking, promising the reward of their spectacular view.

This place has a certain je ne sais quoi, making resisting impossible.

It’s not just a waterfall. Oh no, it’s a symphony of nature’s best elements, all harmonizing to produce a sight that’s nothing short of breathtaking.

Remember, life is too short for mediocre views. Let Madison Falls show you how it’s really done.

⭐️ Dare to chill at Olympic National Park this winter — where the cold is so refreshing, you’ll swear your breath’s visible even indoors!

8. Kalaloch Lodge

Kalaloch Lodge, perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, effortlessly secures its place among the best views in Olympic National Park.

a person stands at kalaloch beach at sunset, the foregound is a smooth water reflecting the oranges and pinks low in the sky with the moon hanging above

Nestled snugly on the park’s southwest coast, it serves as a front-row seat to nature’s grand spectacle, transforming ordinary sunsets into extraordinary memories.

The cliffside setting of this lodge is nothing less than a celebration of nature’s artistry.

With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, every glance is a masterstroke of blues and greens. Even the most articulate of us find it challenging to do justice to this view with mere words.

As evening gently treads in, the lodge morphs into the dreamiest spot to catch a sunset.

With the sky painted with strokes of crimson, amber, and gold, the spectacle is spellbinding.

Do you think you’ve seen sunsets? Wait until you see the sun sink into the Pacific at Kalaloch.

It’s like the sun itself puts on a specially choreographed performance, bowing out for the day in an explosion of colors unique to this locale.

We’re not in the business of selling you on ‘good’ views. We’re here to redefine what you consider a ‘great’ view. And Kalaloch Lodge? It’s in a league all its own.

9. Staircase Rapids

Are you ready to have your socks knocked right off by our last picturesque marvel of nature? Brace yourself because here comes Staircase Rapids.

lake cushman in olympic national park seen from a birds eye view looking down on the water and the surrounding forest, under a partly cloudy sky that is leaving the scene in part shadow

Located by Lake Cushman, this pristine haven is a visual treat, a breath of fresh air, and a quick escape from the white noise of the city.

You see, the lake adds a layer of charm by reflecting the beauty that surrounds it, making it comparable to a fairytale setting.

Did we mention the brief walk on the trail? Oh, you’re in for a treat!

It’s like nature rolled out a green carpet just for you.

As you tread lightly on the path, the towering trees stand tall, whispering sweet everythings in your ear, making you feel one with nature.

You’re not just walking; you’re prancing, tiptoeing, skipping – every step feeling like a dance with nature.

And then, there it is – the Staircase Rapids, in all its watery glory. No, it’s not a water park ride; it’s way better!

The rapids gush and froth, racing over rocks and cascading down in a mesmerizing display of raw, unbridled energy.

The dynamism of the rapids juxtaposed against the tranquility of your surroundings amplifies the drama and the allure of the scene.

Place this spectacle against a backdrop of robust greenery, and we guarantee you’ve got yourself one of the best views you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

Olympic National Park Viewpoints Map

Here is your trusty, uncomplicated map to exploring the park’s unforgettable sights, ensuring that the question, ‘What should you not miss in Olympic National Park?’ becomes a concern of the past.

With this handy map, navigating the riches of the park feels as easy as pie – a piece of pie that you can enjoy without the worry of leaving any crumb untouched.

Where To Stay Near Olympic National Park

Setting up camp in the right spot can make all the difference to your Olympic National Park adventure.

Whether you’re keen on soaking up the coastal beauty or gallivanting among glacier-capped peaks, choosing between Port Angeles and Forks can be a game-changer.

Choose Forks if you are headed to the Coastline or Hoh Rain Forest. Choose Port Angeles if you want to explore Hurricane Ridge or Lake Crescent.

🛏 The Eagle’s Roost (in Port Angeles)

  • The Views: It’s not called the Eagle’s Roost for nothing. Here, you’re perched high above Port Angeles, with breathtaking views that make your morning coffee taste like something out of a fairy tale.
  • Location, Location, Location: Conveniently perched near the entrance of the park, the Eagle’s Roost lets you hit the ground running and maximize your exploration time.
  • Comforts of Home: This isn’t your standard, stuffy hotel. The Eagle’s Roost keeps things cozy with homely comforts that allow you to unwind after a day of adventure.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability at Eagle’s Roost

🛏 Angeles Motel (in Port Angeles)

  • Savings Galore: The Angeles Motel offers an economical choice without skimping on quality. It’s like finding a designer dress with a discount store price tag.
  • All About Accessibility: The motel is centrally located, making it a breeze to explore Port Angeles and its surrounding attractions.
  • Service with a Smile: Known for its friendly staff, the Angeles Motel makes sure your stay is as pleasant as a sunny day in Olympic National Park.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability at Angeles Motel

🛏 Dew Drop Inn (in Forks)

  • In the Heart of Nature: Situated amongst lush greenery, the Dew Drop Inn brings you closer to nature than ever. It’s like getting a bear hug from Mother Nature herself.
  • Roomy Rooms: Space is not an issue here. Each room at the Dew Drop Inn is spacious, offering you plenty of room to stretch out and relax.
  • Hearty Breakfasts: They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the Dew Drop Inn ensures you start your day right with a full, satisfying breakfast.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability at Dew Drop Inn

small creek falls surrounded by mossy logs and rocks

Best Way To See Olympic National Park

Just imagine you’ve got a full day ahead of you and a checklist of breathtaking spots to discover in Olympic National Park.

Now, you could choose to hoof it, but let’s face it – your legs (and the clock) might protest.

Instead, consider how much more you could experience if you made the savvy choice to traverse this expansive haven by car. It’s like trading in your old bike for a speedboat.

From the glittering sapphire of Lake Crescent to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Olympus, the park’s varied landscapes will keep even the most avid adventurer gasping in awe.

Driving allows you to make the most of your time, enabling you to dash from the sun-dappled groves of the Hoh Rain Forest to the ruggedly beautiful beaches of the Pacific Coast in a jiffy.

Remember, when it comes to exploring this vast park, it’s not just about getting there quicker; it’s about fitting all those memorable moments into your day. And who can put a speed limit on that?

If you have flown into Seattle and need to rent a car, we recommend checking out Discover Cars to compare prices because they carry all the big rental companies in one place, like Hertz and Dollar.

🚙 Check your ride options with Discover Cars

What You Should Bring To The Best Sights In Olympic National Park

Ready to take on the wonders of Olympic National Park?

Hold your horses; you’re going to need a few essentials to make the most of your adventure. Let’s dive in and see what you should bring:

  • Water Bottle: Hydration is key! Carry a reusable water bottle to quench your thirst and keep the park plastic-free.
  • Sunscreen: A sunburn souvenir? No, thank you! Slap on that SPF and keep those UV rays at bay.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Those pebbles aren’t going to be kind to your feet. Bring a sturdy pair of shoes that are up for the challenge.
  • Camera: Capture those breathtaking views for a lifetime of memories. And for the envy of your friends, of course.
  • Rain Gear: The heavens can open up without a warning here. A waterproof poncho or umbrella will keep you dry and smiling.
  • Binoculars: These are a must for all the birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts out there.
  • Snacks: Because nothing ruins an adventure quite like a rumbling stomach. Pack some easy-to-carry snacks.
  • First Aid Kit: Accidents happen. Be prepared with a basic first-aid kit. Safety first, as they say.

📎 Tip: Remember, you’re not moving in, just visiting. Pack light, pack smart, and let the adventure begin!

small ferns are curled up late in the day along the forest floor in olympic national park

FAQS For The Best Places To See In Olympic National Park

It’s time to dive into some frequently asked questions to help guide your exploration of the best spots in Olympic National Park.

What Are The Best Views In Olympic National Park?

If you’re hankering for breath-stealing views, we’ve got you covered. First, try Hurricane Ridge, a local favorite, boasting panoramic views that could make an eagle envious. Then, there’s the Hoh Rain Forest, where lush greens seem endless, and Sol Duc Falls, where roaring water dances over ancient stones. We’d say these are the ‘Top 3’, but who’s counting?

What Is A Famous Site In Olympic National Park?

Ever heard of the Hoh Rain Forest? Nope, it’s not a typo. Situated in Olympic National Park, it’s a lush paradise that’ll have you questioning why you’re not a full-time tree-hugger. This emerald oasis will leave your nature-loving heart absolutely smitten. Just remember, no hugging trees without their explicit consent!

Is There A Scenic Drive In Olympic National Park?

Oh, you bet there is! Try the Hurricane Ridge Road, a scenic drive that’ll have you gasping at every twist and turn. Picture this: panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, wildflower meadows, and dense evergreen forests. Just don’t forget to keep your eyes on the road; we wouldn’t want you driving off a cliff in awe.

Is One Day Enough For Olympic National Park?

Attempting to cover the vast expanse of Olympic National Park and its diverse ecosystems in a single day is like trying to read War and Peace during a lunch break. Sure, a day will give you a taste, but to really savor its beauty, you’d better have a few more days tucked up your sleeve.

Why Is Olympic National Park So Special?

Olympic National Park is like your favorite bag of mixed nuts – filled with diverse, tasty treats. You get everything from glacier-capped mountains to dense rainforests and untamed beaches. It’s nature’s smorgasbord served on a platter. Just remember, no feeding the wildlife – they’ve got their own buffet going on.

ruby beach sea stack at  sunset, with beautiful light hitting the seastack under a cloudy sky filled with pink and purple hues, in the foreground is a sandy beach, ruby beach is undoubtedly one of the best views in olympic national park you can get to without much effort

To Finish – Best Views In Olympic National Park With Minimal Hiking

As we wrap up this guide, remember that the best views in Olympic National Park aren’t reserved for those with hiking boots and maps.

Nope, they’re there for everyone to enjoy.

You can find awe-inspiring vistas just a few steps from your car or at the end of a leisurely stroll.

The magic of this park is that it caters to everyone, from hardcore adventure junkies to those of us who prefer a less strenuous approach to nature appreciation.

Happy exploring, and here’s to creating unforgettable memories in Olympic National Park!

Not ready to leave Olympic National Park yet? We have some incredible tide pools you can visit along the Pacific Coast!

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