Apr 20, 2007
Outside Magazine
Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park    Photo: Bob Rowan/Corbis


>EST. 1938
>ACREAGE 922,651
>VISITORS 2,749,197(2006)

The silver lining to more than 200 inches of annual precipitation is this: more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, 60 named glaciers, spectacular wildflowers, crashing surf, and fauna like mountain goats and elk—all presided over by 7,965-foot Mount Olympus.

EXPERT ADVICE: "Ozette Lake is this remote, amazing freshwater lake," says John Kuntz, owner of the Olympic Outdoor Center, referring to the third-largest lake in Washington State, located at the northern end of the park's coastal strip. Paddle to the Erickson's Bay campsite (grab a permit from the Ozette ranger station to overnight), on the lake's western shore, from either Ozette campground, on the north side of the lake (4.5 miles), or the Swan Bay put-in, on the eastern shore (3.7 miles). "Once you're over there, you're only a mile or two from the ocean," says Kuntz. "You get the rainforest, the lake, and the ocean all in one trip."

CRASH PAD: After exploring the wilder part of the coast, head to the cedar-shingled Kalaloch Lodge, at the southern end of the coastal strip, where 44 cabins sit atop a grassy bluff, 20 of them with ocean views. From $169 per cabin; visitkalaloch.com

DETAILS: nps.gov/olym, 360-565-3130; Olympic Outdoor Center, olympicoutdoorcenter.com