United States Olympic National Park

50 spots Public

T. Kirkendall and V. Spring

The beautiful and diverse Olympic National Park lies at the center of the Olympic Peninsula and encompasses three very distinct ecosystems: the Pacific Coast, the temperate rain forests and the glacier clad peaks of the Olympic Mountains. In short, Olympic National Park is a photographer’s dream with the mountains to visit on sunny days, the coast to visit on partially cloudy days and the rain forest to explore when the sky is completely overcast. The one negative is the rain – temperate rain forests require a great deal of it, around 144 inches, (366 cm), annually.

The coast region and the rain forests have year round access. The coast is ideal in all seasons except winter when the tides run tiresomely high. For the rain forests, spring is a very scenic time to visit, as the young ferns and leaves are a bright green color. By mid-October the maple trees begin to turn an eye catching yellow. Access to the mountain regions is best in July and August when the snow has melted off the meadows and the wildflowers are in bloom. Fall can bring vibrant color to the high country meadows while winter is almost magical in the Olympic Mountains as the wet coastal snows and high winds often plaster the trees with snow, turning them into statuesque mounds. Note: Hurricane Ridge offers the only winter access to the high country. However, due to the violence of the storms, (hence the name), the road is often closed.

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