Take a Hike...

Hiking in the Olympic National Park in Washington State is a memorable experience for young and old alike.

What to know before you go. If you pack it in, pack it out - that includes all trash. When beach hiking, be aware of the tides, which can block your way on most headlands at high tide. Be aware of weather conditions too - especially in the winter when storms, while spectacular, can be fierce. Pets are prohibited on all Park trails and beaches except from Rialto Beach to Hole-in-the Wall and on the Kalaloch beaches where they are allowed on leash. Pets are also allowed on leash in campgrounds and parking areas.

Tips on the best trails. Whether you're looking for a leisurely nature stroll or ready for a challenging hiking adventure, you can learn about some of Northwest hiking source, Hike of the Weekthe most terrific Peninsula hiking spots at Hike of the Week.com. Handy trail and hiking information, tide charts, wilderness campsites and trip planning are also listed on the Olympic National Park website . Northwest Secret Places' hiking section website gives plenty of destinations, with numerous trails for every ability level.

Other helpful Olympic Peninsula hiking-related websites include:

  • The Olympic National Forest Website provides interesting forest facts, hiking information, regulations and additional links.
  • Olympic Discovery Trail's Adventure Route, a 23-mile long wilderness trail, which begins south of the town of Joyce and is intended for use by equestrians and mountain bikers as well as hikers.
  • For wheelers and slow walkers, visit www.accessibletrails.com.
  • Seattle's KIRO TV offers 10 Best Hikes in Washingtonincluding four located in Olympic National Park.
  • Seattle Post Intelligencer's seattlepi.com website offers great getaway ideas and "Take A Hike" a regular column authored by local hiking expert Karen Sykes who has traveled Northwest trails for 25 years. Here are just a few you can check out:

Cape Alava
Dry Creek Trail
Duckabush River Trail
Dungeness Spit
Elwha River Trail
Enchanted Valley
Hoh Rain Forest
Hurricane Ridge
Lake Crescent
Little River Trail
Lower Lena Lake
Mildred Lakes
Olympic National Park
Pyramid Mountain
Royal Basin
Sol Duc Valley
Spruce Railroad Trail
Wagonwheel Lake
Fort Worden State Park
Tunnel Creek Trail