Best time to visit Olympic National Park, WA

Olympic Peninsula Off-Season Day Hikes in Olympic National Park, WA

Come find your winter dose of green with these three stunning day hikes

Best time: November–February

Olympic Peninsula Off-Season Day Hikes
Olympic Peninsula Off-Season Day Hikes
Olympic Peninsula Off-Season Day Hikes
The Cape Flattery Trail
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Deciding to visit Olympic National Park during the off-season between November and February means that you will get to experience the forest without the crowds and with the seasonal rains. Grab a poncho and waterproof boots and come see the quiet, softer side of the Olympic Peninsula with these popular day hikes.

Hall of Mosses

The Hall of Mosses Trail is a family-friendly walk that will take you through lush, moss-covered trees in the Hoh Rainforest. Enjoy several interpretive signs along this easy walk as you wind your way past huge decaying logs, creeks, and glens. If you are quiet enough, you may come across black-tailed deer or Roosevelt elk.

Rialto Beach

Picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean through incredible seastacks and piles of driftwood logs—Rialto Beach is the place to witness this coastal beauty. Whether you are a beachcomber or would like to hike the 1.5 miles north to Hole-in-the-Wall, this sandy, secluded area of the park is sure to leave you in oceanic bliss. The beach is accessible via Mora Road.

Cape Flattery

Located at the Northwesternmost point of the continental US is the Cape Flattery Trail. While this hike goes through the Makah Indian Reservation, it offers absolutely breathtaking views of the Pacific and is well worth your time. For those that would like to know more about the Makah people, make time to visit the Makah Cultural and Research Center to view artifacts, exhibits, fossils, and more.

Wherever you decide to visit in your off-season explorations of Olympic National Park, it is unlikely you will encounter crowds. From the mountains and rainforests to the beaches, the winter is meant for hiking with some solitude and silence.

Practical info

When is the perfect time to visit Olympic National Park?

If you're looking to avoid crowds, the best time to visit Olympic National Park is between November and February. This off-season offers a chance to experience the park's serene and tranquil beauty without the buzz of visitors. Although it may rain frequently during this time, winter hiking provides a peaceful way to explore the stunning mountains, rainforests, and beaches in solitude, experiencing the soft and lush side of the Olympic Peninsula. Show more

What are some experiences you can expect during the Olympic National Park's off-season?

Visiting Olympic National Park during the off-season offers some of the most peaceful and tranquil experiences, especially with fewer crowds, softer weather, quiet and peaceful trails. Hiking in the off-season may seem daunting, but it provides a unique and inexpensive experience. Although temperatures may drop, the greenery and snow-covered mountains provide breathtaking views. Overall, it's an excellent opportunity to see the park in an entirely new and different light. Show more

What kind of wildlife can be observed on the Hall of Mosses Trail?

Hiking along the Hall of Mosses Trail, you get to explore the lush and mossy trees of the Hoh Rainforest while sighting a variety of wildlife. The trail is perfect for the black-tailed deer and Roosevelt elk, which tend to roam in the undergrowth or feed in the meadows. Playful otters, bobcats, river otters among other mammals, can also be spotted along the creeks during the hike. Show more

How do I get to Rialto Beach from Mora Road?

To get to Rialto Beach from Mora Road, you follow US-101 N to Lake Crescent from Seattle, then turn left onto a 12-mile one-lane side road known as Mora Road, which leads to the Rialto Beach parking area. After parking, the trail to the beach has incredible seastacks and offers a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. It's a great place to explore, enjoy the view, and relax while listening to the sound of the waves. Show more

What does the Makah Cultural and Research Center offer visitors to learn about the Makah people?

Located near the Cape Flattery Trailhead, the Makah Cultural and Research Center is an excellent source to learn about the Makah people's rich culture and history. The museum's exhibits include a range of artifacts, oral histories, basketry, carvings, fishing gear, and clothing that help visitors understand the tribe's way of life. The center also showcases archaeological finds, providing insights into the Makah people's long-standing maritime heritage, and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Olympic National Park. Show more

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