Best time to visit Olympic National Park, WA

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Olympic National Park, WA 2024

Take a stand for summer adventure with this unique watersport

Best time: May–September

Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP for short, has become an increasingly popular watersport in Olympic National Park and a great way to experience the park from a different perspective. The sport offers many positive benefits for your body, mind, and soul. Most paddleboarders who are just starting out have fun learning their balance points while experiencing the unique perspective of essentially standing on water. Every summer, countless SUP enthusiasts set out on the water for a fun day in the sun.

Best time for SUP in Olympic National Park

To get the most from your paddleboarding experience with warm weather conditions, head out to one or more of the Olympic many lakes between June and August. The paddleboarding season in Olympic Peninsula runs roughly from May through September when most SUP rentals operate. Whether you have been paddleboarding for years, or are just starting out, here are the best three lakes to put-in around Olympic National Park.

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent has a unique geological history and is a popular destination for park-goers. Put-in at one of several public boat-ramps along 12 miles of forested shoreline to gain access to this glacial lake’s crystal-clear waters. The earlier you start, the more likely you are to avoid the crowds and whipping winds. And those in need of a paddleboard should look no further than Lake Crescent Lodge, which offers a wide selection of watercraft to rent between late April and mid-October. For a quick sidequest to regain your land legs, hike the short trail to nearby Marymere Falls.

Lake Ozette

Lake Ozette offers stunning views for paddleboarders and a lakeside campground to rove from as you explore coves and hidden recesses along the shoreline. Imagine waking up at the Ozette Lake Campground, throwing on your PFD, and setting out on the water to explore the morning’s calm. No need to drive, load up or unload anything. You're already right there! Of all the reasons to paddleboard here, convenience tops the list.

Lake Quinault

Lake Quinault, at the southern gateway to Olympic National Park, offers nearby rental services as well as several put-in locations and is generally less trafficked than Lake Crescent in the summer. Set out for an awe-inspiring day paddling around waters surrounded by the Quinault Rainforest and remember what it's like to be inspired by natural beauty.

Paddleboarding in Olympic National Park is an experience that few will forget. So gear up and get out on the water to see why so many have chosen these lakes for their summer outdoor adventure.

Practical info

What are some recommended lakes for stand-up paddleboarding in Olympic National Park?

To experience paddling at its best, head over to Lake Crescent, Lake Ozette, and Lake Quinault. Lake Crescent is ideal for its crystal-clear waters, easy accessibility, and forested shoreline with public boat ramps giving high points. Lake Ozette's lakeside campground provides an exceptional base to explore the recesses and coves of this stunning lake. Lake Quinault is surrounded by the Quinault Rainforest, offering awe-inspiring natural beauty and fewer crowds than Lake Crescent. Show more

What is the best time of year to paddleboard in Olympic National Park?

June to August provides the best conditions for stand-up paddleboarding in Olympic National Park. During this time, the weather is favorable, the temperatures warmer, and most SUP rental services operate, giving the easiest access to boards. May to September is generally considered paddleboarding season in Olympic National Park, although earlier in the season may be quieter for those seeking solace from the crowds and stronger winds. Show more

Where can I rent stand-up paddleboards within Olympic National Park?

For SUP rentals within Olympic National Park, you have several options, such as Lake Crescent Lodge, Olympic Raft and Kayak, and Lake Quinault Lodge. These rental services operate between late April to mid-October, providing an extensive variety of watercraft, including stand-up paddleboards. Outside the park, visitors can also rent paddleboards from outfitters and concessionaires that serve the Olympic Peninsula region. Show more

What are the benefits of stand-up paddleboarding for the body, soul, and mind?

SUP is a workout that strengthens one's core, arms, and legs while also improving endurance, balance, and flexibility. Paddleboarding also aids in stress reduction, increases mindfulness, and enhances overall well-being. The serene nature of gliding across calm waters is both peaceful and invigorating for the mind and body. Along with these benefits, SUP is also an eco-friendly way to experience the beauty of nature. Show more

How does Lake Ozette enable ease for stand-up paddleboarders?

Lake Ozette is an ideal location for paddling, and the lakeside camping area provides ease and convenience to visitors. The lakeside campsites offer a convenient base to explore the shoreline's recesses and coves without needing to load or unload any equipment. Paddleboarders have the luxury of choice and can enjoy paddling whenever suits their schedule without any restrictions, maximizing their stay along the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Ozette. Show more

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