Discover the breathtaking beauty of Olympic National Park on a one-day trip from Seattle!
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing, peaceful hike or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Olympic National Park has something to offer everyone.
From roaming meadows and lush forests to rugged mountain peaks and glittering lakes, you’ll be mesmerized by the stunning scenery.
Embark on an unforgettable journey and explore the stunning wilderness of Olympic National Park on a one-day trip from Seattle!
Overview of the road trip
Do you think you could visit Olympic National Park one day from Seattle? Yes!
There is, however, more nuance to the answer than that. The purpose of such a short trip, if it’s actually possible, and what sort of things you could do are discussed.
Time on the road
It would be helpful if you could tell us how long it would take you to drive from Seattle to Olympic National Park and back again. Downtown Seattle is 138 miles or 222 kilometers from the Olympic National Park entrance in Port Angeles, WA.
Google says that it will take 2 hours and 49 minutes for the drive to be completed. This amount will need to be doubled since this is a day trip to Olympic National Park, which is why we need to double it.
The driving time to Olympic National Park would be 5 hours and 38 minutes if you took a day trip there.
How does peak season affect your decision?
National Parks are 9th on the list of most visited in the country. However, with almost a million acres, it ranks 13th among the largest national parks with almost a million acres.
No matter when you visit, parking, hiking trails, or overlooks should not be a problem because of the park’s sheer size.
The peak visitation months are, however, July, August, and September. The population of your destination will be higher during those three months, so you should expect to see more people during these times.
The area will receive snow during the winter. You will be able to drive and hike the majority of the park even if there is snow on the ground, but you will need to ensure you have cold weather and/or snow gear with you.
How long does a day trip last?
There are probably many things to see and do in Olympic National Park that warrant a longer visit. Two sections of the park are open to exploring, as it is a very large park.
There is a possibility that you may not be able to cover the entire park in a single day unless you are prepared to put in the extra effort.
There’s probably a reason why you’re considering a day trip, and that reason is probably that you don’t have the time.
If you are in Seattle for another reason, you might prefer to escape the urban downtown area for a while. You shouldn’t miss a quick visit to the Olympics, no matter what your reason is!
One Day Journey: Seattle to Olympic NP, & Back
This road trip will take us all day, and we’ll do our best to make it realistic. You get up early and leave Seattle first thing in the morning for your mini-road trip, assuming you have the whole day available.
6:00 AM – Leave Seattle
Ensure that you eat breakfast before you start your day at the park entrance in Port Angeles, WA. This is likely to be a long day, so get up early.
Two miles from the park’s entrance, the Coffee Box and New Day Eatery offer amazing quick food options.
8:30 AM – Arrive at Olympic National Park
As you travel from downtown Astoria to Hurricane Ridge Road, the best place to start is at the Visitor Center located at the entrance to Olympic National Park.
Taking the road along Hurricane Ridge that runs along the park will take you about 30 minutes (without stopping)….
However, you should stop at every point) and ends near a visitor center at Hurricane Ridge.
Right before the Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center, Obstruction Point Road branches off and continues down.
Don’t forget to visit some of the numerous overlooks along the scenic drive, as well as some of the trails. It is not recommended to skip Klahhane Ridge Trailhead or the Obstruction Point Trailhead.
11:30 AM – Continue to Lake Crescent from Port Angeles
It is best to begin driving back to Port Angeles shortly before lunch. Lake Crescent Lodge is about 20 miles (30 minutes) from Hurricane Ridge Road where it intersects with US-101, and it will take about 7 minutes to drive there.
12:00 PM – Lunch at Lake Crescent Lodge
The Lake Crescent Lodge is the perfect place for a late lunch.
1:00 PM – Choose Your Own Adventure
ALERT! DECISION TIME!
What to do next depends on three factors. The first two will result in a much longer day, and the third will be considerably shorter. The choice is yours!
Short-term option: Stay in Crescent Lake and take the access road leading to the lake. There are many trails that lead to this tranquil lake, where you can hike.
It’s a great easy hike to Mary more Falls and a great difficult hike to Mount Storm King.
Long Option #2: It would be a good idea to get back onto In around one and a half hours, and take US-101 west to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitors Center. away, or about 68 miles further south.
The option you need to select is this one if you want to see a rainforest in Olympic Park. You can choose this option if you wish to travel around the park’s base before returning to Seattle if you so choose.
A long option #2 would be to return to US-101 and continue all the way to Rialto Beach. The Pacific Coastline is the westernmost portion of the park, along which it hugs the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The parking area is within walking distance of trails, rocky beaches, caves, and towering trees. There is a 1-hour drive between Crescent Lodge and Rialto Beach.
5:30 PM – Head back to Seattle
Each option has the following drive times:
- Three hours (103 miles) from Crescent Lake
- It took 4.25 hours to cover 216 miles in the Hoh Rainforest.
- Rialto Beach, Long #2: 226 miles (4.25 hours) Rialto Beach, Long #2: 226 miles (4.25 hours)
During the summer, sunset occurs around 9 PM, so you’ll be here much longer if you want to see it. Due to my dislike of driving tired, I would be on my way back to Seattle by 6 PM. You may even be able to grab dinner earlier if you want to stop somewhere.
9:45 PM – Arrive back in Seattle
You’re probably back in Seattle before 10 PM if you left at 7 PM without eating.