My Top 10 National Parks: #5

My Top Ten National Parks of North America

My list so far:

10.  Grand Canyon National Park

9.  Yoho National Park

8.  Zion National Park

7.  Bryce Canyon National Park

6.  Yosemite National Park

5. Olympic National Park

The Statistics

Date established: June 29, 1938

Annual visitation (2014): 3,243,872

Size: 922,650 acres

Location: Northwest Washington

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My Experience

Number of visits: One

Total days in the park: Three days

Where I stayed: I camped out three nights in Kalaloch Campground. My campsite was about a five minute walk from the beach. My friend and I had a couple of nice beach bonfires and were among the last in the country to see the sunset. This campground and the Jenny Lake Campground in Grand Teton National Park are my two favorites.

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Can’t miss sight: That’s a tough one, but I think I’ll go with the Hoh Rainforest. There aren’t many rainforests in the country. So, if you’re in Olympic National Park, be sure to check out the Hoh Rainforest. The amount of green that surrounds you is unreal.

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My favorite view: There are a lot of great views within the park and they can be incredibly different from each other. For example, the sights within the rainforest are amazing, but so is the mountain landscape that can be seen from Hurricane Ridge. Of course, there are also great views of the Pacific Ocean and seastacks along the rugged and pristine coast. I love mountains so I guess I should choose Hurricane Ridge for my favorite view.

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Wildlife seen: One marmot and some deer.

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Favorite hike: I was only in Olympic for three days and did four hikes in that time. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but I would probably name the trail to Cape Alava as my number one. It travels through a lush green forest before reaching an isolated beach, which happens to be the most western point in the continental U.S.

Cape Alava
Cape Alava

Bonus Point: Olympic National Park is extremely unique due to its diverse landscape. Thanks to its mountains, coastal beaches, and rainforests the place is essentially three parks in one.

If I Return

Three days is simply not enough time to really explore Olympic National Park. I definitely want to return and when I do, I would like to stay for a week or so. I’d like to spend two to three days in each region of the spectacular National Park.

Why You Should Visit

This diverse National Park has something for everyone. You like beaches? Great go visit Olympic. Mountains are more your thing? No, problem they have that, too. Rainforests? You don’t need to go to South America, you just make your way to the Pacific Northwest.

The Bad

The park is pretty spread out, which means it can take a lot of driving to get from one place to another. That’s the only complaint I can think of.

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