10 Great Day Hikes Worth the Trek
1. Hoh Rain Forest
You have lots of choices from the Hoh River Visitors Center, from the one-mile Hall of Mosses Trail to a full day along the Hoh River Trail. The 10.6-mile round-trip trek to Five Mile Island is a good full-day-hike option.
2. Hurricane Hill Trail
3 miles there and back
You can’t go to Olympic National Park without logging a hike in the Hurricane Ridge area. This paved route is a treasure for all ages and abilities, and offers some pretty glorious panoramic mountain and water views, including Vancouver Island, BC and parts of the San Juan Islands.
3. Mount Ellinor
3.2 miles round trip (from the upper trailhead)
This North Hood Canal hike is popular for a reason—panoramic views of the Cascade and Olympic ranges, Hood Canal, Lake Cushman, Puget Sound, and even Seattle. Mountain goats and marmots also love it.
4. Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall
4 miles round trip
This Pacific Beach hike offers ocean and forested island views, sea stacks and crashing surf. Scramble through the rocky arch and explore thriving tide pools. Or keep your feet dry on the overland trail and take in the sweeping views. Dogs on a leash are allowed on the beach up to Ellen Creek.
5. Lovers Lane Loop (Sol Duc Falls)
6 miles round trip
Located in the Sol Duc Valley near the town of Forks, this iconic Olympic Peninsula hike features one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Northwest. Do the loop or make it short and sweet. It’s just a mile to the waterfall and back from the parking lot trailhead.
6. Lake Quinault Lodge Area
8 miles of interconnected trails
Whether you have an hour or all day, you can experience some of the most beautiful rainforest trails just a few miles off Highway 101. Stop in at the historic and rustic lodge for a trail map. The four-mile Lake Quinault Loop Trail through old-growth conifer forest and lush rain forest vegetation is a terrific option.
7. Spruce Railroad Trail
8 miles round trip
(Travel Alert: Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent closed between tunnels due to landslide as of 1/3/21.) Take a scenic and historic day hike along the shores of Lake Crescent. There’s almost no elevation, but oodles of lake and mountain views. A great option for kids (and dogs). Crossing the bridge over the Devil’s Punchbowl is a trail highlight.
8. Ozette Triangle Loop Trail
If you’re looking to log some miles on a classic Olympic Peninsula trail without the elevation gain, this is the perfect day hike. Trek through forest, coastal wilderness and wetlands, and watch for bald eagles and marine mammals. Do one or the other 3.1- mile walks to the Pacific Ocean, or do the entire triangle. Be sure to check with the tides before setting off on the 9.2 miles. And, if you plan to camp on the beach, you will need a permit and bear canister for your food.
9. Dungeness Spit
11 miles out and back
If you want to keep your feet at sea level, traverse the longest natural sand spit in the United States. The stretch offers dramatic water and mountain views, and Marine wildlife abounds. The New Dungeness Lighthouse sits at the end of the trail.
10. High Divide Trail
18 miles round trip
Looking for a full-day hike and something really challenging? The loop trail includes a 3,000-foot elevation gain and all the Olympic National Park gems you could wish for—forested trails, waterfalls, lakes, valleys and unsurpassed alpine views.