If you have never visited Olympic National Park we would highly recommend that you check it out. The park features incredible mountains, several beaches along the Pacific coast, and a rainforest that is abnormally lush and green. One of the best experiences we had on our two day trip to this park was camping at Second Beach. Imagine sitting by a campfire while watching whales offshore and waking up to the sound of waves crashing as the sun rises over the water. The sunsets here were equally amazing and at lowtide you can walk over to the cove to the right of the entrance and see bright starfish and sea urchins. While this was an amazing experience it does require a bit of planning to camp here. The walk down to the beach is a little less than a mile so you will need to strategically pack what you will need to save yourself any extra trips. The hike is uphill on the way back to the parking lot but not very strenuous at all. The park also requires that you have a bear can to keep racoons away at night. You can either bring or rent one from the ranger station in Port Angeles. We chose to rent one and the cost of that along with a permit for two nights was only $38.
While in Port Angeles we made a trip up to Hurricane Ridge and you should too! The hike is mild for what you see at the top…panaoramic views of beautiful snow covered mountains from every angle! We were fortunate to see several deer and a marmot feeding at the top of the trail. If you stay at Second Beach and are looking for things to do nearby you should also check out Rialto Beach. If you take a right and walk down the beach from the parking lot you will find Hole in the Wall rock. Be sure to do this at low tide so you can walk through the hole and see the sea creatures in betweeen the rocks.
We also visited the Hoh Rainforest while in the area. It was about an hour and a half drive from Second Beach which made it the perfect morning excursion. Here we did the Hall of Mosses trail and the Spruce Nature Trail. The Spruce Trail was our favorite because it wasn’t as crowded, features a river, and there was wildlife. The family hiking in front of us spotted a black bear and elk also frequent that trail. If you are only in Washington for a short period of time and trying to decide on a park we would defintely recommend this one. This park is huge and has so much to offer. Our trip was only two days and were able to see three different terrains! We are already looking forward to our next trip here!