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5 Amazing Backpacking Trips in Olympic National Park

Explore the best of the Pacific Northwest backcountry.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

If you’re an avid hiker and backpacker, a trip to Olympic National Park needs to be on your to-do list. Even if you’re new to backpacking, there’s quite the dynamic mix of backcountry adventures below; one of these trails is sure to meet your needs. Some of the most spectacular views in the whole park are only accessible by hitting the backcountry!

Our favorite part about a backpacking trip to Olympic National Park is the chance to enjoy a little R&R afterwards. Nothing eases the soreness that always follows a backpacking trip like a dip in Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Soak your exhausted legs in the mineral-rich waters, then treat yourself to delicious Northwest cuisine served at the Springs Restaurant. Oh, and did we mention the massages

If you've got time to spare after your backpacking trip, we highly recommend treating yourself to a couple days of recovery. We're sure you'll be glad you did. Check out some of our favorite backpacking trips in the park below and if you're looking for more tips on how to spend a few days in the area, check out our Explorer Sonja Saxe's story 72 Hours Exploring the Olympics.

Adventure by Lauren Mims

This is the perfect opportunity to backpack through the gorgeous Hoh River Trail at a more beginner level. The Hoh Rainforest is gorgeous with its moss-covered trees and ample opportunity to see wildlife. This particular section is open year-round (and ideal in the winter for anyone seeking solitude) but if you're considering the full Hoh River Trail be sure to check with rangers on the snow and avalanche conditions. 

Adventure by Nick Lake

This intermediate level backpacking trip is always a great choice. You’ll put in some decent work to reach your destination with 2,500 ft. of elevation gain but you'll be rewarded with classic views of the Olympic Range and many pristine alpine lakes. If you're looking for somewhere to fly fish, this spot is for you.

Adventure by Nick Lake

A dynamic and varied exploration, you’ve got to look into this trip if you're up for a challenge. This is not a hike you want to undertake straight off the couch. You'll be climbing just over 3,000 ft. with some pretty steep sections, but every step will be worth it. 

Adventure by Nick Lake

This is a popular day hike due to it's relative ease of access, but if you stick around to spend the night the crowds thin out and you'll share this special place with just a few neighboring backpackers. This is another great spot for any anglers...the brook trout here are invasive so not only do you not need a license, but rangers often encourage you to take as many fish as you can. 

Adventure by Gabe O'Leary

This is one of the most challenging - and most rewarding - trips you could take in the park. Strap on your boots and prepare for unforgettable views of the Olympics, the Cascades and the Pacific to the west. For this trip, it’s ideal to have rock climbing and glacier travel experience and always check in with the rangers for current snowpack conditions before heading out.

Discover more adventures around Olympic National Park here or check out the Stories below.



Cove photo: Gabe O'Leary

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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