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Enjoy the rugged, stark beauty of Washington state's Olympic National Park

PORT ANGELES, Wash.

Few places in the world are as rugged and starkly beautiful as Washington state's Olympic National Park.

Only a few hours west of downtown Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula feels worlds away. Temperate rain forest gives way to menacing coastline, with driftwood graveyards and the Pacific Ocean's snarling waves. Rivers like the Hoh, turquoise due to its glacial source, weave through a wilderness wonderland.

Olympic National Park is a dream for hikers, campers and photographers. Elk, deer, sea otters and bald eagles are likely sights. You can backpack the coast or venture into the high country near Mount Olympus. If carrying your food and sleeping in a tent isn't quite your style, top-notch accommodations such as Kalaloch Lodge provide comfort near the wilderness.

Easy hikes, such as the 1.8 miles round trip to Marymere Falls, offer stunning views for those not sure about venturing deep into the woods. Just driving Highway 101 from Kalaloch Lodge to Lake Crescent provides incredible scenery.

The Grand Canyon may show up in more Instagram feeds, but Olympic is undoubtedly one of America's most stunning parks.

.If you go

Olympic National Park

NPS.gov/olym

Where to stay: Kalaloch Lodge, thekalalochlodge.com. Toll-free 1-866-662-9928. Bogachiel State Park campground, parks.wa.gov.

How to get there: From Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, rent a car and either drive south on Interstate 5 through Olympia and Aberdeen to the coast, or catch the ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and drive Highway 101 west to the coast.

Seasons: The Olympic Peninsula's west side is known for its rain. It rains a lot, and then rains some more. Try April-October for the best chances at sunny skies and warm days.

Enjoy the rugged, stark beauty of Washington state's Olympic National Park 08/30/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 4:47pm]
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