The olympic national park beaches at sunset offer magical views.

Olympic National Park Photos that will make you book a trip

Olympic National Park is one of those rare places that offers a beach, a rainforest, and towering, snowcapped mountains, all relatively close to each other. It’s a stunningly diverse landscape, offering adventures and awe to anyone who visits. Inside, you’ll find some genuinely remarkable Olympic National Park photos!

Alec Sills-TrauschΒ is an adventure photographer highlighting Earth’s greatest treasures. His travels have taken him across the western US, Canada, Alaska, and Europe. He’s also a two-time cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient.

He uses his platform to educate and inspire.

Amazing Olympic National Park Photos

Photos of Olympic National Park: Hurricane Ridge

olympic national park hiking

Hurricane Ridge offers the best bang for your buck in terms of effort and views. You can drive from the ocean into the mountains in less than 40 minutes for gobsmacking views.

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent is a stunning lake with many access points to kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, or simply sit and enjoy the views. The Olympic National Park photos will blow your mind!

Views of the Olympic Mountain Range from Seattle

These mountains, especially in winter, tower above the low-lying hills, giving those in Seattle quite the morning wake-up!

Olympic National Park Photos: Coast Line

La Push Beach

One of the best places to watch the sunset on the Washington Coast. It’s truly magical. The photos of Olympic National Park are stunning out here.

Shi Shi Beach

A mesmerizing beach tucked away near the top corner of Washington. It’s one of the least visited spots in the state.

Cape Flattery

The northwesternmost point in the Lower 48. The views are pretty cool, but not as great as I expected.

Strait of Juan De Fuca with Orcas

Going whale watching in Seattle or Washington will give you incredible opportunities. This one was amazing!

Tree of Life

The Tree of life on the Olympic Coast. This was day 2 of our Olympic National Park itinerary.

Somehow, this tree keeps hanging on, even though gravity and erosion work against it daily. At some point, the tree will collapse. Until then, please go and see it!

Olympic National Park Photos: Hoh Rainforest

a hiker strolls through the hoh rainforest in olympic national park
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

A magical rainforest that sees over 10 feet of rain annually. In my opinion, the best time to view is after rainfall.

Marymere Falls

A short hike to a beautiful waterfall while driving through the Olympic Peninsula. You park at Lake Crescent, and the trail is mostly flat except for the final tenth of a mile. (I promise it looks better…I only brought my cell phone for this one.)

Willaby Creek Falls

A short little hike to a lovely green canyon. We had no idea this existed when we stumbled upon it and enjoyed it!

Things to know about photographing Olympic National Park

Camera Gear I used to Capture these Olympic National Park Photos

Where to Stay in the Olympic Peninsula

πŸ“Budget Options – Forks Motel;Β Dew Drop Inn Motel Forks;Β Olympic Inn and Suites (Port Angeles)

πŸ“Mid-Range Options – Quality Inn Port AngelesWyndham Port AngelesRed Lion Port AngelesForks Pacific InnWoodland Inns Forks

πŸ“Luxury Options – Elwa River RetreatStay in a Tree HouseLake Quinault LodgeDungeness Bay CottagesKalaloch Lodge (on the coast)

How to plan your trip to Olympic National Park

Brief History of Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park, situated in Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula, boasts a rich history that dates back thousands of years, comprising the cultural heritage of indigenous tribes, periods of European exploration, and its progression into a designated national park.

The park’s story begins in the pre-colonization era when Native American tribes like the Quileute, Hoh, Makah, and others thrived, living harmoniously with the land’s abundant resources. The late 18th century ushered in European explorers, with Captain James Cook in 1778 naming the mountain range he spotted “Mount Olympus,” after the Greek gods’ abode.

The 19th century witnessed an influx of settlers and the emergence of logging and mining, profoundly altering the landscape and impacting native populations. In response, President Grover Cleveland declared the region the Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897 to curb resource depletion. Later, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the area’s unique ecological importance, establishing Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909, primarily to protect the then-near-extinct Roosevelt elk.

A significant milestone occurred in 1938 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially designated the area as Olympic National Park, significantly expanding its protected zones to include diverse ecosystems from rugged coastlines and temperate rainforests to alpine mountains. The park’s global significance was further acknowledged in 1976 when UNESCO recognized it as an International Biosphere Reserve, followed by its World Heritage Site designation in 1981, honoring its remarkable natural beauty and biodiversity.

Today, Olympic National Park is a testament to natural preservation, offering pristine landscapes, abundant wildlife, and myriad recreational opportunities. It symbolizes the delicate balance between conservation efforts, indigenous rights, community interests, and environmental stewardship, reflecting the complex challenge of safeguarding natural wonders in the modern era.