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Olympic National Park With Kids

If you are thinking of visiting Olympic National Park with kids you’ve come to the right place! Featuring rainforests, lakes, streams, mountains and beaches, there is so much to experience.

This guide to visiting Olympic National Park with kids helps narrow down the choices to create the perfect itinerary. 

It is amazing how diverse the park is, on one side there are stretches of unspoilt beach. Whilst on the other side, there are rainforests, one of the wettest areas in the United States. 

Right in the centre of the park are the Olympic Mountains which are topped with massive ancient glaciers. 

Kids and adults are always amazed by every inch of the park and can find a lot to squeeze into an Olympic National Park itinerary to keep little ones entertained.

Whether you are visiting with babies, toddlers or older kids, there is something for all families.

From joining a junior ranger program to family-friendly hiking trails, beaches, campsites and tons of scenic areas, visiting Olympic National Park is an excellent choice for any vacation.

Not to mention, the park offers a diverse range of wildlife, natural habitats, and educational activities to learn and explore!

At Rialto beach, there are tons of driftwood and rock formations, and toddlers as well as older kids love to climb. There are lots of exciting places for kids to run around and play.

Second Beach is worth a visit too! The hike from the car park to the beach is around half a mile. To get to the beach there is a need to climb over driftwood and rocks. 

Travelling with a carrier would be a great choice for toddlers and babies. However, past the driftwood, there is a beautiful sandy beach.  

olympic national park with toddlers
Olympic National Park With Kids

One of the best things about the beach is the tide pools. Kids can find starfish, muscles, crabs and small fish. 

Make sure to keep an eye out for the white and green anemone too.  They open up in the water and close slightly when they surface.

Olympic National Park For Kids

The Olympic National Park rainforest is always a hit. There are four to choose from in the park. However, Hoh Rain Forest is the most popular. 

There are plenty of trails to choose from including stroller-friendly options. Hoh Rain Forest is one of the best Olympic National Park hikes.

The rainforest is naturally home to many different types of trees. Guided ranger tours are a great option to get lots of information along the way.

There are plenty of animals too. Elk, river otters and sometimes black bears can be spotted.

We found fresh bear poop and prints very close to us. It was berry season but I always think it’s important to be safe, wear ankle bells and familiarise yourself with bear safety!

Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

1. Junior Ranger Program

Olympic National Park has plenty to do for kids of all ages with dedicated activities. The Junior Ranger Program is designed for kids ages 5-13 years old.  However, kids of all ages can join in the fun.

Simply pick up a booklet at the visitor’s centre. Kids have to complete a range of activities at the park and at the end, they are rewarded with a Junior Ranger badge. 

olympic national park for kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

For kids aged four and above, there is an Olympic National Park Ocean Stewards Junior Ranger program.

Kids become Ocean Stewards and learn about the unique ecosystem at Olympic National Park and how to protect it. After completing the book, kids are given an Ocean Steward Patch.

2. Hurrican Ridge

One of the most popular places to visit in Olympic National Park is Hurricane Ridge. The drive to the summit is around forty-five minutes long.

However, the views are breathtaking and definitely worth the drive when visiting Olympic National Park with kids.

Olympic National Park with Baby
Olympic National Park With Kids

The Olympic National Park Visitor’s Centre can be found at the top which is a great opportunity to learn about the area.

In fact, marmots can be spotted in the grass just outside the visitor centre sometimes.  Some of the best Olympic National Park hikes can be found in the area.  Many are suitable for families with small kids and strollers.  

3. Hot Springs

The Sol Duc Hot Springs come highly recommended in many guide books and most visitors try to stop by as part of their Olympic National Park itinerary.

It is a unique opportunity to relax in naturally heated mineral pools, surrounded by the lush beauty of the Olympic National Park with kids.

Olympic National Park seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

With pools ranging from 3 feet to 8 feet deep, and temperatures reaching as high as 104 F, it is the perfect spot for a peaceful and rejuvenating soak.

There are three warm mineral baths and one freshwater pool to choose from. The shallow wading pool is perfect for children and those who want to acclimatize to the mineral bath temperature gradually.

While the larger pool with the fountain provides a relaxing atmosphere with the sound of trickling water.

The medium-sized pool is ideal for adults who want to relax and soak in mineral-rich water.

hot springs attractions for kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

Pools are busiest in the early evening and on the weekends. 7pm onwards has usually fewer crowds and a reduced fee.

However, if that’s not possible, mornings are less busy, and you can still enjoy the pools at a discounted rate.

We suggest avoiding late afternoon visits. Families staying at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort with little ones tend to go swimming in the pool so it can be a busy period before dinner.

Between 4 PM and 7 PM each day, the warm mineral pools close for an hour, alternately to give the pool staff time to clean and maintain Sol Duc Hot Springs.

Routine cleaning ensures the water remains clean for the next group of visitors. There is a small fee to pay to enter, however, kids under three go for free. 

Visiting the mineral pools is great fun, however, it is worth noting the strong smell of sulphur is not for everyone.

Olympic National Park Hikes For Kids

Olympic National Park provides many great trails, breathtaking views, and plenty of opportunities to explore. Here is a list of the top hiking trails when visiting Olympic National Park with kids.

4. Marymere Falls Trail

One of the most popular hikes is Marymere Falls. The hike is around a three-and-a-half-mile round trip with plenty of things to keep little people entertained along the way.

The trail is mostly on flat ground so taking a stroller is doable.  However, there are some stairs to climb to the waterfall. 

Along the way, there are woodlands and a creek for kids to see tadpoles.  As it is a popular route, expect more footfall in the high season.

I always find the All Trails walking app good for finding hikes suitable and easy for children.

We did a tonne of different hikes, we just used backpacks and carriers mostly as it allowed us to explore deeper without needing to stay on paths.

Best for: Waterfalls and families with strollers

5. Hall Of Mosses Nature Trail

Hall of Mosses nature trail is a 0.8-mile (1.3 kilometres) loop hike through the Hoh Rain Forest with an elevation gain of fewer than 100 feet.

With plenty of interpretive signs throughout the trail, it feels like an educational stroll popular with families who enjoy learning a little while hiking.

In general, the width of the nature trail ranges from three to six feet. While the first 400 feet have a slight incline of 5%, most of the course is characterized by a large number of ups and downs, with the steepest gradient of 24%.

Best for: Educational strolls in lush rainforests, Elks and banana slugs.

6. Spruce Nature Trail

For those seeking a more leisurely stroll, the Spruce Nature Trail is perfect, as it’s only 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometres) with a minimal elevation of 230 ft.

The stunning scenery along the way makes for an unforgettable experience, as parts of the trail follows Taft Creek and the Hoh River.

Kids love the nurse logs lying around to climb. They provide a base for new trees to grow!

best family hikes in olympic national park
Olympic National Park With Kids

With similar characteristics as the Hall of Mosses Trail, the first 400 feet of compacted gravel trail have a gradient of less than 5%, while the remainder is rugged.

Hikers of all levels can enjoy the beauty of the forest with a little more effort towards the end.

A bench at the start provides a great place to rest, catch a breath and appreciate the scenery of the Olympic National Park with kids.

Best for: Nurse logs, and views of Taft Creek and Hoh River

7. Hoh River Mouth Trail

A top tip to avoid crowds is to hike less well-known trails. Hoh River Mouth Trail is less than a two-mile (3.2 kilometres) round trip and is not so frequented by families visiting Olympic National Park with kids.

The trail is flat and short which makes it good for families with toddlers. The first part of the trail is through the Hoh rainforest. 

Best Family Hikes in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park With Kids

The trail leads to where the river meets the sea and there are so many beautiful trees along the way. 

Best for: Rainforest trees and Hoh river

8. Hurricane Hill Trail

Hurricane Hill Trail is the perfect place to experience the alpine environment when visiting Olympic National Park with kids.

While the popular family hike is a round-trip distance of 3 miles (4.8 kilometres) might sound strenuous, it is not! Instead, the gentle slopes and occasional switchbacks make it an easy scenic family hike for all ages.

olympic national park hike
Olympic National Park With Kids

Stunning views of the mountains and oceans, including the Cascades and Vancouver Island, can be seen from the trail on a clear day. Flora and fauna along the route make this hiking trail all the more spectacular.

Since it is a high-altitude hike, it’s important to check the weather with Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Bring along a map to stay on track and a windbreaker jacket as it occasionally tends to get windy.

Arrive early to secure a car parking spot.

Best for: High country views

9. Lover’s Lane Loop

The six-mile (9.6 kilometres) Lover’s Lane Loop Trail has so much natural beauty. From moss-covered logs to vibrant ferns and the roar of Sol Duc Falls in the distance. It’s a stunning spot to visit in Olympic National Park with kids.

The mist from the falls is often illuminated by the sun, creating a rainbow visible in the air. Depending on the season, cutthroat and steelhead salmon can be seen swimming in the river.

olympic national park family hikes
Olympic National Park With Kids

It’s important to stick to the Sol Duc Campground Loop B road to access the trailhead. While it hides in plain sight, it nestles itself right past the campground’s bathrooms with parking options for half a dozen vehicles.

Winter snowfall is a regular occurrence in the area. It can sometimes cause the road leading to the resort to become an obstacle.

Therefore, checking the road conditions online before travelling to the resort is essential to ensure the road is open and safe when travelling to the Olympic National Park with kids.

Best for: Vibrant ferns and Sol Duc Waterfalls

10. Sol Duc Trail

The Lover’s Loop Trail and the Sol Duc Trail lead to Sol Duc Falls. That sounds like a mouthful!

Sol Duc Trail is a popular option and a top choice for families, especially when visiting Olympic National Park with kids.

best parks for kids in seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

Accessing the trailhead is relatively easy. Drive down the Sol Duc River Road to begin the hike of 0.8 miles (1.2 kilometres).

Best for: Easy access and Sol Duc Waterfalls

11. Hole In The Wall Trail

Unlike other hikes, Hole In The Wall hike is a three-mile (4.8 kilometres) rugged walk among incredible tide pools housing starfish, driftwood and other marine life. Therefore it’s probably an option for those with older children.

1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) north of Rialto Beach sits the sea-carved arch, which is accessible only when the tide is out.

best family hikes in olympic national park
Olympic National Park With Kids

Knowing the tide times can provide extra safety when visiting the Hole In The Wall with kids.

A tidal crossing during high tide can cause an issue if the tide is in. Therefore, checking the tide table before beginning the trek is crucial.

Best for: Viewing the natural arc rock formation, tide pools, driftwood and Rialto Beach

12. Shi Shi Beach Walk

This 8-mile round-trip hike from Shi Shi Beach to the point of Arches is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque beaches in the Pacific Northwest.

Whilst it could be seen as quite a difficult journey when visiting Olympic national park with kids it is doable with backpack carriers for little ones and more capable older children.

Begin the journey in the groves of Sitka spruce, hiking through the forest along muddy trails for approximately two miles.

Getting to the beach requires a steep descent, however, it’s well worth it. Continuing 2.5 miles, there is a mile-long stretch of sea arches called Point of Arches.

best family hikes in olympic national park
Olympic National Park With Kids

Point of Arches is a popular destination for beachcombing and exploring tide pools and is home to a variety of wildlife, such as sea otters and crabs.

It’s a great spot for photography and sunsets, as the towering sea arches create a dramatic backdrop.

It’s an unforgettable experience, making it a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.

Best for: Beach walks, sunsets, tidepools and Point of Arches.

Another critical thing to note is to be aware of the tide table. Be sure to double-check the tide timings before proceeding.

Tide tables are available at any of Olympic National Park’s visitor centers and are mandatory.

For those driving, a Makah Recreation Pass is required for parking at the trailhead. It is necessary to have one pass per vehicle.

Washburn General Store, Makah Tribal Center, Hobuck Beach Resort, and Makah Marina are a few places to purchase one.

For more information on the Makah Recreation Pass.

13. Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour

The self-guided driving audio tour is a great way to explore the area’s natural beauty while hearing about its rich history. This could be especially cool during nap time.

Cruise along the shores of the coastal beaches and take in views of the mountain vistas as the story unfolds, giving a unique perspective when visiting Olympic National Park with kids.

olympic national park family vacation
Olympic National Park With Kids

Taking a self-guided tour is a great way to get the most out of an experience especially if little ones are tired. The tour is valid for a lifetime, which means it will never expire once you buy it.

Book your self-guided driving audio tour

Tours Of Olympic National Park

14. Kayaking

Stunning lakes, deep blue rivers, and the Pacific Ocean are all within a few miles of one another in Olympic National Park.

There is plenty of opportunities to enjoy kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding when visiting the Olympic National Park with kids.

Kayaking is possible at four prime locations around the park. Lake Crescent in the North is a crystal clear glacial lake ideal for day kayaking and great for families.

Lake Ozette, which is the third largest lake in Washington is a challenging and rewarding experience. Lake Cushman and Lake Quinault to the south offer a surreal experience of kayaking in the Olympic peninsula.

things to do with kids near seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

While several kayaks and paddleboards may be available at the lakes’ lodges, it’s possible to bring tour kayaks and paddleboards to experience the Olympic National park with kids from a different perspective. Don’t forget to bring a life jacket!

15. Full-Day Private Tour and Hike

A Full Day Private Tour And Hike are ideal for families who would like to complete exploring Olympic National Park in a day (approximately six to eight hours).

There is a reason Olympic National Park is sometimes said to be three parks in one. There are a variety of landscapes rich in diversity ranging from dense old-growth forests to alpine meadows and coastal ecosystems.

things to do with kids seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

The tour begins with a hike to the park’s coast to visit the breathtaking Kalaloch beaches and the Hoh rainforest.

In order to make the tour as enjoyable as possible, an expert tour guide will work closely with you to craft the perfect itinerary.

Book A Full Day Private Tour And Hike At Olympic National Park.

16. Rialto Beach Tide Pooling

Low tide and the receding water allow for exploration of the tide pools. It is an ideal time to observe the variety of animals living on the rocks and the colours and textures of the stones and coralline algae – a fantastic experience!

olympic park for kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

There may be a chance to spot migrating whales in the distant crashing waves and sea otters or sea lions sunbathing on the shoreline.

The Rialto Beach Tide Pooling hike is an everyday activity. First, check the tidal patterns, especially if the aim is to see the amazing tidepools.

We suggest booking a slot between 8 AM and 12 PM for a worthwhile experience.

Book the Rialto Beach Tide Pooling Hike.

olympic national park with kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

17. Olympic Mountains Seaplane Tour

Soar over the stunning Mount Olympus, the Hoh Rainforest and Hurricane Ridge, with the chance to spot wildlife along the way.

Stare in awe at the enormous glaciers and vast expanses of old growth trees from a whole other perspective. In place of the tedious drive to the Olympics, the Seaplane tour is a great alternative.

national park for kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

During the flight, noise-cancelling headsets will block out the loud, distracting noises from the plane and allows passengers the opportunity to relax, listen to music, and enjoy the sights and sounds without any interference.

On the way back, experience breathtaking views of Seattle, a bonus to the experience!

Book a Seaplane Tour from Lake Washington to the Olympic Mountains.

18. Seattle To National Park Via Ferry

Experience the charm of Olympic National Park on a full-day trip from Seattle.

The journey starts with a ferry ride to Bain Bridge, the nearest Seattle Island and stops on the way to Sequim for an African-like safari at Animal Farms.

After a light breakfast, the road trip continues for 2.5 hours to Olympic National Park. The tour guide will lead the group around the park, comprising short hikes and tourist stops.

things to do with kids near seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

Head back for another 20-mile drive to witness the idyllic wilderness escape at Lake Crescent glacial lake and a hike on Marymere Falls Nature Trail.

Book a full-day tour from Seattle to Olympic National via Ferry.

Winter Activities At Olympic National Park With Kids

Olympic National Park is one of only two national parks in the country with a ski lift, making it a unique attraction. The second is Yosemite National Park.

Besides its fantastic ski slopes and ski lifts, Olympic National Park offers a variety of snow activities, such as ski programs for kids, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing, at Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area for people of all ages.

fun things to do with kids in seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

The activities usually take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday during the winter season (Mid-December to March) from 10 AM to 4 PM, including certain holidays.

20. Ridge Tubing Hurricane Ridge

Ridge Tubing is a scenic and exciting ride in the Hurricane Ridge area. It offers a great way to experience the beauty of the mountain while keeping active.

Plus, with passes valid for 30 days, it’s possible to return multiple times and enjoy the ride without having to purchase a new pass every time.

21. Free Ski Lessons

Fourth graders can enjoy free ski lessons at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. The slots are limited and require a code. For updated information and code details, refer to their Facebook page.

The Ski and Snowboard School offers multi-week programs for people of all ages, which are a lot of fun and worth checking out!

In addition to getting the same instructor every time, learners can ski or ride with the same group of friends each time.

22. Snowshoe Tour

The Guided Snowshoe Tour at Hurricane Ridge takes place every Saturday in the beautiful Olympic National Park during the winter season from January to March.

Offering stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and pristine forests, the winter wonderland is a fantastic place to learn how to snowshoe correctly and navigate the terrain.

olympic park for kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

Everyone on the tour is provided with snowshoes, trekking poles, and round-trip transportation from the Port Angeles pier as part of the package. Picnic lunches are also available for purchase. This trip is ideal for teens rather than younger children.

Book your family-friendly guided Snowshoe Tour experience here.

Places To Stay At Olympic National Park With Kids

Olympic National Park Campsites

There are plenty of campsites to choose from in Olympic National park with kids. Sol Duc Hot Springs is a favourite with families.

The campsite is near hot springs and a restaurant. Like all of the other Olympic National Park campgrounds, there is a fire pit and picnic tables.

It is one of only two campsites with hook-up in the area. RVs are welcome to stay and reservations are welcome along with walk-ins.  

To find out more information about places to stay in Olympic national Park click here.

Olympic National Park Hotels for Families

Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles Harbour is just a fifteen-minute drive from the park and in Port Angeles town centre.

activities for kids in olympia wa
Olympic National Park With Kids

The hotel offers comfortable rooms in a great location when visiting Olympic National Park with kids. There is an on-site restaurant, swimming pool and lounge area. 

The rooms all have Wi-Fi and some have fantastic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Click here to book or to find out more about Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles.

Olympic National Park Lodges for Families

Olympic Lodge by Ayres is located at the base of the Olympic Mountains, just off Highway 101, 1.8 miles (3 kilometres) from Port Angeles and 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometres) from Olympic National Park.

Not only is it right beside the National Park, there is also a range of activities for families.

The lodge-style rooms have a microwave and refrigerator in each room, as well as the entertainment of cable TV and complimentary Wi-Fi access. An outdoor pool is also available.

olympic games for kids to play outside
Olympic National Park With Kids

Not to mention a fitness room, and a whirlpool. The business centre provides spaces for both leisure and work activities. Whilst the lobby fireplace creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.

There is a restaurant on-site or bring a packed lunch, which is excellent if you plan on hiking in the Olympic national park with kids.

Check out more information about Olympic Lodge by Ayres here.

Olympic National Park Family Friendly Hotels

Olympic View Inn, Sequim

A little further away in Sequim is the Olympic View Inn. The area has plenty of sights to offer including a lake in Sequim Bay Street Park and there are also lovely hiking trails.

Around the hotel, there are great family restaurants with plenty of choice.  

olympic national park kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

There are several different rooms to choose from and two are pet friendly. The rooms have wifi and are pretty comfortable for families.

Click here to see more information about Olympic View Inn.

Hoh Valley Cabin, Forks

The Hoh Valley Cabins offer a great outdoor living experience with a cedar deck, barbecue and garden, perfect for enjoying a meal in fair weather.

The cabins come with free private parking, making it easy and convenient.

seattle kids things to do
Olympic National Park With Kids

The kitchenette provides the convenience of cooking meals at home when visiting olympic national park with kids.

While the cedar deck offers a great spot to relax and take in the area’s natural beauty. It’s a 10 km to Olympic National Park and a 32 km drive to Ruby Beach.

Its prime location makes this property an ideal holiday destination for those who want to explore the Olympic Peninsula’s, coastline and rainforest while also having access to a range of activities right at their doorstep.

For more information and bookings at the Hoh Valley Cabins.

Olympic National Park Family Cabins

Olympic National Park cabin rentals are extremely popular with families and it is easy to understand why!

Crescent Beach and RV Park is just a stone’s throw away from the National Park in Port Angeles.  

national park information for kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

The cabins come with sea views and are fully equipped for the needs of a family. They are spacious and in a beautiful peaceful area. Some cabins come with a firepit outside and there is a private beach for all guests to enjoy. 

To book or find out more information about Crescent Beach and RV Park click here.

Family-friendly Towns to stay Near Olympic National Park With Kids

Around Olympic National Park there are many family-friendly towns. We stayed in Union in an adorable cottage on the Hood Canal.  

Union was a great base to explore Olympic National Park with kids and the town had everything we needed. 

One of the most interesting things about Hood Canal is the saltwater fjord. It is the only one in the lower forty-eight states.

Seals or potentially killer whales can sometimes be seen in the water. Hood Canal looks like a river from Union so it really is surprising to see such large mammals in this particular spot.

The pontoon dotted along the canal around union are the most amazing spot to watch the sunset.

How To Get To Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is in the state of Washington. However, there are many entry points to the park. Choosing the best one depends on where you are coming from.

US 101 circles the peninsula, and many people choose to drive in their own vehicle or rent a car.  

Port Angeles is around seventeen miles north of the park. Arriving from the north leads directly to Hurricane Ridge and the Visitor Centre. 

Families coming from Port Angeles can take advantage of the Lake Crescent entrance. It leads to the Hoh Rain Forest area which is near Hot Springs.  

Olympic National Park entrances are also on the northern coast. This is where the beaches are found and the Quileute Indian Reservation, which is not part of the park.

If you are coming from the south, you may decide to enter the park near Lake Quilete. All of the entrances are off US 101 and the Olympic National Park with kids entrance fee is around $30.

However, you can also use America the Beautiful Pass to enter the park. In fact, the annual pass allows you to visit over 2000 sites around the US. It is relatively inexpensive and a great investment if you plan on visiting a few federal sites throughout the year.

For more information about America, the Beautiful Pass click here.

When is Olympic National Park Open?

The park is open all year round. However, there are some months more popular than others. Many families visit Olympic National Park with kids between June and September.

All of the entrances are open all year, weather permitting. Hurricane Ridge entrance only closes on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

The best time to visit the park is in late spring and summer. Otherwise, it can be too wet to visit the rainforest area.

olympic park kids
Olympic National Park With Kids

In summer all of the trails should be open and most of the snow has melted. The weather in the park is mild as well. 

Visiting the park in Fall and Winter also has its perks. It is less busy so there should be very few crowds. It is beautiful in Fall when the leaves are changing colours and the rivers and waterfalls are full due to the rainfall.

Olympic National Park in winter is the perfect place to ski as well. Hurricane ridge has miles of slopes from the summit to the sea.

Olympic National Park Facts For Kids

Kids are always interested in where they are going and they are full of questions.

If you are armed with some interesting facts about the park this might keep the kids entertained on the journey or on one of the many kid-friendly hikes Olympic National Park has to offer.  

  • Hoh Rainforest gets over 365cm of rain every year.
  • There are more than 250 glaciers on the mountains.
  • Banana slugs are vital to the park’s ecosystem.
  • For thousands of years Native Americans have lived in the area and there are still many tribes living there today.
  • Between April and May and October and November breaching whales migrate and can sometimes be spotted from the beaches.

Another way to keep the kids entertained is with a book about Olympic National Park. is a fantastic book for kids between 5 and 10. It can educate kids about Olympic National Park animals while keeping them entertained throughout their entire trip.

Olympic National Park – What to Pack

While visiting any National Park there are a few essentials families should always pack. Here is a list of some things to consider packing:

  • A raincoat especially if you are planning on visiting the rain forest. While there is more rain in winter, the area still has downpours throughout the rest of the year.
  • Kids and adults will need waterproof shoes. It would be best to choose shoes that are good for hiking and climbing as well to save from having to change shoes.
  • Olympic National Park has many diverse animals and creatures. An explorer kit would allow kids to get a closer look at what is in the tidepools and in and around the rainforest paths.
  • If you are planning on any long hikes, a hydration system might be worth it. It is a light and easy way to carry around water to refill reusable water bottles.
  • The Rainforest and the surrounding area have plenty of bugs and mosquitos. Keeping a bug spray would be useful to protect the family.
  • Last but not least, if you are planning on visiting one of the sandy beaches, bring along some beach toys to keep the kids entertained for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions Olympic National Park With Kids

Is the Olympic National Park a good place for kids to go?

Olympic National Park has something for all families to discover and enjoy. From family-friendly hiking trails through lush, old-growth forests to kayaking across pristine lakes.

The land is vast and diverse, and it houses a variety of landscapes. From mountains to rainforests, beaches and a variety of wildlife, like elk and deer, as well as hundreds of species of birds.

Which is the best way to reach Olympic National Park without a car from Seattle?

Taking public transportation to the ferry terminal is also possible, and walk-on tickets are for sale at the station. 

Seattle to Olympic Peninsula is accessible by two main ferries. the Bainbridge Island ferry, operated by the Washingtons State Department of Transportation and the Kingston Fast Ferry, operated by Kitsap Transit.

How do the mountains in Olympic National Park affect the climate of Seattle?

A large rain shadow and significant precipitation throughout the year are created when maritime air masses from the Pacific Ocean pass over the Olympic Mountains.

How to avoid long lines at Hurricane Ridge and the Hoh Rain Forest?

Make sure to plan any visit to the most popular parts of the park for early morning or later in the day.

Several times a week, there can be long lines (occasionally up to two hours) at Hurricane Ridge and in the Hoh Rain Forest in the summer, particularly on weekends.

During the summer solstice, there is daylight from 5 AM to nearly 10 PM, giving ample time to enjoy the park. Although the park is busy during May and September it is still worth visiting.

Additionally, you can check the park’s website to see if they have any special events or offers that can help you reduce wait times. It’s also a good idea to look up the park’s peak visiting hours so you can plan accordingly.

What is the best time of year to make a trip to the Olympic National Park?

There are a ton of activities to partake in at Olympic National Park with kids all year round, and it entirely depends on what you’re looking for.

While most people tend to visit the region during the summer, there are a number of unique things to observe, regardless of the time of year, including the winter season.

Are there any places in the area where I can see elk?

It is not uncommon to see Roosevelt elk wandering through the Hoh rain forest at all times of the year.

Although it can be challenging to spot elk in the dense forest, many can be seen in meadows and along park roads, especially near dawn or dusk.

fun things to do for kids in seattle
Olympic National Park With Kids

Be sure to keep at least 100 feet away from all wildlife when visiting Olympic National Park with kids. When defending their calves and during the breeding season, in September and early October, elk can be particularly aggressive as a result of protecting their young.

Best place in Olympic National Park to propose to my partner?

The Hurricane Ridge overlook has some of the best views in the area and is a great spot to witness the sunrise or sunset.

While the Hoh River Trail has a peaceful and serene atmosphere, perfect for a romantic proposal.

Lake Crescent is also a great spot as it has a cosy and romantic atmosphere. Rent a boat and propose on the lake!

To Sum Up Olympic National Park With Kids

Olympic National Park has so much for families to explore. Search for hidden treasures on the beach or take a guided tour of the rainforest.

There are plenty of opportunities to get out and be active, like kayaking in the lake, biking along the trails or attending a ski lesson at Hurricane Ridge.

olympic park kids activities
Olympic National Park With Kids

Visiting Olympic National Park with kids is like a giant playground for all ages. With its lush rainforest, rugged coastline, and alpine meadows, there is something for all types of families.

From stunning hikes to tide pooling, exploring the Olympic National Park with kids is an experience little ones will cherish for a lifetime.

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