Washington State&#039;s Olympic National Park contains a diverse set of three ecosystems: the rocks and cliffs of the Pacific coast, the Hoh Rain Forest and the peaks of the Olympic mountains. Unlike many other national parks, Olympic contains five lodging options, plus sixteen campsites within park boundaries. This means you can dedicate even more time to strolls along the beach or hikes through the moss-filled forests.
Starfish on the Pacific Coast in Olympic National Park
Most of the lodging in Olympic National Park is clustered toward the north end of the park. On Lake Crescent, you will find the Lake Crescent Lodge and the Log Cabin Resort. South of Lake Crescent is the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, located along the Sol Duc River. At the far southwest of the park is the Kalaloch Lodge, the only formal lodging option in the Pacific Coast region of the park. Also at the south of the park is the Lake Quinault Lodge, on Lake Quinault. In addition, campsites are scattered throughout the park&#039;s many regions in areas such as North Fork (near the world&#039;s largest Alaska Cedar) and on the Pacific Coast at Rialto Beach.
Each lodging option also has its own particular set of available activities. Sol Duc Hot Springs has a collection of therapeutic mineral pools available at an extra fee. The two lodges on Lake Crescent offer lake activities such as fishing and boating, plus excellent views of Mount Storm King. The Kalaloch Lodge gives guests tide charts and sea maps for beach walks. Other Kalaloch activities include whale watching, storm watching and clam digging. Lake Quinault Lodge offers boating tours and fishing trips, plus massages and a pool.
Each Olympic National Park hotel has a range of room options. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort has cabins with kitchenettes, cabins without kitchenettes and a lodge suite. All of Sol Duc&#039;s cabins have baths and showers, coffee pots and porches. The suite includes free access to the mineral pools. Sol Duc also has RV spaces available.
Lake Crescent Lodge has 52 rooms, 47 with bathrooms, majestically surrounded by hemlocks and giant fir trees. Room types vary in location and size, from fireplace cottages to cottages with lovely mountain views to standard rooms. The Log Cabin resort has chalets, lodge rooms and a range of log cabins. The less-expensive cabins do not have amenities such as kitchenettes or barbecues. On the other hand, the chalets have easy access to barbecues and picnic tables along the lake, while rustic kitchenette cabins contain small kitchens, and the lodge rooms have sinks, coffee makers and mini-fridges. In addition, the Log Cabin Resort has 10 tent sites and RV hookups.
At the Kalaloch Lodge, rooms come in three forms: six regular rooms and four suites in the Seacrest Building, two luxurious ocean-view suites and three regular ocean view rooms in the main lodge and 44 cabins, ranging in size and location.
Lake Quinault lodge has rooms in the lodge itself, boathouse rooms and additional rooms in a few other smaller structures.
None of the Olympic National Park lodging options offers telephones or televisions, and each lodge has a slightly different operating season: Sol Duc Hot Springs is open from mid-May until September, Lake Crescent Lodge is open from April to October, Log Cabin Resort is open from April through September, and both Kalaloch and Lake Quinault Lodges are open all year.
Olympic National Park&#039;s campgrounds are scattered throughout the three ecosystems of the park, including two sites along the Pacific Ocean. The largest campground is the Kalaloch campground with 170 sites. It is open year-round and contains running water. On the other extreme is the Deer Park campground with only 14 sites, pit toilet and running water. Most campgrounds allow RV parking. All campgrounds except Kalaloch are first-come, first-served. Kalaloch accepts online reservations from June to September.
- sea stars image by Maximilian Effgen from Fotolia.com