A sunset view on the Pacific Northwest Trail in the Olympic Mountains. Photo by Ashley Hill.
On the Olympic Peninsula, the Pacific Northwest Trail crosses the largest wilderness in Washington, and the rugged Olympic Mountains. Although the Olympics are lower in elevation than the Cascades, they should not be underestimated. This diverse landscape is as formidable as hikers will find anywhere on the PNT, and weather conditions can change quickly.
In the National Park, visitors share berry-filled meadows with black bears beneath glacier-clad Mt. Olympus, and follow roaring rivers through ancient forests dripping with moss. The Park serves as a refuge of biodiversity, with many endemic plants and animals, like the Olympic marmot, exclusive to this unique mountain environment.
On the western end, the PNT explores the less-traveled trails along the Bogachiel River, where jungle-like, temperate rain forests, fueled by 12 feet of annual rainfall, are home to massive Sitka spruce, mountain hemlock, and herds of Roosevelt Elk.
A waterfall along the PNT in a temperate rainforest. Photo by Michael Sawiel courtesy of Outdoor Project. All rights reserved.
Blueberry leaves turn crimson in fall and trails in Olympic National Park adopt a spectacular color palette. Photo by Michael Sawiel courtesy of Outdoor Project. All rights reserved.
The Olympic hot springs include seven primitive and undeveloped natural hot springs. Photo by Michael Sawiel courtesy of Outdoor Project. All rights reserved.