Above:  Mt Olympus in Olympic National Park. Photo by Jeff Kish.

Olympic Mountains, Section 9

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.

Temperate Rainforest
The lush temperate rainforests along the Bogachiel River Trail contain old growth trees and hanging mosses. Photo by Alex Maier.
The lush temperate rainforests along the Bogachiel River Trail contain old growth trees and hanging mosses. Photo by Alex Maier.

Coupeville, WA to Forks, WA
162 mi (261 km)
Highest Point: 6500’ Primary
Highest Point: 6700’ Alternate
Est. Elevation Gain/ Loss:  +20,100’ / -19,870’

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Notable wildlife: Roosevelt elk, Olympic Marmot, Black Bear
  • Keystone Ferry between Coupeville and Port Townsend
  • Mt Zion trail
  • Buckhorn Wilderness
  • Olympic National Park
  • Elwha River trail
  • Grand Valley Trail
  • Hurricane ridge
  • Olympic Hot Springs
  • Seven lakes Basin
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