As can be guessed from its name, Olympic National Park is home to Mount Olympus. To reach the glacial meadows at the base requires a 15-mile hike one way -- something best attempted by backpackers. The eastern section of Olympic brings you closer...
As can be guessed from its name, Olympic National Park is home to Mount Olympus. To reach the glacial meadows at the base requires a 15-mile hike one way -- something best attempted by backpackers. The eastern section of Olympic brings you closer to the mountains with shorter hikes.
What to avoid
Olympic National Park officially refers to it as the Storm King Trail. I've termed it the Climb of Death.
In my time, I've hiked many worthless trails, but never have I endured such a long, boring climb with so little payoff at the end. As the trail stretch up -- for two miles straight -- I imagined the glorious vista I must be heading towards. Why else would someone build a trail literally up the side of a mountain?
Well, the view was paltry, especially after climbing more than 2,000 feet in elevation. Furthermore, reaching the actually summit of Mount Storm King is inadvisable. At the point where the maintained trail ends a sign greets you that basically reads, "Turn back now or face your own death." The rangers back at the bottom described the rock in this area as "rotten" and said a rope guide was used to reach the final peak.
If you want a workout, stay home and run up and down a flight of stairs about 200 times. That is the actual equivalent, not an exaggeration.
Your time would be better spent hiking along the rivers that flow in the mountainous region of Olympic. You will still get great views of the mountains.
Camp at Altaire Campground for the best experience. While it still retains some of the rain forest feel found on the other side of the park, the biggest draw of the campground is the beautiful Elwah River. About half of the sites are right next to the river, and the sound of running water can be quite soothing after a long day of hiking.