With only two days to drive to Olympic National Park and hike, I selected 3 popular trails: Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Falls, and the Hoh Rainforest.
After driving from Seattle, I made it to Hurricane Ridge in the afternoon. Fortunately, summer solstice made it light enough to hike later in the day.
I paid the $25 fee to enter the park for 7 days – just keep your receipt! I then proceeded to drive 18 miles to the visitor’s center. Pass through the parking lot and drive another 1.5 miles to the trailhead. All of this was marked with signs and people.
I brought a bear bell after reading of recent bear sightings. I now find it impossible since there are not just a lot of people but the trail is completely paved.
Hiking boots are not needed – the hike is short and mildly uphill towards the end. The views though are worth it!
I was distracted by a family of deer who are to used to people taking pictures of them or with them.
There were wildflowers in bloom but still snow-capped mountains.
And the major attraction? Peering over the water to Canada!
I had to drive past Sol Duc Falls. If the trailheads weren’t so far from the major road (101), I could’ve made it before the 10pm sunset, but I headed to my motel in Forks, Washington – yes, where “Twilight” is fictionally set.
Instead, in the morning, I headed to the Hoh Rainforest. The trail was much less packed and again, it was an easy but breath-taking trail.
There are two paths: the main path and a roundabout trail, Hall of Mosses. Both are barely elevated and short.
I didn’t hike too far, although you can backpack to Sol Duc Falls from here. I only hiked to the Hoh River.
The two trails are touristy, but they are so for a reason. They offer gorgeous views and if you’re just visiting and don’t want to risk a bear attack on lesser-known trails, try these and Sol Duc Falls too.