Embrace the Rain: Must-Do Adventures at Olympic National Park

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What are the Best Rainy Day Hikes at Olympic National Park

Don’t let a little drizzle dampen your Olympic National Park adventure!  The Pacific Northwest is known for its lush greenery, and sometimes that means encountering rain. But fret not, intrepid explorer!  Olympic National Park offers a multitude of activities that are not only enjoyable but can be enhanced by a rainy day.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail:  Embark on a historical and scenic journey along this paved trail that was originally a railroad route. The wide, even path makes it perfect for navigating even with wet shoes. Much of the trail travels through forested areas, offering some protection from the rain. The trail features historic train tunnels along the route. These enclosed sections provide a welcome respite from heavier downpours, allowing you to catch your breath or take a moment to enjoy the unique setting.
  • Marymere Falls Trail: The rain will only amplify the magic of this already enchanting rainforest hike.  Imagine towering Douglas firs and cedars dripping with raindrops, creating a mystical and emerald green wonderland. A significant portion of the trail travels through the dense forest, offering a natural umbrella against the rain. Rain often means increased water flow, making Marymere Falls even more impressive. Witness the cascading water plunge 90 feet into a refreshing pool, creating a dramatic scene.
  • Madison Falls Trail: This paved trail is a breeze, stretching only a short distance from the parking lot to the viewing platform. The easy terrain makes it manageable even with wet shoes and minimal risk of slipping. Despite the short distance, the payoff is big.  You’ll be rewarded with a beautiful cascading waterfall readily viewable from a designated platform. The rain can actually add to the spectacle, amping up the water flow and creating a more dramatic scene. While brief, the trail winds through a verdant rainforest with towering trees and lush vegetation. Madison Falls sits right at the entrance to Olympic National Park. This makes it a convenient stop if you’re already exploring the area and the weather takes a turn for the wet.
  • Salmon Cascades and Ancient Groves Nature Trail: Salmon Cascades, located on the Sol Duc River, is a fantastic choice for a rainy day adventure. The short trail to the viewing platform for Salmon Cascades is a well-maintained and paved path. Partial cover from the trees keeps you comfortable while you admire the spectacle. While peak salmon season falls between fall and winter, you might still be lucky enough to spot these magnificent creatures battling their way upstream during your rainy day visit. The rain can even make them more active as they push through the increased water flow. Just a little further down the road is Ancient Groves Naturel Trail–hands down the best rainy day hike on the entire Olympic Peninsula. There’s nothing like being in the rainforest when it’s actually raining!
  • Dungeness River Nature Center and Railroad Bridge Park:  These offer a delightful combination of indoor and outdoor experiences, making it a well-rounded rainy day adventure. Escape the elements and delve into the fascinating world of the region’s wildlife, plants, and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s connection to the river with engaging exhibits, including dioramas, mounted wildlife specimens, and a 3D watershed relief map. Peruse the on-site gift shop for unique souvenirs or grab a warm beverage from the coffee bar, all while staying dry and comfortable. If the rain isn’t too heavy, you can take a walk across the impressive Railroad Bridge, a converted train trestle spanning over 730 feet across the Dungeness River.  As you walk across the bridge, imagine the trains that once rumbled across it, transporting passengers and timber in the early 20th century. 

So, don’t let a little rain stop you from exploring Olympic National Park! Embrace the unique beauty and discover the hidden wonders revealed by the downpour. And for more trip planning ideas, check out the Plan Your Trip page on our website.


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Our experience is built around guests. We believe you should have what you need when you need it without having to ask for it. In short, our experience is contactless, detail-oriented self-service, with everything you want at your fingertips without having to find–or wait for–staff to assist you

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We’ve put together these day trip itineraries to help you get the most out of your visit. The Olympic Peninsula is one of the few places on earth where you can visit 3 major biomes – alpine tundra, temperate rainforest, and coastal beach – all in a single day. We’ll show you how.