Fall in Olympic National Park is full of beauty and wonder unlike anywhere else in the world. The moment snow dusts the towering, craggy peaks of the Olympic Mountains, the rain-forested river valleys below become alive. When the snow hits the mountains, rain in the lower elevations triggers something in the plants and animals. Almost overnight, the forest floor erupts in mush- rooms, the leaves on the huge maples in the Hoh and Quinault start to turn color, slowly falling on the elk majestically bugling away the morning and evening hours. Salmon, returning to their spawning grounds after years at sea swim upstream, jump over logjams and rocky cascades to the arriving to fulfill their life mis- sion in the famous waters of the Hoh, Quinault, Sol Duc and Elwha Rivers.
Until the rain arrives, the weather around this normally wet park is beautiful. Cool sunny days, empty of clouds and a perfectly re- freshing breeze, is a common experience to visitors of the Pacific Northwest. While most of the country thinks we are receiving our 12 feet of annual rain the minute fall starts, the truth is that the first few weeks of this season are some of the most gorgeous times to be outdoors. Even when the rain does start to fall, the dense canopy of the rainforests shields us from getting completely drenched. Sure, you will get rained on if you visit Olympic in the fall, but that is part of the beauty, part of the charm and just might be the reason you “fall” in love with Olympic National Park this autumn.
Once the rain does start, the forests aren’t the only place to have fun in the park. Exploring the coastal regions of Olympic National Park go from a day at the beach to an experience that will blow you away, literally. The beaches of Olympic may be crowded by Pacific Northwest standards in the summer, but the fall leaves them empty and secluded, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Standing on a beach in the fall months is a moment you won’t forget. With the wind blowing salty air on your face, watch as huge waves crash against sea stacks and piles of driftwood along the dark sands of over 73 miles of coastal wilderness.
The standard areas like Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Falls and Lake Crescent are extremely beau- tiful in the fall, but they aren’t the best possible place to experience fall in the park. Yes, seeing fresh snow on a late November day at Hurricane Ridge is breathtakingly gorgeous and if you are in the region you should go, but this publication is for those looking for a true fall experience. One with colorful plants, amazing animal experiences, incredible storm watching and the very best of Olympic National Park in the fall months.
Experience Fall in Olympic with the Ultimate Fall Guide to Olympic National Park. Pick up the 260 page Ultimate Fall Guide to Olympic National Park ebook, which includes foliage tips, mushroom trails, and even 75+ hikes around the region! You won’t regret it!