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Olympic Peninsula, Wa

The 10 Best Sunset Locations in the Olympics


Olympic Peninsula Coast

Olympic Peninsula Coast


Sunsets are the one thing to look forward to as the day is ending. As hikers and explorers, we tend to be limited by daylight hours, watching the sunset as more of a cue to be done hiking than as an event to be watch. Yet, when we do catch a sunset, we are always mesmerized by the beauty, standing in awe from remote locations, connecting to nature in a way that only a sunset can give.


While most people view the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park as a place of dreary skies, rainy storm clouds and lack of sunlight, the reality is that the region has some of the best sunsets in the world. Very few places in the world can you have the option to watch the sunset from a mountain, a lake, a rainforest river or a remote and rocky beach, but in the Olympic National Park, we have that option every single day. Yes, it might be cloudy here, but if you are lucky enough to be here for a clear night, catching a sunset needs to be add to your buck list.


Because we feel so strongly about the awesomeness of sunsets out here in the Olympics, we have put together the 10 best sunset locations with minimal effort. While there are other locations for sunset watching, we feel that that seeing a sunset in each of these locations will give you exactly what you need to fall in love with the Olympic National Park.


Don’t believe us? Check out all ten in person and let us know if we are right!


The 10 Best Sunset Locations on the Olympic Peninsula



1) LaPush

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Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/1mTYB


Why: With sea stacks, bald eagles, awesome beach-combing and tide-pools, the beaches of LaPush are some of the best in the world. You won’t find swimsuits, but you will find views that have brought visitors to tears. Seeing the sun plunge into the ocean from LaPush will render all future sunsets away from the Olympics as “Second-Best.”


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1gB0bwO




2) Cape Flattery




Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/PfsAN


Why: The northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States is beautiful every hour of the day, but at sunset, there is something magical. With a surging tide slamming against sea stacks all around, stand on an observation deck and see the sunset above seals, shore birds and even whales. From here, the full scale of the ocean is apparent and wonderful. As the sun starts to fall, it is easy to see why the Makah called this region home.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1aXecCS




3) Ruby Beach

IMG_0298 (Large)


Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/mdDWf


Why: While LaPush will change your perception on sunsets, Ruby Beach is where you fall in love with them. With Abbey Island looming to the north, and a smaller, hole-filled sea stack just a few feet from the end of a very short trail, Ruby Beach is an iconic destination. Destruction Island is just a mile off shore, complete with a lighthouse that won’t illuminate during sunset, but the numerous fishing and crabbing boats offshore will! If you are lucky enough to see a sunset here, you MUST do it!


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1gB0bwO




4) Hurricane Ridge

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Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/TvhQl


Why: Why watch a sunset at over 5,000 feet? How about seeing the sun reflecting off of the glaciers of Mount Olympus while sipping on Hot Cocoa from inside a visitor center? With the Elwha valley below, slowly filling with fog, reds and yellows erupt over the panorama of the Olympic Mountains. If that view isn’t your thing, take a short walk and watch the sunset looking toward Canada. With world class views and breathtaking hikes, this is an experience you need to have.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/LIFLnD




5) Quinault River

IMG_0439 (Large)


Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/VKvsp


Why: During the sunset, most people flock to the beaches or mountains of the Olympic National Park. While amazing, seeing the sky turn pink and purple from the banks of the Quinault River is an experience that transcends time. Seeing the sky light up, reflecting off the river and moss-draped trees has been occurring for thousands of years and is something few people actually experience. The sunset in the rainforest is raw, primitive and gorgeous and you need to see it for yourself.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1fTYGFg




6) Lake Cushman

IMG_0444 (Large)


Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/q4F9u


Why: While this lake isn’t the prettiest lake on the Peninsula, this location offers amazing sunsets close to the cities of Shelton and Olympia. Sitting along the lake, watch the sky erupt in colors that will boggle the mind. From purples and reds to yellow and pink, seeing the sunset here is awesome. Plus, with such proximity to the Hood Canal, you might even catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier illuminated with the last rays of the sun while you drive home.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1hNBvxD




7) Lake Crescent

Spruce Railroad Trail

Spruce Railroad Trail


Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/IkxyI


Why: Lake Crescent is one of the deepest lakes in the State of Washington, with the actual depth remaining a mystery today. However, the depth of this awesome lake doesn’t matter once the sun starts to set. From numerous locations on Lake Crescent, sunsets are a thing of beauty. With mountains covered with trees flanking her shore, this is a forest lover’s dream sunset location. Once the sun sets, stay along the shore and watch the stars reflecting shimmer off of the lake. You won’t regret it!


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/MqyB7D




8) Dosewallips State Park




Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/wLc52


Why: Another gorgeous Hood Canal location, Dosewallips State Park is a fantastic place to see the sunset against not only the Hood Canal, but also over the Dosewallips River and the mountains of the Olympic National Park. While not as spectacular as the beaches or mountain sunsets, the view from here is always pleasing to the mind, body and soul. As the sun dips below the mountains, seen from the river, the colors reflecting off of the Hood Canal are a thing of beauty. If you are ever driving near here at sunset, take a quick stop and end your day right.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1ellvVk




9) Mount Ellinor Trailhead

Above the clouds on Mount Ellinor

Above the clouds on Mount Ellinor

Sunset over Mount Ellinor and Mount Washington from Tacoma

Sunset over Mount Ellinor and Mount Washington from Tacoma


Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/LjXSv


Why: With views of the entire Hood Canal, as well as the majority of the Puget Sound, taking in a sunset here is mind-blowing. With views of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mt St Helens, you get a view few others see. The mountains will turn colors; the sky will appear to be on fire and slowly, but surely, the lights of Tacoma, Seattle and Olympia illuminate domes of light below a sky so vast you would think you were in Montana. While the road here is dirt, it is a hidden sunset location that will please any sunset lover.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1hNBvxD




10) Potlatch State Park

“Hood Canal Sunset” by LaDona Harman

“Hood Canal Sunset” by LaDona Harman


Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/Qn5tC


Why: Potlatch State Park is a hidden area of awesomeness during sunset. When the weather is just right, the sky above the Hood Canal becomes a pinkish-purple, as is the huge body of water below. With views all the way to Mount Baker to the north, this is the perfect spot to end a road-trip around the Olympic Peninsula. Sitting on the benches of the park, watch for eagles, seals and shorebirds as the sky gets to be more and more beautiful. If you want to see Mount Rainier, drive just a few miles south and the mountain becomes visible over the smaller foothills.


AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/1ellvVk









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