Olympic National Park is, quite simply, unlike any other National Park. It’s huge. And over 90% of it is not accessible by car. You can drive around the outside of the park, but not through it. And that drive will take around 9 hours if you don’t stop for any reason. With so many people visiting Olympic National Park during this important anniversary year, you’ll want to take advantage of every tip you can.
So, how can you possibly see Olympic National Park in just a few days? It’s not easy, but there are some tricks to see the highlights during a shorter stay of only a few days. You definitely won’t see everything, but you can at least see all of the major biozones (coastal, temperate rainforest, and sub alpine mountains) in one day.
One major trick if you’re pressed for time and can’t make the drive all the way around to the Hoh Rainforest visitor’s center is to see the Ancient Groves along the Sol Duc River. This short loop hike is close to Lake Crescent along the road to Sol Duc Falls.
A quick pull over to the side of the road will reveal a hidden grove of some of the most ancient trees covered with dense moss in the entire park, saving you over 3 hours of additional driving.
Of course, nothing can replace visiting the Hall of Mosses and Roosevelt Elk in the Hoh Rainforest (all the more reason to add an extra night to your stay!). But if you’re on an absolutely tight timetable, there’s no better way to fit the Rainforest in to a short stay than visiting the Ancient Groves.