Marymere Falls at Lake Crescent

Top 5 Hikes for a Rainy Day in Olympic National Park



You just finished an amazing gourmet breakfast at Domaine Madeleine, laced up your hiking boots, and are ready to explore Olympic National Park! But then out your window, you see the ominous gray clouds rolling in across the Strait of Juan De Fuca and that Pacific Northwest rain starts pouring. Don’t fret! Try one of these 5 rainy adventures – or all of them!

#5 Kalaloch Beach

Take a drive along Highway 101 and hit the coast! Kalaloch Beach is a great rainy day destination as it is just a short staircase to the beach, is within a 30-minute drive of both Ruby Beach and the turnoff to the Hoh Rain Forest, and it offers a beautiful sandy beach landscape decorated with driftwood. Most importantly, if you get tired of the elements, take cover and grab a drink at the Kalaloch Lodge.

#4 Ruby Beach

Just a 10-minute drive further north along Highway 101 is the always-scenic Ruby Beach. Similar to Kalaloch, Ruby Beach is accessed via a short set of nature stairs. Ruby Beach is famous for its beautiful seastacks along the coast and gorgeous rugged coastline. Rain or shine, it is always quite the site to see! Especially with that coastal fog rolling in!

#3 Marymere Falls

Got those windshield wipers on full speed? Take the turnoff for Marymere Falls at Lake Crescent and enjoy a beautiful 1.8-mile nature loop. Hike through forests, cross rustic bridges, and ascend up nature stairs for a “front-row” view of Marymere Falls. You’ll forget to complain that it is raining when you feel the mist of the falls in the air.

#2 Sol Duc Falls and Ancient Groves

The picture of Sol Duc Falls should speak for itself. It is my personal favorite waterfall in Olympic National Park and should be on the bucket list for any Olympic Peninsula traveler. A quick 0.8-mile trail leads you into the Sol Duc River Valley. As you make the descent, it is as if someone is slowly turning up the river volume as you approach the falls. Arrive at the final destination where a bridge crosses the raging river, allowing you to marvel at one of the true spectacles of nature in Olympic National Park. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop at Ancient Groves. It may look like a pull off on the side of the road, but it’s a stunning trip into some of the largest ancient trees in Olympic National Park–all conveniently laid out along a 30 minute loop trail along the bank of the Sol Duc River.

#2 Sol Duc Falls and Ancient Groves

The best hike on an Olympic Peninsula rainy day? Well, how about a hike in a rain forest? The Hoh Rain Forest is truly out of this world as you walk amongst mossy, evergreen giants with green as far as the eye can see. When it is raining, you can feel the trees and plants become alive, there’s nothing quite like it. The best part? You can explore nearby Ruby Beach and Kalaloch (#4 and #5) on the same day.

Ready to explore Olympic National Park?

Book your room now so you can hit the trails this weekend, rain or shine! Need help planning your Olympic National Park adventure? We’re here to help.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tommy Farris created to serve as the ultimate trip planning resource, helping travelers customize a personalized itinerary to explore their favorite Olympic Peninsula destinations. All photos by Tommy Farris/Peninsula Trips.