Have you been longing for the windswept coasts and dark green rain forests of the Pacific Northwest?
Well, you’re in luck. Just 60 miles from Seattle on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula lies your dream vacation destination!
Olympic National Park sits on over 922,000 acres of pristine Pacific Northwest wilderness. The beaches, the forests, the lakes, this place has it all!
And what’s the best way to see this national treasure? Without a doubt, that would be an RV.
So, If you want to see all nature has to offer in comfort and style, follow along on this guide to RV camping in Olympic National Park.
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The Olympic Mountains on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula were first made into a national monument in 1909. Although, it wasn’t until June of 1938 that the area was officially named Olympic National Park.
Today, Olympic National Park’s natural beauty, history, and breadth of recreational opportunities make it one of the Pacific Northwest’s true treasures. If you’re planning a trip out to the park, here are some Olympic National Park fun facts to get you excited!
The park includes an amazing 73 miles of breathtaking wilderness coastline.
There are over 3,000 miles of rivers and streams that are home to 37 different native species of fish.
Olympic National park boasts over 20 reptile and amphibian species, 300 bird species, 56 mammal species, 24 marine mammals species, over 1200 native species of plants.
The park is also home to 650 archaeological sites, 130 historic structures, and a rich Native American heritage.
The park museum holds over 500,000 unique historical items representing the history of the area.
The Olympic Mountain’s highest peak reaches 7,979 feet.
Given all this, it’s no surprise that the park brings in over 3.2 million visitors per year.
Olympic National Park is well known for its beautiful forests, majestic mountains, and picture-perfect coastline.
Still, the park gets a whopping 100-170 inches of rainfall per year. That’s quite a lot more than the US average of just 38 inches of rain per year.
That makes RV camping the ideal way to stay warm and dry while also being able to experience all Olympic National Park has to offer.
But where to stay?
Sol Duc Hot Springs RV Park and Campground
Amenities: Sol Duc Hot Springs RV and Campground is, of course, known for its namesake the Sol Duc Resort Mineral Hot Springs. If you’re interested in bathing in a natural spa surrounded by nature, this is the place for you.
The opportunities don’t stop at the hot spring, though. If you’d rather step out into nature and get away from people, consider one of the many amazing hiking trails in the area, or why not try fishing at nearby Lake Crescent or Lake Quinault.
Sol Duc is also equipped with fire rings with metal grates for grilling, firewood for sale, and a couple of restaurants nearby if you’re tired of cooking.
Capacity: Sold Duc offers 81 Campsites and 17 RV sites with full hookups. Unfortunately, it’s only open to RVs from April 24 to October 25.
More information: Sol Duc Hot Springs RV Park and Campground
Photo Credit: Instagram User @wuetifamily
Amenities: Kalaloch Campground is set above 65 miles of protected beach between the Hoh Indian reservation and the town of Aberdeen. There’s endless options for recreation in the area.
Take a beautiful day hike up the Kalaloch Nature Trail for incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. Or, just wander the beach among the growing population of once-endangered otters.
There are pretty much anything you could ask for at Kalaloch when it comes to an RV camping trip. There are fire pits on the beach, a camp store, bathroom facilities, nearby restaurants, and more.
Capacity: Kalaloch Campground has an impressive 166 campsites. It’s open year-round, but you’ll need to reserve a campsite during the busy months in the summer.
More information: Kalaloch Campground
Log Cabin Resort RV and Campground
Amenities: If you’re a dedicated fisherman or your family loves to go kayaking, head down to Log Cabin Resort RV and Campground, located inside Olympic National Park on Lake Crescent.
There are beautiful views and amazing starlit nights aplenty here. Log Cabin also offers boat rentals, fire pits, laundry, a general store, bathroom facilities with showers, and the list goes on.
Capacity: Log Cabin RV Park and Campground has hundreds of campsites, including dozens of full RV hookups. However, it only operates from May 17 through October.
More information: Log Cabin Resort RV and Campground
Amenities: Set amongst the trees near where the Quillayute River meets the Pacific Ocean sits Mora Campground. If you want to experience all the Pacific coast has to offer this area is a great option.
Mora Campground lets you go from fishing in the river one moment to walking down the beach the next. Then, you can head back to camp just a couple of minutes walk away and sit in a pristine forest.
The campground also offers bathroom facilities, electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits, but not much else. It’s a rustic spot that’s all about the amazing location.
Capacity: Mora Campground offers 95 campsites and is open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. That is, except during summer, when you’ll need a reservation. Also, only some of the sites can fit full 35-foot RVs, so this might be better suited for under 30-foot rigs.
More information: Mora Campground
Amenities: The Fairholme Campground is another option for travelers who want to stay at Lake Crescent. Located on the lake’s quieter western shore, the Fairholme campground is a relaxing headquarters for all your fishing, kayaking, or boating adventures.
Fairholme offers a swimming area for the kids, a great spot for launching boats, fire pits for grilling, and the general store isn’t far.
Capacity: Fairholme campground has an impressive 88 campsites. However, this place will only fit smaller RVs of up to 21 feet. It’s open from April to September on a first-come, first-served basis.
More information: Fairholme Campground
Did you know Olympic National Park is open year-round?
That’s right, Olympic National Park draws in adventure seekers and nature lovers no matter the season.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Just like ones you used to know? Olympic National Park may be the place for you.
Although the park averages just 44 degrees Fahrenheit in December, at the higher altitudes near Olympic Mountain, that’s more than enough for some beautiful snow.
Try a snowshoe hike through a beautiful frosty mountain trail this holiday season. Or, let the adventurer in you out a bit and head for Hurricane Ridge. The ridge averages 30 to 35 feet of snowfall each year, making it the perfect spot to go skiing or snowboarding.
There’s so much to do in winter in Olympic National Park—you really shouldn’t miss it.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @journeyoverload
The birds chirping, the flowers blooming, spring is a wonderful time of year in Olympic National Park. With temperatures averaging around 52 degrees Fahrenheit in March, it’s the perfect season for hiking.
That being said, spring offers a variety of recreational opportunities at the park, because snow will remain at higher elevations until the end of June sometimes. Meanwhile, the beaches will be a more mild 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit on average.
This means you can spend one day hiking beautiful trails in the Hoh Rainforest, and the next snowboarding down Hurricane Ridge—now that’s a vacation!
Olympic National Park is absolutely beautiful during the summer. Temperatures average around 73 degrees Fahrenheit all season.
The Park Staff advises that the Hoh Rainforest, Sol Duc Hot Springs, and Hurricane Ridge will all be filled at times during the summer.
That doesn’t mean you should steer clear during the summer months, though. In fact, quite the opposite. Remember that over 95% of Olympic National Park has no roads. That means there’s space to get away from the crowds and find your outdoor adventure!
Photo Credit: Instagram User @lacey_spalding
Fall is perhaps the most picturesque season at Olympic National Park. The coasts are windswept and storm-battered, the trees are changing color, and snow is just beginning to fall on the Olympic Mountains.
Fall is one of the least popular times of year to visit the park, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do. With daily averages temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in October, many of the normal options are still available—and they’ll be less crowded too.
As long as you dress in layers and prepare for rain, you should have no problem hiking, fishing, or kayaking during the fall.
Many of Olympic National Park’s visitors come for the natural beauty, not for adventures or activities. Still, when you have this many options, it’s hard to turn down all the fun.
In Olympic National Park you can:
Go Kayaking: There are some amazing white water kayaking spots here, including Elwha River (Class II-IV), Quinault River (Class II-V), or Sol Duc River (Class III-V).
Go Boating: Just remember Washington state law requires that motorized boat drivers complete a boating education course.
Try a day hike: Two amazing options include Spruce Railroad Trail (Olympic Discovery Trail) or Rialto Beach.
Go Backpacking: The Hoh Rainforest is one of the most amazing backpacking spots on the planet!
Paddle Lake Crescent: Rent a canoe and take a relaxing morning trip across Lake Crescent.
Go skiing or snowboarding at Hurricane Ridge: Let the thrill-seeker in you come out to play!
Try a Ranger-led Program: From astronomy to day hikes, they have it all. Check the park’s newspaper, The Bugler, for more information.
Or, if you’re looking for something a little more intellectual, try taking a look at some of the parks disappearing glaciers at the local museum. Then, see them for yourself. Rangers and researchers are making great strides in cataloging the loss of glaciers in the parks.
There are so many options at Olympic National Park; you could never get bored. So start planning your trip today!
Finally, we’d like to leave you with some tips to help you save money, stay safe, and enjoy your time at Olympic National Park.
First off, if you’re trying to save money on entrance fees, come on one of the five free entrance days for the park:
January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 20: National Park Week
August 25: National Park Service’s Birthday
September 28: Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans’ Day
When you get to Olympic National Park, remember the weather can change quickly, especially on the coast. This is because the Olympic Mountains are a natural rain stop, which means more rain on the coasts and less on the other side of the mountains.
Consider the driving time, the park is big, and it can take some time to get from different parts if there’s traffic.
Speaking of traffic, if you’re coming in the summer, consider bringing a tow vehicle. The traffic can be frustrating to wade through in an RV.
In the winter, if you’re out snowshoeing or skiing, remember the Olympic Mountains are known to experience avalanches. So check the Northwest Avalanche Center website before heading out.
Finally, for a quick tip to keep the kids entertained on those family trips. The local town Forks was the setting for the Twilight franchise. It’s only a couple miles from the park entrance if you have vampire loving kids, or adults, in tow.
At the end of the day, if you’re on an RV camping trip near Olympic National Park, you’re going to have a great time.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @dr.paulohenriquefaria
With its cold winters and rainy summers, Olympic National Park can be an uncomfortable spot for old school campers. That’s why the place has become so popular with RV enthusiasts.
With RV camping, you can experience all the great outdoors has to offer while staying warm and dry. Of course, not everyone wants to buy an RV.
Thankfully, if you're not looking to buy an RV, but still want the experience, Cruise America can help!
With reasonably priced RV rentals that come fully equipped with A/C, heat, gas stoves, refrigerators, and even a generator, Cruise America is the perfect option for first time RV renters or even seasoned RV pros.
Check out Cruise America RV rental locations and get started on your RV camping trip to Olympic National Park today!