Spring is one of the best times of year to visit Olympic National Park. Whether you’re visiting in late March or sometime in April, the weather is just starting to warm up, the park has seen the last of its snow, and the animals are out and about looking for food.
While the weather can still be quite chilly, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly, fun activities for you and your loved ones to stay busy. There’s so much to do and choose from, you’re going to want to plan ahead and book excursions and tours ahead of time. Here are some of our favorite activities for the whole family.
Day 1 — Arrival
Whether you’re arriving by air or car, travel days are long, tiring, and stressful. And, after all, you’re on vacation. Take some time on your arrival day to settle in, get familiar with the area, and make plans for your ultimate family vacation.
Get Familiar with Lake Quinault Lodge
After your arrival, you’ll want to get settled in and explore the property of Lake Quinault Lodge. Situated along the shores of a shimmering lake, Lake Quinault Lodge offers cozy rooms with fireplaces and historic architecture and interior design that’s a feast for the eyes. Once you’re checked in and have dropped your bags in your room, it’s time to explore the property.
Get an Overview of Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault Lodge is nestled along the shores of Lake Quinault giving you fantastic views and places to stroll among nature throughout the property. Take a walk around and discover all of the different activities you might enjoy doing, such as hiking, lake tours, fishing, and paddleboarding.
Enjoy Panoramic Lake Views and Dinner
After exploring the grounds, it’s time to head in for a luxurious dinner. In the Roosevelt Dining Room, you’ll find outstanding panoramic views of the lake and mountains.
Day 2 — Get to Know the American Rainforest
For your first full day in Olympic National Park, you can fill your day with learning about unique ecosystems and getting to know the local flora and fauna of the region.
Start Off with a Hearty Breakfast
You’ve got a full day of adventure ahead of you so start it off with a filling breakfast from the Roosevelt Dining Room. Fill up on a dining room favorite, the Quinault breakfast scramble. This dish is an egg scramble filled with chorizo sausage, mushrooms, cotija cheese, arugula, and roasted tomatoes all with a side of seasoned breakfast potatoes.
Take the Rainforest Tour
There are only three temperate rainforests in the contiguous United States and all three of them are on the Olympic Peninsula. Join the rainforest tour to learn all about this magnificent wild resource that’s home to unique flora and fauna. This is a walking tour that lasts approximately four hours.
Wine, Dine & Unwind
After a day exploring the rainforest, hit the relax button with a delicious beverage and meal at Roosevelt Dining Room. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy a well-earned meal during sunset. Then if you’re up for it, enjoy a good soak in the indoor pool at Lake Quinault Lodge.
Unwind in the Sauna
Finish off your day with a relaxing sauna session or a dip in the heated outdoor pool, which is open year-round. Afterwards, it’s time to hit the hay and get a rejuvenating rest so you’re ready for the rest of your adventure-filled vacation.
Day 3 — Get Up Close With Nature
During your stay in Olympic National Park, you’ll get to experience some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. The best way to see them: by foot.
Take a Hike
There are tons of options throughout Olympic National Park for hiking, whether you’re a beginner, traveling with little kids, or want a strenuous trek for experienced hikers. With over 15 maintained trails, you can enjoy this unique ecosystem on foot. Right outside the front door of the lodge you’ll find the 4-mile Quinault Loop Trail. Along the trail, you’ll have opportunities to see wildlife and beautiful foliage.
Soak in a Natural Hot Springs
While the weather in early spring can range from cool to cold, one of the best ways to stave off the chill is with a soak in natural hot springs. After March 25th, head a few hours down scenic Highway 101 to Sol Duc Hot Springs and spend the afternoon soaking in their spring fed pool.
View the Constellations
One of the many wonders of spending time in the national parks is the ability to see stars that aren’t visible in the big city. Before you head to bed on your last night in Olympic National Park, take a moment to stop, look up, and take in the majesty of the night sky.
Day 4 — Departure
Depending on what time you depart on your final day in Olympic National Park, you may have time to squeeze in a few more activities and some fun.
Get Packed Up and Ready to Go
While packing for a trip is much more exciting than packing to go home, you’ll want to spend some time in the morning getting everything back into your suitcase and doing that final room check to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Once you’re packed, you can spend the rest of your day having fun.
Get a Souvenir to Take Home
Before you leave, be sure to stop by the gift shop in the lobby and get something to take home with you to remember your trip to Olympic National Park. If staying at Lake Cresent, visit the Fairholme Store, where you’ll find artwork, jewelry, carvings, and much more.
Olympic National Park is home to some amazing landscapes and unique ecosystems that you can’t see anywhere else in the United States. During spring break, the area is quiet so you’ll get plenty of space for family-friendly adventuring and hiking. If you’re looking to spend your time in multiple locations, we recommend you check out our HWY 101 itinerary.