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Interesting Facts About Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is named after the Olympic Mountains it encompasses; the Park was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938 to preserve its unique landscapes and wildlife.

Located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, Olympic National Park offers over 3 million annual guests a look at glacier-covered mountain peaks, old-growth forests, temperate rainforest, and over 70 miles of clear coastline.

Check out some interesting facts about the breathtakingly gorgeous Olympic National Park.

Save money on your national park visits with the America the Beautiful Pass.

1. Visitors can discover a hidden world in Olympic National Park’s tide pools

Tide Pools are formed after retreating water waves. The shoreline of Olympic National Park is home to hundreds of colorful marine life hidden in the tide pools.

The most common tide pool is at Ruby Beach.

Visitors may explore the diverse ecosystem packed with anemones, starfish, and stunning corals, creating an amazing underwater world during low tide.

During the summer, the tide pools can be accessed before dawn.

Although visitors do not need to wake up quite as early, they should always be aware of returning tides, always following tide pool etiquette, and respecting all marine life.

olympic national park
Adbar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. It is the perfect location for whale watchers

Breaching whales make a big water splash for Olympic National Park-goers.

Whales migrating North from Mexico often stop by the Olympic Coastline for a feed.

The Park lies at the whale trail- a site where visitors can find other marine life.

Rialto Beach is a prime location for whale watching during migration seasons in April and May and again in October and November.

Various species of whales can be seen feeding at the Olympic National Park.

Whale watching is definitely something you will never forget. 

3. Home for the Banana slugs

Banana slugs play an essential role in the Olympic National Park’s ecosystem.

Fittingly named after, they resemble bright yellow bananas; these little slugs act as composters for the Park.

They consume vegetation and organic debris and help to disperse seeds from one location to another.

Their distinct bright yellow color is a perfect color blend for the foliage.

Though the slugs are named after a fruit, it is not advisable to consume them because their insides are filled with harmful toxins.

4. The world’s most significant dam removal took place in Olympic National Park.

In 2004, two large dams were removed as part of the Elwha River Restoration, and tens of thousands of fish returned to the area in an unprecedented river revival.

The dams had stood for over a century, setting up to be the largest dams in the world.

The barriers fueled a lot of growth for hydropower generation but disrupted the flow of debris and sediments and blocked the migration of salmon.

In 1992, the government passed a law to allow the River Elwha to flow into the unobstructed Olympic National Park.

5. Home to one of the few temperate rain forests in the world.

Hoh Rain Forest is one of the country’s few remaining rainforests.

The rainforest’s natural richness is enhanced by high rainfall and cool summers, and it is home to hundreds of species of mosses, ferns, lichens, and other plants and animals.

Here you can find the massive conifers and grazing elk.

The plant life blankets the soil and covers everything from the treetop canopy to the moss-covered ground.

Scientists and park hikers can stay in the designated campground and let the beautiful sounds of nature sing to them.

6. Lake Crescent’s water is so pristine in the Olympic National Park. 

Lake Crescent, which is found in the northern foothills of the Olympic Mountains, boasts the most dazzling blue and pure, clear waters.

Tourists can see over 60 feet down into the waters of the lake.

The Crescent Lake lacks nitrogen; thus, it does not grow algae, making the water clear.

Visitors can enjoy a cool swim or a kayak sail and enjoy the lakes from scenic viewpoints and picnic areas.

7. Hurricane Ridge is a popular destination all year round.

The name comes from the gusting winds that whip through the area at 70 or more miles per hour.

Hurricane Ridge is one of the favorite sports in Olympic National Park.

It offers the best summer hike views of the Olympic Mountains and a spot of natural wildlife.

During the winter, the snow makes the place ideal for snowboarding and skiing.

Enjoy the magnificent starry sky free of light pollution when visiting Hurricane Ridge or Coastal beaches.

What might look like a faint cloud could be a milky way and light from millions of distant stars.

Additionally, there are various ranger-led programs to Hurricane Ridge during the summer.

8.Visitors can find ancient drawings on a beach hike

Visitors to Olympic National Park can make the most of their hiking experience by visiting the Wedding Rocks and Ozette Triangle Trail.

The rocks create a beautiful outline on the coastline that shows the drawings on the carved stones.

The carvings include; hunters, whales, and petroglyphs that the ancient Makah Tribe left behind.

9. Roosevelt Elk were vital in the park’s preservation efforts

Those visiting the Olympic National Park are likely to spot Roosevelt elk, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Overhunting in the Park almost wiped out the rare elk in the 1800s but preserving the Park as a monument ensured game rangers protected the animals from extinction and from poachers.

In fact, watching the elk was paramount that, According to the Wildlife Service, Olympic Park was almost named Elk National Park.

10.You can visit Mt. Olympus without traveling to Greece

Mount Olympus is the highest point of the Olympic National Park.

At 7890 feet above sea level, it is the highest peak of the Olympic Mountain Range.

Olympic National Park has endless fun year-round with delightful summer and winter activities.

Visitors can relax in the mountain climb cabin and hot springs during summer.

Save money on your national park visits with the America the Beautiful Pass.

Olympic National Park has something for everyone to enjoy and will give you lasting memories to cherish.

Start planning your visit today and enjoy the amazing sights that nature offers.

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