Olympic National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s a great destination for nature-lovers all year round. This national park covers nearly one million acres and has three different ecosystems – the mountains, the coastline, and the rain forest. I booked this trip with The Wander Card by Credit One Bank to get the best rewards including the awesome perk of getting the free National Park Pass within the first year of opening the card. You would probably need a couple of weeks to explore everything this incredible park has to offer but if you were to fit it into a weekend (like I did) here are the top 5 things you must fit into your itinerary:
Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area within Olympic National Park. It’s open daily in the summertime and only on weekend in the wintertime. The ridge is open to hiking, skiing, snowboarding and is one of the most visited places in the park. There’s also a visitor center at the top. It offers several conveniences, including an information desk, gift-shop, restrooms, and a snack bar.
Lake Crescent is a stunningly beautiful lake with the water color that changes with the sun going from a deep green to a deeper azure blue. My favorite view of this lake is from the top of the Mount Storm King hike. The trail is only four miles round trip but it is quite steep with some climbing required in the last half a mile. I would recommend doing this hike only on a dry clear day.
There are so many beautiful beaches on the Olympic Peninsula but this one is one of my favorites. It is accessible by Mora Road, off of La Push Road. The Mora Campground is next to this beach and I love staying there in the warmer months. This beach is known for rocky beaches, giant drift logs, huge waves and sea stacks.
Hoh Rainforest is one of four rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula and is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. The rainforest receives an astonishing 140 inches of rainfall each year while Seattle, for comparison, receives about 38 inches of annual rainfall. Hoh Rainforest is known for its lush green landscape with mosses and ferns blanketing the area.
Ruby Beach is my favorite beach located the northern coast of Olympic National Park. Similar to Rialto Beach, this beach is known for its iconic rock formations, reddish sand, tremendous amount of driftwood, and active tide pools. During low tide, it is possible to observe starfish, crabs, and other sea life among the tide pools and sea stacks.
Now, for someone who frequently travels, utilizing credit card travel perks is a must. This specific credit card is geared towards adventure travel, road trips, and outdoor recreation – all of which are my favorite things! I mean, the name of the card speaks for itself! I love being able to earn 5X points on many recreational & amusement park purchases, 3X points on most restaurants & lodging purchases including campgrounds, and receiving an $80 credit card statement when purchasing a National Park Pass within the first year from account opening.