Top Ten Day Hikes
The Olympic Peninsula is a day hiker’s paradise and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Sequim is close to many of the trailheads. This list is a mix of the easy and the arduous, thick forest and alpine ridges, summer and winter and historical and ecological. So grab your hiking boots and poles and let's go!
Marmot Pass – This hike has a little of everything, which is why guidebook author, Craig Romano, said if you are only allowed one hike in the Olympics this should be it. You'll be reward with spectacular views of the Hood Canal on one side and the snowy interior Olympic Mountains on the other.
Hurricane Hill - This is an easy hike above tree-line because most of your elevation gain is done in your car. You can begin or end your hike at the snack bar at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The views of the Bailey Range from the top of Hurricane Hill are spectacular.
Lake Crescent Mine - The stroll along the Olympic Discovery Trail to the Crescent Mine site is an easy one. It will only take half an hour. You'll follow the route of the historic Spruce Railroad and explore the site of a rare manganese mine. The mine entrance is sealed but there are tailings and artifacts all about.
Grand Ridge - Part of the excitement of this hike is the drive along the spectacular road to the trailhead on Blue Mountain. The trail itself has expansive views because it's the highest maintained trail in Olympic National Park.
Hurricane Ridge - It's not just for summer. Like to ski or snowshoes? After a morning of skiing how about snowshoeing in the afternoon! You'll find plenty of other jolly winter enthusiasts. There are exuberant children on the ski-slopes, but all is silent on the snowshoe trails.
Marymere Falls - This is a short trail ending at the beautifully flowing Marymere Falls. There is moss and mist and big ferns and bigger trees. Friends from France said this trail was the highlight of their vacation in the Northwest.
Madison Falls - If you are looking for an outing that combines a wheelchair access path, picnic area and a beautiful waterfall then Madison Falls in Olympic National Park is hard to beat. The path has recently been re-engineered for even easier ADA access.
Elwha River - Since the removal of the two huge concrete dams along the Elwha River, the reservoirs that flooded the river valley have drained away and the newly freed river is creating a new ecosystem. Hike this short path to see all the amazing changes.
Tubal Cain Mine - The trail to the Tubal Cain Mine has the wonderful combination of an easy grade, tumbling streams and some exciting history. The name of the mine is from the Bible, where in Genesis it says, “As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-Cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron.”
Sol Duc Falls - This is an easy hike to the waterfalls. Early in the season, you can hear the thunderous falls before you reach the bridge. The trailhead is at the Sol-Duc Hot Springs Resort where you can soak in the springs and order lunch from the restaurant after you return.
Cape Alava Trail - Where there were once Scandinavian homesteaders and Makah whalers, today there are only whispering forests and crashing waves. Recently, I had an opportunity to hike the scenic Cape Alava Trail, the link between these two long gone communities, with friends who know the areas secrets.
Storm King Trail - Hiking the steep trail up Storm King is strenuous, but at the overlook you'll find beautiful views of Lake Crescent, the sea and Canada. Patrick and Becca did it in a couple of hours but it was a workout!