November 26, 2020

Olympic National Park – Overview, History, & Attractions

If you love to explore the great outdoors, Olympic National Park would make the perfect place to visit. Located in Washington State, it abounds with a diverse range of environments and ecosystems. There are areas of temperate rain forest and old growth woodland, sixty miles of the wildest pacific coastline, as well as glacier capped rugged mountains.

Olympic National Park

The original Olympic Forest Reserve was created in 1897 under the guidance of President Grover Cleveland. The region was renamed the Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt. It was not until 1938 that the reserve was given the name Olympic National Park, designating nearly 900,000 acres of pristine wilderness. An extra seventy five miles of coastal land was included in the park by President Harry Truman in 1953, bringing the total area up to today’s 922,651 acres. It is now the fourth most popular park in the country, with around 3.3 million visitors on an annual basis.

It is renowned for being one of the greenest national parks, this is no surprise considering its location on the pacific coast. The thick forest and cold temperature only add to the mystique of the environment. It is the perfect location for nature photographers, as there are countless waterfalls and lakes of crystal clear waters. No matter what time of the year you plan on making a visit, it is essential to bring along a waterproof jacket.

Some regions of the park receive more than twelve feet of rain per year. It is this climatic feature this has added to the diversity of plant species. You can come across trees soaring more than two hundred feet above the ground, and the forest floor is dotted with ferns the like of which would have also been found in the Jurassic age.

Though it’s located only two hours from Seattle, the park is still classified as having ninety five per cent wilderness. It is the home to around seventy mammal species, three hundred bird species, and more than a thousand different types of plants. It is the only location on the planet where fifteen animal species and eight plant species can be seen.

As the area has a protected status, no fishing is allowed, but you can still keep an eye out for the twenty nine varieties of fish including both steelhead and pacific salmon that migrate along the three thousand miles of waterways.

The number of activities available in the park is as diverse as the flora and fauna that abounds. There are more than six hundred miles of trails waiting to be explored. Before you head off into the wilderness, it would be useful to call in at one of the many visitor centers were you can be given information on the current status of the various hikes and walks, not all are meant for casual visitors.

You can also take part in horseback riding, guided tours, and if you visit in the winter time, there is cross country skiing available. Its no surprise that Olympic National Park has developed such a famous name.

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