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Olympic National Park

This park is famous among National Park Service enthusiasts and photographers but is under-appreciated by just about everyone else. Not only is this the most diverse National Park, but it is simply one of the best. No other place has such disparate landscapes packed into such a small area.

While many National Parks feature one spectacular setting like Bryce Canyon, Saguaro or even the Grand Canyon, Olympic has three distinct and impressive environments.

Boasting a temperate rainforest, towering glaciated mountain range and a Pacific Ocean coastline covered in massive rock formations, there is no where that protects such a wealth of different settings. In addition there are several stunning lakes and waterfalls that add even more diversity to the region.

The park makes up a substantial portion of the Olympic peninsula in Washington state, where industry began logging sections of old-growth forest.

Originally set aside at Olympus National Monument in 1909 by Theodore Roosevelt, his cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt would visit the park and decide to protect the forests he found being exploited. Less than a year later the park was re-designated a National Park. In subsequent years Olympic National Park was also be designated an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Must See Sites

There are very few roads in the park, so travel down as many possible. Just sticking to site on the roads will allow you to see every environment this magnificent park has to offer.

Temperate Rainforest

The heavy rains (150 inches a year) are famous in the Pacific Northwest and have created a lush, mossy and primeval-looking forest of enormous trees. Generally on the western side of the park, there are several ways to ...

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... heavy precipitation year-round which closes the roads in winter.

Mima Mounds

These mounds are a phenomena where hundreds of dome-like hills naturally occur, but have no geological explanation. Mima Mounds protects a field and forest, 1.5 miles long where you can take a trail leads you around the formations. This natural wonder is located to the south, outside of Olympia.

Klondike Gold Rush National

Historical Park-Seattle Unit

Located in downtown Seattle, this site is a museum to the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon and Alaska. It displays the role of Seattle during this period when many ventured north to become rich. This park has a sister location in Alaska and a partnership with Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site, and other Parks Canada sites as part of Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park.

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