Here is your Olympic National Park Visitor Center information and locations, with details about Olympic National Park Ranger Stations and Wilderness Information Centers.
There are three different Visitor Centers located in the 1,442-square-mile Olympic National Park (ONP), all of them on the north and west sides of the Park which get the lion's share of visitors.
Here are those Olympic National Park Visitor Centers, with information on ranger stations and visitor information centers below.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center
3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362
Phone (360) 565-3130
Olympic National Park Website
This location is open
daily, though hours vary according to season. For detailed information
on hours and park entrance fees, call (360) 565-3130, or go to ONP Basic Info.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles is a destination in itself. You’ll find loads of local information, including resources such as books, souvenirs and posters which you can purchase.
The visitor center in Port Angeles contains:
Go adventuring with the kids in the hands-on "Discovery
Room," where you'll have as much fun as they will learning about the
plants and animals in the area. They can
try on a real ranger hat or troop around in a park volunteer coat.
Learn about the numerous activities for teens in the ONP. This can include adventures such as backpacking, hiking, and white-water or sea kayaking.
It can also include educational ventures, such as the Natural Resources Elwha River Field Course. This is a three-week summer course which gives high school students the opportunity to work within, and learn about, a local eco-system.
For fun and education for all ages, check out the ranger-led
programs, campfire programs and ranger guided interpretive walks that are available
throughout the summer at various destinations and campgrounds throughout the
Olympic National Park.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles is also host to a Wilderness Information Center (Backcountry Permit Office)
3002 Mount Angeles
Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362
Phone: (360) 565-3100.
Hours: Open daily. Hours vary according to season.
Much more info on Wilderness Information Centers is below.
Click here for ONP Wilderness Travel Basics, which can also be printed.
Or: call (360) 565-3100.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center
Located at Hurricane Ridge, about 17 miles south of Port Angeles on Heart o' the Hills Road.
If possible, do not miss this Olympic National Park Visitor Center!
Just seventeen miles south of Port Angeles, but a mile high, Hurricane Ridge greets you with expansive 360 degree vistas, meadows filled with wildflowers (when not snowy!), distant glaciers and gnarly alpine forests. The Visitor Center is open daily and easily reached by Hurricane Ridge Road, which is open 24 hours a day from mid-May through mid-autumn.
During winter months, depending on weather and road conditions, the road is scheduled to be open from 9:00 a.m until dusk, Friday through Sunday, holidays falling on Mondays, and additional days during the Christmas season.
Hurricane Ridge has exhibits on Olympic's mountain habitats, including a 20-minute orientation film.
Nature trails are the best way to see the area. Each one has its rewards, from easy to challenging. Summertime offers opportunities for ranger-led programs most days but only on weekends in winter.
Check out the
gift shop, get a snack at the snack bar on the lower level and enjoy a
picnic in one of the picnic areas located nearby. Or, just be satisfied with the
Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center
Approximately 31 miles south of Forks. From Highway 101, turn east on Upper Hoh Road.
Phone: (360) 374-6925
Hours: Open daily in summer; open Friday-Sunday through the remainder of the year. Hours vary according to season, call for specifics. The rangers at this visitor center are highly knowledgeable about the temperate rain forest and the flora and fauna here.
Moss creeps over rocks and fallen trees. Deep and dark and green is the Hoh Rain Forest.
Experience the beauty of this temperate rain
forest on self-guided nature
trails. Wilderness use permits, animal resistant food containers and additional
information are available at this visitor center.
Ranger stations in the Olympic National Park are either standalone buildings, such as the Storm King Ranger Station (pictured below), or they can also be a counter manned by a park ranger within a Visitor Center, such as at Hurricane Ridge, Port Angeles, or the Hoh Rain Forest.
The ranger station is the designated location where park rangers can be found to answer questions about the park and the area, from road and trail conditions, to what wild animals to watch out for, to "where can I find a restroom, please?"
Here's where you can find other ranger stations in the Olympic National Park:
Contact the Port Angeles Visitor Center with any additional questions.
So You Know: The concept of a park ranger originates with 14th century England where men were employed to roam land owned by the Crown, to watch over and prevent theft from poachers.
In more modern days, the National Park Service adopted the name from "Roger's Rangers," a group that fought in the 1755 French and Indian War.
According to the first Director of the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather:
"They are a fine, earnest, intelligent, and public-spirited body of men, these rangers. Though small in number, their influence is large. Many and long are the duties heaped upon their shoulders. If a trail is to be blazed, it is 'send a ranger.' If an animal is floundering in the snow, a ranger is sent to pull him out; if a bear is in the hotel, if a fire threatens a forest, if someone is to be saved, it is 'send a ranger'..." (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
If you have plans to hike and camp in the back country of the Olympic National Park, you'll need a permit and possibly additional information, all of which can be had at a Wilderness Information Center.
Wilderness Information Centers can be found at these locations: