If the awe-inspiring snowy peaks, verdant rainforests and moody beaches of Olympic National Park don’t make you want to be kinder to Mother Nature, we’re not sure what will. Plan an eco-friendly road trip to this stunning corner of Washington in your electric vehicle. Much of the park and surrounding areas are remote without many services, but with a little strategic planning, you can enjoy a road trip with a smaller carbon footprint and make use of EV charging stations.
Olympic National Park encompasses much of the center of the Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington. Highway 101 circles the park, creating many access points. Many hotels and restaurants only allow charging for guests and diners. If you’re not planning to book a room, or eat a meal, call ahead to be sure you can still use the charger. Here are places to find a charge at the park’s most popular access points.
North: Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent and Sol Duc EV Charging
The Hurricane Ridge Entrance near Port Angeles, Wash., is one of the main entrances to the park. Here you’ll find the Olympic National Park Visitor Center and the road leading up to stunning Hurricane Ridge.
In Port Angeles, you’ll find several locations with J-1772 Level 2 chargers including the Olympic Medical Center (939 Caroline St.) and North Oak Street Parking (220 North Oak St.)
While you wait for a charge, consider taking the Black Ball Ferry across Puget Sound to explore the charming Canadian city of Victoria, which is very walkable. If you’d rather stay stateside, there are various shops, restaurants and trails in Port Angeles to explore.
Just west of Port Angeles on Hwy. 101 you’ll find two charging stations donated to the National Park Service by BMW. Lake Crescent Lodge (416 Lake Crescent Rd., Port Angeles) and Sol Duc Hot Springs and Resort (12076 Sol Duc-Hot Springs Rd., Port Angeles) both have J-1772 Level 2 chargers.
While you wait at Lake Crescent, rent a canoe or a kayak to paddle the stunningly clear waters of the lake. Or, order a drink from the hotel bar and enjoy the views on one of the Adirondack chairs on the lodge’s lawn or in the sun room on cooler days.
If you’re stopping to charge at Sol Duc, don’t forget your swimsuit. Purchase a daily pass and enjoy three mineral hot springs soaking pools and one freshwater pool. Or, if you’d rather explore the surrounding rainforest, head 1.8-miles down Sol Duc Road past the campground to Sol Duc Trailhead. From there, it’s an easy hike at just over two miles round-trip to the stunning Sol Duc Falls.
Northwest: Neah Bay Electric Vehicle Charging
At the very northwest tip of Washington, and the whole United States, you’ll find several locations to charge in Neah Bay.
The Cape Resort (1510 Bayview Ave., Neah Bay) has two Tesla HPWC chargers and a J-1772 charger.
On the western side, charge at the Hobuck Beach Resort North (3346 Makah Passage) or South (2726 Makah Passage) with J-1772 and 8kw Tesla chargers.
Check in for the night at either location to enjoy a night on the water or stroll the beach while you wait for a charge.
Central West: Beach and Rainforest Charging Stations
The tiny town of Forks, the one and the same from the book series Twilight, offers several places to charge on your way south on Hwy. 101, including a Tesla Supercharger (100 Fern Hill Rd.) You’ll find a J-1772 charger at the Forks Community Hospital (390 Founders Wy.), and 16kw Tesla chargers west of town at the Quillayute River Resort (473 Mora Rd.)
Forks is a great place to spend the night to visit the stunning Rialto, First and Second beaches once you’re fully charged.
Just north of Queets, Kalaloch Lodge (157151 U.S. 101) houses another BMW-donated J-1772 Level 2 charger. Kalaloch Lodge is a great place to spend a relaxing few nights, enjoying the beautiful beaches and nearby Lake Quinault. If you’re not spending the night and just waiting for a charge, enjoy a meal at the Creekside Restaurant with incredible views of the water.
Another picturesque spot to spend the night, or just wait for a charge is Lake Quinault Lodge (345 S Shore Rd.) with J-1772 Level 2 chargers. While you wait, take a hike through the rainforest on the Quinault Rain Forest Trailhead, or rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard to explore the lake.
East: EV Charging in Port Towns
While there aren’t many access points to Olympic National Park on the east side of the peninsula, if you’re coming from Tacoma you will find yourself driving here.
A variety of charging locations can be found in Brinnon, Quilcene, Port Townsend and Sequim.
Now that you know where to find a charge, plan your Olympic Peninsula Road Trip.