Rainfall and Tides in Olympic National Park

Olympic has a reputation for rain—and true, parts of the peninsula receive 12 feet of rain every year, but summer brings warm, dry weather.
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Rainbow over Hood Canal

Rainbow over Hood Canal

It's Not Always Rainy in Olympic National Park

Olympic has a reputation for rain—and true, parts of the peninsula receive 12 feet of rain every year. Moist air from the Pacific moves east and collides with the Olympic Mountains, dropping its precipitation on the central peninsula. But summer brings warm, dry weather. Generally, Olympic has a mild, maritime climate.

The mild climate plus the rain is what creates the perfect habitat for a rainforest. The lush forests in the Quinault, Queets, Hoh, and Bogachiel valleys are some of the most spectacular examples of primeval temperate rain forest in the lower 48 states. See them in their glory during the rainy seasons in fall and winter (after snow melt).

Pack your Rain Gear

Rainfall varies widely across the park. Here’s what to expect in every season.

Olympic Coast Rainfall

Winter: 17"
Spring: 9"
Summer: 3"
Fall: 11"
Average Yearly Rainfall: 103"

Hoh Rainforest Rainfall

Winter: 18"
Spring: 10"
Summer: 3"
Fall: 13"
Average Yearly Rainfall: 135"

Port Angeles Rainfall

Winter: 3"
Spring: 1"
Summer: 0.8"
Fall: 4"
Average Yearly Rainfall: 26"

Ocean Tides

Visitors should also be aware of the tides when enjoying the coastal beaches. The coast sees two high and two low tides per day. Many headlands that provide easy walking at low tide become dangerously impassable at high tide and can strand unaware hikers.

Always carry a current tide table; you can pick one up at any visitor center. Or, you can download one here.

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