Winter in Olympic National Park

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Cross-country skiing on Hurricane Ridge. Photo by NPS

Cross-country skiing on Hurricane Ridge. 

Olympic National Park is open 24/7, every day of the year. Some roads, campgrounds and other visitor facilities close during the winter season, but the park itself is always open.

While winters are mild at lower elevation, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, snowfall can be heavy in the mountains, with accumulations of up to 10 feet common.

There's a lot to see and do at Olympic during the winter. Just make sure to check the weather forecast and come prepared for snow or rain. Conditions can change quickly and what starts as a sunny day can end with hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions!

Hurricane Ridge in Winter

Hurricane Ridge is the focal point for snow and winter recreation.

Although relatively low, the Olympic mountains receive a great deal of moisture. In winter, much of is falls as snow, particularly above 3,000 feet in elevation. The typically snow-covered Hurricane Ridge provides opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing and more.

Weather permitting, the Hurricane Ridge Road opens Friday through Sunday during the winter season, but storms or avalanche hazards can lead to road closures at any time.

Learn more about the Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area and snowshoeing with a ranger.

Olympic Rainforests in Winter

The rainforests, including the Hoh and Quinault, are excellent destinations once a bit of the snow melts. Winter is the wet season and the rain forest radiates in deep, healthy greens.

Olympic Coast in Winter

The coastal beaches are also relatively snow-free soon after a snowfall. Whatever the season, walking along the sandy beaches during low tide is a great way to explore the diversity of the intertidal zone.

Winter Roads in Olympic National Park

All vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling above the Heart O' the Hills entrance station (entrance closest to Port Angeles) during the winter season. This requirement applies to all vehicles (including four-wheel-drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions. All vehicle must also exit the Heart O' the Hills entrance station by 5:00pm during the winter season.

Hurricane Ridge Road may close early or remain closed during the entire day due to poor road conditions or severe weather. Call the Road & Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 for current information. Conditions, updates and closures are also posted to Twitter at: twitter.com/HRWinterAccess.

General Road Access in Winter

Deer Park - Dependent on snow melt
Graves Creek (Quinault) - Year round, weather permitting
Hoh - Year round, weather permitting
North Fork (Quinault) - Year round, weather permitting
Obstruction Point - Road closes for season October 31
Olympic Hot Springs Road (Elwha) - Year round but often closed in winter due to snow
Queets - Year round, weather permitting
Quinault South Shore - Year round, weather permitting
Sol Duc - Year round but often closed in winter due to snow
Staircase - Year round, weather permitting
Whiskey Bend Road - Year round, weather permitting

Facilities in Winter

Fairholme Store - Closed in fall and winter
Kalaloch Lodge - Year-round
Lake Crescent Lodge - Closes for season January 1 (Roosevelt Cottages open on weekends throughout the winter season)
Lake Quinault Lodge - Year-round
Log Cabin Resort - Closes for season September 30
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort - Closes for season mid-October

Related

Rainbow over Hood Canal

Average Weather for Olympic National Park

In summer, highs are around 65 to 75°F; weather is often sunny from July through September. In winter, heavy snow accumulates in the mountains.

The sun breaks through storm clouds on Second Beach in Olympic National Park.

Mules Help With Weather Experiment in Olympic National Park

The Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX) measures precipitation and help NASA fine-tune new weather satellites. Mules get the equipment into remote areas.

Rainbow over Hood Canal

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.

Waterfall in Olympic National Park in autumn

Autumn in Olympic National Park

Elk bugling to show off to their harems. Huge colored maple leaves twice as big as your hand. Eagles, otters, and bobcats feeding on spawning salmon.

Hiking to Sunrise Point on the High Ridge Trail at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park

Located at 5,242 feet in the park’s northeast corner, Hurricane Ridge is accessible by car and the quickest way to reach Olympic’s alpine zone.

General locations of ferries to Olympic National Park

Where is Olympic National Park?

This park is in the northwest corner of the United States in Washington state on the Olympic Peninsula. It contains Pacific Ocean beaches and mountains.

Sea stacks on Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park

Pacific Coast in Olympic National Park

The park’s wild coastline features both easy-access beaches and remote wilderness. Camp on the beaches year-round.

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center in Olympic National Park

Visitor Centers in Olympic National Park

There are three visitor centers and multiple ranger stations in Olympic National Park. See exhibits and learn about the park.

Snowshoe Hare on Deer Park Road in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park Prepares for Summer

As migrating birds return and wildflowers bloom in the lowland forests, employees at the park are spring cleaning and preparations for main visitor season.