Mountain Lions in Olympic National Park

Mountain Lion. Photo by Jeff Vanuga

Count yourself very lucky if you spot one of these elusive big cats—shy and wide-ranging, the park’s mountain lions are rarely seen.

Also called cougars, mountain lions can grow up to 250 pounds (males); females are usually 75 to 100 pounds. The big cats hunt deer and elk from the treetops and favor open, rocky areas and forests.

In the very rare event you do have a close encounter with a mountain lion, never run. Instead, wave your arms, shout, and throw rocks to scare it away, then report the sighting to a ranger.

See Mountain Lions in Olympic

Throughout the park (but you probably won’t). More likely, you might spot tracks or scat on the trails.


Roosevelt elk in Olympic National Park

Roosevelt Elk in Olympic National Park

The largest wild herd of Roosevelt elk in the Pacific Northwest lives in Olympic, so your chances of spotting one are good.

Bald Eagle. Photo by Jeff Vanuga

Bald Eagles in Olympic National Park

These huge birds of prey—they can weigh more than 14 pounds, with a nearly 7-foot wingspan—are most frequently spotted roosting in trees along the Olympic coast.

Black Bear. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Black Bears in Olympic National Park

Black bears (but not grizzlies) live throughout Olympic, roaming far and wide in search of ripe berries, spawning salmon, tree bark, and insects.

Humpback whale breaking the water at sunset

Whale Watching at Olympic National Park

Whale watching cruises are one way to spot large marine mammals, but there are also many locations near the park where you can watch right from the shore.

Breaching gray whale

6 Wild Animals for your Olympic National Park Watch List

Look for these animals as you explore Olympic National Park including elk, whales, eagle plus three more.

Shi Shi Beach in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park Ecosystem Zones

Olympic National Park contains four distinct and remarkable ecosystems—and even better, it’s possible to see all four in one day.

Olympic Coast Sea Stacks. Photo by Justin Bailie

10 Best Things to Do on an Olympic National Park Vacation

Olympic National Park and the surrounding areas are a Things to Do Mecca! You’ll be hard-pressed to fit it all in a single vacation.

Mt Rainier pond reflection

Mount Rainier National Park

Locals call it The Mountain—and once you see it towering, it’s clear the 14,410-footer owns the title.

Sea Otter

Sea Otters on the Olympic Coast

These lovable marine mammals can be found on the Pacific coast from Alaska to northern California, including Olympic National Park.