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Old 10-26-2016, 11:26 PM
 
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Hello! I am curious about hiking in the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula. Are all the mountain hikes on the peninsula within the national park, or are there some in state parks or national forests or....? Is it pretty easy to find good places to hike that aren't in the park?

I remember Port Angeles looking like a paradise with beautiful mountains just behind the city - is that all ONP? I'm guessing yes, but I don't really know. I can't find a good map of park boundaries.

Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:29 AM
 
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Are you trying to avoid ONP?

There are good hiking trails in ONP, in ONF, and in state parks and Clallam County parks.

A terrific guidebook is Craig Romano's book on Olympic Peninsula hikes. His descriptions, directions, and maps are enough by themselves, although having supplemental maps also is always best.

The National Geographic waterproof map of ONP shows boundaries very clearly, and it is sold in bookstores as well as outdoor shops.

I highly recommend using both these resources, especially now that the weather has gotten stormy. It will be important to understand different hikes' exposure to wind/rain, and to know where elevation likely means snow instead of rain.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Bend OR
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There are a lot of hikes outside of the National Park proper, but you will still need a valid Forest pass for most hikes.

A have hiked the area some, but it was a very long drive (or pricey and long ferry ride) to get there and too similar to what I could find on the nearby west slopes of the cascades to justify the drive. But if you are handy to it, it is awesome and sometimes less crowded than the west slope hikes.

Make sure you have good directions and follow them carefully to get to the trailheads. Do not expect good signage or a clear route. Even with directions and car nav, we would regularly get "temporarily misplaced" on our way to or from hikes in the Olympic mountains.

And remember, they are real mountains, unforgiving of mistakes and lack of preparedness. Treat them with respect, go prepared, and they are wonderful. Or stick with the National Park.
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Old 10-27-2016, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
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There are a number of trails into the Buckhorn Wilderness that can be reached from the Quilcene, Sequim Bay, and Sequim areas, as well as trails into the Brothers Wilderness, accessible along the Duckabush River and from the Hamma Hamma River (Lower Lena Lake) from Hood Canal.

https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/maps.htm
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:04 PM
 
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There are trails everywhere in the NP, NFS, DNR, many not listed. You can buy maps, books at any NP Visitor Center, there is one just outside PA on the way to Hurricane Ridge. You need to be careful at this time of years, slippery mud, falling trees & branches, lots of rain, rocks coming down, washouts, gets dark early. Also, I saw quite a few black bears this summer. I'm not a hunter, but this is probably hunting season for something, & I've encountered lots of hunters in non NP areas, so wear orange.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:39 AM
 
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the info. I'm not local (I live in Alaska) and the local stores don't carry the maps you refer to. I'll definitely grab a map next time I'm down your way.

To answer the above question by pikabike, I'm not trying to avoid the park necessarily - or, maybe I am sometimes. I just don't always feel like dealing with National Park fees and rules and crowds etc etc. Hopefully someone can relate to that feeling. I'm used to a pretty relaxed vibe when hiking and enjoying the outdoors and national parks don't do it for me.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2016, 03:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzile View Post
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the info. I'm not local (I live in Alaska) and the local stores don't carry the maps you refer to. I'll definitely grab a map next time I'm down your way.

To answer the above question by pikabike, I'm not trying to avoid the park necessarily - or, maybe I am sometimes. I just don't always feel like dealing with National Park fees and rules and crowds etc etc. Hopefully someone can relate to that feeling. I'm used to a pretty relaxed vibe when hiking and enjoying the outdoors and national parks don't do it for me.

Thanks again.


I hear ya re National Parks. I remember being in Denali NP...geesh! Beautiful place but too many bossy peeps, especially the "campground hosts"!
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:11 AM
 
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Not many crowds at this time of year, except on a glorious sunny weekend day
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarciaMarshaMarcia View Post
I hear ya re National Parks. I remember being in Denali NP...geesh! Beautiful place but too many bossy peeps, especially the "campground hosts"!
Hahaha, yep! And the videos you have to watch, and the permit system, etc. etc. It's just too much for me.
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzile View Post
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the info. I'm not local (I live in Alaska) and the local stores don't carry the maps you refer to. I'll definitely grab a map next time I'm down your way.

To answer the above question by pikabike, I'm not trying to avoid the park necessarily - or, maybe I am sometimes. I just don't always feel like dealing with National Park fees and rules and crowds etc etc. Hopefully someone can relate to that feeling. I'm used to a pretty relaxed vibe when hiking and enjoying the outdoors and national parks don't do it for me.

Thanks again.
More likely to happen at the most popular NPs (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Mt. Rainier, etc.) or NP campgrounds. Olympic National Park has some popular areas/campgrounds, but also many that are far from being overrun by tourists, such as Rialto Beach/Mora Campground. I've hiked up Rialto and camped in the driftwood up by Hole in the Wall several times and have never seen a single ranger. North Cascades National Park is probably among the least visited National Parks.
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