Port Angeles, The Authentic Northwest. The Olympic Peninsula is considered the true northwest by many; with majestic mountains and ancient glaciers that adorn the peaks of Olympic National Park. Then there are the lush massive trees and the amazing array of the color green evident in the forests. Others are drawn to the relaxing view of a vessel plying the Strait of Juan de Fuca or a huge ship at anchor in the windswept harbor.
Port Angeles has a genuine downtown with a proud heritage, and ties to the past and the Native American culture are evident in the murals and names used in the region. Being out on the water is one of the best ways to enjoy the northwest and for many the authentic northwest is best appreciated on The Coho Ferry crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Port Angeles and Victoria or paddling a kayak on one of the many rivers or bays. Visit and experience for yourself; Port Angeles, The Authentic Northwest.
Olympic National Park
In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation creating Mount Olympus National Monument to protect the summer range and breeding grounds of Olympic elk. Olympic National Park was established on June 29, 1938. The coastal strip was added to the park in 1953. In 1976, Olympic National Park became a Man and the Biosphere Reserve and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Park.
Olympic National Park has three distinct major areas—the glaciated mountains and high country of the interior; the lush rain forest of the west-facing valleys; and the rugged wilderness coastline. The vastness of the park can seem daunting—you can drive completely around the park on Hwy. 101, yet no road goes all the way through the interior of the Peninsula.
Hurricane Ridge, only minutes from the center of downtown Port Angeles, offers spectacular views of the high country and the Olympic Mountains. The 19-mile drive is breathtaking and you can stop at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and learn more about the mountains and the park.
Hoh Rain Forest
Moisture-laden air from the Pacific brings an average of 140 inches of annual rainfall to the Hoh Valley. This moisture has created one of the most lush rainforests in the world. Drive about two hours west from Port Angeles on Hwy. 101 to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is 19 miles inland from Hwy. 101.
The rugged coastline of Olympic National Park can be easily explored at Rialto Beach and La Push. Take Hwy. 101 west from Port Angeles for about 90 minutes and turn west on State Hwy. 110. On the north side of the Quillayute River is Rialto Beach. On the south side of the Quillayute River is the Tribal reservation of the Quillayute and the town of La Push.
Olympic National Park is open all year. Some roads and facilities are closed in winter. Entrance fees (good for 7 days) are collected at various locations within the park from May through October and Hurricane Ridge year round. Cost is $15 per vehicle. Annual entrance passes can be obtained at entrance stations for $30 or ask about senior rates.
For visitor information you can contact the Olympic Park Visitor Center, (360) 565-3130 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/olym