Visit the most popular visitor center at the Olympic National Park!
Olympic National Park Visitor Center is the most popular visitor center at the Olympic National Park.
Stop by the Olympic National Park Visitor Center to get maps or books, learn about top attractions at the Olympic National Park, watch a movie, talk to Park Rangers and see exhibits. There’s even a special play room for kids!
10 best things to do at "Olympic National Park Visitor Center"
1. Pick up a map and trail brochures at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center.
2. Learn about hikes, waterfalls and drive times.
Learn about some of the best hikes, at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. The drive times to key attractions from here are Hurricane Ridge (30 minutes), Lake Crescent Lodge (35 minutes), Sol Duc Hot Springs (1.5 hours), Rialto Beach (1.5 hours), Hoh Rain Forest (2 hours), Ruby Beach (2.5 hours), and Lake Quinault Lodge (3 hours).
3. Play in the “Discovery Room” for kids.
The Discovery Room for kids is full of activities. There's a playhouse for kids, artifacts like skulls, rocks and feathers, puzzles and games, coloring sheets, and a microscope to inspect organisms.
4. Visit the bookstore for posters, puzzles, games, books, and toys.
The bookstore has Olympic National Park themed gifts for both adults and children. Adults can purchase posters, puzzles, maps, and books, whereas kids can buy stuffies, fun books, games and puzzles.
5. Check out the EpiLog, at the "Olympic National Park Visitor Center".
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center has a 675 year old log from a Douglas Fir tree, known as an "EpiLog", that started growing in 1349. The rings of the tree highlight key points in history, like Columbus discovering America in 1492, and the Mayflower landing in 1620.
6. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Olympic National Park.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center has fascinating, free exhibits on the Olympic National Park.
The Olympic National Park has the largest wild herd of the majestic Roosevelt Elk in America. These giants can get weigh up to 1,100 pounds! There's a button you can press, to listen to the distinctive bugle sound of a Roosevelt Elk.
Fearsome cougars are also found in the Olympic National Park, and prey on Roosevelt Elk.
There's also a great exhibit, with a cedar canoe with eight tribal members, in pursuit of a whale! They faced great danger when attempting to harpoon a whale from a canoe.
This fabulous map is also on display at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, providing an overview of the entire park, with key points of interest labeled.
7. Get backpacking planning and permits.
A permit is required to camp overnight in the Olympic National Park's backcountry. These can be obtained at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, and must be purchased well in advance of your trip (more information here). You can also pick up bear canisters here, and talk to a Park Ranger about your plans.
8. See an award winning film “Mosaic of Diversity” (25 minutes)
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center has an awe-inspiring movie on the unique bio-diversity of flora and fauna at the Olympic National Park. Some of the cinematography is stunning, and takes you deep into the heart of this park. The film showings are only 25 minutes long.
9. Check out the Beaumont Cabin.
See an original pioneer cabin built in 1887, owned by Mr and Mrs Beaumont, who lived in here for nearly 40 years.
10. Explore a nature trail.
The Living Forest trail is a short, 0.4 mile loop through beautiful forest. It starts just near the Beaumont cabin, behind the Olympic National Park Visitor Center.
These are the water views from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center!