Summer has officially returned! If you plan on visiting Olympic National Park this summer, here are five summer sunset venues that you simply must see!
5. Ruby Beach
With sea stacks, crashing waves, and the forest outlining the coast, Olympic National Park’s Pacific Coastline provides absolutely stunning sunset displays. What makes Ruby Beach a must-see sunset location? It’s convenient location and accessibility. Ruby Beach is accessed via a direct turnoff from Highway 101 and a set of well-maintained nature stairs lead you directly to the beach. Thus, if you’re constrained for time, Ruby Beach is a great option since there isn’t a hike or off-roads to worry about. Better yet, it is centrally located between the Kalaloch Lodge (10 minutes further South) and the Hoh Rain Forest Highway 101 turn off (20 minutes North).
Lake Crescent is an incredible multi-faceted venue that offers an adventure for everyone! Kayak on the lake, bike along the Spruce Railroad Trail, take the Marymere Falls nature loop, or conquer the steep hike up Storm King. What better way to cap off a day at the lake than to watch the sun set! At Lake Crescent, the setting sun turns the mountains that outline the lake into silhouettes and the crystal blue waters reflect the glowing colors from the sun and clouds.
3. Salt Creek
Salt Creek is popular for its campgrounds, world war era bunkers, and its large recreational area, however, its sunsets are a top attribute for this destination. Whether you watch the sunset from the viewpoints along the bluffs or on the beach, Salt Creek provides one of the top sunset views along the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Salt Creek is a great option for those seeking that Pacific Northwest beach atmosphere but are crunched for time since it is only a 25 minute drive from Port Angeles.
The 1.5 mile hike to Hurricane Hill is an absolute must for any summer visit to Olympic National Park. Doing it for sunset is just icing on the cake. The 35 minute drive to Hurricane Ridge gives your hikes a 5,000 foot headstart, thus along the Hurricane Hill trail you enjoy an immediate front-row view of the Olympic Mountains. The trail’s summit provides an incredible, unobstructed western view of the Olympic Peninsula and Strait of Juan De Fuca. Hurricane Hill’s well-maintained trails make the darker return hike easier after the sun has set.
1. Second Beach
A sunset at Second Beach is an Olympic National Park bucket list item and a photographer’s dream. Second Beach has a beautiful, expansive sandy coastline and is decorated with towering sea stacks. To watch the sun descend past the various sea stacks along the coast is simply breathtaking. Second Beach is located in La Push and is accessed via a 0.7 mile hiking trail to the beach.
For any sunset hike you’re planning, always remember to bring extra layers and a powerful headlamp or flashlight. If you want help finding the ideal sunset destination for your group or have any trip planning questions about the Olympic Peninsula, please contact us!