It’s the end of a summer day of hiking, exploring, and experiencing the beauty and joy of the Olympic Peninsula. You’re relaxing at your favorite sunset spots with a tasty beverage and dinner, reminiscing on the day’s memories, and staring into the beautiful, clear sky. The colors change ever so slightly; first, a hint of yellow, orange, then subtle pink. It’s your favorite time of the day: sunset!
Are you planning an epic vacation to Olympic National Park and hoping to catch some rad pink sky views? Read on for expert suggestions on the top 10 sunrise and sunset spots in Olympic National Park!
Top 10 Sunrise & Sunset Spots in Olympic National Park
- Giant’s Graveyard/Scott Creek
- Chilean Memorial
- Norwegian Memorial
- Cape Alava
- Hurricane Ridge
- The High Divide Trail
- Blue Glacier
- Ediz Hook
- Lake Crescent
1. Giant’s Graveyard/Scott Creek
Camping at Scott Creek is an exceptional experience, especially if you see the sunset here. The sea stacks mark the horizon like gentle stone giants; the waves crash gently as the tide rises, the campfire crackles, and the forest of old-growth cedars and giant Douglas firs gently sway behind you.
2 & 3 – Chilean Memorial and Norwegian Memorial
If you’re adventurous and a few miles of hiking across rugged tidelands sounds like fun, camping at Norwegian or Chilean Memorial is the perfect getaway! These wilderness beaches offer seclusion, quietness, and incredible sunsets. Wake up early and if the tides are right, sunrise tide-pooling by Norwegian Memorial will be the highlight! Learn more about the species that the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary protects before you go.
4. Cape Alava
As the western terminus of the Pacific Northwest Trail, the historic site of an old ranger station, and a sacred landmark for the Makah Tribe, Cape Alava is truly a remarkable place. Hike the 3.4 miles through a thick and diverse coastal coniferous forest from Ozette Lake and stay for the evening or get a permit to camp and you’ll be guaranteed an extraordinary sunset experience. (Bonus points if you get to camp with a fantastic group of Young Adventurers!). Let Lasting Adventures take care of all the logistics with a three-day entry-level backpacking trip on the Ozette Coast and you can sit back and watch one of the best sunset spots on the coast!
It’s worth the long drive to check out the expansive, white sandy beaches and the Tree of Life at Kalaloch Beach. It’s even more worth it if you stay for the sunset! Grab a sweet little cabin at the rustic resort or a picnic dinner on the beach and enjoy! Learn more about the lodge and the Tree of Life before you go.
6. Hurricane Ridge
There are few places in Olympic National Park as iconic as Hurricane Ridge, and it’s worth the hype! One of only two alpine zones in the park that you can access by road, Hurricane Ridge offers sweeping views of the central Olympic range, including Mount Olympus, and the expansive waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (bonus points if you see Canada!). The sunsets and sunrises here are as impressive as the views! Going in Winter is highly recommended and offers a completely unique experience.
7. The High Divide Trail
The Sol Duc and Seven Lakes Basin is one of the premier backpacking destinations in the park. It offers sweeping mountain views, beautiful alpine lakes, amazing wildflowers, and many black bear sightings! Plan your hike so that you’re cruising along the High Divide (a ridgeline trail that divides the basin from the Hoh River Valley) at sunset, and you’re sure to be amazed!
8. Blue Glacier
A trek up to the Blue Glacier through the ancient, lush Hoh rainforest is no small feat, but it’s well worth it! Get your permits to camp at Glacier Meadows and head up to the moraine that overlooks the glacier at sunset or sunrise. You may even catch a glimpse of climbers attempting the summit! We recommend covering the Hoh Rainforest to Blue Glacier in a leisure 5 days led by our expert guides that will direct you to the best sunset spots!
9. Ediz Hook
Technically not in the park but just as essential, Ediz Hook is home to the US Coast Guard and a native bird preserve. It’s a three-mile sand spit that stretches out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and affords views of Vancouver Island and the Olympic mountains. Bring your tailgating supplies and enjoy what the sky and the sea have to offer!
10. Lake Crescent
A quintessential stop on any Olympic vacation, this glacially formed lake offers camping, lodges, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and waterfalls. Grab a drink at Lake Crescent Lodge, have a barbecue at East Beach, or launch your boat for sunset. Then prepare to be amazed as the colors light up the lake and surrounding hills.
Whether you have time to check out all of the best sunset spots in Olympic National Park or just one, we know it will be an adventure of a lifetime. Let Lasting Adventures show you around and you’ll have more time to make those memories that last as long as the sun.