There’s no doubt that the Pacific Northwest is the perfect destination for thrill lovers. We’ve got mountains to hike, streams to fish, and insanely cool storms to watch. And what better place to do all of these things than the Olympic Peninsula?
Here, a few of the top Olympic Peninsula excursions that are worth the trek this fall:
1. Steelhead fishing. The beginning of colder weather doesn’t have to mean the end of freshwater fishing. In fact, it’s the perfect time to reel in some massive rainbow trout—and the Olympic Peninsula is practically a breeding ground for these steelheads. Plan a day trip on the Bogachiel River (people report pulling in steelhead up to 30 pounds!)
2. Hiking. The number of Olympic Peninsula hikes are endless. You can hike to a beach (or two—or three!), hike to a B-17 crash, hike to an old fishing hole, hike to some alpine lakes, or even drive to the top of a mountain—that you could also hike to! Just imagine the picturesque views in the fall.
3. Snowshoeing. Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park might sound dangerous, but it offers spectacular views of Mount Olympus in all of her snowy splendor. The Washington Trails Association says this trail is suitable for beginners, too (stick to the lower-level ridge lines and meadows!). More advanced snowshoers can go for Hurricane Hill!
4. Storm chasing. Kalaloch Lodge is a classic oceanside retreat where you have access to miles of driftwood-lined beaches. Rent one of their rustic cabins right on the beach, and cozy up on the porch to watch the storms roll in. If there aren’t any storms, hang out in the sand and keep your eyes peeled for whales.
5. Bird watching. Olympic National Park is known for its world-class birding. We highly recommend trekking through the Lake Quinault Rainforest, where bird sightings may include black-headed grosbeak, dark-eyed juncos, spotted towhee, red-breasted sapsucker, belted kingfisher, hummingbirds, red-tailed hawks, and even bald eagles. Click here to see which birds have recently been spotted in your destination.