Take In The Beautiful Pacific Northwest Scenery On This Must-Do Road Trip Route

The United States is home to a vast and diverse landscape. From the deserts of the Southwest to the Florida Keys, the country is home to myriad and unique ecosystems. With a handful of stunning regions to explore, one of the most majestic regions in the country is, without a doubt, the Pacific Northwest. Between its stunning coastline, dense, mossy forests, and snowcapped mountains, most of its wilderness looks like the set of a mythical, magical movie.

One of the area's most awe-inspiring attractions is Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Washington state. With its western border at the Pacific Ocean and its northern border running along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this stretch of preserved wildlife is just under 1 million acres of land. The park is huge and encompasses a brilliant array of ecosystems including its rainforest, alpine zones,  picturesque lakeshores, beautiful beachfronts, and glaciers.

That said, visiting just one section of the park will only give you a sliver of its natural wonders. To get a glimpse at the variety this park has to offer, we recommend you hop in your car or RV and follow the Olympic Peninsula Loop.

Driving the Olympic Peninsula Loop

If you're looking for the adventure of a lifetime, we urge you to start planning your road trip around the Olympic Peninsula Loop. There are countless different routes you can take to explore Olympic National Park. Depending on the detours you choose, making your way around the Olympic Peninsula Loop will likely amount to 300 to 400 miles. Fortunately, the general directions are nice and simple — follow Highway 101 from start to finish and you'll complete the whole of the famous loop.

Whizzing through this route without stopping should take you around eight hours. However, when you set off, you'll quickly realize it is essential that you get out of your car and embrace the incredible natural landmarks, historical sites, and charming towns the route has to offer.

The closest and largest city for road trippers to start in is Seattle. If you're coming from out of state and don't want to add an extra leg to your trip, Seattle is equipped with an international airport and plenty of car rental companies. To avoid sleeping in the car during your road trip, set an itinerary with overnight stops. Check out glamping Airbnbs in Port Angeles or, if you're a "Twilight" fan, stop at a quaint bed and breakfast like Misty Valley Inn in Forks. Additionally, you'll find a handful of campgrounds scattered across the park if you decide to take an RV or bring a tent along.

Planning your stops on the Olympic Peninsula Loop

Every mile of the park offers a vibrant, unique view. But don't worry: If you are overwhelmed and don't know where to start, there are several stops that stand out. For instance, you simply can't complete the Olympic Peninsula Loop without taking a gander at the largest red cedar tree on the planet. This stop off Highway 101 from Port Angeles is sure to blow you away. About an hour away from Port Angeles is Port Townsend, which we encourage you to stroll through for yummy bites and a homey, small-town vibe.

Another non-negotiable stop is the Hoh Rainforest. There, you can take in some unreal scenery. Get out of the car for a stretch and some fresh air on an easy trail like the Hall of Mosses. For some more movement, head to La Push and surf some of the most reliable waves on the Olympic Peninsula. Throughout the park, you'll find breathtaking lakes like Lake Crescent and Lake Cushman, phenomenal waterfalls like Spoon Creek Falls and Murhut Falls, lavender farms in the town of Sequim, and even glaciers such as Blue Glacier and Anderson Glacier.

These destinations aren't even the half of it. If we attempted to suggest all of the awe-inspiring attractions on the Olympic Peninsula Loop, reading this would take days. That said, whatever you're looking for — picturesque views or a physical challenge — you can customize your Olympic Peninsula Loop itinerary to give you exactly what you want.