A Closer Look at Washington State’s National Parks

With Summer here, many families are headed outside to get in some outdoor activities and take advantage of the nice weather. In Washington state, there are just three national parks, but each have unique features that make them a popular spot for people around the world. In this post, we’ll take a look at each park and what they offer.

Olympic National Park – This area located in the western half of Washington, officially became a national park in 1938 by order of President Franklin Roosevelt. This park is one of the most unique parks in the world because it has dozens of glaciers, as well as the largest rainforest in North America. This park is also famous for its picturesque Hurricane Ridge, where hikers can see nearly the entire Olympic Mountain range. This park is popular all year long, but it gets very busy in the Summer so plan ahead.

North Cascades National Park – This park officially got its National Park designation by an act of Congress in 1969, but the debate to keep it preserved started nearly 100 years before that as people began to see the natural wonders it offered. This park is 500,000 acres near the border with Canada. It also has more than 300 glaciers and has the most extensive glacier systems outside of Alaska. There is no entrance fee for this park, which makes it a popular tourist attraction, especially during the summer.

Mount Rainier National Park – This is the most famous of the three national parks in Washington and the first to be established in the state. It was also the fourth national park ever to be established in the U.S. Though it is the smallest of the three parks in Washington, it is home to the state’s tallest peak, Mt. Rainier, at 14,410 feet. The park also holds the largest glacier in the U.S. outside of Alaska. The park gets over a million visitors each year, including more than 10,000 people attempting to climb to the summit of Mt. Rainier. The park is busiest in the Summer time, but with its stunning views and impressive snow totals, it’s a popular spot year-round.