George Washington Inn is approximately 10 miles from the Olympic National Park Visitors Center, which is located on the south side of Port Angeles. Here you will find the gateway to the Olympic National Park and a road up to Hurricane Ridge, where some excellent walking trails provide easy access into this scenic park.
Deer Park, which is directly south of the inn, is a more rustic entrance into the park but has some excellent vantage points overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island. The entire Olympic National Park is 922,000 acres of stunning alpine and coastal wilderness.
Here you can discover Pacific Ocean beaches, rain forest valleys, glacier-capped mountain peaks and a stunning variety of plants and animals. Roads provide access to the outer edges of the park, but the heart of the Olympics is a vast and majestic wilderness. Over 600 miles of trails are available for the avid hiker, which of course would have to extend into numerous daytrips.
Influenced by mountains and sea, the park has a wide range of climate conditions. About twelve feet of rain falls each year on the west-facing valleys, sustaining the temperate rain forest. On the northeast side of the mountains lies a “rain shadow”, with only 25 inches of annual rainfall and much dryer conditions.
The park divides neatly into three major areas—the glaciered mountains and highcountry of the interior; the lush rain forest of the west-facing valleys; and the rugged wilderness coastline. It’s a landscape that renders a quick visit nearly impossible. Since no road cuts all the way through the vast interior of the peninsula, the park remains a vast and subtle wilderness.
Magnificent waterfalls, wide alpine meadows sparkling with avalanche lilies, larkspur and Indian paintbrush, eerie moss-bearded forests dripping with fog, and cliff-lined beaches await today’s adventurous explorer, just as they have for thousands of years.
“Neither Europe or Asia or South America has a prospect in which sea and woods and snow mountains are so united in a landscape” …a quote from the Kroll Map Company about this “Evergreen Playground” (c. 1940s)