Washington state is home to Olympic National Park. It is open all year round for over 5 million visitors and covers an area of 3,697 km². The park was founded on June 29, 1938. See a2zdirectory for tourist attractions in Washington.
Most of the Olympic National Park is occupied by the heavily forested Olympic Mountain. This is 2,428 meters high and covered with snow and ice.
The park has three large lakes. There are other smaller lakes in the hinterland of the area. One of the last temperate rainforests in the world thrives here in the area of the Olympic National Park. The very tall trees are particularly impressive for visitors. You can also find a large variety of animals here.
The 80 kilometers of the park’s Pacific coast invite you to take a really nice hike. Although the area has very long sandy beaches, bathing holidays can hardly be recommended due to the temperatures here, rather horse riding, hiking, boating or mountaineering. Fishing is also permitted in the park.
The history of the Olympic National Park
The first humans lived on the peninsula of today’s Olympic National Park thousands of years ago. They lived on fish and the plants growing in the area.
At the end of the 18th century, in 1774, the Spaniard Juan Perez arrived here. He named the highest point of today’s Olympic Mountain Santa Rosalia. Fur hunters later came to the area and renamed the mountain Mount Olympus. When the sea otters were exterminated by the English, they left the island again.
In order to protect the area, it was given the status of a Forest Preserve in 1897. Ironically, the big game hunter and then President Theodore Roosevelt campaigned for animal welfare and in 1906 declared part of today’s park a national monument. The reason was that he wanted to protect the Roosevel deer named after him from extinction. The entire area was later declared a national park.
Animals in the Olympic National Park
The best known are probably the Roosevelt deer, they were named after the former US President Theodore Roosevelt. Although he was a passionate big game hunter himself, he also made a living as a conservationist. Deer and black bears are also found in the Olympic National Park area. In addition to coyotes, lynxes, raccoons and some skunks also live here. There is also a very old species of animal in the park: the mountain beaver, which despite its name is not related to the beaver we know. The fur hunters were particularly attracted by the mink and the mountain hare. Today they are still native to Olympic National Park. River otters and seals also survived. Gray whales live in the Pacific which show up every now and then. They give birth to their young here in the waters of Olympic National Park before they migrate back north again in spring.
Many different bird species are also represented here in the entire park area.
Plants in the Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is home to one of the last temperate rainforests in the world. This consists of giant trees of life up to 100 meters high. They are overgrown with moss and air plants. The Douglas firs, hemlocks and maple trees have also grown very large here.
Mosses, mushrooms and ferns are found at lower altitudes. Moisture-loving plants in particular thrive here and reach record sizes.