Greetings from Olympic National Park

I spent a day hiking in Olympic National Park with my family this summer. We were greeted by snow-capped mountains and miles of evergreens, both of which were familiar characteristics of Washington State. Throughout the year, the mountains are always dotted with wildflowers frequented by fat bees and skittish butterflies. When to find what flowers and where they bloom is a welcome challenge for me!

I saw signs of wildfires throughout the park: tree bark cracked into squares, tiny plants dotting land filled with white tree skeletons, and varied patches of earth. As I hiked, I learned that forest fires usher in new growth. They create opportunities for younger plants to take root. Meanwhile, I noticed that even fallen trees become nurse logs: decaying wood that provides a better habitat for seedlings.

I am fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest renowned for its perpetual greenery. I found the park’s foliage to be one of the best examples of this. As I trekked through the forest with my family, we saw tiny cedars spiking out of the ground, dwarfed by taller baby Douglas firs and their lime-green needles. Surrounded by nature, I’ve grown to realize the importance of protecting this microcosm of Mother Nature. It is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city and a reminder of the land’s original form.

Sincerely,
Annette

Olympic National Park

Exploring Olympic’s dynamic landscape is like visiting three parks in one. The high mountains offer snow, glaciers, wilderness and — if you time it right — acres of wildflowers. The lush, verdant Hoh Rainforest is unlike anything else in the Lower 48, and home to Roosevelt elk, black bears and other charismatic wildlife. And the park’s stunning coast offers some of the country's wildest and most spectacular beaches, dotted with tide pools and sea stacks. Visitors can now see where park staff recently removed two large dams, letting the Elwha River flow freely again for the first time in more than 100 years.

State(s): Washington

Established: 1938

“They're a valuable reminder of the wonder of nature.”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Olympic National Park

    In 1993 I was 16 years old and had just come out in my small town. There was no one else I knew, no support groups, no gay characters in TV or movies. Fortunately, I had very supportive friends. I spent that summer volunteering in the backcountry of Olympic National…

  • Greetings from Olympic National Park

    There are many National Parks we have visited over the years that I love. If I HAD to narrow it down to a favorite I think it would be Olympic National Park due to the incredible variety of beautiful sights - lavender fields, snow-capped mountain peaks, starfish along the rocky…

  • Greetings from Olympic National Park

    As a lover of ecology and biological diversity, the rainforest is one of my favorite habitats to explore and to study. My world travels have taken me to many tropical rainforests – in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Yet the temperate rainforest closer to my home in the Pacific…

Donate

Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now