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Halvor Tweto | 12.19.2016

Winters on the Olympic Peninsula are well known for chilly temperatures and voluminous precipitation. With average annual rainfalls at the lower elevations west of the Olympics ranging from 100 to a staggering 170 inches (that's between 8 and 14 feet, by the way) and snowfall that commonly reaches 30 feet per year in the higher elevations of Olympic National Park, it is fair to say that winter precipitation is a defining feature for the region. Along the coast and in areas such as the Hoh Rain Forest, all of this water helps feed what is one of the healthiest temperate rain forests in the U.S., and to see this area in winter is to see an ecosystem thriving. Winter storms pound the coastline and offer incredible views into the relentless power of this season on the peninsula. And while summer treks through the mountains are magnificent, getting out in the backcountry of the Olympics in winter is even better. This range rewards winter explorers who can manage the access with solitude, wild and gorgeous terrain, and unforgettable views.

Of course, it can be a lot more difficult to string together a series of fun days in the field if you end up soaked and cold on the first day with no chance to dry out. While our hats are off to the hearty souls who engineer their Pacific Northwest winter adventures from a tent, it goes without saying that there's no shame in booking more comfortable accommodations, especially in the winter. And off-season rates can help make that decision a can mull over your remorse about choosing not to camp as you warm yourself beside a roaring lodge fire or soak your bones in a hot spring. The important thing is not to let winter keep you from exploring this stunning piece of America. Start planning a winter trip with a few of these accommodations below.

  • Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: There are a total of 32 cabins, some of which have kitchens, and there is a large suite that sleeps 10 and is located along the Sol Duc River. Access to the hot springs is included with your stay, and pet friendly options are available.
  • Hamma Hamma Guard Station: Located on the east side of the Olympics, this is a great base to explore a side of the peninsula that is less impacted by the winter storms. This historic guard station as two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a addition to plenty of propane heat. Bring your own linens, water, and other essentials, however.
  • Kalaloch Lodge + Cabins: The best and only accommodation on the Pacific side of Olymipic National Park, Kalaloch offers 42 cabins, several lodge rooms, and two large suites. After a day tromping around on some of Washington's most remarkable beaches, you'll really appreciate the bundle of firewood that is delivered to your doorstep. Seasonal discounts available.
  • Hobuck Beach Resort + Campground: Hobuck has 26 cabins with various layouts and amenities, easy beach access, and winter rates that are well worth the easy access to hikes to Shi Shi Beach, Point of the Arches, and Cape Flattery. This is a great option if you're looking for a coastal getaway.
  • The Lost Resort + Campground: Three cabins are available for reservation, each with electricity, heaters, and including linens (be sure to bring your own blankets or a sleeping bag for warmth). The deli closes in the winter, but on the other hand, their winter special from February 15 through May 15 matches your cabin rate with the outside temperature when you arrive.


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