When to Go

Summer, with its long stretches of sun-filled days, is prime touring time for Olympic National Park. June through September are the peak months; Hurricane Ridge, the Hoh Rain Forest, Lake Crescent, and Ruby Beach are bustling by 10 am.

Late spring and early autumn are also good bets for clear weather; anytime between April and October, you'll have a good chance of fair skies. Between Thanksgiving and Easter, it's a toss-up as to which days will turn out fair; prepare for heavy clouds, rain showers, and chilly temperatures, then hope for the best.

Winter is a great time to visit if you enjoy isolation. Locals are usually the only hardy souls during this time, except for weekend skiers heading to the snowfields around Hurricane Ridge. Many visitor facilities have limited hours or are closed from October to April.


Festivals and Events


Rainfest. A celebration inspired by the huge annual rainfall of 100-plus inches takes place mid-April in downtown Forks and features an umbrella parade, arts and crafts, music, environmental activities, and a quilt show. Forks, Washington. 360/374–2531; 800/443–6757; www.forkswa.com.


Irrigation Festival. For more than a century, the people of Sequim have been celebrating the irrigation ditches that brought life-giving water here. Highlights of the 10-day festival include a beauty pageant, logging demonstrations, arts and crafts, a classic car show, a strongman competition, parades, and a picnic. Sequim, Washington. 360/461--6511; www.irrigationfestival.com.

Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. Port Angeles comes alive each May with four days of music, dance, and theater from around the world, as well as children's programs and a street fair. Port Angeles, Washington. 360/457–5411; www.jffa.org.


Centrum Summer Arts Festival. This summerlong lineup of concerts and workshops is held at Fort Worden State Park, a 19th-century Army base near Port Townsend. Port Townsend, Washington. 360/385–3102; www.centrum.org.


Olympic Music Festival. A variety of classical concerts are performed in a renovated barn on weekends from July through early September; picnic on the farm while you listen. Washington. 360/385–9699; 360/838--3006; www.olympicmusicfestival.org.


Forks Old-Fashioned Fourth of July. A salmon bake, parade, demolition derby, arts-and-crafts exhibits, kids' activities, and plenty of fireworks mark Forks's weekend-long celebration. Forks, Washington. 360/374–2531; 800/443–6757; www.forkswa.com.

Sequim Lavender Festival. The third weekend in July, a street fair and free self-guided farm tours celebrate Sequim's many fragrant lavender fields. Sequim, Washington. 360/681–3035; www.lavenderfestival.com.


Forever Twilight in Forks. Author Stephenie Meyer and her popular "Twilight" vampire series (set in Forks) are celebrated annually in mid-September. Forks, Washington. 360/374–2531; 800/443–6757; www.forkswa.com.

Wooden Boat Festival. Hundreds of antique boats sail into Port Townsend for the weekend; there's also live music, education programs, and demonstrations. Port Townsend, Washington. 360/385–3628; www.woodenboat.org.

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