“Temperate” describes the rain forest in Olympic National Park, as well as every season throughout the year here. Surrounded on three sides by large bodies of water—which act to cool the long days of summer and warm the short days of winter—the Park’s seasons, while distinctly different, are not severe. The bi-annual solstice and equinox mark each season’s start at sea level, but the timing of that seasonal change varies radically with altitude. Rain falls gently across the entire Olympic Peninsula through most of the year, falling infrequenty from mid-July to mid-September. Snow, however, which rarely accumulates in the lowlands, often arrives in October in sizable quantities in the Park’s mid-altitudes, and can accumulate greatly in alpine zones. The higher elevations, like Hurricane Ridge, can still have snow on the ground well into July. Most Park visitors choose to visit during the dry warmth of summer, but the three other seasons also offer exceptional experiences.
Visit the Climatic Zones page for more information.