The main travel artery for all visitors to Olympic National Park is U.S. 101. This northernmost point of the famous coastal highway encircles and only briefly enters the park. Most of the traffic into and out of the park is on the northeastern side, from Vancouver and Seattle.
If you're departing from Seattle, you can take either of the ferries that run regularly every day from the same downtown Seattle dock. No reservations are available for most of the ferries, which cost about $15 one-way for a standard passenger vehicle. The Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferry takes you for a half-hour ride across the Puget Sound before arriving in Bainbridge Island. From there, take Wash. 305 north through Poulsbo to the Hood Canal floating bridge, and then Wash. 104 across to U.S. 101. The Seattle-Bremerton Ferry arrives in Bremerton after a 60-minute ride. From Bremerton, take Wash. 3 north to the Hood Canal floating bridge. The Edmonds-Kingston Ferry is a 30-minute ride to Kingston, where you take Wash. 104 24 miles to U.S. 101. In addition, the Coupeville Ferry shuttles between Whidbey Island and Port Townsend, but it's smaller and runs less frequently; reservations, available for this ferry only, are recommended.
For all ferry schedules and rates, contact Washington State Ferries, 2901 Third Ave., Ste. 500, Seattle, WA 98121 (tel. 888/808-7977 or 511 statewide, or 206/464-6400 local and out of state; www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries).
If you'd rather drive your car over dry land only, head west from Tacoma on Wash. 16 over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which connects with the eastern shore of the Kitsap Peninsula just south of Gig Harbor. Drive north on Wash. 16 to Port Orchard and Bremerton. From Bremerton, take Wash. 3 to the Hood Canal floating bridge and across to U.S. 101.
To reach the park from the south, take I-5 to Olympia, where you can connect with U.S. 101 North, or with Wash. 8 West to the other side of the U.S. 101 loop, to enter the Pacific Ocean section of the park.
The Nearest Airport -- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (tel. 206/787-5388; www.portseattle.org/seatac) is 15 miles south of Seattle on I-5. It's served by most major airlines and car-rental companies. William R. Fairchild International Airport (tel. 360/417-3433; www.portofpa.com/airports) is in Port Angeles, site of the park's main visitor center, and is served by Kenmore Air (tel. 866/435-9524; www.kenmoreair.com), which offers service between Port Angeles and Seattle. Budget provides car rentals
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.