WA Secretary of State Blogs

Olympic National Park – National Park Service – Celebrating 100 Years of Service

a red canoe on the shores of Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park. Mountains in the distance.Washington is home to three National Parks (aren’t we lucky?)  Each park has its own unique features and opportunities for exploration and discovery.  As the state library we have a mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible to Washingtonians materials on the government, history, culture, and natural resources of the state.  As the national parks are one of our state unique treasures we have a variety of items in our collection that focus on Olympic, Rainier and the North Cascades National Parks.

Olympic National Park is on the Olympic Peninsula on the far western part of our state.  The park contains such a variety of landscapes, mountains, a temperate rain forest and wild coastlines. Activities include hiking, backpacking, beachcombing, fishing even a hot spring, your choices are endless. Olympic National Park is also home to several beautiful old lodges, Kalaloch and Lake Crescent lodges were built in the early 1900s and have all the beauty and character you would expect from this era.

If you choose to make a trip to the park what materials do we have at the state library to enhance your visit? A small handful are highlighted below, but if you check our catalog you will find a wide array of materials, from books, to maps, to state and federal documents.

Natural Wonders

Blau, S F, and Keith L. Hoofnagle. Exploring the Olympic Seashore. , 1980. Print.

Hanify, Mary L, and Craig Blencowe. Guide to the Hoh Rain Forest: An Interpretive Handbook. Port Angeles: PenPrint, 1975. Print.

Kirk, Ruth, Jerry F. Franklin, and Louis Kirk. The Olympic Rain Forest: An Ecological Web. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992. Print.

McNulty, Tim. Olympic National Park: A Natural History Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1996. Print.

Stewart, Charles. Wildflowers of the Olympics: 100 Wildflowers of Olympic National Park. San Francisco: Nature Education Enterprises, 1972. Print.

Tabor, R W. Guide to the Geology of Olympic National Park. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1975. Print.

History & Literature

Beres, Nancy, Mitzi Chandler, and Russell Dalton. Island of Rivers: An Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Olympic National Park. Seattle, WA: Pacific Northwest National Parks & Forests Association, 1988. Print.

Brant, Irving. The Olympic Forests for a National Park. New York: Emergency Conservation Committee, 1938. Print.

Wray, Jacilee. River Near the Sea: An Ethnohistory of the Queets River Valley. Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 2014. Print.


Camp Lightly Please: Backcountry Guide to Olympic National Park. Washington, D.C.?: U.S. Dept. of the Interior?, 1979. Print.

Molvar, Erik. Hiking Olympic National Park. Helena, Mont: Falcon, 1996. Print

Parratt, Smitty. Gods & Goblins: A Field Guide to Place Names of Olympic National Park. Port Angeles, WA: CP Publications, 1984. Print.

Steelquist, Robert, Pat O’Hara, Cindy McIntyre, and Keith D. Lazelle. Olympic National Park & the Olympic Peninsula: A Traveler’s Companion. Del Mar, Calif: Published by Woodlands Press in conjunction with Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association, 1985. Print.

Perhaps you are a smartphone hiker?  Our Federal collection contains a lot of electronic information that could help you on your travels.  How about Forest Service Topo Maps for the Olympic National Forest?  Maybe you like to go off road the Motor Vehicle Use Maps show the roads, trails and areas that you can use.  Are you a birder?  The Great Washington State Birding Trail – Olympic Loop would be a wonderful companion on your trip.

And last but very much not least the Port Angeles Public Library located right at the foot of the Olympic National Park created a collection of oral histories from their patrons about their experiences visiting, living in and working at national parks throughout the U.S.  These recordings were funded with a grant from the WSL and hosted on the Washington Rural Heritage site. Have a listen and then go on out and create your own personal story at one of our state and country’s incredible jewels.

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