Know Before You Go!

a trail surrounded by green moss

All forest visitors are encouraged to notify family or friends of their trip itinerary including their expected return schedule. It is common for weather conditions to change suddenly in mountainous terrains; sunny mornings can turn into stormy afternoons. Always be prepared for bad weather. Weather conditions change rapidly in mountainous terrain. Sudden storms or extreme changes in temperature are common on the Olympic Peninsula. Your trip will be more pleasant if you are prepared for rain or snow, even if you start out on a sunny day.

Outdoor Safety

  • Always treat water found along the trail if you decide to drink it.
  • Remember: you can't count on cell phone coverage in remote areas!
  • The Ten Essentials: Carry the Ten Essentials for day hikes and backpack trips into wilderness or backcountry.
  • Driving Safety: Most of the Olympic National Forest roads are low standard, one-lane roads and are not designed or maintained for high speeds.
  • Trailhead Parking: How to minimize the chance of being a victim of trailhead break-ins and what to do should they occur.

Forest Rules & Regulations

Passes and Permits

Some trailheads or day use sites require a fee. View all recreation passes available for purchase and a description of when and where they are required. Review forest product permit information to find out about berry picking, mushroom hunting, holiday trees & more.

Special use permits may be required for activities such as: recreation events, outfitter guides, filming, research studies and more.


Detailed maps are highly recommended for your visit to Olympic National Forest, particularly for wilderness and backcountry travel. A variety of maps and publications are available for download or purchase. 

Weed Free Feed Requirements

As part of a larger effort to reduce invasive species on national forest lands, weed-free feed is required in all national forests and national grasslands in the Pacific Northwest.

Livestock owners are required to use feed that is either commercially processed or crop products certified to be free of weed seeds. All hay, cubed hay, straw, mulch, and other such products used or stored on national forest lands must be state certified as weed free.

Wilderness and Backcountry Trips

Go to: Wilderness areas

Leave No Trace video:

Campground fees, reservations & regulations

Most campsites at Olympic National Forest are offered on a first-come, first served basis. A limited number of campsites and yurts (Coho only) can be reserved at Coho and Willaby Campgrounds at the National Recreation Reservation System. Check out the campground pages to find site and fee information for specific campgrounds.


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