Olympic National Park Continues to Become More Popular: July Visitation Numbers

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK SEES 6.35% Increase through July, 2015

Olympic National Park is still ahead of last year’s visitors attendance through the first seven months of 2015, despite seeing a 2.9% decrease in visitors from July of 2014. The hot weather, smokey skies, and fire ban are said to be a partial explanation for the dip in park popularity from last July.  Others say that the reason is we have already had two months of summer this year, when most years we don’t get warm until July 5th.

Despite the decrease, most locals would tell you it is getting more crowded along Highway 101, so the drop of 2.9% wasn’t noticeable to the rest of the region’s surging tourism economy. On average, each day in July, 2015 had 18,349 people exploring the beauty of Olympic National Park, exactly 5 more people a day than the June, 2015 numbers.

In July of 2015, 568,820 visitors saw the sites at one of America’s most popular and scenic National Parks. The July 2015 number is an decrease of 2.91% from July of 2015, and total visitation to Olympic National Park is up over 6% from 2014’s numbers. Through July, Olympic National Park has seen 1,856,241 million visitors, with the one more summer month remaining.

In July of 2015, Olympic National Park issued 21,705 backcountry permits, and campgrounds saw 14,353 RVs and their campgrounds, and 30,966 tent campers at the 15 campgrounds in the park.

2015 has still been a great year Olympic National Park’s visitation numbers. Throughout the park, there are areas still seeing great growth and showing they are becoming rockstars in the National Park Service. Below is a detailed description of visitor numbers for each region, including the percentage increase for the month and year, compared with 2014.

VISITATION NUMBERS BY REGION


LAKE CRESCENT

Lake Crescent Sunset, Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent Sunset, Olympic National Park

In July, Lake Crescent, Washington State’s second deepest lake, saw 157,841 visitors to the region’s scenic wonders.  The number is a 19% decrease from the numbers from 2014 for the month of July, and is maintaining growth in 2015 by growing .8% compared with 2014. yearly increase from 2014. Over 6,600 people camped around Lake Crescent in July, and 9,826 stayed at the lodges in the park.

Average number of visitors a day: 5,091


HOH

The Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park
The Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

The Hoh Rainforest, located on the normally wet, western slopes of the Olympic Mountains has seen a staggering increase in visitors, even though it barely rained there in July. July saw 58,471 visitors walking around the Hoh Rainforest. The number is a 64% increase for the month of July when compared to 2014. For the year, the Hoh rainforest has seen an increase of 35%, compared with the first seven months of 2014.

Average number of visitors a day: 1,886


MORA/LAPUSH

Second Beach, Olympic National Park
Second Beach, Olympic National Park

The Olympic National Park beaches around LaPush are classics, and visitors to Olympic National Park agree with me. In July of 2015, Rialto, Second and Third Beaches saw 67,573 visitors, an increase of 39% increase compared to visitation numbers from 2014. Mora and LaPush have seen a busier 2015 than 2014, with attendee up for the year at 29%.

Average number of visitors a day: 2,179


KALALOCH

Kalaloch Beach Root Tree, Olympic National Park
Kalaloch Beach Root Tree, Olympic National Park

Kalaloch is one of my favorite beaches, but it looks like visitors passed by this beach destination in July. Despite being a cooler destination to escape the summer sun, 79,263 visited the beaches of Kalaloch, a decrease of 23.7%. Kalaloch’s yearly visitations numbers are now down 8% compared with 2014. Something seems to be not attracting people there as much this year. I guess they don’t know what they are missing.

Average number of visitors a day: 2,556


ELWHA

The Elwha River, Olympic National Park
The Elwha River, Olympic National Park

The Elwha love train doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, as this region continues to be one of the more popular destinations in Olympic National Park. Despite the Whiskey Bend washout adding five miles to some of the other popular trails in the region. July 2015 saw 40,430 visitors, and increase of 31.6% compared with 2014. For the year, the Elwha has seen an increase in visitation of 37.6%.

Average number of visitors a day: 1,304


HOODSPORT/STAIRCASE

The Staircase Loop Bridge, Olympic National Park
The Staircase Loop Bridge, Olympic National Park

Staircase is the only drivable access into Olympic National Park along Hood Canal, and each month that passes, the popularity of this corner of the park keeps growing. Must be the Staircase Loop Hike. July of 2015 saw a 16% increase from June numbers for 2014, though the campground saw a 14% decrease investigation.  In June of 2015, stats show that 18,132 visitors explored Staircase. For the year, the Staircase region has seen an increase of 34.5%.

Average number of visitors a day: 584


HURRICANE DISTRICT

Hurricane Ridge Hiking, Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge Hiking, Olympic National Park

A combination of smoke and a long summer saw the popularity of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park dwindle. The ridge saw 88,579 visitors to area, but was down 11% from 2014. Overall, Hurricane Ridge area is up in annual visitation by 15.5%. The yearly  numbers reflect an increase in access to seasonal roads during the snowless winter.

Average number of visitors a day: 2,857


OZETTE/SHI SHI

Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park
Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park

Everyone loves Ozette and Shi Shi Beaches. They are the most dramatic stretches of coast in America, and if you have been here, you know why. Despite being isolated, Shi Shi, Lake Ozette and the Ozette Triangle saw 22,052 visitors, an increase of 32.9% from July of 2014. For the year, the region has seen 46,790 people walking the boardwalks and beaches, 7,000 of those camping along the sandy shores.

Average number of visitors a day: 711


QUINAULT

A view of the Quinault Rainforest along the trails near the North Fork Campground in Olympic National Park
A view of the Quinault Rainforest along the trails near the North Fork Campground in Olympic National Park

Always gorgeous and jaw dropping, the Quinault Rainforest saw 36,478 visitors to the lake, rivers and rainforest. The numbers represent a 9.8% decrease compared with June of 2014.  Which is sad, because I really like the Quinault and it should get more love. For the year, it is down 3.2% compared with 2014. In the backcountry, the sites along the Quinault saw a population boom. 2,204 people camped in the wilderness of the Quinault in July, a staggering 84% increase compared with July of 2014.

Average number of visitors a day:1,176

 

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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