Best Time to Visit the Olympic Peninsula

PCH Travel picks the best time to visit the Olympic Peninsula, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

The magical Olympic Peninsula, home to stunning landscapes, enchanting wilderness, and a majestic blend of rainforests, mountains, and coastline, promises an adventure for every traveler.

backpackers-olympic-national-park-pixabay-2011092_640.jpgHiker in the Olympic National Park

With a climate ranging from temperate rainforest to alpine conditions, figuring out the best time to visit the Olympic Peninsula can feel like predicting the weather pattern itself. But don’t worry, let's walk through the Peninsula's weather patterns month by month.

Best Month to Visit The Olympic Peninsula

January arrives with average temperatures between 34°F (1°C) and 45°F (7°C), and a significant rainfall measuring approximately 10.9 inches (277 mm) making it the rainiest month. Despite this, low hotel prices and snowy mountain vistas make it an attractive choice for brave explorers and budget travelers.

February warms slightly with averages from 36°F (2.2°C) to 47°F (8.3°C). Rainfall continues to be substantial at about 8.7 inches (220.9 mm), though less than January. Visiting now offers the chance to witness the splendid and highly appropriate Lake Quinault Rain Festival, all while enjoying low hotel rates.

March sees temperatures rise to 38°F (3.3°C) to 51°F (10.5°C) with rainfall dropping to about 7.1 inches (180.3 mm). With the receding rain, the visitor count starts to increase, as do hotel prices.

Our Pick of the Guides

Moon-Olympic-Peninsula-2024.png

April marks a shift in the Olympic Peninsula climate with temperatures ranging from 42°F (5.5°C) and 57°F (13.8°C), and rainfall drastically decreases to about 3.4 inches (86.3 mm). The Spring Native Plant Sale at the Audubon center might intrigue plant lovers while semi-affordable lodging rates persist.

May hints at summer with temperatures between 48°F (8.8°C) and 64°F (17.7°C), and an average rainfall of 2.2 inches (56 mm). Hotel prices see a moderate increase with the influx of visitors seduced by the pleasant Olympic Peninsula weather.

June welcomes the tourist season in full swing with temperatures fluctuating between 53°F (11.6°C) and 70°F (21.1°C), rain dropping to just 1.3 inches (33 mm). The Lavender Festival is a must-visit, but demand-driven hotel rates require deeper pockets.

July, typically the warmest month, averages between 57°F (13.8°C) and 74°F (23.3°C). Rainfall dips further to just 0.8 inches (20.3 mm), and hotel rates are at a premium. But that's a small price for beach days and the enjoyable Rhododendron Festival.

August continues July's warmth with temperatures between 57°F (13.8°C) and 74°F (23.3°C). Rainfall is at a bare minimum and hotel prices remain high. This month marks the unique Makah Days Celebration, making it worth every penny spent on accommodation. It’s held in Neah Bay on the weekend closest to August 25th.

September brings cooler temperatures, ranging between 52°F (11.1°C) and 69°F (20.5°C). The month sees little rainfall and the crowds start to thin out, prompting a slight reduction in hotel prices. This pleasant weather, teamed with the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, makes it an ideal month to visit.

October presents average temperatures between 45°F (7.2°C) and 59°F (15°C), with an average rainfall of 3.6 inches (91.4 mm). Decreasing hotel occupancy due to a dip in visitor count results in lower accommodation prices, just in time for the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival in Port Angeles.

November turns colder with temperatures between 39°F (3.8°C) and 51°F (10.5°C). The average rainfall increases to about 8.2 inches (208.2 mm). The Holiday Gift and Food Fair is held this month, and low hotel rates make it a budget traveler's delight.

December brings in the chill with averages of 35°F (1.6°C) to 45°F (7.2°C) and an average rainfall of about 6.8 inches (172.7 mm). The month offers the delightful Port Townsend Victorian Yuletide Salon and lower hotel rates due to the off-season.

Best Time to Visit The Olympic Peninsula: Summary

So, what exactly is the best time to visit the Olympic Peninsula? It depends on your preference. If you're on a shoestring budget, consider visiting during the winter. Hotel rates are at their lowest, and while it's rainy almost perpetually, the snow-laden mountains are a sight to behold.

If you prefer to be dry and warm then July and August, sporting the best of the Olympic Peninsula weather, are your best bets. However, summer comes with a high price tag courtesy of increased hotel prices and a surge of tourists.

Love a mix of pleasant weather and moderate prices? Then the shoulder months - May, June, September, and October - strike the perfect balance. In particular, foodies might plan their trip around October's Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, a gastronomic delight.

The Olympic Peninsula climate offers an adventurous paradox, from cold, rainy winters to comfortably warm summers. Winter provides an entirely different view - misty forests, tranquil beaches, and snowy peaks, ideal for peaceful contemplation or romantic getaways.

Spring season unveils a verdant scenery dotted with blooming wildflowers, making it an optimal time for nature walks and forest hikes. The Olympic Peninsula weather during this period invites you to explore the farms and markets, sprinkled around the region.

Summertime becomes the paradise for those yearning for sun-soaked beach days, camping trips, and water sports. Every nook and corner brims with lively activities suitable for every family member.

Fall introduces a gentle crisp in the air, the turning color of leaves, and a quieter ambience. It's an ideal time for peaceful walks in the woodlands, beachside picnics, or enjoying a quiet reading break by the serene lakesides. If your taste buds crave seafood, the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival in October is a must-visit.

In essence, the best time to visit the Olympic Peninsula depends on what you're looking for - whether it's the least expensive travel, the dips and splashes of summer, or the thrill of off-season travel.

Other OIympic Peninsula pages

  • Forks is a small city in Washington State, known as the gateway to the Olympic National Park, and as the home for the Twilight series of books and movies.

    Forks Washington

    Forks is a small city in Washington State, known as the gateway to the Olympic National Park, and as the home for the Twilight series of books and movies.

  • Moon's Spotlight Guide to the Olympic Peninsula covers hotels, restaurants, and sights, including Forks, the Olympic National Park and other places.

    Guide to the Olympic Peninsula

    Moon's Spotlight Guide to the Olympic Peninsula covers hotels, restaurants, and sights, including Forks, the Olympic National Park and other places.

  • Port Angeles in Washington is the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula. It stands on the Pacific Coast Highway and is the gateway to the Olympic National Park.

    Port Angeles in Washington State

    Port Angeles in Washington is the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula. It stands on the Pacific Coast Highway and is the gateway to the Olympic National Park.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews an Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide published by the Beautiful Pacific Northwest website.

    Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews an Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide published by the Beautiful Pacific Northwest website.

  • Olympic National Park, west of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest, is one of the largest and least developed parks in the United States.

    Olympic National Park

    Olympic National Park, west of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest, is one of the largest and least developed parks in the United States.

  • Olympic Peninsula wineries are not in the heart of Washington wine country but the vineyards near the Pacific Coast Highway are worth a visit.

    Olympic Peninsula Wineries

    Olympic Peninsula wineries are not in the heart of Washington wine country but the vineyards near the Pacific Coast Highway are worth a visit.

  • Little Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington is a delightful place to stop if driving the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Sequim

    Little Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington is a delightful place to stop if driving the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Olympic National Park accommodation consists of campgrounds and trailer parks, and most visitors to the park stay in nearby lodges and resorts.

    Olympic National Park Accommodation

    Olympic National Park accommodation consists of campgrounds and trailer parks, and most visitors to the park stay in nearby lodges and resorts.

  • Port Townsend is noted for its Victorian architecture, sits at the top of the Olympic Peninsula, close to the Olympic National Park and 55 miles from Seattle.

    Port Townsend

    Port Townsend is noted for its Victorian architecture, sits at the top of the Olympic Peninsula, close to the Olympic National Park and 55 miles from Seattle.



Recent Articles

  1. 8 California Beaches That Feel Like The Caribbean

    Jun 15, 24 03:53 AM

    California's beaches offer white sands, turquoise waters, and palm trees, evoking the serene beauty of the Caribbean with their picturesque scenery.

    Read More

  2. Slingshots, Color, and Open Roads: How to Explore California’s Spring Wildflowers

    May 01, 24 11:10 AM

    Beaches. Mountains. Deserts. Cities. California has a lot, and it’s known for a lot, but in the mix of some of the most incredible scenery in the United States, one excellent feature is often overlook…

    Read More

  3. Best Things to Do in Monterey

    Apr 30, 24 07:57 PM

    fishermans-wharf-monterey.webp
    The best things to do in Monterey, chosen by Pacific Coast Highway Travel, include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, whale watching and Fisherman's Wharf.

    Read More