Welcome to the audio-described version of Olympic National Park's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that visitors receive. The brochure explores the diverse environments of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit.
This audio version lasts about 37 minutes, which we have divided into 29 sections. The first seven sections describe the front of the brochure, which is a large illustration showing the park's diverse environments. The remaining sections describe the back of the brochure, which is the park map and information about visitor services and safety.
You can listen straight through or choose which sections to hear. Most sections are less than one minute; the longest section describes the park map in detail and lasts 4 minutes.
A team from the National Park Service's Harpers Ferry Center audio-described this brochure during the August 2019 Descriptathon led by the UniD team from the University of Hawaii and NPS. We enjoyed working on it and hope you find it useful.
Olympic National Park is in Washington State, on a huge peninsula west of Seattle. The park occupies 1,440 square miles at the center of the peninsula and in a strip along the Pacific coast.
Olympic is one of more than 400 units in the National Park system. President Theodore Roosevelt set it aside as a national monument in 1909. Almost 30 years later, President Franklin Roosevelt further protected it as Olympic National Park. Today the park is internationally recognized as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site because of its rich natural and cultural resources.
Hold the closed brochure so the fold is at right. Open it out so you are holding a long, narrow item. Across the top is the standard National Park Service title band, which is about 1-inch high and is black. The park name, Olympic, is at far left in large, bold white letters. At far right, smaller white text reads Olympic National Park, Washington, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Now unfold it and turn it 90 degrees
counterclockwise. A busy and diverse landscape illustration covers the rest of
the page. It depicts the major environments of Olympic National Park, coastal,
river, lowland rain forest, higher and drier forests, meadow, sub-alpine, and
alpine. The illustration moves from the coast on the left to the high mountains
at top, and a mountain forest to the right. This single illustration shows more
than one hundred plants and animals. Text appears in color blocks covering the
center bottom of the illustration, and begins with an introduction described in
the next component.
The title, "Explore Olympic," is in white letters in a dark box. The box begins as an opaque black on the left and becomes increasingly transparent until it fades into the illustration. This gives the visual effect of the title becoming part of the illustration. All of the text below the title is black and in a semitransparent box colored with a soft green that seems to mix all the greens in the illustration. The introductory paragraph begins below the title, and is double-spaced. The rest of the text is in three sections entitled Coast, Forests, and Mountains. This text is smaller and single-spaced.
Waves boom along wilderness beaches and mix with snow-fed rivers. Ancient trees shelter wildlife. Rugged peaks embrace glaciers and subalpine meadows. Coast, forest, and mountain ecosystems combine to create this spectacular wilderness park. The Olympic Peninsula is home to eight American Indian tribes that developed complex hunter-gatherer societies and continue to keep their traditions alive. European explorers who ventured here in the late 1700s heralded the way for homesteaders. The Olympics were set aside as a national monument in 1909 and further protected as Olympic National Park in 1938. Today the park is internationally recognized as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, testimony to its rich resources. Explore Olympic—a gift to the future.
The coastal environment spans the left edge of the illustration from top to bottom. In this coastal environment, rocky sea stacks are beaten on by ocean waves, a bald eagle perches on driftwood along the beach watching for prey, and an oystercatcher probes for food in a tidepool. Puffins, common murres, gulls, and a brown pelican fly along the coast. A harbor seal bobs in the ocean surf, gazing at you. An otter floats on its back, holding a sea urchin in its front paws, and is staring at you. In the background, seven people are in a canoe with a long, carved bow; they are paddling toward shore. On the beach, two people are walking on the beach, and a third, smaller person is running ahead. In the distance, the forested coastal cliffs fade into the ocean mist and the haze.
Tides control the rhythm of life along this biologically diverse coastline. Twice-daily intertidal animals face pounding surf and drying winds. Coastal rivers serve as highways for migrating fish, and downed trees along riverbanks protect young salmon journeying from mountains to sea. When the adults return and swim upstream to spawn, their flesh carries a special form of nitrogen gathered during their years at sea. Most salmon die after spawning, but their death brings life. Bears, eagles, insects, and other animals feed on salmon carcasses, then deposit nutrients in rivers and forests. Marine nitrogen nourishes forest soils—a gift from the salmon.
The forest and river environments occupy the middle of the illustration. In the rain forest, moss-draped maple trees shadow over a backcountry trail and barn, knotted growths cling to cedar trees, and fallen trees are strewn about the rainforest floor. A peregrine falcon flies from the forest toward the ocean. A pileated woodpecker flies between an ancient evergreen and a skeletal maple tree.
Below the rain forest, the river flows right to left toward the ocean. Along the bank of the river, mountain beaver take shelter underneath the huckleberry and salmonberry that grows in the loamy soil. Frogs, salamanders, and a small herd of elk roam freely along both banks of the river. Fallen logs, branches, and smooth river rocks peek above the waterline of the river where a dipper and a harlequin duck rest. A stonefly and caddisfly cling to a single river stone at the river’s edge while a frog sits on the bank as if watching these potential meals. Below the clear waters of the river, a small group of salmon swim into the river, leaving their ocean home as they swim upstream to spawn at the end of their lives.
Along the right side of the illustration, along
the river bank, a forest is being pierced by the morning light. Several large
cedar trees hover over the forest floor and provide shade for the ferns,
shrubs, and small flowering plants below. From the tops of the trees a spotted
owl stretches its silent wings, clenches its claws, and dives toward a flying
squirrel in mid-flight. Below the flying squirrel, its cousin, the Douglas
squirrel, leaps along a fallen log. In the background beyond the largest cedar
tree, two people appear to be watching a group of bull elk who are returning their gaze. In the foreground, a moss-covered log hosts a winter wren, shelf fungus, orchids,
and a bright yellow banana slug. Below them, the illustration hints at the richness of life
Olympic National Park protects the largest old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. Its unique character begins with ancient trees that took root 200 to 1,000 years ago. In these forests multi-layered canopies, standing snags, and fallen trunks provide habitat for myriad animals. Differences in moisture (from 40 to 240 inches annually), and changes in elevation (from sea-level to 7,980 feet) create a mosaic of forests in the park. Temperate rain forests grow along the coast and in ocean-facing valleys. Lowland, montane, and subalpine forests cloak other park areas. Olympic supports complex forest communities—a gift from the past.
Above the rain forest at the top of the illustration, the mountain environment can be found. The mountains in the background are covered in glaciers and snow and loom over a small, springtime mountain valley and rocky outcrop below. From the left, clouds and fog are beginning to tumble into the valley to obscure the bright blue sky while two ravens fly away from that approaching storm. Columbine, penstemons, primroses, lupines, lilies, and shooting stars bloom in abundance among the shrubbery of the valley. A hummingbird is buzzing among the smorgasbord of flowers. Perched atop the rocky outcrop, a single marmot watches over the mountain valley while a mountain lion hides among the rocky outcrop. Perhaps it has noticed the two people watching a waterfall from a bridge. A black bear walks along the valley's edge toward a small alpine lake at the bottom of the valley. In the distance, two people walk on a trail crossing the valley. They walk below a black-tailed deer that is grazing with her fawn.
A world of landscapes unfolds here: glaciers chisel U-shaped valleys, and brilliantly colored wildflowers blanket subalpine meadows. Geologists still debate the origins of the Olympics. Some 50 million years ago lava gushed from underwater rips in the edge of the continent, hardening into miles-thick layers of basalt. Later, an immense submerged delta of sandstone and shale formed farther out in the ocean. These layered rocks slowly rode back to the continent and jammed beneath the basalts, forcing the Olympics to rise from the sea 10 to 20 million years ago. Ice-age glaciers helped carve the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, separating the Olympics from nearby lands. Years of isolation nurtured the rich biodiversity of the Peninsula, where over 20 plants and animals are found nowhere else on Earth. The rugged Olympic Mountains—a gift from the sea.
This is a partial list of plants and animals in the illustration. The list is organized by the text sections of Coast, Forests, Mountains, and moves generally from top to bottom of each section. You can learn more about these plants and animals from various sources on the internet.
ochre sea star
purple shore crab
old man’s beard
big leaf maple
chicken of the woods
Par nassee un butterfly
black tailed deer
sub alpine fir
A half-inch black banner crosses the top of the page and includes two headlines in bold white type: “Planning Your Visit to Olympic National Park” and “Getting Around the Park." Below each headline is text related to that title. These text components are described separately, after the map component.
A map of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state covers the entire side of the brochure, and will be described next.
The purpose of the map is to display park features, park
visitor services, and park orientation. It also helps with wayfinding, locating
historical information, and providing geographic and topographic information.
The main map shows the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, which is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and east by Puget Sound (not shown). The national park occupies 1,440 square miles at the center of the peninsula and in a strip along the Pacific coast. US 101 encircles most of the park.
The map is oriented north.
The map covers the entire side of the brochure, but allows room for four components that will be described separately. At the top are two sections, “Planning Your Visit” and “Getting Around the Park.” The legend and advisory text occupy the lower left corner of the page. Information about the park’s wilderness area occupies the lower right corner.
Bright green boxes point to and label visitor centers, main ranger stations, and other information locations. The park’s main visitor center is outside the park, in the town of Port Angeles on the north coast. Two other visitor centers, Hurricane Ridge and Hoh Rain Forest, serve visitors inside the park and are described more fully in the long description. Ranger stations and smaller visitor areas serve visitors along the west coast and in three other locations.
The map depicts the park’s boundaries, trails, features, roads, and visitor resources. The entire northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula is at the top of the map. The shape of the main park is roughly circular with its southwest edge extending along the Queets River valley almost to the Pacific coast. A long, narrow section of the park runs north to south along the coast. The upper portions of the western and eastern shores of the peninsula are on the left and right sides of the map. The park boundary encompasses the middle of the Olympic Peninsula and also encompasses the west coast of the peninsula. The park is approximately 1,440 square miles.
Three major population centers lie along the northern coast of the peninsula, Port Angeles, Sequim, and Port Townsend. All three population centers are located on the northeastern corner of the peninsula. Seven Indian reservations are located around the park. Moving around the peninsula like a clock, the Quinault Indian Reservation is at 7 o'clock, the Hoh Indian Reservation is at 8 o'clock, the Quileute Indian Reservation at 9 o'clock, the Ozette Indian Reservation at 10 o'clock, Makah Indian Reservation at 11 o'clock, Lower Elwha Klallam Indian Reservation at 12, and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe at 2 o'clock. Most of the reservations and towns are connected by US 101, which encircles the bulk of Olympic National Park. The Quileute, Ozette, and Makah reservations are connected to US 101 by state roads.
The park has several visitor centers and ranger stations. Olympic National Park Visitor Center, which is also the Wilderness Information Center, is north of the park in the town of Port Angeles. Visitor centers and ranger stations within the park are described using the clockface analogy: Clockwise around the park’s boundary beginning at 7 o'clock is the Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station, at 9 o'clock is the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, at 11 o'clock is the Storm King Ranger Station, at 12 o'clock is the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, and at 5 o'clock is the Staircase Ranger Station. The Kalaloch Ranger Station is located in the narrow section along the coast, at the southern end.
The park is surrounded by the Olympic National Forest to the east and to the south. The national forest also bisects the park’s western-most edge and splits the park into two distinct sections; a narrow coastal beach that runs north-south along the peninsula’s coast, and the bulk of the park to the east. The national forest that surrounds the park has several labeled wilderness areas. On the southern border of the park are the Colonel Bob, Wonder Mountain, and Mount Skokomish wilderness areas. On the eastern border of the park are the Brothers and Buckhorn wildernesses.
Three lakes lie along the border of Olympic National Park. Lake Crescent lies to the north, Lake Quinault to the southwest, and Lake Cushman to the southeast.
Several rivers crisscross the park. The most prominent are the Bogachiel River, Hoh River, Queets River, Quinalt River, Dosewallips River, Gray Wolf River, Elwha River, and the Sol Duc River. Dozens of smaller creeks feed into these rivers.
Olympic National Park includes dozens of high mountain peaks between 5,000 and 8,000 feet in elevation. Mount Olympus is the highest at 7,980 feet and is located roughly in the center of the park. Other prominent peaks are Mount Carrie, Mount Christie, O’Neil Peak, Mount Deception, Elk Mountain, and Mount Angeles.
Dashed and dotted lines indicate the multitude of trails strewn across the park. None are named on this map. Obtain more information about these trails at one of the visitor centers or on the park website (www.nps.gov/olym).
The next section of description is a list of visitor services and recreational opportunities. It is followed by a list and description of the icons used to show their locations on the map.
Icons identify the location of many visitor services and recreational opportunities. The list is below, the icons are described in the next component.
Ranger Stations open year-round: Going clockwise around the park boundary beginning at the west: Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Port Angeles Visitor Center, Quilcene (Forest Service).
Ranger Stations open summer only: Kalaloch Ranger Station, Mora, Ozette, Quinault Ranger Station, Lake Quinault Ranger Station, Staircase Ranger Station, Elkhorn, Deer Park, Elwha, Storm King Ranger Station, Eagle.
Campgrounds open year-round: Kalaloch, Mora, Ozette, Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, Sol Duc, Salt Creek County Park, Heart O’ the Hills, Sequim Bay State Park, Port Townsend State Park, Old Port Townsend State Park, Elkhorn, Dosewallips State Park, Scenic Beach State Park, Staircase Ranger Station, Graves Creek
Campgrounds open summer only: Gatton Creek, Falls Creek, Willaby, Klahowya, Fairholme, Dungeness Forks, Fallsview, Seal Rock, Collins, Hamma Hamma, Lena Creek, Big Creek, Brown Creek.
Primitive Campgrounds open year-round: Queets, Yahoo Lake, Upper Clearwater, Copper Mine Bottom, South Fork, Minnie Peteron, Hoh Oxbow, Cottonwood, Bear Creek, Lyre River, Dosewallips, North Fork.
Primitive Campgrounds open summer only: South Beach.
Self-Guiding Trails: Quinault Rain Forest, Willaby, Hoh Rain Forest, Klahowya, Lake Crescent Lodge, Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Heart O’ the Hills, Olympic National Park Visitor Center, Blue Mountain, Seal Rock, Hamma Hamma, Staircase Ranger Station, Brown Creek.
Wheelchair-accessible trails: Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station, Hoh Rainforest, Storm King Ranger Station, Madison Falls, Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook, Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Olympic National Park Visitor Center.
Boat Launches: Mora, Swan Bay, Ozette, Lake Pleasant County Park, Pillar Point County Park, Fairholme, Storm King Ranger Station, Log Cabin Resort, Freshwater Bay County Park, Port Townsend State Park, Dosewallips State Park, Triton Cove State Park, Scenic Beach State Park, Lake Cushman, Bunch Falls, North Shore Road, Falls Creek, Willaby, Lake Quinault, Lower Queets Road, Upper Queets Road,
The legend is on the map at far left, beneath the words "Olympic National Park," which are in green. The icons are described here; their locations on the map are described in the earlier component: "List: Visitor Services and Recreational Opportunities."
A directional arrow points to the top of the brochure and indicates north is up.
A scale shows 3 inches is approximately equal to 10 miles.
12 icons depict visitor services:
Beneath the legend is a section of warnings about roads, hiking, and visiting the coast. This section also contains map symbols and will be described in the next component.
This section is beneath the map legend on the far left of the page. Each warning begins with a white title in a blue banner. Each warning also contains map symbols. The section also includes information about the offshore marine sanctuary, which is not a warning and so is described separately.
NOT A DRIVE-THROUGH PARK
No roads pass through the heart of the Olympics. US 101 provides the main access, with numerous spur roads leading into the park.
Paved Road Icon: Solid red line on a green background
Unpaved Road Icon: Solid black line on a green background
HIKING THE WILDERNESS
Warning in bold red type: Do not use this map for hiking.
Get detailed topographic maps.
Additional information in black type: Permits required for all overnight wilderness stays. Obtain permits at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC). Call 360-565-3100 or visit the WIC to get Wilderness Trip Planner and more information. Wilderness users should inquire about river and creek ford locations and difficulty in crossing.
Trail Icon: Black, dashed line
Primitive Trail Icon: Dotted black line
Pass Icon: Two red parallel lines
VISITING THE COAST
Warning in bold red type: Caution: Don’t get trapped by high tides; get current tide chart at a ranger station. When hiking, watch for targets marking overland trails.
Target icon: Black and orange circle divided into four equal quadrants.
Icon: Orange X, with this text: Impassable headland: ALWAYS use overland trail.
Icon: Orange circle with this text: Wait for low tide or use overland trail if available.
Warning in bold red type: Sudden high waves can pick up beach logs and turn them into weapons; they kill.
Additional information in black type: Most reefs, rocks, islets, and islands (except the James Island Group) are designated wilderness and national wildlife refuges, CLOSED to visitors to protect wildlife. Boats must remain 200 yards from the islands.
On the upper right of the map, off the coast, is a label in blue capital letters: Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Information about this sanctuary is located in the Warnings section, which is described previously.
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary covers 3,310 square miles of marine waters. The sanctuary provides habitat for one of the most diverse populations of marine mammals in North America. It is a link in the Pacific flyway and provides critical habitat for nesting and migrating birds. To learn more, visit www.olympiccoast.noaa.gov.
A half-inch black banner crosses the top of the page.
A map of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state covers the entire page, and has been described earlier.
This component describes a text section above the map that is entitled “Planning Your Visit to Olympic National Park"
TITLE: Planning Your Visit to Olympic National Park
Are you here for a day? A week? Maybe you’ve come to this wilderness park to stroll the rain forest with its massive trees, lush vegetation, and Roosevelt elk. Maybe you plan to hike in the mountains amid Olympic marmots and magenta paintbrush. Perhaps you are headed for the ocean to see tidepools with intriguing creatures, marvel at arches and sea stacks, and explore the beaches. Even if you have plans already, stop at a visitor center or ranger station. You will find information that can help make your day or your week at Olympic National Park even better.
Here you can find information, exhibits, publications, movies, and maps. Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge, and Hoh Rain Forest visitor centers are open in summer, hours and staffing are limited in other seasons. Ranger and information station hours vary seasonally. The free park newspaper Bugler has articles on safety, research, and activities. Service animals are welcome.
Wilderness Information Center (WIC)
Contact WIC for wilderness trip planning, trail and weather reports, safety and Leave No Trace tips, reservations, permits, maps, and approved bear canisters:
Wilderness Information Center 3002 Mount Angeles Rd. Port Angeles, WA 98362 360-565-3100 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nps.gov/olym
Entrance, camping, overnight wilderness use, and other fees are collected in the national park. Additional fees may apply on surrounding public and tribal lands.
Lodging, supplies, and services
Inside the park most lodging, supplies, and services are available seasonally. Outside they are available year-round.
BROCHURE TEXT: Camping.
Most campsites are available first-come, first-served. Fees vary. Some campgrounds are open year-round. Sites at Kalaloch Campground can be reserved in summer at www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
BROCHURE TEXT: Keep Wildlife Wild!
Animals here are wild and can be dangerous—remain at least 150 feet away and never try to feed them. Cougars are rarely seen; if you meet one pick up small children, wave your arms, and shout. Give bears a wide berth and let them move away. Report all bear or cougar sightings. Keep a clean camp. Store food, garbage, and toiletries properly. Obtain approved bear canisters at the WIC or some ranger stations.
BROCHURE TEXT. Safety and Regulations.
Check park bulletin boards, newspapers, and handouts or ask a ranger about safety and regulations.
Emergencies call 911
BROCHURE TEXT: Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula
Nearly one million acres on the Olympic Peninsula are protected as wilderness—95 percent of Olympic National Park, five areas in Olympic National Forest, and over 600 islands in national wildlife refuges. Learn more at www.nps.gov/olym.
Wilderness forever protects the land’s natural conditions, opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation, and scientific, educational, and historical values. Learn more about the National Wilderness Preservation System at www.wilderness.net.
DESCRIPTION: Getting Around the Park
A half-inch black banner crosses the top of the page.
A map of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state covers the entire page, and has been described earlier.
This component is above the map in the right corner of the page. It is entitled "Getting Around," and summarizes 3 sections of the park. There is also a table showing time and miles between locations; this table will be described in the next component.
The purpose of the map is to show geographic region around Olympic National Park.
The Olympic Peninsulas is pale yellow; the park is light green and its major areas in bold green labels. Towns and cities are in bold black type. Major state and national roads connect the park with the towns, cities, and Sea-Tac International Airport. Waterways around the peninsulas are labeled. The border of the United States and Canada is shown.
Text to the left describes the park's three major areas and is described in the next section.
A table below the map lists travel times and miles between locations shown on the map. Its description follows the text component.
TITLE IN BLACK BANNER: GETTING AROUND THE PARK
Ozette offers hikes to wilderness beaches and views of the third largest lake in Washington. Mora has beach hikes to arches and sea stacks. Kalaloch features sandy beaches, tidepools, and coastal forests.
FORESTS AND BIG TREES
Experience the park’s forests at Elwha, Sol Duc, Dosewallips, and Staircase and rain forests of Hoh and Quinault. Several park trees hold records for their size.
MOUNTAINS AND GLACIERS
Hurricane Ridge (5,242 feet/1,599 meters) offers views of Mount Olympus, glaciers, and the wilderness. Look for black-tailed deer in subalpine meadows.
DESCRIPTION: This table is the third part of the component, Getting Around. It sits directly below the map that shows the park in its regional context. The map is described separately. The table lists travel times and distances between regional and park locations, and between park locations.
TITLE: Approximate Travel Times and Miles
Seattle to Port Angeles via ferry: 3 hours. 72 miles.
Sea-Tac Airport to Port Angeles via Tacoma: 3 hours. 130 miles.
Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge: 45 minutes. 17 miles.
Port Angeles to Staircase: 3 hours. 100 miles.
Port Angeles to Ozette: 2 and one half hours. 88 miles.
Port Angeles to Forks: 1 and one half hours. 59 miles.
Forks to Hoh Rain Forest: 1 hour. 32 miles.
Forks to Kalaloch: 1 hour. 36 miles.
Kalaloch to Quinault Rain Forest: 45 minutes. 33 miles.
BROCHURE TEXT: Accessibility
We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to a visitor center, ask a ranger, call, or check our website.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Ave.
Port Angeles, WA 98362
360-565-3131 (roads and weather)
Find us on social media.
Olympic National Park is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. Learn more about national parks at www.nps.gov.