Olympic National Park Wildlife

Olympic National Park WildlifeEstablished in 1938, the Olympic National Park in Washington State spans nearly 1 million acres of preserved wilderness and is home to a diverse array of plants, animals, and insects. While you’re staying at George Washington Inn, we highly recommend taking a least one day to explore the nearby park to marvel at the immense beauty and catch a glimpse of the Olympic National Park wildlife. Some of the wildlife you may see include common animals such as elk, harbor seals and migratory whales, but there are also some animals you won’t find anywhere else in the world! As you begin to plan your trip to the Pacific Northwest, you may want to set aside a couple of days to explore the park to experience its three main areas of distinction: mountain, forest, and beach. Hiking, boating, fishing, and beachcombing will afford incredible views and the opportunity to see some of the following Olympic National Park Wildlife.

Anadromous Fish

For the non-fishermen out there, an anadromous fish is one that is born in freshwater, migrates to the ocean where it spends most of its life, and then returns to freshwater as an adult to spawn. Several examples of this migratory fish in the rivers, lakes and streams of Olympic National Park include bull trout, chinook salmon, chum salmon, pink salmon and steelhead.


The Olympic National Park is considered the best example of intact and protected temperate rain forest in the Pacific Northwest and as such is home to some “cool” amphibians. Toads, salamanders and 13 species of frogs have live in the park, as have several reptiles including the Northern Alligator Lizard, the Rubber Boa, and the Northwestern Garter Snake.

Marine Mammals

One of our favorite places to view marine mammals in the Pacific Northwest is right here at the George Washington Inn. Have a seat on our veranda facing the ocean and enjoy a mug of rich coffee or a delightful cup of tea as you watch seals swimming and lounging on the rocks below. If you want to see whales in the wild, you can get one of our special packages and take the Puget Sound Express for an exciting Whale Watching Tour.

Explore the nearby Feiro Marine Life Center and touch sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and more in their touch tanks. Learn about plankton at the microscope station. See a variety of fish and other animals you will find in our region. Volunteer naturalists enjoy talking with guests and learners from all over the world about the sea animals, the best times and places to tidepool, and current events and issues facing our coast.

The Olympic National Park also offers an array of locations for spotting marine life. Ruby and Rialto beaches are excellent places from which to spot seals, sea otters, sea lions and even a spouting whale.


About 300 different species of birds are found in the various regions of the park. Stunning examples include the bald eagle, several different types of owls, warblers and the great blue heron. Fish – In addition to the anadromous fish living with into boundaries of the Olympic National Park, you will also find 37 species of native freshwater fish living in the lakes and streams.

Terrestrial Mammals

If your goal is to spot – and maybe photograph – some of the majestic four-legged creatures that roam throughout the park, you may want to arrive in the morning or stay until evening as these are active times for the animals. Mountain beavers, Olympic chipmunks, foxes, coyotes and the Mazama pocket gopher are among the small- to medium-sized animals you might see. Larger animals include black bear, black-tailed deer, and Roosevelt Elk.

Olympic National Park Wildlife You Won’t See Anywhere Else

Some of Olympic National Park Wildlife that inhabits the region migrated here, while others can be found here and nowhere else! Such animals include the Olympic marmot, Olympic snow mole and Olympic torrent salamander.

Plan Your Visit

We know that after spending your days exploring the Olympic National Park, you will be ready to return to George Washington Inn for comfortable and peaceful evenings in a romantic suite with spectacular views. Make your online reservation today or contact us with any questions. To learn more about the area’s activities and events, download the free Vacation Guide.