Top Ten Wildflower-Viewing Spots

Wildflowers along stream, Olympic National Park, Washington
Wildflowers thrive in lush Olympic National Park (Purestock/Getty)

4. Washington
Washington's Olympic National Park's various ecosystems make for an impressive number of wildflower species. The park's temperate Quinault Rain Forest sports wildflowers unique to its particular ecosystem, such as salmonberry, skunk cabbage, trillium, and devil's club. A half-mile interpretive nature trail makes for easy viewing for the whole family. For a more ambitious hike and a look at alpine blooms, consider the Mount Ellinor Trail. The meadows are cloaked in color, and the mountain slopes offer stunning panoramic views of Puget Sound. Expect to see the tiny Piper's bellflower, unique to the Olympic Mountains, showy pink Pacific rhododendrons, and the wonderfully named alpine pussytoes. Experienced hikers may opt to climb to the summit, but day hikers will probably want to turn around at the 2.5-mile point, where the forest opens into an alpine meadow.

Check out more photos of Olympic National Park.

Published: 21 Mar 2009 | Last Updated: 6 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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