The Daniel J. Evans Wilderness serves to protect diminishing herds of Roosevelt Elk, disappearing old-growth forests, and the grandeur of the Olympic Mountains and Pacific coast. To further protect this remnant of wild America, Congress designated 95% of the park as the Olympic Wilderness in 1988 and renamed it as the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness in 2016. When you enter the Wilderness, take time to clamber along the roaring beaches of the Wilderness coast, to immerse yourself in the freshness and healing of the old-growth forests or to push yourself up onto the peaks and ridges of the glorious high country.
The Daniel J. Evans Wilderness is Washington's largest Wilderness area. It is also one of the most diverse Wilderness areas in the U.S. The heart of the Wilderness is made up of the rugged Olympic Mountains and some of the most pristine forests left south of the 49th Parallel. The Temperate Rainforest valleys of the west and south flanks of the mountains receive 140 to 180 inches of precipitation annually with Mt. Olympus (7,980 feet), the highest peak in the Olympic Mountains receiving over 100 feet of snow. Mt. Olympus has the third largest glacial system in the conterminous U.S. next to Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker also in Washington State.
The Daniel J. Evans Wilderness also contains 48 miles of Wilderness coast with its beaches, rugged headlands, tide pools, seastacks and coastal rainforests.
Just over 600 miles of trails lead into the interior of the park. Overuse threatens the wild character of some areas of this Wilderness. Olympic is one of the most popular Wilderness destinations in North America, with nearly 40,000 overnight Wilderness visitors each year. Spectacular views, temperate rainforest, wildlife, solitude, challenge, quiet, and escape are all reasons people visit the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.
Olympic National Park and the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness are located on the Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington State.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Always be prepared for cool, wet weather in the Olympics. In winter frequent snows blanket the mountains in 10-20 feet of snow. Many trails are not passable or followable. River crossings can be hazardous in winter and during periods of heavy rain. Always contact the Wilderness Information Center prior to your trip for weather information.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.