Wildlife and Sea Life in Port Angeles
With nearly 1 million acres of wilderness to roam, the Olympic National Park is home to a variety of animal, bird and plant species. Some of the more common animal residents include elk, black tail deer, black bears, coyotes, marmots and mountain goats. It’s not uncommon to run into these animals in their natural habitat while you’re hiking. Remember, these are wild animals and you should always keep your distance. Approved bear canisters are required in specific wilderness areas of the park for all food storage and certain scented items. Even the chipmunks can be curious around unattended backpacks.
The Olympic Game Park allows you to get up close to mountain lions, tigers, bears and buffalo. There’s an extensive list of animals you’ll see riding in your car through the drive-through park. You can feed some of the animals by hand, or hop on a camel or pony for a ride.
Watch Roosevelt Elk Calves Crossing the Hoh River along the Hoh River Trail
Birding enthusiasts flock to the Olympic Loop to see over 225 of the 346 bird species found in Washington. The Olympic Loop is part of the Great Washington State Birding Trail and is recognized by the Audubon Society. Make a plan to come for the Olympic Peninsula BirdFest every April, which coincides with the timing of wintering birds and the beginning of spring migration on the Olympic Peninsula. Serious birders can partake in presentations and workshops. Then take field trips to many area hot spots for birdwatching – Port Angeles Harbor, Ediz Hook, Dungeness Spit, Sequim Bay, the Elwha River, Salt Creek and Neah Bay, and Hurricane Ridge.
Start your day in Port Angeles with a hands-on sea-life experience at the Feiro Marine Life Center where you can get an up close encounter with sea creatures collected within 20 miles of Port Angeles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Then head over to Freshwater Bay for the best kid-friendly tidepooling near town. Low tide reveals a walkable sandy beach dotted with anemone-covered rocks and pools teeming with crabs and tiny fish. Move into the big leagues of tidepooling with visits to these top tide pool spots around the Peninsula: Salt Creek Recreation Area, Ruby Beach, La Push Beaches, and Kalaloch Beach 4.
Whale Trail & Marine Mammals
The rich ocean waters and currents of the Olympic Peninsula coast create an ideal ecosystem and habitat for a vast number of marine mammals, seabirds, sea life and fish. The Olympic Peninsula is surrounded by over 400 miles of coastline, which includes the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary that is over two times the size of the Olympic National Park.
Watch the whales go by on foot or by boat. The Whale Trail is a dedicated aquatic trail that starts in California and runs along the coast of Oregon, Washington and then continues through the Strait of Juan de Fuca into British Columbia. In order to be listed as an official site along the whale trail, there needs to be a good chance of seeing orcas or other cetaceans at some time during the year in public areas. Depending on the time of year and your location, you can spot orcas, minke, gray and humpback whales from the shore. Look for signs at lookout points throughout the Olympic Peninsula. For guaranteed whale sightings, you’ll definitely want to book a whale watching tour — there’s nothing more magical then seeing a breaching whale by boat.
Whale Watching in Port Angeles, Washington
331 Things to Do - #101 Gaze at Humpback Whales Along the Whale Trail at Crescent Bay or Take a Whale Watching Tour in Port Angeles, Washington Keep An Eye Out for Killer [...]
Sunrise Kayak Tour in the Harbor
331 Things to Do - #35 Rise & Shine with Seals Wake up with a two-hour Sunrise Sea Kayak Tour Paddle the calm waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Port Angeles harbor [...]
Wild Life Attractions & Tours
Kaiyote Tours provides a variety of education and eco-friendly guided tours for beginners to experts. They specialize in birding, hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing tours throughout the entire Olympic Peninsula.Learn More
John Wayne Marina
This full-service marina is actually named after the John Wayne. John Wayne's family donated the land this marina was constructed on because he frequented the area on his family yacht. He always envisioned a marina in this scenic bay. Today, you'll find plenty of pretty picnic spots with a public beach, permanent…Learn More
Olympic National Park
One of only three National Parks located in Washington state, the Olympic National Park is by far the largest (nearly 1 million acres) and is home to numerous species of animals, marine mammals, birds, and plants. The park's rugged mountains transition to lush old-growth rain forest and onto rocky seashores, with…Learn More
Experience Olympic is an ecotourism company providing guided tours and treks in the Olympic National Park and the surrounding Olympic Peninsula, including Hurricane Ridge, the Elwha River, Hoh Rainforest and beach tours. Operated by biologist and naturalist guide Carolyn Wilcox, she will pick you up from your Port Angeles lodging…Learn More
Sound Bikes & Kayaks
Sound Bikes & Kayaks is much more than just an outdoor gear store selling some of the best brands for climbing, skiing, mountaineering, biking, kayaking and water play. They also offer plenty of advice for exploring the Olympic Peninsula. Check out ISO Adventures (their professional guiding service portion of the…Learn More
Adventures Through Kayaking
What once was just a kayaking tour company, Adventures Through Kayaking expanded their guided tours to include mountain biking, standup paddleboarding (SUP), rafting trips and, of course, saltwater and freshwater kayaking tours. If you'd prefer to head out on your own, they also rent paddleboards, mountain bikes, kayaks and even offer…Learn More
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
The waters off the Olympic National Park coastline contain a large living sanctuary of marine life and thriving ecosystems. This nationally recognized ocean habitat hosts a range of sea life -- from microscopic plankton to whales. The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is 2.5 times larger than the Olympic National Park. Stop…Learn More
Port Angeles Whale Watch Company
The Port Angeles Whale Watch Company guarantees whale sightings from May 14 to November when you hop aboard one of their whale watching tours. Daily tours depart from the Port Angeles Boat Haven and usually last 4-5 hours long. Gray, Minke, Humpback, and both resident and non-resident Orcas migrate through the Strait…Learn More
Feiro Marine Life Center
Located in downtown Port Angeles at the City Pier, the Feiro Marine Life Center allows you to get close-up, real-time views of the ocean and tidepools -- including stars, anemones, crabs, scallops, fish and a giant Pacific octopus. This is a fun, safe and easy way for people of all…Learn More
Maple Creek Outfitter
Maple Creek Outfitter in Port Angeles, Washington specializes in guided ecotourism tours in and around the Olympic National Park for small groups (2-12 people). They'll customize a tour to suit both your fitness and adventure level. Guided trips include lodging, meals and the proper gear. Give them a ring if you'd like…Learn More