Port Angeles is a charming town offering a lively downtown and access to some of the most beautiful country in the world. Offering a wide range of recreational opportunities throughout the year, the Port of Port Angeles is near the Dungeness National Wildlife Preserve, Lake Sutherland and Crescent, and Sol Duc Hot Springs. Port Angeles is surrounded by rivers, beaches, and parks, and one of the longest trail systems in the Nation, the Olympic Discovery Trail, runs through the town. Port Angeles is also home to the award-winning Port Angeles Symphony, a museum of contemporary art, and the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.
Port Angeles has an oceanic, or marine, climate with warm summers and cool winters. Temperatures in Port Angeles range from an average high of 20°C (68°F) in July and August to an average low of 1.2°C (34°F) in January. Precipitation in Port of Port Angeles is scant in the summer, falling to a low of 1.3 centimeters (0.53 inches) in July and reaching a peak of 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) in December. Snow is rare in Port Angeles, falling from November through March and peaking in January at 4.3 centimeters (1.7 inches) in January. Humidity levels are high in the Port of Port Angeles, ranging from a low of 90% in December to a high around 95% from May through October.
Port Angeles is the headquarters for Olympic National Park, one of the country's most beautiful natural treasures. Olympic National Park contains four basic regions: Pacific coastline, alpine, temperate rainforest, and drier forests on the east side. The Pacific Coast area is a 97-kilometer (60-mile) strip of rugged sandy beaches and a strip of forest. Two native communities are located at the mouths of the Hoh and Quileute Rivers. The beach contains stretches of 16- to 32-kilometer (10- to 20-mile) wilderness areas. Located on an isolate peninsula and divided by a tall mountain range, the area has developed many endemic species of plants and animals. It is habitat for many species that are limited to the coasts of the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the park is its 148 thousand hectares of original old-growth forests.
The Olympic Mountains are at the heart of Olympic National Park. Mount Olympus rises 904 meters (7965 feet) in the western half of the range. Getting a lot of snow, Mount Olympus has more glaciation than any other non-volcanic peak in the lower 48 states except the North Cascades. The largest glacier is the almost five-kilometer (3.1-mile) Hoh Glacier.
The Hoh and Quinault Rainforests are on the western side of Olympus National Park. With as much as 380 centimeters (150 inches) of precipitation per year, this is the wettest area in the US outside the island of Kauai in Hawaii. These temperate rainforests contain coniferous trees (Sitka Spruce, Coast Douglas-fir, Western Hemlock, and Western red cedar), and mosses coat their bark and drip down from their branches.
Few of the roads in the park extend into the interior. Olympic National Park has a network of remote trails for hikers and backpackers, most of them taking several days to reach the high country. There are also backpacking trails along the beaches, but visitors should be aware of the tides. In the winter, Hurricane Ridge is popular with Alpine and Nordic skiers. Any time of year, Hurricane Ridge is a great viewing point. The road to the ridge goes by a visitors' center, and it passes by many picnic areas and trailheads. Hurricane Ridge has a popular 2.6-kilometer (1.6-mile) paved trail that climbs about 904 meters (700 feet). There may be snow on the trails in the summer. The picnic areas on Hurricane Ridge are only open in the summer, and they have restrooms and water.
There are many tour services available in Port Angeles. Expeditions Northwest is a cruise that includes day trips to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island aboard the 36.6-meter (120-foot) Expeditions. Olympic Raft & Kayak offers guided trips and instructions on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Elwha River as well as float trips, whitewater rafting, and sea kayak tours. Adventures Through Kayaking offers sea, lake, and river kayaking as well as mountain bike tours of the Olympic Peninsula for small groups led by professional guides. Sound Bikes & Kayak Inc. provides equipment and instruction for bicycle and kayaking trips.
The Port of Port Angeles' Heritage Tours offers 2- to 2.5-hour historic walking tours of Port Angeles, including some older buildings that were thought lost until recently discovered. Port Angeles is an historic logging center with a colorful past.
From May through September, the tours are offered at 10am and 2pm every day but Sunday. From October through April, the morning tour begins at 10:30am. The charge for the tour is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $8 for children from six to 12. Children five and younger are free.
The Port of Port Angeles' Water Limousine is a private cruise service based in Sequim Bay. The 7.9-meter (26-foot) Livin' the Dream is available for custom-made itineraries of the Olympic Coast, the San Juan Islands, or any Pacific Northwest location the customer chooses. Available all year, the Livin' the Dream can accommodate up to six passengers and has an on-board queen size bed and bathroom. The Water Limousine will arrange accommodations ashore for overnight trips.
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