Forks Washington is a small but charming city near the Pacific coast. Although the town is small, it makes a great home base for exploring the Olympic Peninsula and coastline. The area is filled with great opportunities for hikers, kayakers, surfers, and nature lovers. There are so many fun things to do in Forks Washington.
The Olympic Peninsula is so pretty and the town has the amenities you need for exploring this beautiful part of Washington. The Olympic Peninsula is one of my favorite places we visited during our West Coast road trip. We had a wonderful time exploring this part of the coast before heading down to Cannon Beach.
Table of Contents
Things to Do in Forks Washington
Free Things to Do in Forks Washington
Is Forks Washington Worth Visiting?
Where is Forks Washington?
Can You Visit Forks from Twilight?
What is the Best Time to Visit Forks Washington
Places to Stay in Forks WA
Conclusion: Things to Do in Forks Washington
Things to Do in Forks Washington
1. Hoh Rainforest
One of our favorite things to do in Fork Washington is visiting the Hoh Rainforest. It is a temperate rain forest and gets almost 14 feet of rain a year, making it very green and luscious.
There are four rainforests on the Olympic Peninsula, but the Hoh Rain Forest is the only one that is a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Throughout the Hoh Rainforest, you will find trees like the Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock covered in moss and ferns.
The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is about 31 miles south of Forks. It is open every day during the summer and Friday-Sunday in the off-season. It is closed in January and February.
2. Hall of Mosses
The best place to explore the Hoh Rainforest is starting at the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center. From the Visitor Center, there are two trails you can walk. The Hall of Mosses Trail is 0.8 miles long and the Spruce Nature Trail is 1.2 miles long.
If you only have time for one of the walks, I recommend the Hall of Moses although both trails are well worth your time. The Hall of Moses has some of the oldest trees in Olympic National Park.
There is also the Hoh River Trail. It is an out and back trail that ends after about 18.5 miles. You can hike for as long as you’d like before heading back.
3. Sol Duc Falls
- Length: 1.6 miles
- Elevation Gain: 226 feet
- Route Type: Out & Back
- Difficulty: Easy
Another one of the best things to do in Forks Washington is Sol Duc Falls. It is a short hike through a beautiful forest ending at Sol Duc Falls. The trail is an easy 1.6 miles with lots of fun things to see along the trail as well as some bridges that our kids loved going over. It is a relatively flat trail but there are some ups and downs.
We found this part of the trail to be more like a forest rather than vegetation like the Hoh Rainforest. Partway through the hike, there is a smaller waterfall that is nice to take pictures with but don’t think this is Sol Duc Falls.
Sol Duc Falls has three different sections that cascade over the rocks. Be sure to cross the bridge running over the falls for some different viewpoints and perspectives.
4. Olympic National Park
Olympic National Parks is one of our favorite national parks because it is so diverse and beautiful. Throughout the park, you will find temperate rainforests, rocky coastlines, and mountains perfect for exploring.
If you’re looking for beautiful views of the park, head up to Hurricane Ridge. From the top, you can see Mount Olympus, snow-covered mountains, and the forest. From the Hurricane Ridge parking lot, you can hike to a higher viewpoint if you would like. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike to the top of Mount Angeles which has views of the park, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier.
Another one of our favorite places in the park is Lake Crescent. It is a lake carved by glaciers and is stunning. The water is such a pretty color. It is a great place to go kayaking. After exploring the lake, you can hike to Marymere Falls from the parking area at Lake Crescent.
Marymere Falls is a two-mile hike that is a pretty easy hike. There are beautiful spruce trees along the trail with fun bridges to cross.
Keep in mind that Olympic National Park is a very large park. When we visited the park, we stayed for a few nights over in Port Angeles and then stayed a few nights in Forks. Port Angeles is closer to areas like Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent.
You can stay the whole time in Forks if you would like but you will have to drive a bit more to see the eastern side of the park.
5. Olympic Loop Birding Trail
The Olympic Loop of the Washington State Birding Trail is home to about 200 different species of birds. The Olympic part of the loop is about 400 miles long and goes through the deep forests of the park as well as the coast, including Forks Washington.
The loop goes through the national park, four wildlife refuges, state parks, and six Native American tribes. Some of the birds you can see are the dunlin, sanderlings, western sandpipers, and surfbirds. In the summer, also keep an eye out for bald eagles.
The Olympic Loop Birding Trail starts at the Nisqually River delta in the Puget Sound and goes up through Cape Flattery. There are 54 recommended stops in the loop.
You can see the map for the Olympic Loop Birding Trail here.
6. Kalaloch Tree of Life
The Kalaloch Tree of Life, also known as the Tree Root Cave, is a Sitka spruce tree that is estimated to be over 1,000 years old that has its roots very visible. It appears as though none of the tree’s roots are in the soil. Erosion has removed the soil under the tree. It is amazing that the tree has withstood the storms in the area without having its roots to hold it in place.
To get to the Tree of Life you will park in the Kalaloch Campground Parking lot. There is no cost for parking. From the parking lot, there is a short trail that will lead you down to the beach and the Tree of Life. The trail is a short walk, but the trail is a little steep.
7. Forks Timber Museum
The Forks Timber Museum highlights the logging history as well as farming and homesteading on the peninsula. The logging history dates back to the 1870s in this area. There is a large selection of artifacts relating to the logging industry. The exhibits go back to the area’s native Quileute people.
Another fascinating thing to see at the museum is a canoe that is estimated to be about 300 years old. Be sure to check out the trail outside the museum that takes visitors through exhibits focusing on logging history and the Fork’s pioneers.
Plus, the staff is always very helpful and willing to share their knowledge of the timber industry.
8. John’s Beachcombing Museum
John’s Beachcombing Museum is a great place to go just to see what you can find. Since 1976, the museum has been collecting items to display from local beaches as well as those from far away. The museum is one of the unusual and unique attractions in Forks in Washington.
Some of the items in the museum washed ashore from as far away as a tsunami in Japan. There’s also a door from a NASA spaceship which is fun to see. You can usually find John in the museum and he’s always happy to share his collection as well as the stories behind each of the items.
9. Sunset Lanes
Sunset Lanes is a great place to spend your evening after your outdoor adventures in the peninsula. Bowling lanes are available every day along with pool tables and video games. The retro-style bowling alley is a clean environment and perfect for an evening of family fun.
The snack bar has a large variety of food like hamburgers and fries, sandwiches, and beer. The fries are highly recommended!
10. Fishing Near Forks Washington
Forks is a popular place for anglers, especially during the fall season. King salmon fishing is popular in the fall and steelhead fishing is popular in the winter and spring. If you want to fish in the ocean, La Push is a great place to head.
You can head out on your own but if you aren’t familiar with the water in the area, it might be a good idea to go on a fishing tour with a local guide.
A guided fishing tour is a great way to get off the beaten path and enjoy the Olympic Peninsula near Forks, Washington. The tour will take you to some of the best fishing and hiking trails in the area. The half-day fishing trips will take you to some of the best steelhead rivers in the country.
Lunch is included in the fishing tour.
11. River Rafting or Kayaking
If you want to spend some time on the river but don’t want to fish, Forks Washington is a great place to try a river rafting or kayak trip. The rivers float by beautiful landscapes in the peninsula and you will have the opportunity to see river otters and lots of kinds of birds.
There are lots of different companies that will take you out on guided trips if you don’t have your own gear. This is one of the best adventurous things to do in Forks Washington.
Things to do in Forks Washington – Beaches
The beaches near Forks and around the entire Olympic Peninsula are beautiful. We had a great time exploring the different beaches and enjoying those beautiful west coast sunsets!
Ruby Beach is one of the most well-known beaches along the Olympic coastline and in Olympic National Park. Visiting this beach is one of our favorite things to do in Forks Washington. It is a very accessible beach but there is a short downhill walk from the parking area.
If you look at the sand closely, you can see the ruby-colored crystals that the beach is named for.
From the parking lot, be sure to enjoy the views of the beach below before making the short walk down to the beach. We enjoyed the most beautiful sunset here and it was so pretty to look down at the sun setting over the beach before leaving.
While at the beach you can admire the beautiful sea stacks and large pieces of driftwood on the beach. We had a great time walking around the large rocks on the beach and my kids had a blast running up and down the beach.
The beautiful sunset was the cherry on top. Ruby Beach is one of our favorite beaches on the Olympic Peninsula.
Another beautiful beach filled with sea stacks, tide pools, and driftwood is Rialto Beach. Another fun part of this beach is what is known as Hole in the Wall. You can even camp on the beach here after obtaining a backcountry permit on the National Park Service website.
If you want to hike to Hole in the Wall it is a four-mile roundtrip hike. The hike along the beach is pretty easy but there is about 380 feet of elevation gain. Once you get to the beach, there are sea stacks on the right near Hole in the Wall.
During your walk, keep an eye out for bald eagles, whales, sea lions, and otters. You can also explore the driftwood along the beach and enjoy the beautiful ocean views. If you make it all of the way to the Hole in the Wall, continue a little more north to see the tide pools near the hole.
Another highly recommended and beautiful beach near Forks Washington is Second Beach. The parking area for the beach is just outside La Push.
There is a hike down to Second Beach. It is about one mile. It is classified as an easy hike with about 279 feet of elevation gain. Along the trail, you will encounter ups and downs as well as a set of switch-backed stairs leading down to the beach.
Once you get down to the beach, you will find sea stacks as well as an arch where you can hear the wind whistling. It is on the north part of the beach. It is recommended to not hike past Teahwhit Head around the headlands in case the tide comes in fast.
Free Things to Do in Forks Washington
13. Quillayute River
One of the best places to get out and enjoy the water in Forks is the Quillayute River. It is a fun place to swim, float and fish. The river empties into the Pacific Ocean near La Push.
The large size of the river makes it a very good place for fishing for fish like chum salmon, coho salmon, and cutthroat trout. Although it is a big river, it is pretty calm making it great for swimming. Along with swimming, you can kayak.
14. Forks Chamber of Commerce
Your first stop in Forks Washington should be at the Forks Chamber of Commerce. It also serves as the visitor’s center so it is a great place to get answers to any of your questions you may have about the area. They have lots of recommendations for shopping, fishing, and activities in the area.
There are also restrooms and a picnic area to enjoy if you’re looking for a place for a picnic.
15. Bogachiel State Park
Bogachiel State Park is a 127-acre park filled with dense forest and the Bogachiel River. The park is a great place to explore if you are touring the western side of the Olympic Peninsula. There is also camping if you are bringing your RV to the Olympic Peninsula.
Along with camping, there are picnic and day-use facilities. The lower area has a kitchen shelter with a grill and lights. There is also a 1-mile hiking trail in the park.
Parts of the park are also part of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. The PNT is a 1,200-mile-long trail that stretches from the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park to the Rocky Mountains in Montana. The Bogachiel Rainforest is part of the trail.
16. Storm King Ranger Station
The Storm King Ranger Station is a historical building that is a few minutes from Forks Washington. It is a really cool place to visit to see what log construction was like. It is the oldest structure still standing in Olympic National Park.
While in the area, be sure to appreciate the beautiful views and take advantage of the hiking trails in the nearby area. The ranger station became a site on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
Is Forks Washington worth visiting?
Forks is definitely worth a visit as it is a great home base for exploring the Olympic National Park as well as the filming location for the popular Twilight series. If you’re looking to explore the popular beaches in the area as well as the park, Forks in Washington is well worth a visit!
Along with outdoor activities like exploring the coast and hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, Forks is known for amazing fishing waters, its small downtown area, and the filming location for the Twilight series.
Where is Forks Washington?
Forks is a small town on the west coast of the United States in Washington State. It is on the Olympic Peninsula, found in the northern part of the Washington Coast.
Forks to Seattle
The drive from Seattle to Forks Washington is just under four hours if you take the ferry over to Bainbridge and drive from there. This will take you around the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula through Sequim and Port Angeles.
If you don’t want to worry about the hassle of getting on and off the ferry you can drive south through Tacoma and Olympia before heading up to Forks in Washington. This way takes about 40 minutes longer but there is less hassle because you don’t have to schedule around the ferry schedule.
Can you visit Forks from Twilight?
Yes, you can visit Forks from Twilight. In fact, you can even see a lot of the places portrayed in the movie like La Push Beach, the Swan Resident, Bella’s trucks, and Forks High School. If you are a Twilight fan, it is fun to drive around town to see everything from the movie.
Why was Twilight set Forks?
Before writing the Twilight books, Author Stephenie Meyers visited Forks. The dense trees and often cloudy weather made the perfect setting for the Cullen vampires who glisten in the sun. It is a very picturesque and beautiful area.
Forks Twilight Map
The majority of the movie scenes from Twilight are in the Forks and La Push area. The only site farther away is Bella Italia, a restaurant in Port Angeles featured in the first book. Here are the sites and locations.
Forks Chamber of Commerce: Twilight display, Bella’s trucks – 1411 S Forks Avenue, Forks, WA
Swan Residence – 775 K Street, Forks, WA
Dr. Cullen’s Parking Space – 530 Bogachiel Way, Forks, WA
Forks High School – 261 Spartan Ave, Forks, WA
Forks Police Station – 500 E Division Street, Forks, WA
Forever Twilight in Forks Gallery – 35 N Forks Ave, Forks, WA
Cullen House – 65 E Division Street, Forks, WA
Souvenir Shops – 10 N Forks Ave and 130 Spartan Ave, Forks, WA
Treaty Line – 7764 La Push Rd, Forks, WA
Jacob Black’s House – 8320 La Push Rd, Forks, WA
La Push Beach
Bella Italia – 118 E 1st Street, Port Angeles, WA
Twilight Tours in Forks Washington
It is easy to go on a self-guided Twilight Tour in Forks in Washington. It is a very small town with only a few roads making it easy to find all the movie scenes. You can easily use a GPS to find the listed addresses.
If you visit all the movie scenes, it will take you about a day depending on how long you spend at each site.
The park is also a great place for bird watching.
Campsites can be reserved from May 15 to September 15. Bogachiel State Park is about four miles south of Forks Washington.
What is the best time to visit Forks Washington?
The best time to visit Forks Washington is from mid-June to mid-September. This is when the weather is the warmest and you have the least likely chance for rain. We visited this area towards the end of August. We had really nice weather and enjoyed visiting at this time of year.
Places to Stay in Forks WA
Although the area isn’t very big, there are still some great places to stay near all of the fun things to do in Forks Washington. Here are some of the most highly recommended places to stay in the area.
Forks Washington Hotels
The beautiful Quillayute River Resort sits on the banks of the Quillayute River and is a great place for hiking and fishing. It is common to see elk, river otters, and bald eagles from the resort. It is only a few miles from Rialto Beach.
Each suite has a porch overlooking the river and indoor fireplaces. The bathroom even has heated tile flooring! There is also an onsite game room as well as picnic tables and fire pits. If you’re traveling with kids or in a larger group, they have two-bedroom suites.
The Hoh Valley Cabins are in a great location, just 6.2 miles away from Olympic National Park. The property is filled with beautiful trees and walking trails. The cabins are charming, comfortable, and clean. It has easy access to hiking trails, fishing, beachcombing, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.
On the property, there is a beautiful garden area equipped with outdoor furniture, a BBQ, a sun deck, and a terrace. There are also board games and puzzles you can use. Free parking is available.
If you’re looking for a hotel in downtown Forks, the Pacific Inn Motel is a great choice. It has a wide variety of room choices including themed rooms and suites. There are lots of restaurant options nearby making it a convenient place to stay when exploring all of the fun things to do in Forks Washington.
Each room has air conditioning, free WiFi, a private bathroom, and a flat-screen TV.
Conclusion: Things to Do in Forks Washington
I hope this article has helped you learn more about the Olympic Peninsula and all of the fun things to do in Forks Washington. Forks is a great place to visit whether you’re looking for a low-key weekend getaway or as a home base for exploring nearby Olympic National Park.
We had a lot of fun exploring this part of the state of Washington and hope you do too!