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This was a pretty difficult hike for me but with some amazing views.

In November, expect some icy spots on the trail so be careful not to slip. We were surprised that this year 2018 many peaks were not covered in snow. Most lakes are covered by a layer of ice, which looks pretty cool.

We did High Divide clockwise and threw in part of the Hoh River Trail down to the lake for a 27 mile day.

Clockwise is the way to do it- a gradual ascent on peaty trails next to the babbling river and falls. The middle portion is more challenging because of the altitude, but the views on both High Divide and Hoh River made up for it.

Then... there was Deer Lake Trail. The only unexpected surprise of the trip, the last 3 miles (clockwise) or first 3 miles (counterclockwise) is all sharp cobbles and boulders. Come prepared to scramble on a rock field, or better yet skip completing the loop and hike back the way you came.

We did the first 24 miles including 2 ascents in 9 hours and were still fresh entering Deer Lake Trail. DESCENDING the 3 miles from Deer Lake took us 3 hours and turned our feet into hamburger. The only black mark for this trip.

Overall, a wonderful trail perfect for introducing a fit beginner to hiking

Did this loop as a day hike on Tuesday, Sep. 25th. I skipped going down to lunch lake, so I believe the total mileage was somewhere around 17.5. I did the loop counterclockwise.

The upper sections of the trail were absolutely amazing, and I picked a perfectly clear day to do this hike. The climb up was steady but not terrible. I didn't have to stop much. Once you hit the section of the trail near heart lake, the views of Mt. Olympus are awesome. However, heading down once you're back in the forest, even though it's pretty, it feels like it drags on for forever. I was absolutely exhausted and I think it was pushing the limits of what I can personally accomplish in a single day of hiking. The entire hike took me about 8 hours to complete, with only short breaks for pictures and checking out the views, and I hike at a pretty decent pace. I still absolutely recommend this hike, but give yourself a lot of time to do it if you're going to make it a day hike.

The drive in was simple and easy, and the trailhead had a decent amount of parking on a weekday around 10am. All trails are clearly marked and the trailhead has bathrooms, but no place to fill water.

While the hike up to Spade lake from Waptus is difficult. The payoff of Spade lake is one that can’t be missed if you’re in the area.

Gorgeous hike! We went counterclockwise and it seemed to take longer to get to heart lake than we anticipated and were ready for. Took about 6-7 hours up to heart lake and then 3-4 hours down the Sol Duc River trail the next morning. There were a few blueberries left (hiked Oct 9-10) if you looked for them. It was really cold at night but we had amazing weather and there were tons of stars. I would definitely do this again, but would start earlier (8-9AM) so I could enjoy more of the high divide and Bogachiel peak.

Amazing trail that has it all—rainforest, waterfalls, lakes, ridge top vistas, and open meadows of blueberries and summer wildflowers. We did the entire hike in one day, took us 10.25 hrs including multiple stops for snacks and photos (8:15-6:30). We decided to go counterclockwise based on reviews here. Glad we did, as it was a nice gradual descent along the Sol Duc river trail to end the hike. It was really cold but we lucked out with bluebird skies and very little clouds (hiked 10/6). Only saw one bear in the seven lakes basin, some chipmunks, and a herd of elk along the river trail. Most of the blueberries were gone and wildflower season was over, but the autumn red leaves from the shrubs provided beautiful color. Saw 6 people the entire day (4 backpackers and 2 runners). Definitely worth it to take the short side trip up to Bogachiel peak for 360 degree views. Would highly recommend this hike for the variety of terrain and views of Mt Olympus and Mt Carrie. Honestly we were expecting the climb to be more difficult based off previews reviews, but it was not bad at all. Doable in a day if you start early and snack a lot!

Beautiful trail. It felt longer than anticipated, we did it over two days counterclockwise with a night at heart lake. The first day took us 6-7 hrs to reach camp but the second day descent only took 3-4. Doing this at the beginning of October meant it was quite cold. We were met with rain and hail but thankfully most of the time it was sunny with clouds and some fog. At night the temperatures dipped below freezing. Splendid night sky with stars and Milky Way very visible.

This was a great hike. We camped at Trout Lake and did a day hike up to Copper and Little Heart Lakes the next day (why haul a 20+ pound pack all the way up there). Camping at Trout was so quiet and the ground so soft we couldn't even hear others walking by on the trail - side note, it was so quiet that you also couldn't hear someone walking up to the toilet, when you happened to be sitting on it, until you made awkward eye contact. We quickly learned to use our poles to signal that someone was up there. The hike up to Copper followed a huge (tall) waterfall and wasn't nearly as open or rocky as I expected. Based on other reviews i thought we'd be bouldering up and was preparing myself for that (ptsd from hiking up Aasgard's pass probably). It was rocky but nothing you couldn't just step over. No bugs to worry about, and only saw a few chipmunks and a couple of very upset, territorial squirrels. All in all, a really great weekend hike.

Really a wonderful hike. Would recommend crampons or mini spikes to get over spider glacier. Prepare for some arduous climbing, with the views are spectacular. Can't wait to do it again.

We didn't finish the loop but we did go about 6.5 miles up (to the highest point) the way of Deer Lake, and then back. Sol Duc Falls and the Deer Lake wilderness were nice but once you're in the Apline Meadows and higher, the views get really good.

We only made it to Deer Lake this time as the rain was just too much for us at the end of camping for a week. We are for sure headed back because it was such a beautiful hike. The walk to Deer Lake wasn't hard either with the packs. We tried fishing there, didn't catch anything but again the weather wasn't the best for this activity.
If you'd like to follow our camping adventures you can do it here;
https://jtjones5525.wixsite.com/ramblinggal

We hiked the Seven Lakes Basin in late August. We were assigned to Sol Duc Park for the first night, and Lunch Lake for nights 2 and 3, meaning we hiked the loop in the clockwise direction.

We started out in fair spirits with a light rain and fog, not knowing that this would be our backpack trip of equipment failure. My hiking partner's boots, boots of 20 years, decided to retire, which resulted in large blisters within the first few miles of the hike. After limping into Sol Duc, we discovered that the tent that we had been using on many previous trips had sprung a leak. Our spirits were slightly dampened at this point, but fortunately hiking partner of mine had decided to throw a pair of hiking shoes in her backpack as we were leaving the parking lot. Luckily, the drizzle remained fine, and in the morning, relatively dry still, we decided to press on, with old hiking boots slung on the back of the pack, and hiking shoes on feet. No bugs.

We hiked for a few hours, through thick fog, and saw virtually…. NOTHING! Hiked the High Divide and saw only what was in a few yards of us. More fog, and a few rocks. No bugs even. Every once in a while the fog would lift slightly and tease us with a tiny glimpse of what we thought might be a lake. Descended into the Seven Lakes Basin and could only see the rim of Lunch Lake as we walked along. Slightly disheartened, we found a relatively sheltered spot at Lunch Lake to help with "old leaky" the tent. Damp and miserable by evening (but still warm enough, thankfully) we decided that if things didn't look up the next day we would forgo our third night and hike out in the morning.

Woke up on the third morning at 6:30 and……HALLELUJAH!…..there were the clearest skies that we had seen in days, there was the whole of Lunch Lake, and miles of basin, crystal clear, with the sun coming up over the edge of the bowl. No way were we going home now! On this day, we decided to hike through the basin (only light day packs on our back), seeing up close many of the beautiful basin lakes that had been invisible the day before. Then we hiked out of the bowl and back up to the High Divide where we were able to see the miles of emerald basin lakes on one side of the Divide and Mt Olympus, with it’s stunning glaciers, on the other side. On the same day we also saw 4 bear, in and around the basin, or 1 bear 4 times :). We decided at one sighting that we would sing to make sure it was aware of our presence. The bear only looked up slightly to have a glance at the “crazies” passing by, while continuing to munch on the blueberries that thickly cover the slopes of the basin.

The fog and rain, followed by the sun, had made this day so sweet, that it was one of the top ten days of my life.

Sadly, we had to hike out the next day. Our tent was dry by this point, and the blisters covered with moleskin. We will be heading to buy new equipment before our next adventure.

Kudos to the Rangers and Olympic Park Staff who love this place, and put so much heart into its maintenance and preservation. It’s in my heart now too.

Added a jaunt to Appleton Pass and Hoh Lake for a mutliday trip. There were a few bear roaming around the Hoh Lake basin but they just chowed down on the blueberries and did not seem to care about us. Most impressive stretch is the High Divide ridge line. Definitely a popular hike and trail runner route.

We backpacked into Elk Lake in one day, from 8:30 am, to 4:00 pm. From Elk Lake, we started at 4:30 am and we hiked through the lateral moraine, and to the end of the ridge by 7:00 am, and it was magnificent. We were blessed with amazing weather, no clouds, and being all alone. We hiked back to Elk Lake by 9:00, packed up and hiked out with our gear by 4:15 pm. I wouldn't recommend 2 day/1 night-ing this trip. If I did it again, I'd either get all the way to Glacier Meadows on Day 1, or leave earlier on Day 1, drop off gear at Elk Lake, and summit the same day. Or just do 3 days/2 nights. We found a canceled campsite at Kalaloch beach for Sunday night, so we made a goal to get back early enough to get there, and see the sunset at the beach. We wrecked our bodies, but I don't think many people can watch the sun come up next to Blue Glacier, and then watch the sun set over the ocean from Kalaloch Beach in one day.

One Note: We did the rope bridge/ladder between Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows at approx. 5:15 am, and still no sun light. No where did I read where you go after you climb down, but once at the bottom of the ladder, you walk straight left, and climb back out of the valley via the rocks.

Pretty neat hike. Best views are between deer lake and heart lake.

Absolutely stunning. We went just as the smoke was clearing so we got pretty lucky but still the views of Mt Olympus were pretty much obscured by haze. That was the only bummer in what was otherwise an incredible trip. There were beautiful lakes at every turn (there are way more than 7 lakes here) and the valleys opened up to gorgeous views.

hiking
5 months ago

The hike to Waptus lake isn't bad. The trail from Waptus to Spade is straight up the mountain. Roughly 5 miles. The only water is towards the end of the trail. Bring lots of water and snacks.

Awesome trail with gorgeous views. We hiked at the beginning of July and there was still snow on the ground. Pretty cold at night but so worth it!

Truly a peaceful hike. There were lots of small waterfalls, beautiful clearings in amongst the rocks, lovely wildflowers, and picturesque lakes. Hiked in August and had no problems at all, except the mosquitoes; definitely bring bug spray.

This hike is a pleasant workout. I started the hike from the Alpental parking lot, not from the recommended trailhead on this map, because it would save me an hour of driving. I logged 20 miles on this hike, but I also did a little extra exploring.

This one is on my list for backpacking. Two super enthusiastic thumbs up. Happy hiking!

Copper Lake is 7.3 miles from the trailhead.

I have no idea where people are getting this incorrect milage data from, but they are wrong (and strava is notoriously inaccurate). I just did this hike with TWO different GPS devices and both read over 7miles. Both times, in and out. (that's 4 different recordings resulting in the same data...)

That means the hike is 14.6 miles round trip.

The sign also says Trout lake is 1.5mi. It's 2 miles.

Due to this poor/incorrect info we were only able to make it to Copper Lake.

Over 4miles are nothing but switchbacks, and they are not easy. They start about .3miles past Trout Lake and continue all the way to Copper Lake.

The switchbacks have several stretches with zero shade which means direct sunlight for most of the day. There are also several sections of the switchbacks with overgrown plants. You will get smacked in the face and scratch your ankles for about 2 miles. Several patches have loose rocks and loose sand/dirt with drop offs bordering them. But as an acrophobic, it wasn't too bad. I did hurt my knee and ankle on the switch backs. Be careful.

Make no mistake, this is NOT a moderate trail. This is quite strenuous. Especially if you are backpacking with intent to camp. Anything over a 30lbs backpack will make this hike quite tough.

The bugs were also relentless. Bug spray did little to help, so I would strongly suggest a bug net for your head, especially if you are camping. Because it will be miserable.

Copper Lake itself is also very dull. Sure the water is clear... so is Trout Lake... so is every lake in the region. There are very few places to actually access the water (ie swimming, fishing, camping, even getting water for cooking). I've been to many, MANY, more impressive lakes that did not require this level of effort to get to. Honestly... Trout Lake is better than Copper Lake.

There are a few decent viewpoints, one overlooking Trout Lake from the switchbacks, and another slightly further up of the valley below.

I also did this with my dog. She did just fine, but has some sore paws after it all. There is a lot of rock/gravel terrain. Be sure to bring water for them. AND KEEP YOUR DOGS ON A LEASH! I saw so many dogs of leash. Seriously it's not only illegal to have your dog off leash, it's infuriating. It doesn't matter if your dog is friendly or well behaved. You have no idea how it will interact with other dogs or people, or how they will interact with your dog.

You are ruining the experience for others when you ignore rules/laws/trail etiquette.

All things considered: the incorrect info about the trail, the endless switchbacks, the bugs, and a mediocre lake, I'd say just skip this hike.

Couldn’t get any camping spots. Thought they were supposed to leave 50% of the sites for first come first serve but I guess they actually don’t do that??? Decided I wanted to photograph Heart lake and that I wasn’t to be stopped. So I turned this into a day hike. Definitely wouldn’t recommend. I did the hike counter-clockwise and it turned into a 23 mile, 3,500 ft elevation change, 13 hour beast. Heart lake and surrounding mountaintops made it worth I though. Being on the ridge line most of the time is a real treat!!!

backpacking
5 months ago

If you want to get to the upper lake there is a trail that cuts off to the left right above the 5000’ elevation sign. Do yourself a favor and take this instead of trying to bushwhack around the lower lake.

Hiked the loop clockwise today in 7.5 hours. The middle was scenic and crowded. The first and final thirds were unremarkable. Maybe it’s better as an overnight?

Spent three days backpacking the loop and for the most part, loved it. Most people do this loop counter-clockwise but we decided to do it clockwise to spread out the elevation gain. For the most part, it was great... but I think next time, I'd rather just get the elevation over and done with in the first 8 miles. Doing the loop clockwise spread it out over about 13 miles.

The first day was an easy 3ish miles to the Sol Duc River campsite #2. Didn't have any issues finding the site (all campsites are clearly labelled), we were right next to the river, and we didn't have any issues with mosquitoes or anything.

Day two was about 11 miles, from our campsite to Lunch Lake. There were A LOT of flies and mosquitoes once we were above 3,500 ft. We applied a generous amount of Deet to our skin and clothes and noticed that we weren't actually getting bitten, but the bugs were relentless. The lakes were especially bad, even with ThermaCell mosquito repellent.

On a side note, saw two bears at Heart Lake and another one at Lunch Lake. Plenty of people in the area though, so we didn't have any issues. The one upside to such a well-trafficked trail, you shouldn't have any issues with the wildlife! And when I say well-trafficked, I mean you'll meet ultra runners doing the entire loop in a day, day hikers doing parts of the loop, and plenty of other backpackers (especially if you stop at Heart Lake for lunch).

Another side note, there's pretty much no water on the High Divide between Lunch Lake and Heart Lake, so fill up before then!

Day three clocked in around 9.5 miles from where we were camping at Lunch Lake back to the trailhead. Most of the elevation gain was climbing back out of the Seven Lakes Basin and then it was pretty much all downhill from there! The trail is really rocky though, so watch your footing.

All in all, this was a great backpacking experience. Just wish there hadn't been so many flies and mosquitoes! If I'd known what we were in for, I'd probably have opted to camp somewhere on the Divide instead of next to one of the lakes.

backpacking
5 months ago

This hike is amazing, we only saw one deer no goats or bears despite hiking out early. We camped at solduc Park, and clear lake.
There are ample water sources along the trail.
Trail is snow free.
Lakes are surprisingly warm this year.
The bugs are out, mosquitos were a nuisance, biting black flies were constant unless you were moving and the occasion deer and horse fly gave us a nasty bite.

A gorgeous trip. My best friend and I started at 9:30am and went up to big heart lake and the one above it and back to the car by 5:30pm with a 1-2min water break every 20min or so and an hour for lunch and swimming. The lakes were definitely very cold but bearable and felt great to ice sore feet. Bring a hat because for a lot of the hike your arms and face are exposed in the sun while you hike thru gorgeous wildflowers. A very very well maintained trail. Lots of campsites and we passed three trail workers on our way who said they were so bored because they had nothing to do haha. A wonderful day trip. The issue was the bugs. I'm not a complainer but the upper lakes have serious fly, hornet and mosquitoes, however I wasn't bit once by anything with zero bug repellant on me. Mainly my ears got attacked by that annoying thing flies do. If you're moving, nothing bothers you but as soon as you stop they swarm. Still, neither of us were bit. Just bring a gallon of spray. Don't let that keep you from the hike though! It was gorgeous.

backpacking
5 months ago

stunning views all around! the road to get to trailhead is pretty tore up right now but still managed to get there in my audi A4 (very slowly). mosquitos were the worst I've ever experienced but the trip was still worth it. oh, the 31.1 miles is not correct, it was more like 39 miles just to be aware. definitely a tough hike. bridge at Lyman lake has been destroyed so look carefully for the poorly marked detour. theres no signs anywhere letting you know you're on the loop so know your route in advance and bring a map!

Me and my wife backpacked this in mid July, first to Deer Lake, then Lunch Lake, then Heart Lake, then out. This trail lived up to it's reputation. It was amazing! Almost all up hill until we left Heart Lake and hiked out about 8 miles. Except for the mosquitoes, it was perfect. The view of Mt. Olympus, between Lunch Lake and Heart Lake was awesome. This is truly a classic hike that should be on everyone's bucket list.

backpacking
5 months ago

If you like overgrown and sometimes primitive trails - then take this one.
Rated as 5 star because I like those types of trails.

Went with some buddies for a couple days. Hiked in friday evening for a quick camp set up. Got up mid morning Saturday and hiked up to Copper Lake took some pool floats and floated/fished for a couple hours. Moved on to Little Heart hit the peak in between little and big but one buddy was worse for wear so we turned back and made camp back by Copper.

Bug netting currently is a must they get quite thick in areas. There is a longer stretch in between Trout and Copper Lake that is exposed to the sun so some refill water often(we used sawyer squeeze filters) and remember sunscreen.

Overall the beauty and experience is worth the trip Enjoy!

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