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good workout,had to work for some good views,beautiful weather sunny 65°

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

I actually made a big loop by continuing on past the lake and following the trail (not always easy) clockwise. It was a really tough hike, totaling 12.64 miles and 8545 feet of elevation change. The elevation change is what made this hike so challenging for me. The hike to the lake wasn't too strenuous, and the lake itself is beautiful. I had mostly sunny skies and there weren't too many people out for a Saturday. Continuing up past the lake provides some pretty spectacular views looking back down. Going further, you start to hike over mountain passes, which provides plenty of great views, including of Hurricane Ridge. I hiked through snow for a few miles, though never more than 6 inches deep. The really demanding part for me (specifically, for my knees) was the last 4 or so miles, which is just a continuous downhill trek. It was quite an experience and I'm glad I did it, but I have no real desire to do that whole loop again. I would certainly recommend the hike to Lake Angeles and back, and would suggest hiking a bit past the lake for those great views from above.

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.

hiking
3 days ago

A strenuous hike but the views of lake crescent from the top are worth it. Beware the snack stealing warblers.

backpacking
3 days ago

This was a fantastic 3-day backpacking trip to Blue Glacier and back. The mileage on here isn't correct. It's 17.5 miles one way to Glacier Meadows (35 roundtrip), and then about another mile to the Lateral Moraine, a spectacular view of Blue Glacier. That puts the full trail roundtrip at around 37 miles. There is another spur trail at 17.5 miles in (listed as .8 miles one way I think) to the Terminal Moraine, providing another stunning view of the glacier, this time standing high above where the glacier ends. Both of these steep-climbing trails are well worth the effort. The glacier is definitely the highlight, but the whole hike is gorgeous, with plenty of wildlife, gigantic trees covered in moss, and beautiful views of the Hoh River scattered throughout. My first night was at Mount Tom Creek (~3 miles in). My second night I camped at Elk Lake (~14 miles in), which was a nice campground in the woods. I left most of my stuff there while I hiked with a day pack (smart ranger recommendation) to the glacier and back, then packed up and hiked to Lewis Meadows for the third night. I was on my way out of the park when I stopped at Five Mile Island for lunch and decided it was too nice a spot to leave. I pitched my tent and hiked out and back in after resupplying and registering for two more nights. I definitely recommend staying at Five Mile Island either on the way in or out - it's a beautiful spot on the river, and for my stay, elk showed up before sunset both nights. I think fall is a great time of year for this hike - There are less people, and if you can time it up with good weather, it's pretty ideal. My first day was rainy and the people I saw backpacking out had been in rain the whole trip and seemed miserable. The rest of my trip was around freezing at night and sunny and 60s every day - good stuff. I'm excited to go back.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike, easy to find, forest roads weren’t bad at all compared to a lot of places we hike around Rainier. The directions link was spot-on.
Me and the bf did this on a Saturday with the dogs, only saw a few people. It was the perfect length considering it’s a pretty good incline (we also got there late in the day). It’ll definitely get your heart pumping, but the trail was really well maintained. Beautiful views from the ridge line at the top.

hiking
5 days ago

Great climb! Loved the steep at the very top and views were amazing.

We started this hike after turning left onto the trail around 7:30am, it ended up being a perfect day with the sun out. the trail was easy to figure out, a good amount of switchbacks which leads to a rock scramble and i think 3 rope areas to climb up. I would not put your full weight on the rope, one of the ropes were pretty sketchy because it looked frayed and was tied to a very small bush. we ended up going to the "false summit" instead. This is the one where you can see over lake crescent and sit or stand on a rock ledge. The true summit was far too steep for us to handle as a normal day hike, it looked a bit more technical.
In all it took about 2.5 hours to summit and back to trail head. we ended up taking a detour to check out the falls which are like an additional .5 miles away after we hiked storm king.

Really pretty views the whole way up! The last 0.75mi up was about a 1000ft elevation gain. Climbed around the rocks at the top past where the trail technically ended. Lots of loose gravel at this point but managed to get to the top which had great views. Clocked 6mi total in 3 hours.

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.

hiking
8 days ago

LOVED IT!! My pup and I made it up in 30 mins...it was a lot of work to be fair ☺️. . .KILLER views if you’re willing to go another 15 mins! Follow the trail to the right, when it Y’s go LEFT and you’ll come to a BEAUTIFUL view point!!

This trail is absolutely incredible. It will challenge you greatly, but it will be so worth it.

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 clockwise 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 views! Absolutely worth every step. Would highly recommend =)

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.

If you want to hike some ridges, then this is your trail. I hiked this trail in early October. The weather was dynamic that day, it started off with foggy clouds and low visibility. Then there was light snow, but it didn’t stick to the ground. Eventually it started to snow harder and wind gusts picked up at the beginning of the hike. Throughout the hike the weather would clear up then go back to cloudiness and snowfall, and then clear up again, and repeat. The temperature was right around 30 degree Fahrenheit not including wind chill. I took the trail to Lake Angeles trail and attempted to have a late lunch, but the wind chill and the cooling effect from the lake made relaxing there somewhat bitter. The hike is definitely moderate. There is a switchback section, and the trail that leads from the ridge to the lake involves an estimated 2000ft descent/ascent. There are several lookout points along the route, but you may miss some depending on visibility and clouds. The trail is mostly rock and dirt, and can be slick if the trail is wet. I did not see much wildlife except for a bunny and some birds, but the views and lake made the hike well worth it. Definitely recommend this trail during spring and summer months.

hiking
19 days ago

Disappointed by this hike, mainly because is was so cloudy at the top that we could barely see the lake. I’m sure it’s beautiful. The forest on the way up is not remarkable.

Still great conditions!

Fun climb. A good workout and not too long. I went earlier in the day and almost had the mountain to myself. So pieceful!

Good views, challenging, well worth it!

Hard hike but the view is definitely worth the climb! Be carful coming down the ropes, the sand can get a bit slippery.

Just went up today with three friends in the fog and wet weather. This hike is a real workout but so beautiful in the mist. Despite the rain it wasn't muddy or slippery except for a few spots near the top. We got to the ropes at the very top but chose not to go up the last bit because it looked pretty wet and slippery. If you don't like a very steep climb then you can do Merrymere Falls nearby instead.

This was our last hike on our trip to Washington and the landscape was gorgeous. You can access this trail right from the visitors' center. I loved how the trail carved into the steep mountain side and the constant view of Hurricane Ridge. I remember lots of bees, steep and exhausting switchbacks, and the best rock on which I ever ate a peanut butter sandwich. Highly recommend this rewarding hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This was our first hike in Olympic National Park. It was a hot and lush day, lots of bugs. We went for long stretches without seeing any other hikers and it was peaceful. Highly recommend this one.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

one of the hardest hikes i’ve done but well worth the view. slow and steady and the ropes are much more difficult going down then up!

We hiked this trail on a gorgeous sunny day (not much coverage so don’t forget your SPF + bug spray). Narrow pathways in some parts but nothing too scary. Beautiful panoramic views on both sides! We only hiked out about 2 miles before turning around as we felt like we had seen most of what we wanted to see. Upon return we encountered a black bear walking along the path (specifically the long stretch of steep, exposed trail), thanks to a few others that had seen and called out the bear moments before, we stayed back and let the bear cross out of the path and on his way. Safe to say it made this hike even more exciting!

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