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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 love hitting this trail with my dogs. Gorgeous Autumn color painted the forests. Blue waters mirror the sky. It’s heaven for me

my dog and I had a wonderful hike. my dog went to swim in the lake and she loved it!

Beautiful hike!! The fallen leaves, old growth forest, interesting mushroom groves, waterfalls, and ending at the the lake. Loved it!

hiking
3 days ago

No bugs, just a few nice people, a perfect alpine lake. What more do you want?

Obstacles include mud at the bottom followed by a very steep climb up to Rachel and then the fork to Lila / Rampart / Alto. It’s a full click more rugged than trails with more switchbacks and better trail work.

Warning is I got confused on leaving Lila lake as there’s several trails out, so be sure to have a map. One option is screen shots of the all trails map, or of course buying all trails pro. There’s no cell service out there and very few people on a weekday, so be ready to be self sufficient. Apple had “helpfully” offloaded my compass app so I was without that. The ground at Lila is partly frozen so I imagine an unprepared overnight would not be fun. Fortunately I figured it out by back tracking and got to the car at nightfall.

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.

Beautiful place. The hike was easy but a bit long for my daughter and boyfriend. The lower trail is much better than the upper. The lower trail fallows the creek and is up and down The upper trail is a long gentle grade up and a long gentle grade down. It would be great for jogging but it’s not very scenic. The lake was beautiful and the views of the mountains is glorious. I would do it again for sure.

hiking
7 days ago

Wifey and I took the four kiddos on this trek. We had to carry two of them on our backs. The first 2-3 miles were just up hill. The lake at the end was well worth it though!

hiking
8 days ago

Amazing colours. Not lots of people. No bugs. A bit muddy. Better to wear waterproof walking boots.
At Rachel lake, got a bit lost but found the trail to Lila lake. Look for a small sitting area just before reaching the edge of the lake. There is a sign with “trail” written on it. I was alone at Lila lake. Just beautiful. A bit cold up there in spite of the sun.

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!

We hiked this trail Sunday, 10/7. Temperature was in the 50's with a little sprinkle that we really couldn't feel until we reached the lake. Fall is my favorite time to hike to alpine lakes because no bugs, no crowds, and gorgeous foliage. Round trip, this hike took 5 hours with taking about 30 minutes to admire and explore the lake area. We took the lower elliot up and the upper elliot down. To be honest, I wouldn't waste my time with the upper elliot again... it is longer and gravel road-like. The lower elliot runs along the creek and offers diversity and more challenge. Fresh snow appeared to be accumulating on the peaks above the lake! All in all, we enjoyed it; serene and leisurely.
Also, no bears in site.

Amazing

Beautiful!!!!

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.

The legendary squatch territory lol. Really is a beautiful area, was quite disappoint to get to & see Echo lake suffered greatly from last years

hiking
26 days ago

I did this hike last summer in June and it was amazing. I hiked this again yesterday (09/23/18) and it’s just as gorgeous as I remembered. This time it was awesome to see the orange and yellow leaves everywhere. Fall in the PNW is my favorite. We found it is the best route to take lower Elliot there and back. It follows the river and has a lot more to see. It isn’t as flat as upper Elliot but it’s worth it.

Absolutely beautiful hike and so easy. There's a little bit of uphill but it's very gradual. It didn't feel like 10 miles at all. I definitely recommend it!

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.

Pretty sweet - must do

backpacking
1 month ago

We went on Sept 2nd for our honeymoon. The trail was great, rugged but definitely worth it!

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

Great runnable trail to an amazingly scenic lake if the sun is out. Most of the trail is through woods and the bushes along it rub you along the way. Important to note if certain plants give you rashes you may want to wear long sleeves. There is a great waterfall that comes off the lake in the woods. You can get to it by going a bit off trail and following the sound. It’s worth seeing. The trailhead is off Mountain Loop Highway however this highway turns into a dirt road with some large potholes so drive carefully as you’ll likely spend 30 minutes on the dirt road part. You’ll be 35 miles from the nearest gas station or cell service some plan accordingly. There have been bear sightings here too. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”, which include some solid Goat Lake pics from a nice sunny day. Great place to camp.

Great workout, prepare to climb, climb, climb! I love this one for the ease of accessibility and crowds. I would definitely feel safe hiking this one alone and it’s also a great hike to bring out of town visitors on as it’s challenging and yet still doable, and has great payoff with beautiful views.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. The last few miles up to the lake are pretty steep but worth the views.

Did this trail as a day hike in July - it was doable, but I’m sure it would be more enjoyable as a backpacking trip. Be prepared for sore feet if you do it in a day. After you get to the lake, make sure you take the side trip past the “ranger station” (aka wooden platform) to Royal Basin Falls. We also went to the large meadow above the lake, but did not go all the way to the Upper Basin. Beautiful hike and worth the pain :)

Okay hike with a nice lake at pay-dirt and a pretty rushing river along long parts to f the hike. Why only 3 stars? other mountain lakes in the same area are better and with easier access. While we enjoyed the hike, it’s not one we’d do again.

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