High Divide - Seven Lakes Basin Loop

HARD 201 reviews
#7 of 170 trails in

High Divide - Seven Lakes Basin Loop is a 19 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Forks, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 19.0 miles Elevation Gain: 5,308 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Most people choose to do this hike counterclockwise, but it can be done either way. Olympic National Park provides a limited number of permits for overnight campers. Reservations for trips between May 1 and September 30 are strongly advised and can be made by mail or fax beginning February 15. Half of the sites are reserved for walk-up requests made to the Wilderness Information Center. Bear canisters are required for this hike and can be rented from the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles.

We messed this up in every way possible. Missed our exit by 45 miles, then proceeded to hike the wrong way. Ended up car camping on night one, and did an quick overnighted at Deer lake for night 2. Need to to it again. Lol.

The trail was super cool! Ton of bears. Peak blueberry season.

The southern part is very nice. Camping in Round Lake with beautiful lake views. As we leave the woods in height, we come across the bears, at the beginning when they are near the trail, it is a little disturbing but we end up doing it. The hike is fine up to Heart Lake, so the ideal is to camp out before. Unfortunately for me it was raining with fog so I could not enjoy the view that seemed exceptional. After Heart Lake, the return from the north is very long in the woods, not very interesting and we can not wait for it to end.

backpacking
rocky
scramble
15 days ago

This is an amazing hike! Beauty everywhere. We did this as a 2 night, 3 day backpacking trip and went counterclockwise. My only issue was right before the decent to Lunch Lake, there is a “geological disturbance” which made the trail disappear, causing the need to navigate over rocky boulders. Not fun for me with my large pack, but doable. The trail to Lunch Lake is about 0.5 miles and pretty steep, but totally worth it. The ranger had given us a tip, that if you take the trail out to explore the other lakes (past lunch lake), it eventually meets back up with the divide trail. It’s not marked, but this is how we went and it was awesome. The views on this hike are nonstop! Mount Olympus and the Hoh River, with all the wild flowers...gorgeous! And Heart Lake-loved. I recommend spending some time if you do this hike. There is way too much to see and explore for just a day hike. I can’t wait to do it again!

hiking
20 days ago

This loop lived up to expectations. Started in old growth forest full of mushrooms for foraging (if you know how to find the chanterelles). After 5 miles ascended to high alpine terrain and the 7 lakes basin region. This was carpeted with ripe wild mountain blueberries and hence many black bears feasting on said blueberries. Definitely worth spending a day or two in the basin and not rushing around this loop. Spectacular views of Mt Olympus and its glaciers followed. Ending with a long descent along the Sol Duc River where just 4 campsites are designated. Don’t miss having a celebratory lunch at the Crescent Lake lodge at the end of the trip.

hiking
22 days ago

Possibly my favorite dayhike ever. Did it once before as an overnight which was amazing too.

hiking
22 days ago

I am not in great shape what-so-ever but my boyfriend and I completed the entire loop in a day after reading some other reviews here. It took us about 12 hours from start to finish. It was the greatest hiking challenge I’ve ever taken on but was so so so worth it for the amazing views the entire way. This trail is truly spectacular. I definitely recommend doing it counter clockwise as others have said. We even saw about 5 bears during the course of the trail which was quite exhilarating! I will say some parts of the trail were not clearly marked and we relied on some others who were backpacking on the trail for guidance on the correct direction to go. Note: when you make the first big descent into the basin, know that you will have to go back up it!!! We didn’t realize this until we made it to the bottom. This part can actually be skipped if you wish, but Lunch Lake was a true gem to take a break at.

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike, careful of the newbie packing to much! Lol Great people, views, wild life ...... I’m so hooked on these kinds of hikes. FYI — make your reservations early

backpacking
26 days ago

Beautiful 3 night backpacking trip! First night and second morning were cool and misty, and second night on the weather was nice! Chilly in the mornings...down to upper 30's. Saw many black bears foraging on huckleberries mostly in the distance with a couple of closer encounters. Also several deer. Amazing hike!

recorded High Divide - Seven Lakes Basin Loop

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

An amazing hike although we only went 5.5 miles in. 3 miles past Solduck Falls to Deer Lake very rocky and fairly steep. But once you make the open meadows and higher elevations after Deer Lake the beauty is vast. Love to go back and try for greater distance. Slow going on tired 70 year old legs coming back on the 3 miles of rockiness from Deer Lake down.

hiking
29 days ago

We did the full loop as a day hike and loved it! The views constantly changed - forest, rim, meadow, etc! We left around 10am and got back at 9pm, with a bunch of photo stops, a long lunch break and a swim at Heart Lake! We found the trail to be in a good condition throughout, however there seemed to be some serious ground shifting between the peak and Lunch Lake (we were happy to have our boots and poles). Generally, we felt the elevation gain was quite gradual due to the switchbacks (there are loads), but there were a few spots where it was a bit more work! As a day hike, bring lots of water, snacks and sunscreen!

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Incredibly awesome. Totally doable as a day hike if you can get an early start (took us 10.5 hours). We encountered two trail runners(!) and many backpackers but no other day hikers though. Impressive and shady old growth forest at the lower elevations and stunning views higher up. Saw a bear at Lunch Lake. Plenty of water and blueberries along the trail. Had a nice soak in the hot springs afterward.

recorded Recording - Aug 10, 05:36 PM

hiking
blowdown
bugs
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

One of the most stunning backpacks I’ve been on. Lush forests, well-maintained trails, shaded, and easy access to water sources throughout most the loop. As advised, we did the loop counter-clockwise. A little over 7 miles on day 1 to Lunch Lake and about 12 miles on day 2. The second day wasn’t easy but it was mostly downhill so definitely manageable. Recommend mosquito repellent.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike. I did it in a day, because permits are hard to come by as a walk-on. This way, I didn’t have to carry a bear canister. I went counter clockwise and would do it again; this way, the forest opens gradually to the seven lakes basin, then cedes to the High Divide and the magnificent mountain vistas. It’s a really inspiring hike. NB - the hike down to Lunch Lake is a steep series of switchbacks, and you have to go back up them to continue on. A very doable day trip. 1.5-2.5 mph, terrain dependent. Really impressive trail.

hiking
1 month ago

a real gem of a trail! ... ...counterclockwise worked great for a long, but gentle downhill to finish off the day ... the views up top are amazing, the thick glacier hanging off the side of Mt Olympus is absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Amazing 3 day hike. Did the counter clockwise loop camping two nights at deer lake and then sol duc Park. Very difficult in some areas but worth it. If you’re going to the peak, I’d recommend taking the lower trail and then backtracking up the trail to the peak. The more direct route to the peak was much less traveled and a bit dangerous in spots. Hiking below and then back up is the more “official” trail, according to the volunteer that was at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing loop . I'd consider it some of the best Washington has to offer .

backpacking
bugs
2 months ago

Awesome trail! My 71 year old uncle led my cousin and I one this trek around my 19th birthday. We stayed first night at lunch lake - very buggy in July, then the second night hiked up to Swimming Bear Lake. So worth the extra bit of uphill to that small and secluded lake overlooking Mt Carrie and Olympus. 10/10 would recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

Phenomenal hike - outstanding views and cool wildlife. Completed as a long day hike on July 4th, going counterclockwise with a hike down to Lunch Lake. 100% snow free. Saw a herd of mountain goats in the seven lakes basin, and several more near Heart Lake. Aside from the length of the hike, I would rate this as moderate - none of the climbs (except for the dip down to Lunch Lake) are strenuous. I recommend doing the hike counterclockwise so that you have plenty of energy to take a side trip to Seven Lakes Basin. But, going counterclockwise means that the last 8 miles are through forest. It would have been helpful to have a map/landmarks to show where I was at on that last segment, because I had so many false positives that I was near the trailhead! I was definitely more tired than I was expecting by the time I got to Heart Lake, and I've done a few 20 miles day-hikes before.

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