Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Washington with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

18 hours ago

The primary winter route. I have done this route seven (7) times this 2017/2018) winter. On a nice day you will have an amazing view. Basic mountaineering gears will be essential for your safety. Have snowshoes and crampons ready as they may be the deciding factor between you making it to the summit rim or turning around. Some day you can just boot it to the summit but other days you will need snowshoes or crampons as you will posthole or slide on ice. Just be prepared and you will have a great time here.

2 days ago

This is a nice hike, not too challenging. It’s pretty steep in the beginning, evens out for a bit, and then gets steep again before you get to the top. Muddy in some places, no snow or ice. It was cloudy and foggy but still worth the hike. I’ll have to go again on a sunny day.

3 days ago

Awesome place to visit. The moss is literally covering almost all you see and the dense colors of green are incredible! Highly recommend visiting

trail was in great shape. it’s not an easy hike but worth it to get the views and my dog loved it.

It’s a long hike but the lake is beautiful. The water reflects the surroundings and it looks like a mirror.

The switchbacks are brutal but the view is worth the work. The traffic was heavier than I expected it would be. All things considered, a beautiful trail.

7 days ago

Beautiful stroll / hike!! So many beautiful boardwalks. Camp Alva is a wonderful, well maintained campground. I think I saw 3 sites total. There is a creek for water if you need. Hung out with a couple local deer and bald eagles. The hike on the beach and rocks went well since I timed it with low tide. It's a quick backpacking trip. Would definitely do it again!

They told me to leave because of my horse

Great time with my sons on my first backpacking trip. Highly recommend this loop - don’t skimp on the side trips like Lunch Lake. Worth it.

9 days ago

I backpacked this trail from Rialto Beach to Cedar Creek and back again over three days. The trail as indicated on the map is misleading as there is very few places where there is an actual trail. This is almost exclusively a beach hike. There are numerous places where access is limited or not possible at high tides and it is critical to learn these spots in advance and be in possession of a tide table prior to beginning your trip. Some locations have headland bypass trails that get you past during high tides, but generally require navigation of extremely steep slopes with the use of ropes left in place for that purpose.

Rialto Beach to a little past Hole-in-the-Wall is flat beach and pretty easy hiking. From that point to about 7 miles north of Rialto Beach (a point marked on Olympic Park maps as beach route impassible, regardless of tide) is largely a mix of large boulders, broken rock, tide pools and ankle turning round stone. Its a very strenuous hike through this area. After the impassible point at 7 miles, the beach opens back up to mostly small rock and sand and is a relatively easy hike to Cedar Creek and past. I didn't go further up the trail.

The Olympic Park maps indicate inland campsites at regular intervals up the coast. In my scouting I was able to find only the overgrown remains of the Chilean Memorial camp. There are camp sites at Cedar Creek, a few feet off the beach, but they are further north of Cedar Creek from where the Olympic Park map indicates. The backcountry toilets indicated by the park maps are nonexistent or unusable.

This trail is in the Olympic Wilderness Area and, as a result, ONP rules apply. Permits are required for overnight stays. They can be filled out and submitted at the trail head and paid for via mail afterwards. Bear proof food canisters are required. Parking for overnight stays is in a separate, gravel lot to the south of the Rialto Beach day area and no parking pass is required.

Because of the rockiness of the trail, the tidal danger points and the rope assisted climbs, this trail, past Hole-in-the-Wall, should only be hiked by those who prefer a challenging experience over a comfortable walk on the beach. That said, it was one of the most beautiful trails I have ever backpacked and I look forward to returning when I can go further up the coast.

Trail was still super icy and quiet dangerous. Made it to the cedars after attempting to climb the switch backs. I’ve always loved this hike, but I have always done it in the summer before. Definitely would recommend spiked shoes. Also, love I can bring my pup!

10 days ago

Beautiful day for a hike up and back, watch out for some ice near the top.

12 days ago

Man, it was cold!! Stayed at Five Mile Island for a couple nights. Really loved this campsite- open space, outhouse available, didn't see bear ropes for food tho but could have missed it, right next to the river, lots of flat camping options. Ran into a herd of about 30 Elk. Attempted to continue on the trail but the snow became more dense - highly encourage micro spikes for this. Decided suffering through the cold (even though my sleeping bag is 20 degrees and I was wearing 4 layers) wasn't very fun. Will definitely attempt to reach the glacier at another time.

12 days ago

Good hike. Though I would recommend hitting it in the morning, as it has very little sunshine! Going down the falls was very icey. Would also recommend spikes on your shoes.

17 days ago

Fun day with kids. We stop about 3 tenths from the top and came back down. We had not planned for the ice at the top. We will definitely go back to complete the trail.

This is a very easy trail that has a nice variation of scenery. Most of the hike is through clear-cut, which is kind of depressing. However the clear-cut makes for nice views and good exposure if the sun is out. My GPS clocked this hike as 7.7 miles if you follow the route marked on this listing. There is supposedly an overlook somewhere in the area, called Greenleaf, but we did not find it. It does not seem to be on the route mapped here. Trail was pretty muddy. Lakes are pretty. Nice views of the dam and mountains around. The lack of extreme vertical on this trail would make it good for trail running. Although it is kind of rocky. Totally worth the hike despite the clear-cut.

20 days ago

Royal Basin is the finest alpine area in the Dungeness watershed.Streams cross the trail regularly.In the southeast corner of the basin it's not to difficult to gain the top of Royal ridge.The view over the basin is magnificent.I like to drop in to Milk Creek and go over to the other side of Milk Creek basin,over to an magnificent viewpoint for Warrior,Mt.Con stance and Inner Constance.Some steep snow often.

I backpacked this loop over the summer. It was my very first time backpacking and we did it clockwise (most people do it counterclockwise) so there was a lot of uphill. It was hard but ridiculously beautiful the entire time. The scenery changes throughout the whole loop too. You hike through forests, in the mountains, and by lakes. At some points I swear I felt like I was walking through Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings. When we went we saw a bunch of mountain goats and even two black bears! I went in August and when we hiked through a part of the mountains there were huckleberries everywhere. Basically the whole thing is amazing!

this Trail is very long. the way down is a boardwalk till you get to the beach the beach across to the next Boardwalk is the difficult part walking through the sand and over rocks but being able to see the Petra Clift is amazing you do have to look for it to be able to see it because some of them are slightly worn away. but definitely an amazing experience

This must be one of my favorite, if not "the" favorite hike - it has really just about everything: an adventurous drive to the trail-head (more on that later), a forest to start your hike in, a lush mountain meadow, plenty of snow-fields (mid July) all the way to a rock-scrambling part to the lookout at the end. And the views, oh my, the views. Going up, they are beautiful already but once you make it to the ridge that will get you to the lookout, you're in for a real treat. I just wish we had known that it was possible to stay overnight in the lookout - sunset and sunrise must be absolutely stunning from there.
The hike itself is not easy and the last part would be tough for people with vertigo but otherwise we didn't think it was too difficult. It's easily manageable in an afternoon even if you take plenty of time to soak in the views at the top. We saw a bear and a pica rabbit too.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the drive. I saw cars parked at the trail-head that had pretty low clearance, so it must be possible to get there in just about anything but I was really happy that we took a rental 4WD SUV. The forest road is quite steep in places and littered with potholes large enough to break your axle in, so having a higher clearance vehicle comes in handy.
Overall, if there is just one hike you are going to do in this part of the park, make it this one!

This one looks good on paper but is actually tedious, dry in long stretches with mixed, mediocre views and leaves you unsatisfied. Use your valuable time to a different loop.

great scenery! enjoyed this hike!

Fun hike. Has some good switchbacks with great views of liberty lake.

Amazing trail! Bring some sort of map, there's a few places it's easy to get turned around or off trail.

Steep hike, particularly in the winter with lots of snow. Bring snowshoes if going in the winter, but you can make it without if you know what you’re doing. Amazing views on a clear day. Even a frozen lake is worth it.

This is a great trail highly recommend doing it, it is moderately hard however the view is definitely worth it!

29 days ago

One of my favorite trails. Awesome views. Lots of wild berries. Over nighter with the place all to my self! Hiked years ago so late post. Just digging up old pics. August 2012

great trip with my wife, daughter and nephew. 3 days, 2 night. trail in great condition. weather was a little wet the first night and second morning but got hot and dried us out. camped the first night at 2 lakes, second night at pipe lake. our ride showed up at white pass and treated us all to a great cheeseburger in Naches WA. wonderful memories.

My college buddy and I did this hike in early May 2017. We drove from the Hoh Rainforest to the Quinault Wilderness Information center to get the permit and a bear canister (about an 1.5hr drive). We waited for about 20 minutes until a ranger showed up. After that we drove to Graves Creek Trailhead to park the car and begin the hike (50 min drive along some dirt roads through the rainforest). We most likely started the hike around 11:00AM and planned to hike to the valley in one day. The trail is amazing and passes glacial blue water and thick rainforests. We really were enjoying the hike however because we needed to get to the campground before dark (really darkness in the rainforest comes faster than the sunset due to the trees and mountains blocking the sun) we really only stopped a few times for no more than 10-20min. Due to this, our hike did feel somewhat tiring especially between O'Neill and Pyrites. From Pyrites to the Gate is probably when we were the most exhausted because we kept up a really fast pace for most of the day. During this part of the hike we did see three black bears, 2 out of the 3 were decently far from the trail wandering by the river. However probably about a 0.3 mile from the Gate where the bridge is we saw a large male black bear. This bear was no further than 15 yards from us and standing directly next to the trail. To say we were nervous was an understatement since this large male black bear never took his eyes off us, was super tense, and did walk towards us at some points. Once we passed the gate we felt a little calmer and we could see the valley ahead. This valley was one the most amazing locations either of us had been to before. In early May the waterfalls were rushing down from the mountains and the peaks were snow-capped. We were there on a Sunday and there were no campers anywhere so we had the whole valley to ourselves. We set up our campsite on a ridge next to the river near the chalet. We then saw some more bears wandering around the valley, one bear stayed with us all night but never looked up from eating the grass which was a relief. At some points the melting snow caused small avalanches to roar down the waterfalls which was something I had never witnessed before. A tip for anyone going to the valley in early May; make sure to bring some camp wood even though it will weigh down your pack because we are in a rainforest so much of the wood is very damp and hard to light. We set up our tent, lit a fire, and just marveled at this valley until the sun finally set in the distance. The next morning we rose a little before sunrise to get an early hike out of the valley. This was a great idea because when the sunrise hits Mount Anderson and the other snow covered peaks you are hit with a truly spectacular sight. After this we began the hike back (a little depressed to leave and definitely not looking forward to the 15 miles back with our packs on). On this hike we saw one more black bear and to top it off we saw a massive herd of Roosevelt elk grazing between Pyrites creek and O'neill camp. The hike back definitely didn't feel as tough as the hike there because we had a slower pace, I do have to say that by the end you will feel tired especially when you hike up the steep hill after Pony Bridge. Overall this was definitely our favorite hike in Olympic. You get rainforests, glacial rivers, waterfalls, mountains, elk and bear. If we were ever to do go back I'd say we would try to break the hike up into a three day hike instead of doing 30 miles in two days with all our gear on us! Definitely would recommend this hike to any backpacker.

cool, above tree line hike

Load More