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

hiking
5 days ago

We went 2 days in a row and were unable to cross the river to hike to the hole in the wall. The water was slower the second day and we may have crossed through if we had brought sandals, but it's a wide crossing and we decided to skip it rather than go barefoot.

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.

backpacking
14 days ago

I would classify this as hard, unless you are only backpacking to the 12.4 mile campsite or lower, and then day hiking to the moraine, and doing this in 3 days, 2 nights, or longer.

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.

Hiked about 4.5 miles into the trail before having to turn around. Will definitely be coming back here to do more of the trail.

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
22 days ago

We hiked a very short patch of this trail during our trip, it is an easy-going and relaxing hike! The views are amazing, and if you're lucky, you could encounter some pretty awesome wildlife!

hiking
23 days ago

A super trail loop, easy to make it. I only recommend.

trail rocky but moderate grade,

hiking
27 days ago

A pretty, easy trail that goes through lush forests full of moss and passes a few pretty minor falls before the main falls. Lots of berries grow on the sides of the trail. Saw a few birds and squirrels. Almost no one on the trail in the morning, but like a lot of the park it gets crowded in the afternoon. Few people seem to do the full loop, but saw lots of people at the falls who probably took the shorter hike from the Sol Duc Falls trailhead. Overall, a nice easy hike.

on Hoh River Trail

backpacking
27 days ago

amazing trail weather you do a little bit or a lot! A perfect trail if you’re just getting into backpacking.. I camped at Five Mile Island making it a 10 mile round trip. The earlier you get there the better camping spot you get. Be sure to carry bear spray and steer clear of the yellow jackets!

We drove out and did the ozette loop trail first, and unfortunately it way outshined this one.

Easy hike to the waterfall, which was beautiful. My kids enjoyed swimming in the river on the way out.

***** beware of yellow-jackets!!! If you have an allergy, I would suggest you DON’t hike this trail. Many of the logs have nests in them. On the way to the waterfall, one of my children got stung 3 times and on the way out, another child got stung 2 times!! ALL WHILE STAYING ON THE TRAIL.

hiking
1 month ago

We parked at the Sol Duc Hot Springs parking was free. The path is very clear and about 90% flat. The parts that are a bit steep go up smoothly so you don't even feel it. You see everything from ferns, blueberries, wildflowers, the most amazing Bridges, all to end up in this beautiful three-way cascading waterfall. It was about an hour and a half hike. I can tell you you don't really feel it you've got a lot to look at. As far as animals go we saw Birds, some squirrels and even a black bear. Would a 100% recommend this hike to anyone.

nature trips
1 month ago

July 8th, 2018: Absolutely worth the trip to go when the tide is low. Loved exploring the tide pools, looking for starfish (which were everywhere), and having lunch on the beach. We went around + 1 ft so the lower the better.

backpacking
1 month ago

looks like it dropped right out of a book. amazing place!!!

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!!!

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.

hiking
1 month ago

the best

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a review geared largely for newer hikers or families (we are both), but regardless of ability, I hope you’ll find this helpful. THIS IS NOT AN EASY HIKE once you’re past Hole in the Wall! My husband, two kids (ages 10 and 12) and I hiked this in mid July 2018. We have visited the area a few times now and absolutely love it, so we decided to make it our first backpacking trip. Reading some of the reviews on AllTrails convinced us it would be a simple beach hike. We got our permits and equipment and spoke to the rangers, and headed out. (We told the ranger we are beginners and are very surprised they didn’t warn us).

We were prepared that there would be some areas where you need to use a rope-assisted incline trail to get around impassible areas, so that wasn’t a surprise, but be aware that you’ll have to navigate these. Some were simple, some were steep and muddy, and some were over 100 feet up (we waited for the tide to change so we didn’t have to do that one.) We didn’t have any problems, but I haven’t seen too many mentions of this and thought it might be helpful.

The biggest issue was the boulders. Once past Hole in the Wall, a very significant amount of time is spent climbing over boulders, solid and endless, many of them extremely slippery with seaweed, which took very careful and deliberate steps, especially when ascending or descending large boulders onto smaller ones or vice versa. Trekking poles saved our backsides multiple times. It was very slow going for me, though my husband and kids found it a bit easier. Some boulders are huge, and sometimes you have to get into very precarious situations where you could easily slip and get hurt badly. It’s like this for cove after cove, probably a few miles worth. We weren’t able to get farther than the Chilean Memorial “camp” before I was wiped out for the first day.

Keep in mind that all of the camps are 100% primitive. No cell service, no way out other than the way you came in, and plan accordingly. There are supposedly pit toilets but nobody there had been able to find them. Make sure you have a good water filtration system!

We hiked to Cedar Creek camp the next day (which was supposed to be our first destination), and after mostly the same difficulties, thankfully there was a few mile stretch of wonderful beach hiking, and a great freshwater pool you can swim in. It was gorgeous.

All in all it was a beautiful hike, but definitely better for more advanced hikers. Several other hikers we met also expressed their surprise at how difficult it was. Be prepared to be REMOTE! Also, it was hard to take in the beauty when you have to focus on every single step. According to hikers coming the other direction, it gets worse farther north.

Hope this helps!

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike although the tide was higher than I liked when we went through the Hole. We made it though and if you go early enough in the morning you can avoid a lot of the crowd.

hiking
1 month ago

Went in July and the river thigh deep in a couple places but very doable. Nice to have a hiking pole or walking stick when crossing. Had a difficult time finding the trail it was 50 yards down the river, but some nice people left some stacked rocks to assure us. The trail sign is just a couple yards into the trees. Also could not find the big tree mentioned in our hiking book. Beautiful easy hike with lots of foliage. Saw about four people who had all camped overnight. My husband and I just went for a day hike.

This was an incredible adventure. We could have finished in two days, but we were uncertain about tide issues and frankly just wanted one more day! We started at Oil City and had Lori from Roadrunner Shuttle pick up our car. She stashed it at her house and delivered it to third beach TH Sunday morning. Call them! Reasonable and fantastic to work with!! We had never tried anything like this before and were a little nervous. A couple of the trail head markers were hard to find( Jefferson cove, and Taylors Point) there are really two important places where the tides determine if you stay or go and that’s at Oil city and Taylors pt. We were able to rent a bear van at Forks Outfitters ($65deposit and $2 daily) and register and pay for our permit at the trail head($8 per night per person) this was a fantastic hike. Good water at Mosquito creek, Toleak, Scott’s bluff, Third beach and the up and over between mosquito and toleak. Bring a filter, iodine doesn’t help this water. We actually saw zero people from thursdsy until Saturday!! Camping totally alone on mosquito beach! Saw baldies, deer, dead whale, various critters and a lone llama!! Do this hike! It’s so perfect. We also really enjoyed Mary Jane Organic trail pouches. Pasta and bare burrito were faves. Get out there!!

on Hoh River Trail

walking
2 months ago

Pretty. The drive up was very scenic. The fresh blue water of the river was very relaxing to sit by. I even got enough courage to soak my feet in it. Very refreshing!

Nice and easy hike through the forest along the river. Beautiful old trees. Very narrow trail. Somewhat confusing to return.

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