100 Classic Hikes Washington
by Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2016 Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
Fantastic views of Mt Olympus, Seven Lakes Basin, and Bailey Range. The summit of Mt Bogachiel is a must-see.
Wow. This trail is amazing. We hiked in to Heart Lake as this hike suggests. The rain forest is very lush and full of super mature ceder trees. The climb to Heart Lake is a kicker. I suggest contining past Heart Lake and camping at Bruce's Roost. To get there simply pass the lake and continue up untill you get to the fork take a left towards Cat peak. The camping will be about 1 mile on your lift just over the ridge. The view of Mt. Olympus id incredible from here. The next day we hiked out to the end of this Cat Peak trail. I would not suggest it. It dead ends 5 miles and is abit of a let down. I suggest continuing towards Deer lake for night number two. We saw a large heard of elk grazing in the fields in the valley below. Quite an amazing section of the trail. The views are breath-taking! The second night at Deer lake was really fun. The deer are so tame they almost let us pet them. The final hike out is pretty steep. I definately suggest trekking poles to take the load off the knees.
Excellent hike! Strongly recommend. See permit requirement at bottom. Definitely lots of traffic on this trail, but I understand why. Beautiful and convenient loop trail. Passed a variety of hikers (day hikers/trail runners doing the 17.6 mile loop in one day, backpackers enjoying area for 2-4 days. 3 days seemed to be the norm). Headed clock-wise but not matter. Easy walk/hike along Sol Duc River past famous/touristy falls area. Old cabin nearby. Gradual ascent to Seven-Mile campground. Camp near rushing river. Nice spot since no rivers after this spot. Ascended next day through Sol Duc Park towards Heart Lake, views opened some as headed out of forest. The High Divide is where it''''s at. Amazing views south toward Mt. Olympus and the Hoh Glacier. Lots of peaceful wildlife about: brown bears (heard nearby), bald eagles, marmots, deer. Stay along the divide if you can - worth the views! We found small campsite before cutoff down to Seven Lakes Basin. Views into Basin were cool too. Totally different. Lots of lakes to explore view foot. Warning: Misquitos and flies love hikers here. Rain/clouds set in so we didn''''t camp at Lunch Lake, but we could tell it was magical. Steep descent down to basin via Bogachiel Peak. Clouds kicked in so new view from Peak (bummer, heard it was awesome). But, we savored the sunset views and cool evening temps as we walked down toward Deer Lake (nice relaxing spot, couple campsites) and back to the hoards of SUV tourists at Sol Duc Falls. Again, great hike. GO! If you can stay 2-3 nights you''''ll really appreciate the views and peacefulness. REQUIRED: Backcountry permit (available at Wilderness Info Center, behind main Visitor Center, Port Angeles 360-452-4501). Also need Olympic National Park pass for parking. This eTrail was excellent, by the way. No need to buy the book!
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