Trailblazer | 713 pts
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!