Royal Basin Trail

Olympic National Forest, Washington

Elevation Gain4,542ft
Trailhead Elevation5,153ft
Elevation Min/Max2833/5157ft
Elevation Start/End5153/5145ft

Royal Basin Trail

Royal Basin Trail is a hiking trail in Clallam County and Jefferson County, Washington. It is within Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. It is 5.6 miles long and begins at 5,153 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,542 feet. This trail connects with the following: Upper Royal Basin Trail, Alternative Path Around Lake and Royal Creek Trail #832.

Royal Basin Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Olympic National Park (Falcon Guides)
Erik Molvar
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"This is a long (7-mile one-way) day hike or backpack from FR 2860 to Royal Lake. This trail provides one of the gentlest grades to an alpine lake in the Olympic Mountains. The trek begins on the Upper Dungeness Trail, which it follows for the first mile along the noisy course of the headwaters of the Dungeness River. A dense forest of young hemlocks is underlain by a carpet of duff and moss. After 1 mile a footbridge marks the spot where the Royal Basin Trail splits off to the right, climbing gently beside the rather milky waters of Royal Creek. As the valley bends to take on a southwesterly orientation, the trail leaves the stream to wander up a series of forested benches. Undergrowth plants such as vanilla leaf and bracken fern begin to invade the understory."

Royal Basin Trail Trip Reports

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Excellent hike! Easy 1 mile gradual hike to cutoff bridge with Dungeness River trail. 7 miles to Royal Basin area...pine forest (due to rain shadow, this is not a rain forest area), but nice to hike along the river most of the hike. Overall, a gradual ascent to basin. Plateau's just before basin in beautiful meadows. Here is where the amazing 360 views begin! Several campsites along Royal Lake. Watch out for mosquito's!! Camp here one night and then hike another 'long' mile to the actual basin for 2nd night. Great 2 night trip. Dueable in 1 night though. Can't say enough about the basin views up to peaks above - Mount Clark, Mount Deception, Mount Mystery, Mount Fricaba. Personally, I hiked up to 7,000 foot peak east of Mt. Deception. Amazing views of entire valley below and distant peaks to East and South. Dangerous climb on unstable shall. Experienced or stupid climbers only. Explore the Royal Basin. Worth it. WARNING: Olympic NP Wilderness Use Fees required. $5 per group, $2 per night/person. Call 360-565-3100 if questions. Driving directions: west of Sequium, L on Taylor Cut Off Rd, follow pink flags to Dungeness Area via FR 2880 and FR 2860 to trail head.

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Trail Information

Olympic National Forest
Nearby City
Olympic National Forest
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Hood Canal Ranger District—Quilcene, 295142 Highway 101 S., PO Box 280, Quilcene, WA 98376; (360) 765-2200;
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Deception; Green Trails Map #136 (Tyler Peak)
Local Maps