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Olympic Backpacking Guides
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Olympic National Park Backpacking Tour
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Olympic National Park Tour
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Olympic Hiking Vacation

Alpine Lakes & Hot Springs

Highlights

  •   Amazing high country of the Olympics!
  •   Stunning alpine lakes & wildflowers
  •   Relaxing backcountry hot springs
  •   Panoramic views of the Olympics
  •   Scenic waterfalls & rainforests
  •   Amazing backcountry cuisine


Description

PLEASE NOTE: This trip is temporarily discontinued due to a road washout. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

Want a little bit of everything, and not afraid of a challenge? This trip traverses through rainforest, high alpine lakes and passes, and down to the famous Olympic Hot Springs.

The first day starts off near tumbling Sol Duc Falls before a steep and heart-pounding climb into the Seven Lakes Basin. Dramatic views accompany use past Bogachiel Peak, alpine wildflowers, and panoramas of the Olympic Mountains. Day 2 takes us along the High Divide Trail to Appleton Pass, and then a steep descent on day 3 is rewarded by a camp next to Olympic Hot Springs. We’ll finish the hike along Boulder Creek before emerging near Port Angeles. Photo opportunities, wildlife, and serenity abound.

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Backpacking Trip
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Olympia, WA
4 days
21mi / 34km
Season: 7/10-9/30
$1195 Per Person

Taxes & Fees

Travel to Olympia, WA

  Private Trips

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Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
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This trip is currently discontinued due to a road washout. We hope to be able to run it again soon! Apologies for any inconvenience.

 
Don't see your dates?
Call us - we may be able to add them!
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to the trailhead: 3.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3565 feet

This multi-day Olympic National Park hiking trip begins with pick you up at your hotel in Olympia, and a scenic drive to the trailhead on the Olympic Peninsula. We’ll drive up the Hood Canal and get some views of the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Lake Crescent before continuing to our trailhead at the Sol Duc River. Once at the traihead, we’ll get our packs on for a steep 7 mile hike to our first camp at Lunch Lake. After hiking past Sol Such Falls we’ll climb steeply to connect with the High Divide Trail. We’ll traverse east, topping out on the summit of Bogachiel Peak at 5,474’ (a high elevation for this coastal range), with panoramic views of Mount Olympus, the Seven Lakes Basin, the Hoh River Valley, and more. Alpine wildflowers appear as soon as the snow melts, so our odds of finding spectacular wildflowers are good all summer long and will vary depending on our elevation. We'll continue along the High Divide Trail for a few more miles until we drop down into Lunch Lake for a well-deserved rest

We'll set up camp, enjoy a tasty backcountry dinner turn in for a wonderful night of sleep.

Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1800 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2000 feet

Day 2 takes us along the High Divide Trail, dropping up and down a steep ridge and passing several beautiful alpine lakes along the way. After a few miles of traversing through flower-filled meadows, we’ll drop steeply down to Appleton Junction, and then climb back up towards Appleton Pass—2,00 feet in 2.6 miles. It’s not easy, but the payoff is glorious. This is the price of hiking in the high country of the Olympics! We’ll make our camp at 5,200 feet at Appleton Pass, and let our legs rest before the descent of Day 3.

Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.1 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 3116 feet

It’s all downhill on day 3. After a lazy breakfast at Appleton Pass, we’ll pack up and head east towards Boulder Creek and the Elwha River Basin. A steep descent will keep us occupied while we rapidly shift in life zones from the high alpine back down to old growth forest. We’ll set up camp at Boulder Creek, and have a chance to soak our sore muscles in the Olympic Hot Springs—the only wilderness hot springs on the peninsula! We'll enjoy one last hearty dinner together, and listen for wildlife in the forest when we turn in for the night.

Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 600 feet
  • Shuttle to Olympia: 3 hours

Day 4 is a mellow end to a challenging trip. We’ll have a pleasant meandering hiking back to the trailhead over a forest road converted to trail, and see first hand some of the restoration efforts since the removal of the Elwha Dam. A short 2.4 miles will take us to the trailhead, where our shuttle driver will pick us up and drive us back to Olympia. You'll finish the trip with the satisfaction of having traversed some of the steepest and most beautiful terrain in the Olympics.




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Olympic National Park hiking guide
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Olympia and back
  • All entrance fees, permits and passes
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Olympia, Washington. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at the Hotel RL Olympia (we recommend staying here as well - mention you're hiking with us and get a discounted rate as low as $99, 360-943-4000). If you're staying at the Governor Hotel (our other recommended hotel, 20% discount), we're happy to pick you up for the orientation. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The maximum and standard group size on this Olympic backpacking trip is 6 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park covers a dramatic diversity of terrain from seashores to rainforests to alpine peaks and glaciers. The weather will be largely dependent on which trip you sign up for and which ecosystem you will be hiking in. Read below for average high and low temperatures in different parts of Olympic National Park:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
Coast
Mountains
 
 
hi
low
Precip
hi
low
Precip
 
 
June
66°
47°
3.8 in
53°
36°
3.9 in
 
 
July
70°
50°
2.8 in
62°
42°
2.1 in
 
 
August
72°
50°
2.8 in
63°
43°
2.2 in
 
 
September
69°
47°
4.4 in
57°
39°
4.7 in
 
 
October
42°
59°
11 in
47°
32°
8.5 in
 

Camping on Backpacking Trips

backpacking tent

Backcountry Sleeping

Tent Camping

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

backpacking meals

Backcountry Cuisine

Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

backpacking campsites

Amazing Campsites

In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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