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Pacific Northwest Basecamp

Highlights

  • 2 National Parks
  • 6 amazing hikes, 3 in each park
  • Coastlines, alpine lakes, wildflowers & rainforests
  • Circumnavigate stunning Mount Rainier
  • 2 different beautiful campgrounds
  • Fantastic outdoor cuisine

Description

Circumnavigate the Olympic Peninsula and explore the breathtaking flanks of Mount Rainier on this 6 day grand camping and hiking tour of Washington State's most beautiful destinations. By day we'll explore two mountain ranges, one of the highest peaks in America, rugged coasts, and temperate rainforests. We'll hike through wildflower-laden meadows and deep rain forests; experience waterfalls, wildlife, glaciers, and rugged coastlines. At night we'll relax in comfortable campgrounds, eat wonderful outdoor meals, sit around campfires (weather permitting) and soak up the great outdoors! We provide transportation (originating in Olympia, WA), nearly all your gear, meals, fees and permits, and professional hiking guides. You can relax and let us take care of everything while we show you the best of the Pacific Northwest!
Join us and experience the splendor of Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks! Give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book your trip today!
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Trip Dates

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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to the trailhead: 3 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
This multi-day Olympic and Rainier hiking tour begins with pick up at your hotel in Olympia, and drive out to the Olympic Peninsula and Hurricane Ridge. We’ll drive up the Hood Canal, past the scenic islands and waterways of Washington’s Puget Sound, before reaching Port Angeles and climbing up to Hurricane Ridge. After soaking up the views from the Visitor’s Center, we’ll leave the crowds behind and follow Klahane Ridge out towards Mt. Angeles. On a clear day we’ll see across the Straits of Juan de Fuca into Vancouver Island and beyond to our north; the snowy cap of Mt. Baker rising out of the North Cascades to our east, and glaciated Mt. Olympus to our south, and alpine wildflowers. After ample playtime in the mountains, we’ll drive back down to sea level and set up camp on the Sol Duc River, surrounded by moss-covered old growth giants.
Day 2
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 6-8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet
On day 2, after a hearty breakfast at camp, we’ll head west towards Neah Bay and the Makah Reservation. After parking near our trailhead, we’ll descend through coastal forests for two miles until we reach Shi Shi Beach, one of the most dramatic and beautiful beaches that Washington has to offer. Pounding waves, rugged cliffs, and towering sea stacks await, as well as tidal pools filled with life. Whether you want to play on the beach or continue southward towards the Point of Arches, whether you like sweeping views of intimate tidal pools, Shi Shi Beach has something for everyone. Your guide will serve you a gourmet lunch on the beach and, eventually we will bid farewell to the ocean and head back to the vehicle. On our way back we’ll have a chance to stop by the famous Makah Museum and learn more about the cultural history of Makah people. Afterwards we’ll hop back in the vehicle and head back to camp and dinner.
Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet
On day 3 we’ll explore trails along the Sol Duc River. We’ll hike through moss-draped rainforest and towering old growth trees. Elk, deer, bald eagles, banana slugs, and more await us as we investigate this incredible landscape. The three-tiered Sol Duc Falls is our turn-around point, and after crossing a bridge we’ll travel back, stopping at Lover’s Lane Falls and exploring Canyon Creek along the way. We’ll spend one final night at our camp, taking advantage of the Sol Duc Hot Springs nearby.
Day 4
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 4.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,150 feet
Day four marks our transition from the Olympic Peninsula to the Cascades and Mt. Rainier. We’ll pack up camp and drive over to Mt. Rainier. We’ll start our hike with scenic Narada Falls, before climbing gradually through gentle forests and abundance blueberry bushes. We’ll climb past the beautiful Reflection Lakes, aptly named for their stunning mirror-image of Mt. Rainier, up to Faraway Rock with panoramic views of lakes and mountains below. After wrapping up our hike we’ll check in to camp at Cougar Rock Campground. After a delicious dinner, enjoy the stars outside or take in a ranger talk at Longmire or Paradise.
Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,700-3,000 feet
The fifth day’s hike takes us through the famous Paradise Meadows of Mt. Rainier, a sub-alpine wonderland of flowers and fragile meadows. We’ll head up the Skyline Trail towards Glacier Vista, with its panoramic views of the Nisqually Glacier, and then continue upward. A full day--and a lot of elevation--would take us to Camp Muir, the basecamp for mountaineers aiming to summit Rainier, at over 10,000 feet--but we’ll turn around when we want to, aiming first for Panorama Point. On our way we’ll keep an eye out for marmots, pikas, mountain goats, and more, while soaking in views of Mt. Rainier and beyond. If the weather cooperates, we could get views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams, three of the other major stratovolcanoes in the Cascades range. The Paradise area of Mt. Rainier is full of human history, and we’ll have a chance to explore some of it as we poke around the Paradise Lodge and the Visitors’ Center.
Day 6
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1250-2150 feet
  • Shuttle to Olympia: 2 hours
Our final day takes us up past a serious of torrential waterfalls and a beautiful creek, ending by the magnificent 300 foot drop of Comet Falls. Delicate ferns & subalpine plants, whitewater spray, and polished rock accompany us on this short but steep trail to one of Rainier's hidden gems. For those who feel bolder, we can continue up and on towards Van Trump Park, a beautiful alpine meadow filled with flowers and open vistas. We'll enjoy a final picnic lunch, keep an eye out for any last wildlife sightings, and eventually head back to the car. A two hour drive will have us back at your hotel in Olympia where we'll say our goodbyes, knowing we've had an unforgettable 6 days!



Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and day pack
  • 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
  • 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 (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), 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 standard group size on Olympic backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. 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 the Pacific Northwest

This trip covers a dramatic diversity of terrain from seashores to rainforests to alpine peaks and glaciers. The weather will be largely dependent on which ecosystem you're at the moment hiking in, so it's best to be prepared for a range of temperatures and conditions. Read below for average high and low temperatures in different parts of the Pacific Northwest:

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