|Deer Park||Open||Primitive (no water)|
|Dosewallips||Closed||Walk-in only. Road washed out 6.5 miles from campground.
Primitive. Pit toilets only and no potable water. Pack out all trash.
|Fairholme||Open||Closing for the season November 2.|
|Graves Creek||Open||Flush toilet available for summer only, no potable water. Pack out all trash.|
|Heart O' the Hills||Open|
|Kalaloch||Open||Reservations through recreation.gov.|
|Mora||Open||Reservations for peak season on recreation.gov
Comfort station renovation in Loop C
|North Fork||Open||Primitive. Pit toilet only and no potable water. Pack out all trash.|
|Ozette||Open||Flush toilet and drinking water available during summer season only.|
|Queets||Open||Primitive. Accessible only from Upper Queets Valley Road.|
|Sol Duc||Open||Closing for the season September 27. Campground operated by Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Reservations through recreation.gov.|
|South Beach||Open||Closing for the season September 28.|
|Staircase||Open||Currently primitive with vault toilets and no drinking water. Potable water and flush toilets available during summer season.|
Grey Wolf Ridge - 7218' / Baldy - 6827' / Bogachiel Peak - 5474' - Via high divide Class 1
Baldy and Grey Wolf
The weather was called to be spectacular and warm all weekend on July 24-25. I took advantage of the great weather and headed for the Olympics. I originally wanted to go to Royal Basin but there was still way too much snow in the upper basin for my liking. After hearing how clear Grey Wolf was and the fact it is the Clallam County high point I made that my goal for the first day. I left at around 2 am Saturday morning from Renton to get to the Dunganess River Trail-head by sunrise. I started hiking up the large trail that follows the river and got some nice long exposure shots of the water flow under the forest canopy.
After a longer than anticipated mile due to the photography I got to the Upper Maynard Burn trail junction and started climbing. This is more of a boot path that climbs 3000 feet. The Summitpost page on Grey Wolf said this climb takes about 3 hours. Given the fact I do my climbs very early in the morning and my determination to climb fast I made it to the crest of the ridge, 3000 feet up in 55 minutes. Now that I was on the ridge above tree-line, I took my time and went slowly. I simply followed the ridge to Baldy where I shot a nice summit panorama.
I then continued on and descended to the saddle between Baldy and Grey Wolf. The ridge to Grey Wolf was completely snow free. I was amazed how over in the shadow at 7000 feet there is no snow but Olympus only 20 miles away has miles of glaciers. I am still amazed by that fact! Upon summiting Grey Wolf, the view took my breath away. Views to all the inner Olympic peaks were seen.
I stuck around this summit for awhile before heading back to Baldy and down back to the trail-head. The hike back was as it would be but I did see a number of people heading for Grey Wolf up the steep trail as I went back. As I always do I talked with others as they headed up. I always do that since I'm usually the first one to get where I'm going on a given day. The rest of that day was spent driving back to Kingston to pick up a friend from the ferry dock who would join me for the hike on Sunday. After the pick-up we drove to the Sol Duc hot springs where we slept the night. Sunday was going to be the High Divide loop as a day hike.
We woke very early and hit the trail. We passed by the Sol Duc Falls but since I didn't bring my tripod on this hike I wasn't able to get a long exposure shot. his was the best I could do. It's more of an artistic shot.
We made good time to Deer Lake where the sun was rising nicely.
Took a quick break here before continuing up the trail. We passed by a beautiful tarn completely surrounded by my favorite flowers.
Soon we crested the High Divide and views began opening up in all directions. We got the the famous spot with panoramic views of Mt. Olympus and the lupines here were amazing.
We took our time up here and stopped frequently. We even saw a black bear on one of the snowfields near the trail. There was a decent bit of snow remaining but not enough to make it hazardous. Seven Lakes Basin still had a bunch though and we didn't really want to go down to Lunch Lake. After climbing up Bogachiel Peak to see the "climax panoramas", we decided to take a slide down into the basin just a little bit. The Seven Lakes Basin still had lots of snow but it was very soft and melting very fast.
We wandered around passing by many bright blue melt water ponds.
Once my eyes started to hurt (no sunglasses) we climbed back to the trail and continued. We passed above Lake Number 8 and soon were above Heart Lake.
We did see a few people at Heart Lake but that was about it. We took a long break here and I even got my alpine lake swimming fix. That water was COLD! I walked to the apex of the heart and took a reflection shot.
After our break we started back down towards the Sol Duc River. Very nice meadows were seen everywhere.
The hike back was long and forested but we met a nice couple from San Francisco at Heart Lake who went back down with us making the long walk seem to fly by. This was one of the better set of day hikes I've done and I really want to go back and do the High Divide in the fall sometime to see how different it looks.
Bogachiel Peak is located high on a ridge called the High Divide in Olympic National Park. The summit boasts spectacular views across the Hoh Valley of Mount Olympus and the Blue Glacier. Until mid July or sometimes later, an ice axe is usually necessary to travel up and around Bogachiel Peak, along the High Divide, and into the basin. Although it stands at a fairly low elevation of 5,474 feet it has a distinctly alpine flavor and boasts one of the most classic views in Washington state. To the south lies the Mount Olympus massif across the Hoh River valley. In the east is Mount Carrie and the Burke Range noted as some of the most remote areas in Washington. You can see the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Hurricane Ridge area to the north.Directly below the summit to the north is the beautiful Seven Lakes Basin which is a must visit place in late summer. Bogachiel Peak has 499 feet of prominence so it also stands proudly as the highest point on the High Divide.
From Port Angeles head west on Highway 101 for 27 miles where you reach the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. On the way you drive along the southern shore of beautiful Lake Crescent where you can kill time swimming, hiking to Marymere Falls, or just have a nice picnic. At the west end of the 9 mile long lake is the small town on Fairholm where you'll find the Fairholm General Store. Don't expect friendly hours of operation though! A nice swimming area and dock is located just across from the store and the classic Lake Crescent photo is taken from here. Just past the lake you head up a hill and at the top of the hill, turn left (southeast) onto the signed Sol Duc Road and follow it all the way to the end where there is a huge parking lot. Park at the furthest open spot you can find as close to the trail-head as possible. You will pass by the Sol Duc hot springs resort (located on the south side of the Sol Duc River) and the campground.
From the trailhead begin by hiking up the Sol Duc River trail which follows its north side for about a mile to the famous Sol Duc Falls where a nice bridge crosses over the top of the large cascade. There is also a nice shelter here to escape from the rain (because it is probably raining!) From the falls, you can either turn south on the Deer Lake Trail or continue east up the Sol Duc Trail. It's an 18 mile loop hike from here with 3,050 feet of elevation gain and it doesn't matter which way you decide to go. I'll describe the route assuming you chose to take the Deer Lake Trail first. So from the falls, continue south as the trail climbs a gently 1,500 feet through the forest over a distance of 2 miles to Deer Lake. You will probably notice deer here...trust me. Just past the lake you will see a trail junction. Turn left and continue on the High Divide Trail which continues to climb up beautiful slopes, passing a small tarn at 4,100 feet and reaching the crest of the High Divide at 4,550 feet. Once on the ridge, continue along the trail as it crosses back and forth from one side to the other until you reach another junction with the Hoh Lake trail which descends south off the High Divide just below the summit of Bogachiel Peak. Just before this junction, look for a short branch trail that leads up for 250 feet through some brush right up to the summit. At the top there is enough room for a large group and a few trees to offer some shelter from wind.
For your descent, it is advised you finish the loop and follow the High Divide east an additional 2 miles over some stunning terrain until you are just above Heart Lake (you'll notice it right away!) where there is a small sign. Views into the Seven Lakes Basin are always amazing and Mount Olympus stares at you to the south the entire time. Turn left at this sign (continuing straight along the ridge takes you to the Cat Basin area) and follow the trail which descends 250 feet down a steep slope to the lake. From Heart Lake, it's a 6.5 mile hike back down the Sol Duc River Trail to the trailhead.
Backcountry permits are required for overnight trips and can be obtained at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles. Rangers do patrol this area due to its popularity. Camping limits are in place for all areas in the Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin. Obtain permits at the WIC in Port Angeles, Eagle Ranger Station (Sol Duc) or Hoh Visitor Center during business hours. Camping is in designated sites only. There are many nearby campgrounds where you can car camp which are operated by the national park. These are described below in the table which is provided by the National Park Service.
Table last updated October 2020