Olympic National Park Backpacking ? High Divide

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4-10
Activity level
Starting from
$1,199 for REI Members
$1,349 for non-members
Departures Jul 2020-Sep 2020

Experience breathtaking views on a 4-day backpacking trip along the iconic High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin Loop.

A much-loved route within the remote and unspoiled Olympic National Park, this trip boasts old-growth forests, high alpine lakes and endless views. Backpacking enthusiasts will find themselves feeling weary but alive on this route, and those up for the challenge will not be disappointed. Passing fields of wildflowers and spotting the occasional elk, deer or marmot, it?s easy to understand what makes this area one of the most treasured destinations in the Pacific Northwest.

Beginning in Sol Duc Valley, hike from towering old-growth forests to high alpine meadows. Take a moment to appreciate Sol Duc Falls feeding into a river teeming with salmon year-round. The route continues to gain elevation as it climbs to the trail?s namesake, The High Divide. Take in unparalleled panoramic mountain views from the ridge and enjoy adventuring through trails alongside new friends. Our expert guides lead the way, sharing their expansive knowledge of the park?s natural history and ensuring the adventure exceeds expectations.

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Trip Highlights

  • Backpack one of the most treasured trails in the Pacific Northwest
  • See spectacular views of the Olympic Range from the High Divide
  • Take a dip in the cool alpine waters of the Seven Lakes Basin
  • Keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife including bear, elk, deer and marmot
  • Enjoy a delicious backcountry meal prepared by skilled expert guides

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks weighing 30-35 pounds for distances of between 3.5-8 miles with approximately 2,000' of elevation gain/loss multiple days in a row.

  • Backpacking

What's Included

Round trip group transfer from designated Seattle Area hotel to trailhead; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; campsite and backcountry permits and fees.

Accommodations

Established campground: 1 night; backcountry camping: 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Olympic National Park!

Meet your guides and fellow travelers at 9am at our Seattle area host hotel. After brief introductions we hop in our shuttle van and begin our three-hour transfer to Sol Duc Campground. This evening our guides walk through the daily itinerary, outline Leave No Trace principles and distribute group gear. We enjoy a delicious camp meal before tucking ourselves into our tents for the evening. Lunch and Dinner included.

Hiking mileage: minimal; transfer 4 hours.

Day 2

See why the Olympic Peninsula boasts one of the largest temperate rainforests in North America.

Depending on our backcountry permit access, we'll either start from the Sol Duc Falls trailhead or straight from camp. Either way, our walk takes us from the lower elevations of the Sol Duc watershed handrailing either the Sol Duc River or Canyon Creek tributary. We will pass beautiful, plunging falls and fern choked understories while trees hundreds of years old provide cool shade along the trail. As we part ways with the diverse ecosystem of the rainforest, we start a steady ascent through alpine forests and meadows. Our views open up across the gorgeous Sol Duc Valley and we finish the day at a picturesque backcountry camp. All meals included.

Hiking mileage: up to 7 miles; Elevation Gain/Loss: around 2,000'

Day 3

Enjoy spectacular views from the High Divide Trail.

Today we journey along one of the most iconic backpacking trails within the National Park system. The High Divide, offering 360-degree views of Mount Olympus, the Hoh River Valley and down into the Seven Lakes Basin. Lunch will be on the trail where we take our time to enjoy a well-deserved break as we take in the expansive mountain views. Back on the trail to this evening's camp, we'll be camera-ready in the hopes of spotting the plentiful wildlife that calls the area home. Once we've made camp we share highlights from the day and enjoy our last backcountry dinner. All meals included.

Hiking mileage: up to 9 miles; Elevation Gain/Loss: around 2,000'

Day 4

Hike our final miles of the High Divide Loop.

We savor our final miles on the trail back to the trailhead. After loading our gear and bodies into the van, and before setting out for our 3.5-hour drive back to Seattle, we will take time to shower and have lunch at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. We anticipate arriving back into Seattle between 5-6pm, though this time may change based off group pace, trail conditions, weather and other elements beyond our control. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking mileage: 3-7 miles; transfer 4 hours.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary?this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.