SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – August 2012

Mountain Map: Coast Range - Olympic Mountains

Explore peaks and forests in this coastal range.

by: Morgan Tilton

Olympic Mountains, WA (Image by Google Earth)
Olympic Mountains, WA (Image by Google Earth)
Photo by Jeff Schumacher
Photo by Jeff Schumacher
Photo by Kirkendall-Spring
Photo by Kirkendall-Spring

Whatever your alpine pleasure—glaciers, peaks, 360-degree vistas, waterfalls, hot springs—you’ll find them here. The range juts 7,000 feet up from the Pacific Ocean, dominating the Olympic Peninsula with craggy ridges, 266 glaciers, and lush old-growth forest. Explore it top to bottom with these five must-do routes.

High Divide
Hikers who scale the High Divide’s airy, 5,000-foot ridgeline will trek above lake-filled basins and score unrivaled views of 7,980-foot Mt. Olympus—the tallest peak in the range. Get there about midway through a 17.5-mile lasso loop: Start on the Sol Duc River Trail, and hike southeast up the valley .8 mile to Sol Duc Falls, where the river splits into three channels and plummets into a mossy gorge. Keep climbing another 6.7 miles to a grassy camp just east of Heart Lake. On day two, ascend past fir and avalanche lilies, which bloom right after the snow melts, to the crest of the ridge. Now comes the big show: Trace the spine west for aerial views of eight teal lakes and Mt. Olympus looming above the Hoh River valley. At mile 9.7, take a quarter-mile (round-trip, nontechnical) detour to tag 5,474-foot Bogachiel Peak. Close the loop on Deer Lake Trail. Trip ID* 23205

Olympic Hot Springs This 28.7-mile out-and-back leads to a chain of backcountry soakers. Follow the Sol Duc River east for 6.9 miles before starting a 2.1-mile grind, gaining nearly 2,000 feet, to a camp on Appleton Pass. The next day, trace Boulder Creek northeast to 95°F hot springs—fringed with ferns and Oregon grape and shaded by cedars. Sleep at the sites just 100 yards away. Trip ID 1647723

Mt. Townsend
Snag 6,280-foot summit views of Seattle’s skyline, Mt. Rainier, and Royal Basin (flanked by Olympic’s highest concentration of 7,000-foot peaks) on this 8.5-mile round-trip. Trip ID 754806

Blue Glacier

Climb to the base of Mt. Olympus on a 33.2-miler that dead-ends at the toe of 2.6-mile-long Blue Glacier, the largest ice sheet in the Olympics. Follow the Hoh River Trail through a primeval forest of red cedars and Sitka spruce. Basecamp in Lewis Meadow. The next day, tick off 6.7 miles (and 3,700 feet of elevation gain) to the 900-foot-thick glacier on Mt. Olympus’s north face. Trip ID 1647710

Sunrise Ridge
While most folks take the easy jaunt to Hurricane Hill, you’ll get instant views—without the crowds—on this neighboring ridgetop hike. The trail rolls 2.8 miles (one-way) northeast above fir-dotted meadows toward 6,454-foot Mt. Angeles. Views stretch northwest to the peaked ridgelines on Vancouver Island and northeast to the snowy Cascades. Magenta paintbrush, bistort, and lupine color the hillsides from July to August. Trip ID 1647753

*Get free GPS data and print custom maps by adding the Trip ID to backpacker.com/hikes/_______.



Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Anybody going to watch Bear Grylls tonight?
Posted On: Jul 28, 2014
Submitted By: mtnsteve
Gear
Want a pair of "grippy" rock climbing shoes
Posted On: Jul 28, 2014
Submitted By: fifeplayer
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions