2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
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

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – May 2010

Forest: Hoh River Trail, WA

This Olympic National Park trail features serious elevation gain and switchbacks galore.

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan, Maps by Kris Wagner and Kim Phillips

Hike into the wild green heart of the Northwest on this 17.6-mile (one-way) tour-de-ecosystems in Olympic National Park. Sunlight stabs through dripping, moss-hung rainforests as the trail climbs 4,000 feet on 22 switchbacks from riverside through Sitka spruce to wildflower-filled alpine meadows (season’s first: avalanche lilies in May). Find a string of aquamarine ponds shimmering below the High Divide’s glaciated peaks at CB Flats, forage for huckleberries (starting to ripen in mid-July) in sprawling patches (watch out for black bear )—and ogle hulking Mt. Olympus. Then cruise 4.3 miles to heath-lined Heart Lake. The next day, retrace your route back to the trailhead. INFO Wilderness permits ($7). Reserve campsites a month in advance (May to September); half are held for walk-ins. (305) 565-3100; Trip data:

1. Hoh River trailhead
0430124E 5301197N; mile 0
Old GPS? Get a nav lock before rainforest canopy limits initial reception—or upgrade.

2. Canyon Creek Trail

0443561E 5303063N; mile 9.5

Turn left for the first of many switchbacks to the Seven Lakes Basin and the jagged, snow-capped High Divide.

3. Hoh Lake
0441039E 5305226N; mile 13.9
Pack an extra memory card: The photo ops here (4,539 feet ) include a wide alpine tundra and the glacier-laced flanks of 7,929-foot Mt. Olympus.

4. Deer Lake Trail
0441819E 5305948N; mile 15.2
Bear right below Bogachiel Peak. Extra day? Turn left/west in .2 mile to bag the 5,474-foot summit or make the 25-mile loop through the Seven Lakes Basin (bear canisters required, $3).

5. Heart Lake
0445214E 5306650N; mile 17.6
Camp lakeside in this small cirque, or hike north to the Heart Lake Shelter; backtrack to the Hoh River trailhead.

Tree Time
Find more forest hikes.

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

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Homeless woman goes on an interview then
Posted On: Apr 24, 2014
Submitted By: Dennis The Menace
The Political Arena
The NRA Backlash Begins
Posted On: Apr 24, 2014
Submitted By: Dennis The Menace
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

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:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions