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; nps.gov/olym.
-Mapped by Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan and Ted Alvarez