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SEASON: Higher up, prime hiking starts in July and extends into October. River valleys are usually snow-free even in winter, though fall, winter, and spring bring the rain.
MAPS: Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin/Mount Olympus Climbing (Hoh River Trail); Tyler Peak (Royal Basin); Mt. Angeles and Tyler Peak (Four Passes Loop); Mt. Steel and The Brothers (Mt. Ellinor); $6 each, greentrails.com Guidebooks Olympic Mountains Trail Guide, by Robert Wood ($19); Climber’s Guide to the Olympic Mountains, by Olympic Mountain Rescue ($17); both from mountaineersbooks.org
BEAR PROTOCOL: Food canisters are required and available (free, $3 donation suggested) from the Wilderness Information Center.
PERMITS: Required ($5, plus $2/person/night). Reserve no more than 30 days in advance.
CONTACT: Wilderness Information Center, (360) 565-3100, nps.gov/olym/wic/index.html nps.gov/olym.
-Mapped by Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan and Ted Alvarez
- Distance: 27.0
Location: 47.860311, -123.934214
Start from the Hoh Ranger Station (north of the Hoh Rain Forest Campground). Hike northeast on the Hoh River Trail.
Location: 47.861204, -123.933291
Bear left at Y-junction, and continue hiking northeast toward the Hoh River. Huge, moss-covered Sitka spruce form a dense canopy.
Location: 47.865326, -123.915131
Pass a trail on the right that leads 0.9 mile to a campsite.
Location: 47.865393, -123.906426
Pass a trail on the right that leads 1.4 miles to a campsite.
Location: 47.86892, -123.884668
This easy waterfall crossing over a bridge is a great photo spot.
Location: 47.867883, -123.880666
Pass a trail that leads 2.9 miles to Mount Tom Creek Campsite.
Location: 47.867519, -123.842018
Pass a trail on the right that leads to Five Mile Island.
Location: 47.868545, -123.829758
Hike past Happy Four Shelter. Ahead, the trail continues southeast, then rounds to the northeast.
Location: 47.878246, -123.768239
Cross a rickety bridge.
Location: 47.878232, -123.767874
Pass a group site on the right.
Location: 47.877712, -123.767311
Nice campsite by the river.
Location: 47.878304, -123.754849
Bear right at the trail fork, heading east.
Location: 47.88383, -123.717213
At the head of the valley, the trail curves to the right.
Location: 47.876721, -123.694682
Cross footbridge over the Hoh River and enter the Glacier Creek drainage.
Location: 47.860311, -123.690777
Cross Martin Creek.
Location: 47.857633, -123.693008
Elk Lake: Skirt the eastern edge of this small backcountry lake. From here, the route continues climbing south.
Location: 47.830328, -123.688374
The route ends in Glacier Meadows. Retrace your route back to the trailhead.
Location: 47.867149, -123.898315
A few miles in, vistas get bigger.
Location: 47.868704, -123.890419
The Hoh has wide gravel bars.