High Divide Loop

Olympic National Park

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High Divide Loop
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  • Alpine lakes along the High Divide Loop.- High Divide Loop
  • View from a campsite along Deer Lake.- High Divide Loop
  • The "Miracle Mile" of wildflowers.- High Divide Loop
  • Blueberries are abundant at certain times of the year.- High Divide Loop
  • Lunch Lake found in the Seven Lakes Basin.- High Divide Loop
  • Seven Lakes Basin.- High Divide Loop
  • A herd of elk.- High Divide Loop
  • View of Mount Olympus from Bogachiel Peak.- High Divide Loop
  • Expansive views near Bogachiel Peak.- High Divide Loop
  • Seven Lakes Basin.- High Divide Loop
  • Incredible views of the Bailey Range from the High Divide Trail.- High Divide Loop
  • Black bear along the High Divide Loop.- High Divide Loop
  • Mount Olympus (7,979') from the High Divide Trail.- High Divide Loop
  • Mount Olympus (7,979') from the High Divide Trail.- High Divide Loop
  • Heart Lake.- High Divide Loop
  • Heart Lake reflection.- High Divide Loop
  • There are no "bad" campsites in the area.- High Divide Loop
  • Through the Sol Duc Park area.- High Divide Loop
  • Bridge crossing in the Sol Duc area.- High Divide Loop
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Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Diverse terrain. Wildlife. Great views. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
Popular area. Mosquitoes near lakes. High-use campsites.
Region:
Western Olympic Peninsula, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
18.10 mi (29.13 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
1,900 ft (579 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
3,574 ft (1,089 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
Loop
Dogs allowed: 
No

Current Local Weather

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Mixed precipitation until afternoon, starting again in the evening.
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Rain throughout the day.
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Snow (6–9 in.) throughout the day.
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Sun

Snow (1–4 in.) throughout the day.
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

This amazing trip takes hikers through old-growth forest, along naked ridges, around flowering meadows, and to the banks of alpine lakes. The route begins at the Sol Duc Trailhead and passes Sol Duc Falls. The term Sol Duc means "sparkling waters," and it is not difficult to understand why. The Sol Duc is one of the only rivers in the Olympic Peninsula that supports all five species of Pacific salmon.

Near Sol Duc Falls the Deer Lake Trail will lead south and start a steep climb up to Deer Lake. Many day hikers go only as far as Deer Lake, and backpackers will notice that the trail becomes less traveled past this point. After leaving Deer Lake, the High Divide Trail will wander past shallow lakes and in and out of the forest. During wildflower season, the colors in this area are stunning. The path continues to rise as the vistas become expansive and breathtaking.

Approximately 1 mile before the trail splits to go down to the Seven Lakes Basin, hikers will encounter the "Miracle Mile," a stretch of trail that is known for its wildflower variety. The split for the Seven Lakes Basin is well marked. The path winding down to the Seven Lakes Basin is steep and consists of man-made steps and switchbacks. While the adventure down to the basin is additional work, it is well worth a cool dip in the sapphire blue waters of Lunch Lake.

Hikers continuing along the High Divide Trail will want to watch the valley floor below, as a herd of resident elk frequents the area. The trail soon will reach the Hoh Lake junction. Around this area a path will climb up to Bogachiel Peak. The view of Mount Olympus and the Bailey Range from this peak are breathtaking and not to be missed. Once past Bogachiel Peak, hikers will continue on the High Divide Loop to the appropriately named Heart Lake. Berries are common in this area in the late summer and fall, and so are black bears looking for a sweet snack. From Heart Lake, hikers will find very few climbs in terrain as the route begins to descend. The trail down through Sol Duc Park brings hikers back into thick, lush forest areas near the Sol Duc River. Here hikers will find some of the park's oldest growth hemlock and fir in the area past Appleton Pass Trail. The area will become familiar again as hikers exit back past Sol Duc Falls.     

Note that bear canisters must be used in this trail system, and that all overnight trips in Olympic National Park require a wilderness camping permit.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(16 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(40 within a 30 mile radius)

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