Sol Duc River Trail, Olympic National Park, WA
[Trip Report] - Sol Duc River Trail, Olympic National Park, WA.
While visiting some family up in Washington State, we decided to take a quick impromotu trip to the Sol Duc River and see if we could score a campsite we could backpack to. We were in luck, all but 3 of the 80 some odd camp sites along the trail were taken (you have to use them here, campsites) - We purchased all 3, combining that with the free national parks pass my sister picked up for active duty it worked out really well.
Weather - This was probably the best week of weather this state will get and had gotten all year. It was low 80s up to mid 90s with zero rain all week.
Aug 15 - Day 1
We got a late start to the day thanks to the "up to one hour wait” signs on the highway because construction workers were re-paving two or three difference sections of the road on the way up to the Sol Duc hotsprings area. Initially we were going to start from the Deer Lake side of the Loop making it basically a large downhill. The ranger, when we arrived informed us there was nowhere to camp and that our spots were over in the “harder” part of the trail. Suck. We started on the Sol Duc falls side (which is the right side to start just not the one we wanted to start on). -- Heres where it got tricky.... to get the best look of the falls you have to cross the bridge, now from here there is a labeled trail that starts along the river...... OPPS wrong trail.... This trail basically goes from a good trail, to blackberry nastiness in about 2 miles. Ok... so we cut over the river and meet up with the proper trail (that was under construction will all signs down at the trailhead, minus the info board in the parking lot)
BACK ON TRACK - From here we hiked in about 8miles, camping 1400 feet below the peak that crests to Heart lake. Sorry, im not sure of the peaks name.
Aug 16 - Day 2
We spent the day just messing around, exploring checking things out etc. I took my 11 year old boy (this was his first one) and he busted out a total of 21 miles over 2 days with 30lb bag! Nice job boy. Mid day we gathered up all of our gear and made it to the car in about 3hrs. None of us really fish, so more or less we went to say we have backpacked and camped in a rain forest in the USA and its fun.... ::)
Pics from the trip. -
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08-21-2012 05:25 PM
Re: Sol Duc River Trail, Olympic National Park, WA
Nice pics and good timing. They are about to hit a record number of days of sunshine. I was on a Navy stint up there once that lead to an impromptu backpacking trip into the park over a long weekend and it was uniquely different than here in the dry Rockies. And, we went from near sea level to glacier in 17 miles. Quite an interesting corner of the country indeed.