Saturday, August 25, 2018

Olympic National Park Backpack Trip - Day 1

The High Divide Loop in the Olympic National Park is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and scenic hikes in the Pacific Northwest, so we decided to try for a back country permit and spend some time in the area.  Last February we submitted our permit request and got exactly what we wanted – yeah! :-) So on Sunday August 19th we drove the 6+ hours to the Olympic National Park and spent the night in their drive-in Sol Duc Campground.



On Monday August 20th, we drove the couple miles to the Sol Duc Falls Trailhead and hit the ground at 9am for our 8-mile, 3000ft elevation gain hike to Lunch Lake – our first campground of the trip. 




A bit less than a mile into the hike was Sol Duc Falls, a popular day hike for many people visiting the area.



Onward we continued, over some bridges





And eventually arriving at Deer Lake at noon, where we stopped for a bit to eat. 
(Pro bars….yum!)




We then were on the Seven Lakes Basin trail, where we passed this hawk (?)




Then along an area knows as Potholes. Oh, this is where we ran into our first Olympic NP Ranger who checked out permit and we chatted for a bit – super nice guy.




We were hitting some elevation gain at this point as we continued out hike…..



We were hoping for some views, but because of forest fires in Canada and Washington, the skies were just smoky (and yes, we smelled the smoke much of the day).



There’s the trail….up & up & up…..





Nope, that’s not a bear! That’s Brad!





More trail



Then we finally hit the trail to Lunch Lake, but had no idea that it was a super steep one-mile hike down, so onward we ventured……





Until we finally got to Lunch Lake at 3:30pm


And set-up camp (still super smoky – in fact, when we woke up the next day, there was ash on the stuff we left outside the tent). 



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