This is a convenient spot to pitch your tent for the night, but by continuing a further 1.4 miles to the smaller campground at Lewis Meadows, you’ll discover views of the surrounding mountains that are slightly more open and impressive. The trail followed the Hoh River as it cuts through dense, ancient rainforest. It's the kind of hike where you just find yourself saying Wow a â¦ To reach the Hoh River Trailhead from Port Angeles, drive south on U.S. 101 for 14 miles to the Upper Hoh River Road. There is one river crossing and a few small stream crossings along the way. Camped three nights on the Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park and reached the Blue Glacier (also saw a black bear and baby mt. When we planned the trip to the Olympics, we had planned to camp along the Hoh River at Lewis Meadow one night, then hike to the glacier and come back to stay again at Lewis Meadow the next night. Winds calm to light northwest. Much of your third day will be spent backtracking to the Hoh Lake Trail junction, about 1.8 miles back up the trail from Lewis Meadow camp. Elevation Change: Minimal â Expect a few up-and-down hills. This section is also likely to be quite full of other hikers enjoying the area -- the Hoh River Trail to 5-Mile Island is a popular dayhike or beginners overnight. The air heavy with humidity. And the river, beside it all, this beautiful grey-blue. on the Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park. Camped three nights on the Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park and reached the Blue Glacier (also saw a black bear and baby mt. The Hoh River is a river in the U.S. state of Washington, located on the Olympic Peninsula. The journey climbs to a ridge above the river to the High Hoh Bridge, 2.7 miles past Lewis Meadow Camp, which marks the end of the Hoh Valley. During peak season, booking two weeks prior to your visit is recommended. Anna Roth. Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. The good news is that most of these can be done at only one of the Wilderness Information Service centers in the Seattle area, the bad news that — as of yet — online applications are not available. Our June 2-3, 2017 trip was supposed to be a quick and easy 2-day weekender. Just beyond, you come to Middle Lewis River Falls, which is more a rocky chute than a waterfall. Day 1: Trailhead To Olympus Ranger Station (Alternate: Lewis Meadow) Hiking Distance: ~9.7 Miles. Travel moderates to Lewis Meadow backcountry campsite (10.6 miles : 1,027'), edging away from the river on a long, level stretch. Hiked the Hoh River to Blue Glacier. Possible campgrounds along the way include gravel bars on the Hoh River or pre-existing sites, such as Tom Creek, Five Mile Island, Happy Four, Olympus Guard Station, Lewis Meadow, Elk Lake, and of course, Glacier Meadows. These can be obtained at the following outlets: 353 South Shore Rd., Quinault, WA 98575. Highly recommend this trip. Winds calm to light west. Use blue bags on Mount Olympus. Period. Seattle, WA 98104. Hoh River Trail Backpack Day one 7-01-2002. In peak season, make reservations for quota sites at least two weeks in advance & consider bringing your own bear canister as only a limited number are available at the above locations. High 25ºC (77ºF). For those interested in camping there are numerous spots along the route. Elsewhere, bury waste 6-8" deep and 200 feet from water sources and campsites. Hoh River - Lewis Meadow Save Looking upstream on the Hoh River near the Lewis Meadow backcountry camp, Olympic National Park, Washington. on Jan 17, 2013 11:11 am. Much of your third day will be spent backtracking to the Hoh Lake Trail junction, about 1.8 miles back up the trail from Lewis Meadow camp. Wilderness Camping Permits (Olympic National Park) … It’s a trail of ever-increasing returns, and one worth every crumb of effort visitors put in both prep and effort-wise. Grid references: WGS84. In this article, we’re going to take you through all you need to know when planning a hike on the Hoh River Trail, starting off with some pre-trip logistics and then delving into the finer details of route descriptions, gear requirements, and a few handy tips to help you make the best of your time on the trail. More Links . Those are the days that you learn something new. The Hoh Rainforest, if you've never seen it, is definitely majestic. Day Three: Lewis Meadows to Hoh River Trailhead (10.5 miles). The main thing to keep in mind is that after Lewis Meadow, when you cross the Hoh riverâ¦ Dead trunks or branches in the park are left as and where they fall and subsequently become “nurse logs” for other species, thereby adding a further, nutrient-rich substrate from which sprout a host of seedlings, ferns, fungi, and more of the ubiquitous, vibrantly colored moss. Note how far the glacier has receded in just 200 years, and imagine where it might be in another 200. Hoh River Trail to Elk Lake, Trail Map, Hoh Rainforest Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington. The Hoh Rainforest, if you've never seen it, is definitely majestic. Along with the squirrels, woodpeckers, and chipmunks, we also saw two enormous elk near the trail. The second day, we headed up the mountain, covering about 4 miles with ~2500 feet of elevation gain. From the Hoh River Trailhead at the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center area, follow the paved track due east for roughly a quarter of a mile to the junction with the Hoh River Trail. You'll want to plan for plenty of time to admire the glacier. In this guide, we will be covering the following: Few short backpacking trails spoil their visitors with quite so diverse and delightful an array of scenery as the Hoh River Trail in Washington State’s Olympic National Park. Hoh River Trail to Elk Lake, Trail Map, Hoh Rainforest Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington. On the Hoh River Trail, you will be trekking through 15 ½ miles of massive old-growth conifers (Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red-cedar) as well as under gnarly, aged big-leaf maples and red alders. And the river, beside it all, this beautiful grey-blue. Sweeping down the north-west flank of Mount Olympus, The Blue Glacier is undoubtedly an awe-inspiring spectacle, the glistening teals and azures of its numerous crevasses and seracs an eye-catching embellishment on the enormous curtain of white that sweeps down from a shoulder just below the summit itself. By camping at the same spot as the night before, you can also save yourself a lot of gear hauling on that long ascent up to Glacier Meadows by leaving your tent pitched for the following day/night. The hike begins on the Hoh River trail. Location: 47.865393, -123.906426. The area was subsequently afforded national park status with the creation of the Olympic National Park by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938. The most notable of these include around 400 elk, bears, chipmunks, squirrels, coyotes, martens, Canadian lynxes, Northern pygmy owls, and bald eagles. So peaceful, and quiet ... Marylou United States of America. Toilet Facilities: Pit toilets at 5-Mile Island, Olympus Guard Station, Lewis Meadow, Elk Lake, and Glacier Meadows. Winds calm to light west. On our second day we witnessed a 100' tree fall a couple hundred yards up a hillside. We stopped and set up camp at the Elk Lake camp sites, where only one other person was camped â Anne H., a solo backpacker. The noise was like thunder. Pass a trail on the right that leads 0.9 mile to a campsite. The first day, backpackers will hike in to Lewis Meadows or ... Then descend to cross a creek on a railed log bridge to enter a meadow. Very romantic getaway Adventured along the Hoh river and into the rainforest. But, once you're there, the viewpoint is a stunner. Those 15 years old and younger must be included in group size. Tom Creek. The second day, we headed up the mountain, covering about 4 miles with ~2500 feet of elevation gain. Campsites abound here, but be sure to have a reservation or to check in with rangers at the trailhead; in summer especially, most of the sites cannot support drop-ins. This is the first trip here for both of us. Day 1, hiked 17.5 km (11 mi.) This is your final, major obstacle to your destination. Hoh River Trail to Elk Lake - 30.2 Miles ... Lewis Meadow backcountry campsite (1,027') 13: N47 53.050 W123 43.594 â 11.7 miles : Level trail in diverse forest : Year round, this low elevation trail makes a great beginner backpacking trip full of wildlife and huge views of the Hoh River valley. The Hoh River Trails starts out as a very well groomed trail and stays that way for the most part for the first 5 miles. This 17.4-mile trail starts out with a jungle-like feel, wending through moss-laden temperate rainforest before then traversing delectable alpine meadows en route to the pièce de résistance that is the Mount Olympus Blue Glacier. Climb up to the Hoh Bridge, and gaze down from far above into a canyon carved by a creek feeding the Hoh. Hiker Headlines: Free Days, Grand Openings for Trails, Plans for Forests and Parks. Before that, let’s take a look at some of the hike’s highlights and lowlights. Location: 47.865393, -123.906426. As you hike and navigate the washout, you may wonder if a glacier viewpoint is worth all this trouble. Following the establishment of the Washington Territory in 1853, the area’s tribes ceded most of their lands to the US federal government and were relocated to reservations under the 1855 Treaty of Olympia, which was ratified by Congress in 1859. The trail exits the meadow into a busy forest blocked by several downed trees to the Hoh Lake Trail split (9.7 miles). We spent four more days hiking 50 km (31 mi.) Hoh River Trail trips below Lewis Meadow donât require advance reservations, but if you want to continue up to Elk Lake or the Blue Glacier youâll need advance reservations. These views are a welcome change from 15 miles of deep rainforest, but keep your eye on the trail! Meander east on the Hoh River Trail through a primeval forest of gargantuan red cedars, Sitka spruce, and big-leaf maples. The Hoh River itself also provides a habitat for various types of salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. Head into the forest, passing a large sign indicating the mileages to various campsites and landmarks along the way. While small hiking parties may get away without making advance reservations, groups or seven or more people should always book in advance. A group camp is here, along with a kiosk with signs showing the relative elevation gain for this trail as well as the trail to Bogachiel Peak, which rises to your left as you hike toward the glacier. Weather: Mostly cloudy to mainly sunny. Hoh River Trail. This day is your chance to soak in the splendor of the Hoh Rainforest. The ground drops away steeply here, and about half a mile from Glacier Meadows camp is a huge washout. Follow the undulating trail through the forest, past the campsite at 5-Mile Island and on to the next site, Happy 4 (found, oddly, at 5.8 miles in. Quota (reservable) campsites include: Ozette Coast (Yellow Banks to Point of the Arches), Royal Basin/Royal Lake, Lake Constance, Upper Lena Lake, Grand and Badger Valleys (all areas from Deer Park to Obstruction Point), Flapjack Lakes, Obstruction Point to Grand Pass, Badger Valley, Lake Lillian, Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin/Mink Lake area (includes Cat Basin, High Divide, and Little Divide), Hoh Lake and C.B. The first mile of the trail weaves along the banks of the Hoh River, ... Lewis Meadow at 10.3 miles, Elk Lake at 14.8 or Glacier Meadows at 17.1 miles. A simple downhill stroll back to the trailhead (on the same route as the ascent), with a head full of happy memories, oodles of pics to add to your collection, and a chance to enjoy the scenery passed on the way up at a more leisurely pace. We stopped and set up camp at the Elk Lake camp sites, where only one other person was camped – Anne H., a solo backpacker. While the trail stays relatively flat until just beyond Lewis Meadows, it then ascends more than 3,000 feet in elevation over the final five miles. Pressure steady 1018 to 1019 hPa. Those are the days that you learn something new. The Hoh River Trail is well-maintained and flat for a good majority of the hike but ascends quickly from the Hoh River up to Glacier Meadow. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The only consolation comes in having had the chance to see the glaciers in their present splendor, however diminished, before the damage that will inevitably follow in the next 200 years. Open daily 9am-4pm. Part of the trail was close to the Hoh River … All other sites are available on a first come first served basis. A further accolade and layer of formal protection arrived with the park’s designation as a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1976, as a World Heritage Site in 1981, and then the 95% of the park’s inclusion in the Olympic Wilderness Area created by Congress in 1988. The Park Service also provides bear canister rentals for a small donation. From Elk Lake, the trail climbs sharply to Glacier Meadows, and then veers southward for one mile on fairly loose banks of scree and moraine to the Blue Glacier Overlook. Hoh River Trail trips below Lewis Meadow don’t require advance reservations, but if you want to continue up to Elk Lake or the Blue Glacier you’ll need advance reservations. There are a few designated camp sites just past the bridge. The environs encompassing today’s Hoh River Trail first gained protected status when President Theodore Roosevelt created Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909. The noise was like thunder. HOH005 For inquiries call: (360) 565-3100. on the Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park. Continue on, climbing up and up. Several other smaller sites are sprinkled along the way: sites at miles 12.6, as well as 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3. Tom Creek. HOH004. Set up basecamp at mile 9.9 in Lewis Meadow (campfires allowed), or choose a more solitary site along the countless gravel bars that flank the trail. Early encounters between Europeans and the Hoh were fractious and involved a number of skirmishes both on land and at sea. Day 1: we started at the beginning of the Hoh River Trail and hiked out to Lewis Meadow 10.5 miles with 420 ft of elevation gain. Spend your first night at the Olympus Ranger Station or Lewis Meadow, second night at Elk Lake or Glacier Meadows, then back down to the Ranger station or Lewis Meadow. This would be an awesome place to camp if you have a large group, as it's a fairly wide open meadow; alternately you can hike another mile and a half to Lewis Meadow, which also has a plethora of campsites. Pass a trail on the right that leads 1.4 miles to a campsite. Pass a trail on the right that leads 1.4 miles to a campsite. Campsite 12.6 can fit two tents (but is recommended both parties know each other), 13.1 has room for a double tent with no vestibules and 13.2 has room for only a single tent, while 13.3 can accommodate a double tent plus a small single.From any of the sites listed above, it's possible to make the hike to Blue Glacier in just one day, though anything before Elk Lake makes for quite a long day. 86. About 2.5 miles from the trailhead, the route reaches the Mineral Creek waterfall and then continues along the Hoh River, occasionally deviating further away from the water before veering back. Day 1: Trailhead To Olympus Ranger Station (Alternate: Lewis Meadow) Hiking Distance: ~9.7 Miles. Part of the trail was close to the Hoh River There were lots of gorgeous trees. Grid references: WGS84. Water Source: Hoh River and various side streams. To navigate the washout: A ladder lies on the slope of the washout closer to you; a separate rope anchored to a tree on the hillside above. More eager and speedy hikers may choose to push ahead at this point in order to camp in view of the glacier. Throughout this section there are a number of small but potentially tricky stream crossings — hiking poles are recommended! Quinault Wilderness Information Center at the Pacific Ranger District, Quinault Office, Contact the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles for, Planning – where to park, directions and opening times, Hiking in a temperate rainforest (one of few remaining on the planet) with an incredibly rich, diverse ecosystem, Option of extending trip beyond the 17.4-mile trail and climbing Mount Olympus itself (*experienced and equipped mountaineers only), Option to camp at one of seven established campsites or wild camp, Abundance of old-growth coniferous and deciduous trees, Area receives 12 to 14 feet of precipitation each year. Staircase Ranger Station in Olympic National Park (at the end of Staircase Road — USFS 24) on the western end of Lake Cushman near Hoodsport, 98548. In the following three miles, views open up into the valley of glaciers and rivers, all feeding the Hoh. The two most notable highlights of hiking the Hoh River Trail are its teeming vegetation and the Blue Glacier at the trail’s end. « PREV NEXT » mountainhare. Units: metric (imperial). Toilet Facilities: Pit toilets at 5-Mile Island, Olympus Guard Station, Lewis Meadow, Elk Lake, and Glacier Meadows. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. Peer at the White Glacier, whose clifflike snout allows a waterfall to go plunging into the outflow from Blue Glacier. The Hoh River Valley is home to a number of wild critters that add a further element of intrigue and interest to backpackers. Just be sure to check in with the ranger station before overnighting -- while there are lots of campsites, it's a popular place, and you'll need to reserve in advance.From the trailhead, venture down the flat trail through delightful old-growth. Our June 2-3, 2017 trip was supposed to be a quick and easy 2-day weekender. Wright Meadow Trail #80 joins the Lewis River Trail south of Copper Creek. Many hues of green, spectacular old growth stands, dripping moss, nurse logs giving rise to full grown trees, gravelly river beds to wile away time, blue crevasses on white white snow, and bio-diversity seldom seen in such an easy backpacking trip. The welcoming staff, the delightful cabins ( clean, great view of the meadow/trees, well situated for privacy and more). Low 11ºC (52ºF). The Hoh River is a river in the U.S. state of Washington, located on the Olympic Peninsula. Travel moderates to Lewis Meadow backcountry campsite (10.6 miles : 1,027'), edging away from the river on a long, level stretch. In addition to acquiring a permit, visitors to the Olympic National Park are advised to make reservations for their stay, particularly in peak season (July and August), if you intend on camping in designated quota areas, and/or if traveling in a large group or with stock animals. Location: 47.865326, -123.915131. Hike by WTA Staff: Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The trail starts right near the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center and is easy to find given that it is the only trail near the visitor center that is over a couple miles. We spent two days hiking 36 km (22 mi.) The trail climbs another mile to Alec Creek near the base of Upper Lewis River Falls. Hike the Hoh River to the Blue Glacier through lush rainforest. Hoh River Trailhead to Lewis Meadow â June 2-3, 2017 The first few steps of the Hoh River Trail launch the hiker onto beautifully maintained paths through old growth rain forest. 5/28/17 Hoh River Trail Day 2. High 23ºC (73ºF). Above Lewis Meadows, there are single non-reserved campsites at Mile 12.4, 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3. Elevation Change: Minimal – Expect a few up-and-down hills. Huge, moss-covered Sitka spruce form a dense canopy. Elsewhere, bury waste 6-8" deep and 200 feet from water sources and campsites. Photo by woodswoman. Put this hike on your Bucket List before it's too late. Low 11ºC (52ºF). View High-Resolution Image. The trail exits the meadow into a busy forest blocked by several downed trees to the Hoh Lake Trail split (9.7 miles). There were lots of ferns and moss seemed to be â¦ Posted by 2 years ago. 2.8 miles past Lewis Meadow Camp, you will reach the High Hoh Bridge, which marks the end of the Hoh Valley proper. (see my previous Hoh River Trail report dated June 5) Grid references: WGS84. Meander east on the Hoh River Trail through a primeval forest of gargantuan red cedars, Sitka spruce, and big-leaf maples. Prior to European settlement in the late 18th century, the area surrounding and including what is now Olympus National Park was the home of the Quinault, Queets, Quileute, and Hoh Indian tribes. The trail remains fairly flat until the Olympus Guard Station, situated 9.1 miles from the Visitor’s Center. Today was one of those days for us. **note**: To avoid navigating this obstacle with a large pack, consider camping at any of the sites before the washout. The following is an example of a three-day itinerary, which is par for the course for those of moderate fitness levels. In this meditative section, you'll have a log crossing and a short deviation from the riverside, until the next landmark: the Olympus Guard Station, a bit more than 9 miles from the trailhead. Mt. Enjoy downhill and flat hiking while you can. Day 1, hiked 17.5 km (11 mi.) About 56 miles (90 km) long, the Hoh River originates at the Hoh Glacier on Mount Olympus and flows west through the Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, then through the foothills in a broad valley, emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the Hoh Indian Reservation. Groups of more than six must camp in designated group campsites and stock parties in designated stock sites, If your food is not properly stored, you may be issued a $50 fine, Campfires are not permitted beyond the Martin Creek campsite (just before Elk Lake), Water and water filtration/purification kit, Maps and guidebooks available from Discover Your Northwest, Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center. Today was one of those days for us. Day 2: After a delicious breakfast, pack up camp and move 6 miles further up trail. The Trail This easy trail is about 2.9 miles long (one way) with only a 182 foot elevation change. Route: Trailhead To Blue Glacier (Round Trip) Distance: 36.2 Miles Days: 3 Longest Day: 14.8 Miles Campsites: Lewis Meadows, Martin Creek Ever since my Dad and I went up the Hoh River Trail â¦ Just after Lewis Meadows, the going gets a little more interesting as the trail climbs over 3,000 feet on the final 4.9-miles approach to Blue Glacier Overlook. You'll be gaining nearly 3,500 feet along the 5 miles to Hoh Lake, you're resting spot for the night. It is not a finale that disappoints, but one that a closer inspection reveals to be in its dotage rather than its youth or zenith. Pass through old growth temperate rainforest and be rewarded with views of Lewis Meadow and the Hoh River. Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier; ... On our way back to the TH, we lunched at lovely Lewis meadow, played in the gravel bar, and then again tucked ourselves into the woods at 5.6 mi campsite for our last night along the river. Self-Registration Permits for non-quota areas can be obtained after business hours seven days a week. The trail starts right near the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center and is easy to find given that it is the only trail near the visitor center that is over a couple miles. Huge, moss-covered Sitka spruce form a dense canopy. the safest way to navigate this is to turn around so your back is facing the washout, grab the rope and pull on it, keeping tension so you can remain standing as you walk backwards down the slope, using the wooden rungs to prop your feet if need be. Day one of the hike was easy going as the trail does not climb much until you get close to Blue Glacier. Leaving our tent would allow us to travel more quickly up to the glacier. I stopped a few miles down the trail and laid out my tarp in a muddy meadow and sat and cooked breakfast, made coffee and re braided my hair. The Hoh River Trail is well-maintained and flat for a good majority of the hike but ascends quickly from the Hoh River up to Glacier Meadow. It is. Highly recommend this trip. MyOpenCountry is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Units: metric (imperial). Culinary discovery: if you are a peanut butter lover on backpacking trips, you are in luck! The Hoh River just east of Lewis Meadow backcountry camp, Olympic National Park, Washington. The trees kind of hover, old growth, covered with moss and mushrooms. Late June to late September. Backpack the Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier. The shelter is a good place to huddle during a rain, and the campsite makes a nice stopping spot, or lunch spot if you're continuing on. The Hoh River Trails starts out as a very well groomed trail and stays that way for the most part for the first 5 miles. WTA Pro Tip: Sections of this trail are subject to washout or heavy erosion, so consult the ranger station about the status of the trail before heading out. Route: Started at Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center, 182 m (597 ft) GR 301011. The understory is lush. But it is 17.5 miles to your first glimpse of the glacier, and another mile to the best viewpoint, which is the Lateral Moraine, not the Terminal Moraine, though it does add nearly one more mile to your approach. HOH003. Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. Low 13ºC (55ºF). There is one river crossing and a few small stream crossings along the way. After 5 miles, the trail arrives at the aptly named Five Mile Island, a small meadow and gravel/sand-bar with spectacular views up the valley ahead and to Bogachiel Peak. Day one of the hike was easy going as the trail does not climb much until you get close to Blue Glacier. Spend your first night at the Olympus Ranger Station or Lewis Meadow, second night at Elk Lake or Glacier Meadows, then back down to the Ranger station or Lewis Meadow. This first day is a wonderful 9 mile day of gradual uphill through the rainforest. The first mile of the trail weaves along the banks of the Hoh River, with plenty of lovely views upriver into the forest. Day 1: we started at the beginning of the Hoh River Trail and hiked out to Lewis Meadow 10.5 miles with 420 ft of elevation gain. The trail is well-maintained and generally flat for the first 13 miles before the climb to Glacier Meadows. ... As we left Lewis Meadow, we saw a family of deer. We are always eager to move into the moss after a travel day. On this section, be particularly careful with your footing and be prepared to stop at least a few times to remove uninvited stones from inside your boots! Archived. The trail’s second highlight, which you’ll catch your first glimpse of at the trail’s end as a reward for your 17.3-mile effort, is one that often inspires mixed emotions. Our very first backpacking camp was setup near the Hoh River at the Lewis Meadow camp area.