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Backpack the Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier

Forks, Washington

5.0/5
based on 1 reviews

Details

Distance

35.68 miles

Elevation Gain

5948 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Christie Kay

Stunning, ever-changing scenery; from rainforest at river level, to gorgeous alpine valley, ending on top of a mountain overlooking Blue Glacier.

The well trodden and well marked trail begins in the rainforest, and is flat and follows the river for the first few miles. There are many marked camp sites along the way, as well as dispersed camping on the sand bars in the river bed. Follow the trail until the first major intersection, at the Olympus Guard Station at mile 9.1. 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. 

2.7 miles past Lewis Meadows, you'll cross High Hoh Bridge, you'll hear the water long before you see it. There are a few designated camp sites just past the bridge. 

1.8 miles further there is an emergency shelter as well as a pit toilet at Elk Lake. To reach Blue Glacier, continue another mile further. There will be a split in the trail, to reach the overlook point you'll want to take the left  fork. Prepare for an uphill slog! The last few steps before you crest the hill, you'll start to wonder if you're going the right way or if it was worth it - it is! Suddenly, you're at the overlook point, and Blue Glacier extends massively in every direction. 

Bring lunch and enjoy it while taking in the beauty of Blue Glacier!  

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Features

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Weather report shows 5 inches of rain overnight. The night before we leave. Does that mean the HOh River is going to flood? Does that mean the trails and roads will be impassable? Nope definitely not. It’s a rainforest. When we saw that report we called and talked to a Ranger, their response was you may get some rain drops down you back as you hike! When we pulled in to camp it was pouring, luckily we brought two tents and a tarp so we could start our backpack with dry gear. Amazingly all the standing water was gone when we woke up the next day. It was as if the 5inches of rain never happened. Once our backpack started we had rain nearly every day. Luckily we had umbrellas! Bring an umbrella and figure out a good way to fasten it to your shoulder strap. We hiked in shorts and l/s tech shirts and were dryer than anyone else we came across. Plus the umbrella works as a pack cover and helps to keep the tent dry when you get in and out in the rain. Also be sure to practice setting up your tent rainfly first if you have a traditional double wall tent. And practice taking it down inner mesh first. Doing this will save you time and keep your stuff as dry as possible.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

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Backpack the Hoh River Trail

Backpack the Hoh River to Tom's Creek Campground

Climb Mount Olympus, Olympic NP

Hoh Rainforest and Hall Of Mosses

Spruce Nature Trail and Hall of Mosses Loop