Hoh River


Backpack - Hoh River to Elk Lake

Enjoy an extended weekend hiking through the lush Hoh Rainforest and alongside the scenic Hoh River. Using Elk Lake as our basecamp, we'll dedicate a day to ascending up to Blue Glacier and enjoying stunning views of Mount Olympus. 35 miles / 6300' gain, 3 days / 2 nights.

  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 35.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,300 ft
  • Pace: 2 mph

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center

A valid parking pass is required at the trailhead

Friday June 28th at 9am

Rain or shine

This is a strenuous 3-day backpacking trip, with significant mileage and elevation gain every day. In return for our effort, we'll be rewarded (conditions permitting) with stunning views of Blue Glacier and Mount Olympus.

Participants should be in excellent physical condition, and must be comfortable with varied trail conditions.  From the trailhead to our camp at Elk Lake, the trail is in decent condition.  The trail from Elk Lake up to the Blue Glacier's lateral moraine, from which we get the best views of Mount Olympus, includes: (1) a large washout that must be traversed using a fixed cable (to hold onto) and ladder rungs (to step on), (2) a final ascent of approx 1 mile on rock/talus, (3) the potential for snow at this time of year.  We will turn around if anything more than micro spikes is needed.

As with any trip in the backcountry, all participants should be prepared for adverse weather conditions, including rain, hail, snow, wind, and cold temperatures.

We'll be hiking at a moderately fast pace (2 mph), with breaks for food and pictures.  Given the mileage that must be covered each day, however, we will keep an eye on the time and not be overly leisurely.

To ensure that we have a compatible group (fitness, comfort with challenging terrain, etc) able to successfully and safely complete the trip, leader's permission is required.  In your request, please:

(1) Confirm that you've read and agree with the trip's Goals, Expectations, and Style.

(2) Confirm that you're comfortable with challenging, rocky terrain including steep ascents/descents using fixed cables and ladder rungs (see photo in the trip's Goals, Expectations, and Style).

(3) Detail the trips you have planned for this season

(4) Detail the trips you've taken *in the last 12 months* that have prepared you for a trip like this.  For each trip, please provide:

  • your average distance/gain per day
  • the maximum distance/gain you had in a single day
  • the # days you were in the backcountry.

Itinerary (Caltopo Route):

On day 1, we'll meet at the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center and hike along the Hoh River trail, finishing the day with a 1.6 mile, 1200' gain final push to Elk Lake camp.  14.6 miles, 2700' gain.

On day 2, we'll have a day hike up to the Blue Glacier's lateral moraine, to take in the views of Mount Olympus.  5 miles, 2500' gain RT.

On day 3, we'll leave Elk Lake camp and return to the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center.  14.6 miles, 700' gain.

WTA trip reports

Weather forecast

Participants will be asked to pay $17/person for the backcountry permit obtained by the trip leader.


Hoh River

  • Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin - Hoh

    Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin/Mt Olympus Climb No. 133S

    Green Trails Mt Tom No. 133

    Green Trails Mount Olympus No. 134

    Custom Correct Mount Olympus Climber's Map
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent
  • Stove / fuel
  • Sleeping bag / pad
  • Water storage / treatment
  • Bear canister / Ursack
  • Pot / mug / spoon
  • Clothing suitable for hot, cold, and wet weather
Trip Reports