Seven Lakes Basin & High Divide


Backpack - Seven Lakes Basin & High Divide

Spend an extended weekend in one of the PNW's classic backpacking destinations. Enjoy alpine meadows, narrow ridge trails, and stunning views of Mount Olympus. This very strenuous trip will cover 31 miles / 9500' gain over 3 days / 2 nights, and explores off-the-beaten-path areas such as Hoh Lake, Spread Eagle Pass, and Appleton Pass.

  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 32.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 9,000 ft

Mink Lake / Lovers Lane trailhead

Friday July 28th at 9am

Rain or shine

This is a very challenging (average of 10+ miles and 3000' per day, with a big first day of 13+ miles and 5500' gain) backpacking trip.  We’ll be hiking counter-clockwise around the Seven Lakes Basin / High Divide Loop in the Olympics.  We'll expand on the traditional loop, visiting Mink Lake, Hoh Lake, Spread Eagle Pass, and Appleton Pass.  We'll hike at a brisk pace (2 mph), with lots of mileage and elevation gain every day, but we'll also make time to stop for photo opportunities.

In your permission request, please detail your recent backpacking experience, including daily mileage and elevation gain.

Our itinerary includes stretches of primitive trail (Cat Basin trail, Swimming Bear Lake Way trail, and Cat Basin - Appleton Pass Way trail), so participants must be comfortable trekking with fully-loaded backpacks on narrow, primitive, unmarked paths and on uneven, rocky terrain.

On day 1, we'll meet at the Mink Lake / Lovers Lane Trailhead and hike past Mink Lake to Deer Lake.  We'll then continue counter-clockwise on the High Divide trail, passing by Lunch Lake, Bogachiel Peak, and Hoh Lake on our way to our first camp at the CB Flats group site.  13+ miles, 5500' gain.

On day 2, we'll hike back up to the High Divide trail and then continue counter-clockwise, passing Heart Lake and Swimming Bear Lake and heading over Spread Eagle Pass on our way to our second camp at Appleton Pass.  9 miles, 3500' gain.

On day 3, we'll descend from Appleton Pass to the main Sol Duc River Trail, and then continue counter-clockwise back to the trailhead.  9+ miles, 500' gain.

Route details:

Weather forecast:

Bear canisters are required.  Ursacks are not allowed.  Microspikes may be required depending on snowfield conditions.

Participants will each be responsible for a $17/person permit fee.  All vehicles will need to pay a park entrance fee or display an America the Beautiful pass.

The trip will be relocated to a different destination if dangerous snowfield crossings are present along the planned route.


Seven Lakes Basin & High Divide

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

    Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin - Hoh

    USGS Mount Carrie

    USGS Bogachiel Peak
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Microspikes
Trip Reports