Trip Report    

Backpack - Seven Lakes Basin & High Divide

Extremely scenic trip offering lake swims, mountain views, and even some bear sitings! This is a great backpack for those wanting a bit of challenge with an enormous payoff.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The road to the trailhead is completely paved and in great condition so good for all vehicles.

    The trail is in overall good condition.  There are plenty of decent water sources until you hit the ridgeline.  You can refill with water if you drop into the basin itself with Lunch Lake.  The ridge is completely dry so you won't find any water sources from Lunch Lake to Heart Lake.  After Heart Lake water is again plentiful.  

We had a later start here on a Friday to give everyone ample time to navigate the ferries or travel around through Tacoma.  We started about 11 am since we only had to go 4 miles to Deer Lake Group Site.  We were in the middle of another heatwave but luckily the trail is mostly tree-covered and plenty of places to refill water if needed.  The downside is this first part of the trail has a decent climb to get up to Deer Lake.  

We had the Group Site at Deer Lake.  We found good flat spots for all 8 tents.  It was right by the water so easy access there with a running creek nearby.  We had a nice lake swim to wash off the day's sweat.  Surprisingly there were few mosquitos out and about despite being lakeside so we had a pretty comfortable evening.  

Day 2 is where a lot of the work happens.  We were camping at Sol Duc Park so had a good day's hiking in front of us.  We got an early start since the first climb from Deer Lake to the Ridge was some of the steepest part of the terrain for the day.  We headed up to the crossing with Lunch Lake and traveled down to Lunch Lake to wander a bit in the basin, admire the wildflowers, refill water and have a little snack.  The trail in & out of the basin is short but steep so give yourself some time going back up.  We stashed our bear cans at the top of the trailhead to make coming back out of the basin easier.  There's a nice rocky, shaded area at the trail junction that worked well for stashing items you don't want to take down with you if you plan on just visiting.

We climbed our way out of the basin and across the high divide.  It is exposed without much water.  We got lucky to see a bear along the way and slowly made our way in the heat.  We stopped at Heart Lake for some foot care and a quick water refill before making our way to our final camp.  Sol Duc Group site is plenty flat and roomy.  Our 8 tents were pretty snug in there but we did have space for everyone.  There's a nice big creek right next to camp for water and sore feet.   Once again, we had a few mosquitos but pretty minimal.  

We got a little later start this day and made the steady downhill trek back to our cars.  Overall a successful trip and a lot of tired, but seemingly happy backpackers!