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Trip Report    

Seven Lakes Basin & High Divide

From Sept 20 - 23, 2014, our 5-member Mountaineers party traveled counterclockwise through the Appleton Pass/Seven Lakes/High Divide area of Olympic National Park. Our group enjoyed generally good weather during the trip, with rain
only on the last day.

On Friday afternoon, Sept. 20, we traveled by car and ferry to Sol Duc, first stopping at the busy Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles to pick up our permit (reserved in April). Bear canisters are required in this area; all party members had brought their own, but we noticed that plenty are available at the WIC.

We arrived at the Sol Duc Campground in the late afternoon, and had no difficulty finding a pleasant, quiet campsite in Loop B.

On Saturday morning, we hiked from the Sol Duc trailhead (parking is somewhat tight at this trailhead) along the Sol Duc River and then up to our campsite by Oyster Lake in Appleton Pass. Blueberries were plentiful here and elsewhere along our route. We were the only party camping at the pass that night. This is a scenic and comfortable site. In the evening and again in the morning, we hiked a waytrail up the ridgeline above camp to fine views of the Bailey Range. Attractive campsites are available by a small pond along this trail.

On Sunday, we hiked down from Appleton Pass, then southward through Sol Duc Park to our next night's campsite on a knoll above Heart Lake. The afternoon afforded time for a short dayhike out the Cat Basin Primitive Trail for fine views of Mt Olympus and the Bailey Range. Only two other parties camped in the Heart Lake basin that night.

On Monday, we hiked along the High Divide, taking a short detour to the top of Bogachiel Peak for spectacular views. En route to our campsite at Lunch Lake, we enjoyed the sound of bugling elk and grand views of Mt Olympus, the Bailey Range, and Seven Lakes Basin. After setting up camp at Lunch Lake (we shared the area with just one other party that night), we spent the evening exploring along waytrails to nearby lakes and viewpoints.

On Tuesday, we broke camp as rain set in, and hiked back to the Sol Duc Trailhead in constant rain.

 

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