NW DESTINATIONS - HOH LAKE TRAIL...6.5 MILES
DIRECTIONS TO : HOH RAIN FOREST TRAILHEAD - MILEPOST 179
NEAREST CAMPGROUND: Hoh Rain Forest Campground.
RANGER STATION : Pay phone, toilets, water and permit registration all located at or near Hoh Rain Forest Ranger Station.
INFO ABOUT TRAIL :
CAUTION........Upper stretches of the trail are snowbound until mid- to late summer. Don't venture toward High Divide without an ice ax and the ability to use it.
.....Absolutely beautiful hike, filled with banana slugs, wild pheasant, a few bear, hawks, deer, elk, marmots, and about 20 mountain goats at the Hoh lake! The goats seemed to take particular delight in running repeatedly through our camp site knocking over clothes lines and cooking pots!! The hike up from the Hoh river was beautiful and the views along the high divide are something Sue and I will never forget. And yes, you were definitely right about the bugs. Although above about 3500 feet they appear to be completely immune to all forms of bug spray, hearty little buggers. Nothing that long pants and a few layers on top couldn't abate however...per C.C.
..... The trailhead is just beyond the ranger station. Hike 9.2 miles up the Hoh River Trail to the Hoh Lake Trailhead, which is on the left (north).
.....The Hoh Lake Trail, which begins just east of the Olympus Guard Station on the Hoh River Trail, is a pleasant day trip for Hoh River hikers who've pitched a camp at the nine-mile mark. It's also an alternate route to High Divide, as well as a connecting leg for backpackers crossing from the Hoh to Sol Duc River drainages.
.....The trail begins near a grassy flat along the Hoh, switching back very steeply through tree stumps that stand as charred reminders of a 1978 forest fire that consumed a thousand acres of prime greenery.
Here, the underbrush is thick, the trail is narrow and the campsites are few. Above the burn, the trail levels out somewhat, passing through a series of small meadows (including one good campsite at C.B. Flats) before opening to Hoh Lake, a pristine, aqua jewel, 5.25 miles above the Hoh River Trail.
.....Fishing is good here in the fall, when water thaws and warms enough to awake sleeping rainbow and Eastern brook trout. Campsites are few; the area has been re-vegetated,and visitors should stay in established sites only.
.....The trail skirts Hoh Lake to the east and climbs steadily about 1.2 miles to High Divide, where it intersects with the High Divide Trail just below the summit of Bogachiel Peak. Views of the interior Olympics from here are outstanding.
.....Several miles up the trail, the leafy underbrush beneath the old-growth canopy gives way to rolling, tall-grass meadows that stretch to the river. These river flats, particularly at established sites such as Happy Four Camp (5.75 miles) and the Olympus Guard Station (9.0 miles), make outstanding lunch stops or campsites. Beyond the guard station, the trail passes a junction with the Hoh Lake Trail (which accesses High Divide). It then ascends at a breathtaking pace to Glacier Meadows (17.5 miles).
.....This is the primary climber's access route to Olympus; it is best scaled before July, when glacier travel turns deadly.
.....Hoh River Valley--Up to 17 mi. one-way. Easy to moderate in the lowlands, more strenuous further inland. This is one of the most heavily traveled trails in the park, at least in the lower elevations, and it won't take you long to figure out why. Huge Sitka spruce hung with moss shelter the Roosevelt elk that wander among its lowlands. The first 13 miles, through the massive rain forests and tall grass meadows along the Hoh River Valley bottomlands, are relatively flat. The number of fellow walkers drops off after the first few miles. Happy Four Camp (6 mi. in) and Olympus Guard Station (9 mi. in) provide excellent camp or turnaround sites. Continue eastward into the hills for the remaining 4 or 5 miles. If you connect with the Hoh Lake Trail, you can eventually find yourself at the edge of the famous Blue Glacier on Mount Olympus, elevation 7,965 feet. Be careful. After July, hiking near the park's glaciers can be dangerous because of snowmelt.