Hitching to Sol Duc for 7 Lake Basin Hike

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Deer Lake camping
Sol Duc Park Camping

Flag of United States  , Washington
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 1 - Enter 7 Lake Basin Loop and head towards Deer Park
Had an early start since I needed to walk a couple of miles to reach the Visitor center from the Motel. Unlike Glacier NP didnt have as much trouble getting permits for camping sites. Found Olympic provided more sites in a small area than Glacier NP. In the end decided on trying both of the walks that had been suggested to me by people I had previously met. That is, the walk in the Sol Duc area and a coastal walk.

Decided to do the Sol Duc walk even though getting their walk meant I would have to do some hitch hiking. Have had a number of people say that its not to hard to find a ride in the parks. Also since you have to pay to enter the parks I would think that your less likely to find a dangerous ride. Besides, if I could find a ride it just meant I had a 12 mile walk into and out of the park.

After getting the permits found out I had just missed the morning bus out to Forks and would have to wait for the next one. This basically meant that if I couldnt get a ride to the hike I wasnt going to make the campsite on my permit. Also realised that I wouldnt be able to spend two nights camping at Toleak since the buses dont run on Sunday and so I had to get a day earlier on Saturday if I didnt want to get stuck without a ride back to Port Angeles.

Caught the bus and had a nice ride through the outskirts of the park, past cresent lake and to the turnoff leading to Sol Duc. Started walking the mile or so to the park entrance and thankfully was offered a ride by Beau and Michael almost as soon as I passed the gate and even before I put my thumb out. Appears they were doing the same hike as me but camping in different spots on the trail. They also mentioned how they had been in similar circumstances where they had had to hitch to get to a trail and that was why they were willing to offer a ride.

Had a nice but fairly short hike (planned this way in case I didnt get a ride) to Deer lake where I camped the night. Appears that the forest around here is old growth forest. Lots of big trees with moss growing all over them. Unlike Glacier NP not so much under growth and definately larger trees so quite enjoyed walking through them and past the falls on the trail. Also knoe the trees are over 200 years old since a few of the ones that had fallen over the trailk had been cut and I tried to count the rings. Counted one hundred rings by the time I had gotten about half way out and had already reached one hundredrom the center and had to stop counting since the ring were getting smaller and smaller and so harder to distinguish at this point.

Found Deer Lake to be a nice spot to camp. Camped by a small pond next to the main lake and even had a deer and fain eating grass near my tent site. Guess thats why its called Deer Lake.

Day 2 - Continue to Sol Duc Park
Another great day weather wise. Followed the trail up the mountain side and did a small side trip along the trail that headed to the lakes but stopped before it started to head down. Kept following the trail and had some nice mountain views including views of mount Olympus.

Upon getting to the intersection where I had to go left, decided to go right and do another side trip to the trail just above Hoh Lake. On the way back someone coming the other way pointed out a bear in the valley below. Disappeared pretty quickly so I kept walking a bit further and then started to look for it again. Thankfully the it came out again along with its two cubs who were playing in a small pond in order to cool off.

From there headed up to the nearby peak for the views and continued onto Sol duc Park camping area where I was spending the night. Nice camp ground near the river. Definately better than the Heart lake campground where most people choose to spend the night.

Day 3 - Exit 7 Lake Basin loop
Early start since I needed to get to the main raod by 2pm in order to get the bus to Forks so that I could get out to the coastal walk. Wanted to make sure I had lots of time to find a ride.

Morning was spent hiking through the old growth forest agin since my altitude was constantly decreasing as I was hiking along. In the end getting a ride out wasnt to hard. Was lucky enough to come across Beau and Michael having breakfast at a campsite a couple of hours from where I was camped and once again was offered a ride out of the park. Since Im a slow walker I started walking ahead of them in order to reach the trail head before them. Inthe end made it to the trail head maybe 5min before them. From here got a lift to Cresent Lake where there was a bus stop, general store to buy food and nice view of the lake.
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