Olympic Rainforest to Glacier Trek

Seattle, WA
4.9 (15 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Stunning High Country
  • Views of Blue Glacier
  • Old Grows Rainforests
  • Cascading Waterfalls
  • Glacial Rivers
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

Explore temperate rainforests, alpine lakes, and a dramatic glacier on this 5 day classic Olympics backpacking trip. We’ll start low, winding our way beneath the moss-covered old-growth giants of the Hoh Rainforest, and spend our first night camped along the beautiful Hoh River. The next day we’ll continue deeper into the Olympics, and camp for two nights at beautiful Elk Lake, where elk, black bear, and deer abound. On day three we’ll take daypacks and climb to the base of the Blue Glacier. A steep ladder down an old avalanche chute provides one last major obstacle to negotiate before the final payoff of Glacier Meadows and the Blue Glacier. We’ll spend plenty of time lounging, photographing, and absorbing the dramatic views of Mount Olympus, the deep crevasses of the Blue Glacier, and the low lying rainforest behind us. When we’ve had our fill we’ll return to camp for a hearty dinner at Elk Lake, and get up the next morning to start our return trek.

Read more …
From
$1900 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 36MI / 58KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip has two long days of hiking (10-12 miles) and some steep climbing that earn it a level 4 difficulty rating. Also, as a 5-day trip with bear canisters for food and scented items, our backpacks are 35-45 pounds.

Hiking Distances:

5-12 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs

Terrain:

Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

2800 ft

Heights Exposure:

Light

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Olympic National Park hike a solitude 3. You can expect hours of solitude at a time.

The most common way to reach Olympia is by flying into Seattle and renting a vehicle or shuttling to Olympia (approximately 1 hour). SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma) Airport is one of the most easily accessed destinations in the country. Many major cities in the United States and internationally offer direct flights into Seattle.

The shuttle to Olympia is provided by Capital Aeroporter and costs $30-$45 per person each way. Go to www.capair.com/olympia or call 800-962-3579 to make reservations.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the trailhead: 3.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 770 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 400 feet

This multi-day Olympic National Park hiking trip begins with pick up at your hotel in Olympia and a scenic drive to the trailhead on the Olympic Peninsula. We’ll start our hike with a flat 9-mile trek into our first campground at Olympus Guard Station. Along the way we’ll pass waterfalls, discuss old-growth rainforest ecology, and snap photos of some of the oldest trees in the world.

After camp is set up we’ll relax and enjoy a hearty backcountry dinner and take time to appreciate our truly stunning surroundings.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2300 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 740 feet

Our second day’s hike will take us from low-lying rainforest to breathtaking views of the higher mountains at Elk Lake. We’ll leave the historic Olympus Guard Station, a national park relic dating from the 1930s, and start climbing through rapidly changing forests. River rapids, high bridges, and turbulent river confluences accompany us along the way, until we make our final ascent up to our high country camp for the night.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2800 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2800 feet

On day three we’ll take daypacks and hike out of the forest and up to the stunning Blue Glacier. Our day hike will require navigating a steep ladder down a former landslide—the most exciting part of the day. We’ll climb up above the glacier itself to look down on it, and see Mount Olympus towering behind it. 1.7 square miles of ice pour off of Mount Olympus, and we’ll discuss the incredible power of glaciers in carving the Olympic Mountain Range. We’ll eat lunch overlooking the glacier, and then return to camp for a relaxing evening and feast of a dinner back at Elk Lake.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 800 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2600 feet

On day four we’ll retrace our steps most of the hike out. With an initial descent and a lot of level ground, we’ll make good time and camp at Five Mile Island, just five miles short of the trailhead. Although we’ll be covering ground we’ve already seen, we’ll be seeing it all from the opposite vantage point (hiking downhill vs. uphill) and there is truly no shortage of new wonders to take in on this trip!

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 275 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 475 feet
  • Shuttle to Olympia: 3.5 hours

On our last day we’ll enjoy one last hearty breakfast and a relaxing morning. Eventually we’ll break camp and hike the last little bit out to the trailhead, say goodbye to the rainforest, and enjoy a relaxing shuttle back to Olympia. We’ll stop again at a beautiful spot on the coast for one last lunch together, and then deliver you back to your lodging in Olympia for some much-deserved showers.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Olympia and back
  • All entrance fees, permits and passes
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 3% national park fee that passes through directly to Olympic NP
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

Your guide will conduct a virtual orientation meeting (via conference call) at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins to review the packing list, communicate the first day’s logistics and answer any last minute questions you have. Your guide will give you the phone number for this call during the pre-trip contact approximately 10 days before your trip start date.

Early on the morning of Day 1 your guide will pick you up from your accommodations in Olympia, WA.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park covers a dramatic diversity of terrain from seashores to rainforests to alpine peaks and glaciers. The weather will be largely dependent on which trip you sign up for and which ecosystem you will be hiking in. Read below for average high and low temperatures in different parts of Olympic National Park:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Coast
Mountains
hi
low
Precip
hi
low
Precip
June
66°
47°
3.8 in
53°
36°
3.9 in
July
70°
50°
2.8 in
62°
42°
2.1 in
August
72°
50°
2.8 in
63°
43°
2.2 in
September
69°
47°
4.4 in
57°
39°
4.7 in
October
42°
59°
11 in
47°
32°
8.5 in

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.9 (15 reviews)
John L
5.0

Wonderful Trek Along the Hoh River to the Blue Glacier

2 months ago

Took this trip a couple of weeks ago. Fantastic. Small group so we were able to go at our own pace. Scenery was other worldly. A little bit nervous about the infamous ladder, but no problems. Our guide Zach was great, very laid back and adjusted this plans for the day and the pace of the group based on his observations of us. Highly recommend this trip and Zach.

Charlotte R
5.0

AMAZING!!

3 months ago

I’ve done seven adventures with Wildland Trekking and this might’ve been one of my absolute favorites! Our guide, Jeff, was extraordinarily special! Very experienced backpacker who has thru hiked around the United States, his attention to detail and caring about how each guest felt emotionally and physically specifically was so sweet and appreciated, his food was delicious and his optimistic attitude was just infectious. The topography of this adventure is amazing! You get the lush rainforest, then you get the dense forests and then you get the expansive views and then… you see the blue glacier which I is something to behold! I highly recommend this backpacking adventure especially if you’re lucky enough to get Jeff P!

Rachel R
5.0

Thanks for an amazing experience!!

4 months ago

My son and I were looking for a solid first backpacking experience. Wildland totally filled that bill--we learned lots and our guide balanced various experience levels well. I didn't know what to expect, but the food was fantastic, the scenery was awesome and because we had taken the training seriously, we were able to enjoy the trip fully! Thanks for an amazing experience!! Definitely a do-again!

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