Hoh River Traverse

Seattle, WA
4.8 (9 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.

5 Days
$1485 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

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
35-45 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
5-12 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
2800 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2800 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained
Additional:
This trip has two long days of hiking (10-12 miles) and some steep climbing that earn it a level 4 difficulty rating.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise vigorously several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, running, or swimming for several hours without many breaks

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.

Learn More about our Rating System

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.

Washington State does not charge sales tax on services, so there is no sales tax for this trip.

All trips in Olympic National Park have a 3% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is applied when your reservation is made and is passed through directly to the national park.

There are no other taxes or fees associated with this trip. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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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.

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, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Olympic National Park hiking guide
  • 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 satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • 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 sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

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?

This trip originates in Olympia, Washington. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at the Hotel RL Olympia (we recommend staying here as well – mention you’re hiking with us and get a discounted rate as low as $99, 360-943-4000). If you’re staying at the Governor Hotel (our other recommended hotel, 20% discount), we’re happy to pick you up for the orientation. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead.

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 Considerations

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. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

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.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on Olympic backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions 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 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:

  • 4.8 (9 reviews)
Joanne P.
4.0

Challenging Hike Worth the Effort

7 months ago

This is definitely a challenging hike, but well worth the effort. To be able to experience the rainforest and alpine meadows was wonderful. Our guide, Dan, was great. He was knowledgeable about the plants on the trail, set a good pace for all the hikers in the group to maintain, and is a fabulous chef. I would recommend this hike to anyone who is up for the challenge.

Adam J.
5.0

Impressive Guide in Rainy Conditions

1 year ago

Though the hike was at the expected difficulty level, the amount of rain experienced add a level of difficulty to the trip overall. I was impressed with the way Jeremy was able to keep moving forward, provide advice, and encouragement, and make sure everyone had all they needed. We have done a number of similar trips previously, and Jeremy's orientation meeting was, by far, the most useful. Especially in helping us understand the the different preparations needed for a trip in the Northwest, compared to those we had previously done in the Southwest. Setting up camp during a downpour on the last night seemed like an impossible task, but with Jeremy's advice, it went surprisingly well and we slept warm and dry that night. One note I would forward to future guests on this trip is to take rain gear seriously and bring plenty of socks.

Mindi W.
5.0

Best guide since Moses

1 year ago

Despite almost constant rain, the tent was dry and my sacred socks were inviolate. The hike was strenuous as promised. The trees were larger than expected. Each campsite had a bathroom. Jeremy was a little tight with the toilet paper, but otherwise was completely amazing, the best guide ever since Moses. Food was delicious.

See More Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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