High Divide Loop Hike in Grand Tetons
High Divide Loop Hike in Grand Tetons

High Divide Loop hike

Olympic National Park
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Bridge across the trail on the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkGoats cooling off in the summer heat on the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkOne of the first views from the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkHeart Lake on the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkMount Olympus from the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkSeven Lakes Basin from the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkWildflowers on the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkRugged ridge on the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkMountain goats on the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkSeven Lakes from the High Divide Loop Hike in Olympic National ParkSeven Lakes on the High Divide Loop trail in Olympic National Park

High Divide Loop hike

Distance: 17.5mi
Elevation: 3,927ft
Time: 8.5-11.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

A classic full day hike along one of the most beautiful continuous ridgelines in the park. All the time spent above tree line on the High Divide Trail yields some of the greatest views of Mt Olympus the park has to offer!

High Divide Loop hike Map

Getting there

The trail begins from the Sol Due Trailhead. From Port Angeles go west on US-101 west for 28.0mi. Past Lake Present turn left on Sol Duc Hot Springs Rd, signs for Sol Duc Campground. Follow for 13.8mi until you find a parking lot.

I’ve done this 49 people have done this
I want to do this 58 want to do this route

About

When to do

July through September

Backcountry Campsites

Yes, there are campsites along the High Divide Loop.

Toilets

Yes, at trailhead.

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Lollipop


High Divide Loop
Elevation Graph


Route Description for High Divide Loop

We recommend completing the loop clockwise as it then saves the greatest views for later on in the hike. This will help to keep you motivated late in the day! With that being said, head down the trail from the parking area, following signs for Sol Duc Falls.

After approximately 20-30 minutes you will come to a signposted Y junction, just before a small rest shelter. You’ll want to turn left towards Appleton Pass along the Sol Duc River Trail. This path slowly gains elevation as it follows beside the Sol Duc River. You will maneuver through an incredibly lush temperate rainforest as you hike.

After approximately 5.5mi you will reach a junction with the Appleton Pass Trail, where you will stay right to continue along the Sol Duc River Trail. Past this junction the trail will keep on gaining elevation. The higher you go the less lush the forest will become. Eventually the trail will veer to the right (south), and you will begin to switchback.

After passing the Upper Sol Duc Bridge campground you will begin to see the mountains. Soon you will exit the forest completely and find yourself in a beautiful high alpine bowl.

Enjoy these views for a while. As you continue climbing, you will eventually pass Heart Lake and its associated campground. Past Heart Lake you will climb to a small col where you will reach another junction, this time with the High Divide Trail. Head west.

The next few miles of the trail are the best of the hike. Looking back along the ridge you will see Cat Peak, Mt Carrie and Mt Fairchild looming over you. Intermittently you will get views to the south of Mt Olympus and Mt Tom. The humongous Blue Glacier on Mt Olympus is visible from the ridge!

As you continue along the ridge you will undulate up and down, but you will never have any sustained climbing. You will pass under Bogachiel Peak as you start to trend downwards. Looking down to the right (north) you will look into the absolutely stunning Seven Lakes Basin. Don’t go down to the Seven Lakes Basin, or down to the Hoe River Trail. Follow signs for the High Divide Trail heading towards Deer Lake.

You will soon begin to switchback downhill and re-enter the forest. A short ways on you will pass around the popular Deer Lake. Then you will walk through the final few miles down back down to the Y junction you originally turned left at. Just before the junction, however, you will pass the incredible Sol Duc Falls, a three for one waterfall!

Once you reach the junction keep left to head back towards the parking lot. Force your tired legs back the final kilometre to your car.

Check out more amazing hikes in the Olympic National Park, like the Hoh River Trail, Ozette Triangle or the Obstruction Point hike.

Insider Hints

  • This is an extremely popular one or two-night backpack.

  • Water is very scarce on the High Divide itself. Fill up before or at Heart Lake to ensure you don't run dry on the ridge, but remember to bring some way to treat the water. Or, just bring a very big camelpack!

Comments

Abra Pepel 1 year ago

So many wonderful attractions along the way. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey for this hike!!

10.0 Overall Rating
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Lambert O 1 year ago

View is spectacular after passing Deer Lake. Lots of majestic views.

9.0 Overall Rating
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11h 00m Time Taken
Tara Green 1 year ago

This is an amazing hike! beauty everywhere. The best views are between deer lake and heart lake.

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11h 00m Time Taken
Tom Pack. 1 year ago

This trail was a little bit of a surprise for us. outstanding views and cool wildlife

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Sidney M. 2 years ago

Demanding hike that would suck all your energy. Bring lots of water and snacks.

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P. Parker 2 years ago

A winding mountain trail that features beautiful ridgeline views, I found the hike long but not at all challenging.

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Felipe III 2 years ago

Bring lots of water and snacks to recharge your energy. The ascent was difficult enough for me to sweat a lot. It was hard but definitely rewarding.

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Seymor H. 2 years ago

We had a difficult time climbing up. Trails were very steep, and it was exhausting. Hiking poles would help a lot.

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Jordan Cohen 2 years ago

Wonderful! If you're feeling adventurous you should definitely do this hike!

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Eliza Mendez 2 years ago

Stunning views at the summit. One good hike with a steady increase of elevation.

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16 Comments Show all

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