High Divide Loop

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
8.5-11.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
28.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,197 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.8
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
High Divide Loop Hike in Grand Tetons

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!

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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 5.5 mi 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 for High Divide Loop

  • 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!

Getting to the High Divide Loop Trailhead

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

Route Information

  • 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

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High Divide Loop Reviews

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