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Olympic National Park Exploration · Fri. Apr. 10th - Mon. Apr. 13th

Warning, this trip has been cancelled : we have angered the gods

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Organized by: Isaac Borrego.

Start: Friday, Apr. 10th, 7:00 am
End: Monday, Apr. 13th, 10:00 pm
Pre-trip meeting: Tuesday, Apr. 7th, 6:00 pm
Pre-trip meeting location: Outside clubroom


With a sculpted coastline, expansive swathes of old-growth temperate rainforest, refreshing hot springs, and soaring snow-capped peaks, the Olympic Peninsula of Washington is truly worthy of sharing its name with the home of the gods of Greek mythology. Over the long Easter weekend I would like to experience each of those different parts of the park via backpacking, day hiking, and snowshoeing (weather permitting of course!). The Powers That Be in Olympic (i.e. the US National Park Service) limits groups in the park to 12 people, so that unfortunately will be the maximum we can bring. However, we could have another group come out Saturday through Monday and camp with us while doing other hikes/activities in the area if anyone’s interested in that option. 


Here is a rough itinerary, subject to changes/cancellation depending on weather:


Friday, April 10: 

Drive to Neah Bay, Washington (7 hours), picking up two sets of permits (NPS + Makah Reservation) on the way. Backpack and camp on spectacular Shi Shi Beach (~6.5 km one way). 


Saturday, April 11:

Explore Shi Shi Beach in the morning before packing up camp and heading back to the trailhead. Find a strategically-located dispersed campsite or campground in the forest surrounding the park and set up camp for the next two nights. Depending on how long this takes we could then go for a short hike to Sol Duc Falls and/or take a dip at the Sol Duc Hot Springs resort ($15US entry). Return to camp refreshed and ready to relax by the fire. 


Sunday, April 12:

Explore the Hoh River Trail, which goes through one of the finest remaining stands of old growth temperate rainforest in the States. Go as far as we feel like and take in the beautiful forest scenery and hopefully see wildlife. On the return we can potentially stop in at Rialto Beach for an evening stroll if there’s time. Then go back to camp for the final night of the trip. 


Monday, April 13:

Depending on weather and conditions in the high country, the final day will involve driving up to Hurricane Ridge to go on a short snowshoe adventure. Then, all that’s left will be the drive back to Vancouver!


Expected costs, depending on number and occupancy of vehicles:

Shi Shi Beach permits and parking - $24US / $32CAD per person

Gas for entire trip - $30US / $40CAD per person

Park entrance fee: $5US / $7CAD per person 

Sol Duc Hot Springs $15US / $20CAD entry (optional)

Plus maybe a fee if we decide to stay in a campground, but I much prefer car camping in the woods for free. 


Things to bring:

- Passport and any appropriate visa/study permit (Uncle Sam’s not as welcoming these days)

- Full backpacking set up (backpack, tent, sleeping bag & pad, etc.)

- Bear canisters are required for camping on Shi Shi Beach. We can try to share or they are usually available for rent at the visitor center (not sure if VOC has any or not)

- Warm clothing for both rain and snow

- Waterproof shoes/boots

- Snowshoes & microspikes

- Swimsuit for hot springs

- We’ll make a grocery run in Port Angeles before heading into the park, so you don’t need to bring a lot of food at the start

- A car! We will need 2 more drivers to bring everyone if the trip fills up


The weather is highly variable that time of the year, so we could get lucky and have some nice days BUT we will need to be prepared for wet and cold conditions. As such, I will give preference to those with greater backcountry experience (and/or a vehicle) should I get more interest than available spaces. 


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!


Posted: 2020-02-06 14:11:50
Last modified: 2020-03-19 13:07:29