Backpacking in Olympic National Park: The Grand Valley
This is a SAMPLE Itinerary only. Not that this sample itinerary can be done in reverse as well. For a detailed map with an elevation profile of the tentative itinerary, click here: Map.
Day 1: After making your way up the winding and scenic Deer Park Road, you will meet your guides at Deer Park, one of only two alpine areas that can be accessed by car in the park. After some gear shuffling, you’ll be on your way! Hiking 4.3 miles downhill into the lush Cameron Creek valley. You’ll enjoy the solitude and maybe even a dip in the creek at Three Forks for the evening, dozing off to the sounds of frogs and late evening birdsongs.
Day 2: Our day starts with an early hearty breakfast at our campground, preparing us for our big hike day ahead. We start off our first day of hiking by heading towards Lower Cameron campground. The trail will give us access into the lower valleys of Cameron Creek, the Gray Wolf River and Grand Creek, the three of which make up the Three Forks. Passing Three Forks campground, we continue to descend along Cameron Creek for an additional 4.6 miles until we reach Lower Cameron Campground. Totaling us to around 9 miles, ascending around 2300 ft in elevation and descending in about 4000 ft in elevation.
Day 3: Today is our significant elevation gain day! We will be climbing out of the Cameron Creek drainage and up over the spectacular Grand Pass (6,420’)! The incomparable views are a well deserved reward, and you have the opportunity to climb even higher to summit Grand Pass Peak (6,700’) the tallest point of our trip and only a quarter mile off our main trail! We will meander past alpine lakes for the rest of the day’s hike, and pitch our tents at Grand Lake (4,760’) for the night.
Day 4: Today is our layover day at Grand Lake. Here we get the opportunity to rest our legs or take on some additional mileage by exploring additional nearby lakes or peaks.
Day 5: Today we will take the Grand Traverse trail to our next campsite at Roaring Winds (6,020’). Aptly named, this campsite is nestled high on the crest of the ridge between Obstruction Point and Deer Park. Views of the Puget Sound and the valley we hiked through, in days prior, open up and we will settle into camp for the night.
Day 6: Our final hike takes us 4.6 miles back to Deer Park Trailhead and Campground (5,300′). We will hike below the summits of Maiden Peak and Green Mountain through alpine meadows and into dense subalpine forests before returning to where we started. Generally, our goal is to finish between 2-4 PM but this can be later due to the human factors within the group.
We include backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, pads, trekking poles, and eating utensils at NO EXTRA COST as needed. Lastly, all profits from our guided trips go towards our non-profit youth summer camp program.
Late Season (September): For any Hoh, Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin or Grand Valley backpacking trips in September, especially the second half of the month, please be aware that weather conditions can vary more widely. Sometimes we get a warm/dry September, sometimes the rain starts in September, and conditions are always exaggerated in the alpine; that’s the beauty of the Olympics! Be prepared for possible rain and cooler temperatures. If dangerous storms are in the forecast, we may have to alter the itinerary to avoid traveling in exposed terrain during storms.
Note: All trips are pending permit availability which we gain in mid-April. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates. Should we not obtain the exact trailhead, we will make an effort to offer a trip of equal quality or provide other options. Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. Lasting Adventures is recognized for its commitment to risk management. In this regard, itineraries may be changed to mitigate risks.