13-Day Olympic Backpacking Program
This is a sample itinerary only.
Day 1: Join your guides and fellow campers at 12:00 PM at Fairholme Boat Launch, located beside the famous and stunning Lake Crescent. We’ll do a quick bag pack and check, map review, and goal setting before catching a shuttle to Rialto Beach to start our hike. As we hike along the beach with towering sea stacks, we’ll cover about 3 miles to reach Sand Point campsite. Here, we’ll relax and learn about marine life as we camp on the beach under a blanket of stars, sharing stories and playing games on the endless stretches of sand.
Day 2: Start the day with a refreshing stretch and breakfast, followed by our morning circle routine (stretches, map review, goal setting, etc.) before setting out for the approximately 1mile hike to South SandPoint.
Day 3: After our morning routine, we’ll set out for 6.5 miles to our first primitive campsite at Norwegian Memorial. The relatively flat terrain offers an awesome interactive experience with the rugged coastline. We’ll spend another night camping on the beach, enjoying the sound of the ocean and each other’s company.
Day 4: Enjoy a morning stretch and breakfast before setting out for the approximately 5.5 mile hike to our next camp at Chilean. Along the way, we’ll practice navigating tides, hike through the coastal forest above the ocean, learn about geology and biodiversity, and explore the tide pools.
Day 5: Today, we’ll cover another 5 miles, starting the day with a hearty breakfast before packing up camp and making our way toward Hole in the Wall campground. This is our final night on the coast, so we’ll savor the experience by enjoying each other’s company while playing games, viewing the blanket of stars above our heads, and participating in our beloved bracelet ceremony.
Day 6: On our last coastal day, we’ll hike out to the trailhead, meet our transport to the Fairholme Boat Launch for pickup where we will be transported to Lost Resort Campground where we will celebrate the halfway point of our journey with ice cream and a re-supply of fresh food and a clean change of clothes.
Day 7: Today is a well-deserved “Zero Day”. We will rest today and enjoy the area around the campground. There will be an opportunity for some mellow day hiking and we can prepare for the next half of our trip starting tomorrow.
Day 8: After a night of rest, we will have the chance to sleep in this morning! Our hike today will take us 3.5 miles to picturesque Mink Lake high in the mountains and surrounded by deep, dense forest. We will settle in for our first night in the mountainous backcountry with an entirely different perspective of the same national park.
Day 9: After our regular morning circle time we will embark on one of our more strenuous days of uphill as we travel to Deer Lake. By now we will have had plenty of practice in trail games and keeping spirits high as we pass through forests draped in mosses and slime molds. There is an alpine lake at camp today, and after we have had time to set up our camp, we will get to wade in the water and relax as we watch the alpine glow of the mountains reflected in the water.
Day 10: Today will be another long day, hiking over 6 miles to CB Flats Campground. Yes, the day will be strenuous, but after more than a week of hiking together, we will have found a rhythm to make the time pass. We will have the chance to look back on the valleys and lakes below, where we can see just how far we have come already. We will finish our day with a descent past beautiful Hoh Lake and camp in a more secluded area near meadows of wildflowers.
Day 11: Today we will hike about 5 miles to Sol Duc Park. Along the way, we will hike across the High Divide which provides unparalleled views of the Olympic and Bailey mountain ranges. We will break for lunch at one of the passes and relax near alpine lakes, mountain creeks, and meadows of wildflowers. We might even have the opportunity for sledding and snowball fights! Hiking through the Seven Lakes Basin is an unforgettable experience and our sleep tonight will be well deserved.
Day 12: On our second to last day, we will have an easier hike. Continuing about 2 miles to the Seven Mile Group Site, we will have the chance to relax for a good part of the day as we prepare to reenter the front country tomorrow. We will take our time identifying all of the flora and fauna of the forest and spend the afternoon learning about the geological, cultural, and human history of this part of the park as we relax in the shade of giant trees near the river.
Day 13: On our final day we will pass by the famous Sol Duc Falls, reflecting on our long journey, as we descend to the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort by noon for pickup.
Other: On all of our summer camps, we have a daily circle time in the morning where youth engage in group games, share highlights, offer encouragement and support to each other, stretch, review maps and day itineraries, and set individual and group goals for the day. Also, whether breaking on the trail or in the afternoon or evening at the campsite, our Guides facilitate additional opportunities for youth to develop a personal connection with nature. Problem-solving and initiative games are common as are smiles. Additional outdoor skills are gained as we practice Leave No Trace principles and promote environmental stewardship throughout the length of the program.
Drop-off/pick-up time & location: Our 13-day program begins (Sunday) and ends (Friday) at the Fairholme Boat Launch at 12pm.
Note: Please remember this is only a sample itinerary and actual itineraries are subject to change. If we are unable to obtain the permits, or if various conditions make this itinerary unfeasible, we will provide an alternative trailhead and itinerary in Olympic National Park.