The Hoh Lake Trail leads northward six and a half miles from the Hoh River valley, past Hoh Lake to High Divide. It leads through a severely burned area, which makes the climb out of the valley hotter on summer days. The route provides views of Mt. Olympus to the south and access to the Sol Duc River valley.
Begin this route along the Hoh River Trail at the Hoh Visitor Center. The trail leads eastward along a paved path from the trailhead. A short distance east of the trailhead the Hoh River Trail forks left from the Spruce Nature Trail. The trail leads above the river on its northern bank through a level area for the first few miles. The terrain along the riverside is lush rain forest.
Approximately one and a half miles from the trailhead glimpses of Mt. Tom come into view. This peak lies west of Mt. Olympus south of the White Glacier. Shortly after this opening in the forest the trail crosses two small streams, reaches Mt. Tom Creek Camp and passes the mouth of Mt. Tom Creek.
Beyond Mt. Tom Creek the route descends to the riverside. After a brief walk by the riverside hikers will leave the waterway and walk through bottomlands for two miles. The trail ascends slightly then turns somewhat southward to meet the river at the Five Mile Island Camp.
Beyond this primitive camping site the track continues to ascend slowly. It leaves the river side, crosses two streams descending from Green Peak then again meets the river. It remains close to the river for the next mile and a half to Olympus Camp. This site lies nine miles from the trailhead at an elevation of 950 feet.
A half mile beyond Olympus Camp the tread reaches a junction with the Hoh Lake Trail. Turn left at this junction to reach Hoh Lake.
The trail begins by ascending northward along the western bank of Hoh Creek. Approximately one half mile from the Hoh River Trail the track turns westward and begins a long series of switchbacks. These switchbacks lie on the border of the Hoh Lake Burn area. As you climb along them you'll enter and leave the recovering burn area. The burned areas allow the sun to hit the trail and make climbing more strenuous during summer days. It also allows for views southward into the Hoh River valley and to Mt. Olympus.
After climbing for approximately two and a half miles the trail reaches the eastern crest of the ridge from Green Peak. The gradient of the trail eases for a short distance as it leads north toward Hoh Creek. As the trail begins to parallel the stream it also begins to ascend. The ascent continues steadily with one set of switchbacks before it crosses Hoh Creek. Immediately before crossing the creek the trail leads through a relatively level area where camp sites are located.
The track crosses Hoh Creek south of two falls, then begins switchbacking to the lake. It reaches the eastern shoreline of Hoh Lake slightly more than five miles from Hoh River Trail. Above the lake the trail continues to climb to High Divide. The route ends one and a half miles north of Hoh Lake at the southern base of Bogachiel Peak along the High Divide Trail at an elevation of 5,300 feet.
Directions: From junction of Highway 101 and Hoh River Road, Drive eastward on the Hoh River Road 18 miles to roads end and the Hoh Trailhead and Visitor Center. Walk eastward along the Hoh River Trail 9.5 miles to the junction with the Hoh Lake Trail.
Elevation: 985 feet
Ending Elevation: 5,300 feet
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Olympic National Park, Washington
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