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"backpack to the Blue Glacier" Top 5 Page for this destination Olympic National Park Things to Do Tip by richiecdisc

Olympic National Park Things to Do: 183 reviews and 413 photos

  Blue Glaicer Overlook, three days in
by richiecdisc
  • Blue Glaicer Overlook, three days in - Olympic National Park
      Blue Glaicer Overlook, three days in
    by richiecdisc
  • hike up from Glacier meadows is rocky - Olympic National Park
      hike up from Glacier meadows is rocky
    by richiecdisc

The hike to the Blue Glacier Overlook is one of the top walks in Olympic National Park. At 36 miles round trip, it is NOT a day hike. Just in case you are a runner, keep in mind it picks up 4700 feet along the way and much of the end is over very rocky terrain. This is best done as a three-day, two night trip unless you are very fit and/or in a big hurry. It is a shame to rush though as you pass through many of the park's terrains and each is special in its own way.

You begin by walking through the lush temperate rainforest of the Hoh River. This relatively flat trail does have some ups and downs and very fine camping. From Olympus Guard Station, a typical first night camping choice at 10 miles from the trail head, the trail starts to climb steeply to Elk Lake. You have a couple choices from there. You can day hike up to the Blue Glacier Overlook from there or continue up to Glacier Meadows Campground. The later is much more strenuous though you can stay at the overlook longer as you have a shorter distance back to your tent. We opted for camping at Elk Lake as part of the trail to Glacier Meadows was washed out, making it rough going with a full backpack. Though it was a long day, we were glad we did as it was pretty hard getting across the landslide even without our packs! Don't relax too much once you get to the meadows as you still have another 500 feet to climb over a steep rocky half mile. It seemed to take forever but the views from of the Blue Glacier are incredible. We could hardly believe we had been camping at the beach just two days earlier and had walked 12 miles through a rain forest to this treeless alpine region. Walking back to Elk Lake was all the reality we needed to awake from the dreamy feeling.

Directions: Trail head at Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 14, 2009
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