Hoh Lake, Sol Duc Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

Hoh Lake - 18.3 miles

Sol Duc Trailhead

View over the Hoh River Valley on the descent to Hoh Lake

View over the Hoh River Valley on the descent to Hoh Lake

Round-Trip Length: 18.3 miles
Start-End Elevation: 1,882' - 4,520' (5,325' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +2,638' net elevation gain (+4,418' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Hoh Lake - 18.3 Miles Round-Trip

Hoh Lake is located 9.15 miles from Sol Duc Trailhead and 14.7 miles from Hoh Rainforest Trailhead in Olympic National Park. It fills a large bowl at treeline carved from the southwest flank of Bogachiel Peak. Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Sol Duc route climbs strenuously through old growth forests and alpine slopes to High Divide, where the Hoh Lake Trail splits south on a steep descent to Hoh Lake.

While the lake is exceptional, the journey itself is highly compelling. Visitors will enjoy diverse wildlife, abundant wildflowers and sensational alpine vistas on the hike to Hoh Lake:

The trail runs beneath towering old growth to a bridge spanning Sol Duc Falls (.8 miles : 1,927'), a three prong fall that plunges into a deep canyon on the Sol Duc River.

It remains level to Lovers Lane (.9 miles), where the Deer Lake Trail branches south and begins a steep, rugged climb with little reprieve all the way to Deer Lake (3.4 miles : 3,527').

Deer Lake occupies a wooded basin in the transition from montane to subalpine forest. The trail leads around its east shore to a split for Little Divide and High Divide (3.8 miles : 3,526').

Follow the High Divide sign left to a marshy pond and resume steady climbing in a thick subalpine forest. The trail emerges from timber at a pond (4.9 miles : 4,115'), and weaves by another into an airy landscape of high meadows laced wih streams.

The trail levels through patches of fir on a ridge, then rolls over to the south side overlooking the upper Bogachiel River Valley (6.15 miles : 4,755').

It curls east and rises up a narrow path etched into high, vertigo inducing-slopes (6.5 miles : 4,750'). The trail negotiates a rocky bowl to the Lunch Lake Trail split (7.05 miles : 4,862'), where you'll bear right toward Hoh Lake and High Divide.

It rises steadily across flower-covered slopes to the north side of a ridge with panoramas over Seven Lakes Basin (7.65 miles : 5,280'), then back to the south side at the Hoh Lake - High Divide split (7.95 miles : 5,240').

The split is located right below Bogachiel Peak on a divisive pass between the Bogachiel and Hoh river valleys. From this point you'll enjoy remarkable views of each, but particularly across the Hoh with a Mt Olympus and Bailey Range backdrop.

The Hoh Lake Trail breaks south and levels for half a mile on steep, east facing slopes before wrapping west and dropping on switchbacks to Hoh Lake (9.15 miles : 4,520'). Enjoy great aerial views of the basin on this rapid descent. Social trails ring the lake's steep bowl, where bear and mountain goat are frequently spotted.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 57.299 W123 50.104 — 0.0 miles : Sol Duc Trailhead
  • N47 57.113 W123 49.188 — .8 miles : Sol Duc Falls
  • N47 56.677 W123 49.401 — 1.8 miles : Canyon Creek Bridge
  • N47 55.927 W123 49.410 — 2.9 miles : Last site with permissible fires
  • N47 55.684 W123 49.455 — 3.4 miles : Deer Lake outlet bridge
  • N47 55.546 W123 49.355 — 3.8 miles : Trail split for High Divide
  • N47 55.065 W123 49.141 — 4.7 miles : Ponds on edge of open meadowlands
  • N47 54.760 W123 49.031 — 5.25 miles : Arcing climb through open hillsides
  • N47 54.677 W123 48.558 — 5.9 miles : Travel levels on thinly treed ridge
  • N47 54.829 W123 48.069 — 6.5 miles : Steep slope travel over Bogachiel Valley
  • N47 54.715 W123 47.383 — 7.05 miles : High Divide - Lunch Lake split
  • N47 54.515 W123 46.963 — 7.55 miles : Steady climb across steep slopes
  • N47 54.261 W123 46.702 — 7.95 miles : Hoh Lake Trail split
  • N47 53.954 W123 46.872 — 8.55 miles : Steep, winding descent to lake
  • N47 53.878 W123 47.263 — 9.15 miles : Hoh Lake

Worth Noting

  • Lingering snow on steep, narrow sections may be tricky (if not technical) well into summer. Ice ax and self-arrest skills may be necessary when covered. Visit the WIC or Olympic NPS site for the latest trail conditions.

  • Campsites are located (and fairly crammed) along Hoh Lake's outlet. If camping more than one night, consider another location in the Seven Lakes Basin or along High Divide with more room to explore.

  • Hoh Lake is located 2.7 miles from Lunch Lake. While relatively short, note that you must climb over 700' back to High Divide, and about 400' back from Lunch Lake. There's approximately 1,220' of total roundtrip climbing between the two.

  • Hoh Lake is also accessible from the Hoh River Trail. This considerably longer but milder option follows the Hoh River 9.5 miles through old growth rainforest to the Hoh Lake Trail, which climbs steeply out of the valley for 5.2 miles to the lake (14.7 miles total). Hikers can improvise a high country - rainforest loop with a two-car shuttle between the Sol Duc and Hoh trailheads.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

  • Permits are limited May 1 - September 30. Reservations are recommended for Hoh Lake once snow free.

  • There's a $5 registration fee per group, plus $2 per person per night (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time. Self-registration trailheads have forms, permits, and submission boxes.

  • Reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance. Groups of 7-12 people must camp in designated group sites.

  • Camping is permitted only in designated sites. Campsites are not individually assigned, and available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.

  • Campfires are not permitted at Hoh Lake.

  • Food Storage and Bear Canisters: All food and scented items must be secured 24 hours a day. Bear canisters are not required at Hoh Lake, however they are required if heading over from the Sol Duc - Seven Lakes Basin area.

Fishing Information

  • A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.

  • A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.

  • Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).

  • The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.

Rules and Regulations

  • There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).

  • Stock is permitted at Hoh Lake. Day Use Only.

  • Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.

Directions to Trailhead

The Sol Duc Trailhead is located 40.2 miles from Port Angeles at the end of Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.

From Port Angeles, head west on US 101 approximately 28 miles to Sol Duc Hot Springs Road (marked by large NPS sign along highway). Continue 12.2 miles to the trailhead. Sol Duc Hot Springs Road is closed seasonally due to weather. Call ahead for road conditions and accessibility.

Contact Information

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798

Visitor Information: 360.565.3130

Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: 866.476.5382

Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center

Quinault Wilderness Information Office

Trip Reports

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