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Beginner Backpacking in Olympic National Park with Rachel

Experience some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery Olympic National Park has to offer on this beginner backpacking trip with Rachel Pu!

 

Meet Rachel (@rachelpu1)!

Originally from the midwest and now based in Colorado, Rachel has been exploring the country camping in her self converted SUV and is always looking for her next adventure.

She is an avid hiker, runner, and backpacker, and although she didn’t grow up doing these activities, she believes that the outdoors are for everyone and can be enjoyed by everyone. Encouraging others to get outside is her passion and she is super excited to invite you on a beginner backpacking trip! 

Who You Are

An adventurous, outdoor-loving individual who’s excited to meet new like minded friends while exploring Olympic National Park!

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced backpacker, you’re seeking a week of adventure, genuine connection, and opportunities to bond and learn together.

Backpacking meals for the backcountry portion of this trip are sponsored by Good-To-Go!

Trip Length

6 Days

Intensity

Challenging

Group Size

8 Persons

Trip Dates

August 11 – 16, 2024

Activities

Backpacking
Camping
Sightseeing

Included

Round-trip transportation from / to Seattle
Medically-trained naturalist guides
Park entry fees
Campsite reservations and fees
One night in Seattle hotel (double occupancy)
Tent, sleeping pad, and group camping equipment
All meals indicated in itinerary

Not Included

Flights to / from the destination
Gratuity for your guides
Sleeping bag (available to rent at additional cost)
Personal camp gear (see pack list)

Trip Info

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the most dramatic and dynamic landscapes in the country. Experience some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery Olympic National Park has to offer on this beginner backpacking trip with Rachel. You’ll camp and backpack within this unique park, experiencing lush forest, crystal-clear subalpine lakes, and jaw-dropping mountain peaks.

Your guides will be with you every step of the way on this introductory backpacking trip to teach you about the park’s natural and human histories, backpacking skills, and point out fascinating flora and fauna. Leave with long-lasting connections and friends for a lifetime.

Weather

Summer is a wonderful time to visit Washington and the weather can be extremely varied. We’ll be exploring a variety of locations each with its own weather trends.

In general, you should be prepared for warm, comfortable days with temperatures in the 70s – possibly reaching the 80s in the afternoon. Nights will be cooler with lows in the 50s. Though less likely this time of year, there is always the potential for rain. 

Intensity – Challenging

Most days will include hikes that are approximately 6-8 miles with moderate elevation change. Expect to be active for about 6-8 hours a day while carrying a heavy pack. Suitable for most fit travelers with some hiking experience. This trip is geared towards a beginner backpacking trip, so your guides will be there with you every step of the way!

Accommodations

  • 2 nights backpacking in Olympic National Park
  • 2 nights frontcountry camping in Olympic National Park
  • 1 night in a hotel in Seattle (double occupancy)

Flights

Please plan to arrive at SeaTac International Airport by 11:00 AM PST on Day 1. Your guide will pick you up shortly after arrival.

Your guide will transport the group to the airport at 10:00 AM PST on Day 6. Please plan a departure after that time or be prepared to find personal transportation to the airport from the hotel if your flight departs earlier or much later.

Itinerary

Day 1

Plan to arrive in Seattle by 11am. After meeting the rest of the group upon arrival, we’ll load up and head out to Olympic National Park in our luxury, 15-passenger vans. After arriving in the park, we’ll set up our camp, go over our backpacking plans for the week, get familiar with gear, and settle in. Dinner tonight is a hearty camp cooked meal that will fuel us up for the next day’s adventure as you get to know your new adventure mates.

Meals: D

Day 2

Begin your backpacking adventure today! Over the next 3 days, we’ll be hiking the stunning 20 mile High Divide, Seven Basin Loop – one of the most iconic trails in Olympic National Park. We’ll hike through lush green forests, deep into the park, past flowing waterfalls and unique flora your guides will point out along the way. Depending on the comfortability of the group on day 1 of hiking, we will either camp along the trail or at a picturesque lake. 

Meals: B, L, D

Day 3

Continue along the trail, stopping at beautiful alpine lakes for a leisurely lunch and a swim. Today could include side trails to various lakes and panoramic views along the way. We will camp along the trail, taking in the beautiful peaks of Olympic National Park.

In the evening, enjoy a warm, delicious meal, courtesy of Good to Go, and share laughs and stories with your new friends.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4

We will finish our backpacking loop today and continue on to the iconic Kalaloch Campground on the coast of the rugged Olympic peninsula. We’ll enjoy beautiful views of the ocean, a stark contrast to the high peaks we’ve been enjoying the last several days. Enjoy a delicious camp dinner and s’mores around the fire, as we revel in our backcountry accomplishments and look forward to a real bed & shower tomorrow!

Meals: B, L, D

Day 5

Today we’ll head back into the city of Seattle for a thrilling urban adventure. We’ll be staying at the centrally located Moore Hotel (The hotel does not have A/C; however, we’ll be situated along the coast & the evenings cool off drastically in the PNW). We’ll explore bustling Pikes Place Market and other Seattle staples. Then, we’ll end the evening with a farewell dinner at an upscale, local eatery.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6

It’s time to say “until next time” with memories and new friends to last a lifetime. Transfer to Seattle International Airport at 10am (or make other arrangements). 

Pack List

  • Required Gear
    • Backpack (45-60 L recommended)
    • Duffel or suitcase (to be left in the vehicle when backpacking, 1 small suitcase or duffel per person)
    • Sleeping bag (also available to rent), rated to 20 degrees or below
    • Pack cover
    • Headlamp
    • Reusable water bottles or bladders (3L total capacity)
  • Recommended Gear and Personal Item
    • Hiking poles
    • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional, recommended if renting)
    • Camping pillow
    • Sunscreen
    • Earplugs
    • Insect repellent
    • Toiletries (please choose biodegradable and scent-free items)
    • Small, personal first aid kit (including blister treatment)
    • Small, quick dry towel
    • Personal plate, mug, and utensils (your guide will have these items if you don’t have your own)
  • Required Clothing
    • Warm jacket (down, puffy, fleece)
    • Rain jacket or shell
    • Rain pants
    • Breathable wicking base layers
    • Lightweight hiking pants
    • Warm clothes to sleep in
    • Warm hat
    • Gloves
    • Sun hat with a brim
    • Wool socks (1 pair per day of trip)
    • Hiking boots
    • Sunglasses
  • Recommended Clothing
    • Buff or neck scarf
    • Comfortable clothes for camp
    • Sandals or camp shoes
    • Clothes for dinner on final night

Beginner Backpacking in Olympic National Park with Rachel 

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