Seven Lakes Basin High Divide Loop

20-24 mile loop
5,400-6,000+ feet
Summer through fall
Lunch and Round Lakes
Get ready to see some the best high country in Olympic National Park has to offer by hiking the Seven Lakes Basin / High Divide loop. You'll hike through alpine meadows, swim in mountain lakes, and see tons of wildlife on this must-do 1-3 night backpacking trip in Olympic National Park.

If you're staying overnight, make sure to book an Olympic National Park wilderness permit, and read the park's food storage regulations before arriving.
Trail Map

Getting There and Parking

The hike starts at the Sol Duc trailhead, around 3.5 hours from Seattle, and 5.5 hours from Portland. The trailhead is popular for for backpackers and day hikers alike, so expect competition for parking by mid-morning. When the main lot fills, find additional parallel parking on the entry road.

Accessing Sol Duc trailhead requires a national parks pass to access in addition to any overnight wilderness permits, payable upon entry at the guard station.
Sol Duc Trailhead

Hike Details

The High Divide loop can be hiked in either direction, though I suggest hiking clockwise for easier access to the best campsites. The first mile is an easy hike through the forest, arriving at the start of the loop just before Sol Duc falls. Stay right at the fork to hike the loop clockwise, dropping down to Sol Duc falls.
The trail climbs through a dense forest beyond Sol Duc falls, becoming much quieter as day hikers drop off. From bridge by the falls, it's about 2.5 miles of forested, uphill hiking until you reach Deer Lake, the first of the lakes you'll encounter on this hike.

There's camping available at Deer Lake, but you'll find much better places further on. We took a short break here before continuing our hike.
Deer Lake
The scenery gets more interesting beyond Deer Lake, transitioning to heather meadows interspersed with ponds. Keep climbing through varied terrain for another 3.4 miles until you reach the Lunch Lake/Round Lake trail junction. Lunch Lake is one of the prettiest camping areas on the loop, and whether you have a spot there or not, I highly recommend hiking the scenic 0.8 miles down to the lake. There is clear signage for Lunch Lake at the junction.
Lunch Lake
From the Lunch Lake trail junction, it's about 1 mile further to the Hoh Lake trail turnoff, passing Bogachiel Peak. This is a gorgeous section of trail, with blooming wildflowers in July-August, and a view of glaciers peeking over a knife-edge ridge.
If you've booked a campsite at Hoh Lake, take a right at the turnoff to hike 1.2 miles down to Hoh Lake. It's a steep trek down to Hoh Lake, but definitely worth it. We camped at Hoh Lake, and found it to be our favorite part of the hike, though not officially a part of the loop.
Hoh Lake
If you're not camping at Hoh Lake, or just don't want to be bothered with the extra milage and elevation, keep left at the Hoh Lake turnoff to stay on the High Divide trail. The next destination is Heart Lake, 2.4 miles from the Hoh Lake turnoff. This is an excellent camping area, still in the alpine high country with plenty of views.
High Divide Trail
Past Heart Lake, the trail steeply descends for 6.7 miles along the Sol Duc river, through a seemingly never-ending series switchbacks. Once you get out of the high country, there's not too much to see in this section besides trees, and it can start to feel like a slog. Eventually, you'll connect the loop back near Sol Duc falls, with a mile of easy trail back to the parking lot.
Olympic peaks

Best Campsites

There's a lot of camping options on the loop, but sites must be reserved ahead of time. I suggest camping at one of these sites (if they are available) to get the most out of your hike. Camping by a scenic lake is much better than a random spot in the forest, though sometimes you take what you can get!

Note that Hoh Lake will show up in the Hoh Zone instead of the Sol Duc Zone on the reservation site.
  • Lunch Lake: 0.8 miles off the loop
  • Heart Lake
  • Hoh Lake: 1.2 miles off the loop
  • Deer Lake: last resort if the other lakes are taken!
Lunch at Lunch Lake

Permit Info

A wilderness permit is required to backpack Olympic National Park between May 15th and October 15th. Permits go on sale April 15th at 7AM PST, with the most popular locations selling out rapidly. Less popular campsites may remain available throughout the summer, and you can sometimes get lucky with cancellations.

Permits are reserved from Recreation.gov when available.. For additional information about the Olympic wilderness, visit the National Parks website.

Bear and Wildlife Safety

Olympic National Park has a noticeable population of Black Bears, necessitating proper storage of food and scented items. Most campsites in the park require the use of bear canisters, though a few also have bear wires with a pulley system (bring your own rope, just in case).

It's not uncommon to see Black Bears in the Olympic National Park, along with other wildlife. The parks service website is a great place to learn more about the wildlife in the park. We saw a huge amount of other wildlife while hiking, like ptarmigan, deer, and marmots!

What to Pack



Goat Lake Campsite

Camp Kitchen

Oatmeal at Ramona Falls


Backpacking near Jade Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness


Backpacking the Timberline Trail on Mt. Hood


Still have questions? Send me a message over email to connect. Happy Trails!
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About Us

Heart Rock at Joshua Tree
Thanks for visiting our travel blog, Trails And Trekking! We're Lauren and Anders - an adventure loving couple currently stationed in the Pacific Northwest. We're avid hikers, backpackers, and travelers. We're both originally from Oregon, but we've spent the last two years traveling the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We created this blog to share our passion for exploring the outdoors, and to inspire you to get outside.