Best Hikes in the Parks: Trail Maps
Olympic National Park, Washington
Hike and Climb Mount Olympus
When to Go: July and August
Round-Trip: 40 Miles, 2 Days
Level: Moderate Backpacking Trip; Challenging Peak Ascent
From the long approach through the old-growth Hoh rain forest to the top-of-the-world alpine summit, this is every inch a majestic climb. The two-day approach is gentle hiking beneath towering cedars and Sitka spruce. Summit day, though, entails 3,000 feet of climbing and a traverse of Blue Glacier (ice ax, crampons, rope, and crevasse rescue gear required)—true alpine mountaineering, but without extreme elevation. The summit stands 7,980 feet high and delivers a view that extends from Mount Rainier to Vancouver Island.
Insider Tip: If you lack alpine mountaineering experience, go with a guiding service such as Mountain Madness (www.mountainmadness.com).
- Nat Geo Expeditions