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Olympic National Park, Upper Royal Basin, 7/31 - 8/1
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Myronlove Juan
(IssyHikerBiker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Olympic National Park, Upper Royal Basin, 7/31 - 8/1 on 08/06/2010 08:30:54 MDT Print View

Olympic National Park, Upper Royal Basin, 7/31-8/1. This is my first trip report, so please bear with me. The day started a little foggy. As I drove to the trailhead, the fog burned off, and out came the sun. By the time I arrived at the trailhead, the parking lot was full. Starting elevation at 2500 ft. Off to the trail...

Dungeness Creek Trailhead

...the first mile consists of beautiful old growth forest...

First Mile of Trail

...after about a mile, there is a junction. Go to the right to go the Royal Basins...

Junction to Royal Basin

...after another mile or so, I enter the Olympic National Park. A couple more miles of hiking, the canopy starts to open up, and you can see straight ahead my destination...

Open views starting to show

...there a few campsites along Royal Creek. Campfires are prohibited above 3500 ft. Along the way, there are some beautiful wildflowers, like columbines, tiger lilies, and lupines (I think)...
Wildflowers along the way

...after a few more miles and at around 4700 ft, I'm at the Lower Meadows. There are more campsites over here...

Beautiful lower meadows

...after about another mile or less and at 5100 ft, I come across Royal Lake...

Royal Lake

...there are trout in the lake, and I wish I had brought my Tenkara fishing gear. There are plenty of campsites, and best of all, a composting toilet (though I have yet to see or use it). There is a ranger cabin as the ranger does check to ensure that campers have permits and bear canisters. However, off I go to the Upper Basin. As I head up there, there is still some snow. An ice axe was not needed, but I still had to go up slowly. After I arrived, the scene was just beautiful...

Deception Mountain taken near Imperial Tarn

Clark Mountain

...after making my dinner, I realized I forgot to pack some key ingredients for my next dinner, as this was supposed to be a 3 day 2 night trip. After some thinking, I decided that I would only stay for one night and leave the next day. It was pretty warm that night. However, early morning, it was terribly cold. I looked at the tarn and saw that it was partly frozen. I was expecting to see some alpenglow on Mount Deception at sunrise, however I didn't see any. As the sun rose, it wasn't a bright yellow, but rather a red or orange color. My neighbor and I discussed about it, and concluded that there must be a wildfire nearby due to the haze (and there was near Vancouver, BC). There were a few deers hanging around my campsite. I even saw some Olympic marmots duking it out for their territory. I enjoyed my trip very much. Total elevation gain was 3200 ft, about 14.5 miles roundtrip.

Royal Basin Topo

Edited by IssyHikerBiker on 08/06/2010 09:05:13 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Olympic National Park, Upper Royal Basin, 7/31 - 8/1 on 08/06/2010 11:40:54 MDT Print View

Beautiful, thanks for posting your photos and report. (You've made me quite homesick.)