Deception to Royal Basin Loop Hike

  Feeling a little down the last few weeks, my friend offered to accompany on a grand Olympic adventure.  Having only one day off  his job this week, we would need to make this trip in a single push.  Those that are familiar to this route, know that it is best enjoyed by spending 1 - 2 nights minimum; to fully enjoy the beauty of this remote area.  He must be a masochist as well, to agree on following me on a true test of the legs and mind.

  This would also be a chance to venture into one of my newly favorite areas, ever since spending the night in Deception Basin a few weeks before, coming in from a different route.  (see video at bottom)





Deception Basin
Descending from the shoulder of Mt. Fricaba, into Upper Deception Basin.






Note:  Bring, know how to use a map and compass before attempting this route.  Also, be comfortable with off trail travel, tree belaying, light class II scrambling, snow travel,route finding and lots of loose rock.  As always, refer to Olympic Mountain Climbers Guide for route descriptions.





Heather Creek Trial
After a 0430 wake up call, we were greeted with this sign while entering the ONP, near the end of the trail. 













Heather Basin
Torry checking out the views near the end of the trail. 













Heather Basin
Tree Belay - photo by Torry J.













Fricaba Basin
First views of alpine. (not route)













Fricaba Basin
Entering Lower Fricaba Basin - photo by Torry J.













Fricaba Basin
Looking back toward Mount Constance from Lower Fricaba Basin and down which we came.













Fricaba Basin
Torry taking in the views, that have been at our backs. 











Fricaba Basin
Ascending Lower Fricaba Basin - photo by Torry J.












Fricaba Basin
A test for the legs on this steep terrain. 











Fricaba Basin
Only crazy people wear minimal footwear in the mountains ;-)











Fricaba Basin
Making our way through Fricaba Basin.











Fricaba Pass
Ascending Fricaba Pass.











Fricaba Pass
Love this rock.













Deception Basin
Looking into Deception Basin from the shoulder of Mt. Fricaba.











Mount Deception
Descending, views of Mount Deception.











Deception Pass
Mount Deception and Pass (right). 











Fricaba
Looking toward Mount Constance from Fricaba.  Hal Foss Peak and Mount Mystery (right).











Mount Olympus Deception
Mount Olympus from Fricaba.  Mount Claywood & Lost Peak (center/right).











Deception Basin
Making our way through Lower Deception Basin, Mount Mystery towering above.  











Deception hiking
Just amazing.











Mystery Glacier
Me, with my Gossamer Gear Minimalist, at the foot of the Mystery Glacier.











Mystery Glacier
Walking next to Mystery Glacier - by Torry J.













Mount Deception
Making our way toward Deception Pass.












Hal Foss Peak
Hal Foss Peak.











Deception Pass
Ascending Deception Pass. 











Fricaba Pass
Looking back at Fricaba Pass, from which we came. 











Deception Pass
Torry taking in the views at Deception Pass, looking into Upper Royal Basin. 











Hiking Deception Pass
Warm day on Deception Pass, summit of the mountain in background. 











Royal Basin
Descending into Upper Royal Basin











Minimalist footwear mountaineering
Victim of the sharp scree.  











Upper Royal Basin
Upper Royal Basin, now for the 9 mile trail hike out.  




View my short video:







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Overall this was a great hike in the Olympic Mountains. This long day hike, would get us in shape for multi-day backpacking trips into the Olympic National Park. It was fun for the ego to do it in one shot, but its better to enjoy the area and do it in several days.


Updated in July 2015 by Barefoot Jake