Top 3 Olympic Mountain Campsites

  I've had a lot of time to reflect over my hiking season, with all the National Parks being closed and no end in sight.  Looking for hours through a memory card full of pictures of this hiking season and other hiker trip reports from the Olympic Mountains.  This is what gets me through these through these tough times and positive.

Top 3 Campsites in Olympic


  I get asked all the time about places to stay or the experiences I've had this hiking season.  So thought I would share a few locations to stay the night in the Olympic National Park (in no particular order).  It was hard just to pick 3, but here I go....



#1 Lost Pass
  After a hard day of kick stepping up and over two snow covered mountain passes, I was pretty tired and ready for dinner.  The second climb of the day would be more sketchy than Mount Olympus a few weeks earlier, because of icy conditions.  Once the shelter was pitched and dinner was in my belly, I could truly enjoy the complete solitude.  Surrounded by thousands of Avalanche Lilies, sounds of Marmots whistles echoed the area; as they played and the perfect sunset.



Lost Pass
Lost Pass camp





Spring in Olympic National Park
Avalanche Lilies from Lost Pass camp. 

busy Olympic Marmot
Olympic Marmot gathers at Lost Pass. 

Olympic sunset
Sunset from Lost Pass camp.





#2 Eleven Bull Basin
  This is a well known spot for those that do their research to complete the Bailey Range Traverse.  It can be reached in 1 day by a strong hiker or often a great second campsite.  It has running water and just off your front pouch is Mount Olympus.  Most beautiful spot to enjoy breakfast or dinner.  Wildlife often frequents the area in the form of Mountain Goat and Black Bear.   If you time it right, sunsets can be enjoyed dropping below the Pacific Ocean, which is seen down the Hoh Valley.

Eleven Bull Basin
Eleven Bull Basin camp. 
Alpenglow on Mount Olympus
Sunset off of Mount Olympus from Eleven Bull Basin camp. 
Hoh Valley sunset
Looking to the Pacific Ocean.  Sunset from Eleven Bull Basin camp. 




#3 O'neal Ridge Camp 
  This site is not easy to get to, in fact; I've never seen it documented of humans staying here.  I had to ford the Quinault River to my hip and then climb from the valley floor in neck deep brush.  It holds a special place in my heart for its remoteness.  Views of the entire Burke Range and Mount Anderson can be seen from this spot. The bugs were also completely hell, which makes it more memorable.
  I was completely beat from bushwhacking all day in the summer heat.  Had ran out of water for a few hours, until just before this camp.  Dropped off the main ridgeline to a little water source.  Once back on the main ridge.  I decided to call it a day after seeing this spot.
  Little did I know at the time, but just under 48 hours later, would have to be rescued by helicopter off a cliff.  I would never finish this section of my route.





off trail high camp
O'neal Ridge camp with views of the Burke Range, Mount Anderson and O'neal Peak (left to right). 
burke range
View from O'neal Ridge camp.  Burke Range to Mount Anderson (left to right). 





Also Note:  These campsite are either off trail and/or not designated by the Park Service as a place to sleep on any map.  They are also extremely fragile areas; practice Leave No Trace


Updated in April 2016 by Barefoot Jake