Northern Mountain Loop (Off Trail)

Having 6 days to burn, the goal was to do a loop hike in the northern part of the Park.  Secondly, I wanted to stay off trail as much as possible, to avoid other hikers.  Solitude is the best way to experience wilderness in my option. I call this backcountry route the Northern Mountain Loop.

We would need a good weather window in order to make this trip happen. There is sections where map and compass, even GPS will not do.  A mountain traveler must read the land and follow game tracks, in order to complete this strenuous journey.  Being in thick clouds would hinder the success of our adventure.

Disclaimer: The directions to this full route is not listed in any guidebook. Extensive land navigation and traversing of very steep terrain is required. Do not go off trail, if you are not prepared to turn around and make it back to the point of entry. 

off trail
Looking ahead at our route

Looking back at our route

Olympic Mountain high country

Looking back after bolder fields and a very steep climb

Cameron Glacier
Glaciers to pass

Mountains and lake up high

Grey Wolf
Surveying the route ahead

Many water formations to pass-by

Obstruction Ridge
Unfortunately the whole 6 day trip was not off trail. We had to use trails to enclose the loop back to the original trailhead. The hike did however provide us with views of places we both have been. Amazing way to end 4 days of complete solitude and transition back to the real world.

Article and photography by Barefoot Jake