//Backpacking in the Olympics
Appleton Pass

Backpacking in the Olympics

This hike was done last year with my sweetie (his first backpacking trip). We started at Sol Duc hot springs in the Olympic National Forest and  hiked from there to the Olympic Hot Springs (which were then closed to road traffic–is was about the only way in).

All of these photos were taken with my Olympus E-520. (I now have a Nikon D-7000.)

Our first night (or 2) we camped next to the Sol Duc river.

Sol Duck River

I tend to prefer tent-free backpacking, so we just brought tarps to fend off the rain.

Tarps and Bivvy


When we were there last year the Olympic Peninsula wasn’t in a drought and the waters were running freely. This set of falls is called Boulder Creek Falls and it was one of our favorite places to rest and rejuvenate.

Boulder Creek Falls

A closer view:

Boulder Creek Springs II

On to the next set of falls below.

Boulder Creek Falls

One of the best things about living in the Northwest are the berries. There’s no shortage in the Olympic National park and we snacked heartily on huckleberries all trip long.


To get to the Olympic Hotsprings we had to cross over Appleton Pass, a mere 5,100 feet. Still, it helps be in good shape for it and either way, it’s still a good workout. This is a view from the Eastern side of the pass, near the top.

Appleton Pass

Another view of the Eastern Side

Sol Duc

When we got there we had all the hot ponds to ourselves.


Olympic Hot Springs

On the way back we had gorgeous views coming back over the pass:

Appleton Pass

Also this:

Western side of the pass

In the end we made it back supremely tired, but happy. We’re looking forward to more this year.