Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Time to get up early, as we plan on hiking the Hurricane Peak today. We are up around 6 AM. Hurricane Hill was a steep hike but the trail was easy to walk on. We made it to the top and back in just a couple of hours. Views were pretty beautiful. We could see as far as Canada! We could even see Port Angeles, and many other mountains.
Back on the road after a snack & drink our next destination is Sol Duc Hot Springs but before we get there one more stop at Lake Crescent and hike to Marymere Falls. When we get to the lake the parking lot is packed as expected being a Saturday. It s also windy... but we are lucky and find a spot to park not far from the lake. We go check it... It's nice but water is choppy and it's cold to even think about going in. I go back to the RV. Chad and kids still hanging by the lake for a few more minutes. It's then when a boater asks them if they can help him pull his boat out of the water. So they do. A gesture the boater rewards both with a dollar.
We have a short hike to the falls. They are pretty but not spectacular. We might be too spoilt... After seeing many falls over the 5 years we have been doing road trips to many parks and locations none of us feels this one is impressive but rather "basic". It's a narrow fall, and pretty high for such small amount of water coming down from it. What I felt was unique was the drop where the waterfall was falling from. I sure like that and tried to capture as I could.
A few more photos and we head back. It's now time to finish our route arriving at our final destination for the day. Sol Duc. It's only 30 minutes away. When we get there we explore the area and decide to spend the nigh at the trailhead entrance. At first we were not sure if we could, parking lot was also full...I think it is probably because many backpackers doing the loop we plan on doing tomorrow, but also just weekend hikers, and visitors of the park.
People start arriving back to the parking lot around 5PM some for sure are arriving from doing the 20 mile loop in one day. They look exhausted. They arrive and drop themselves down at the grass area, breathing tired but also looking accomplished.
We are planning to do the loop tomorrow. It's called the 7 Lakes Valley Loop. It's supposed to be the best loop in the park. Now we have hiked and backpacked with the kids long miles but never 20! This will be the first time we take such long trek together and they are not easy miles either, we will have to climb 5000 ft for about 10 miles and then drop same amount down for another 10, but we are up for the challenge. Kids didn't want to do in 2 days and sleep in the mountains, so fine. We will do in one day!
We have a barbecue, and are ready for bed early. Ariana is the first to let us know is time to go to sleep. Up at 6AM and ready to start walking at 7AM. I had packed the backpacks the night before. Traveling light, the only heavy gear is my cameras.
Big day in front of us! The spirt is high. We start walking right at 7:15AM
At first we are moving at a pretty fast pace. Shane though starts complaining about some pain on his foot. We stop and check right away. Not a good idea to continue and take a chance to have to go back because of shoe issues. Chad fixes the problem... Shane is back to being comfortable. Great!
First miles are among trees, and viewing of the Sol Duc Falls. Soft ground feels easy... we start going up.... 5 miles, 6, 7 miles.... we are getting close to the ridge... wow, just, wow! Stunning view any directions you look at. Wild flowers, peaks, glaciers, green packed mountains... We are now about 9 miles in.... and we see the 7 Lakes down .... pretty amazing views. It s more than 7 lakes, though, it's about 10 water lakes... We also spot a couple other lakes. Dear and Lunch lake.
We had trekked for 10 miles at this point, it has been hard. But so far this hike has no disappointed us. Stunning views, trail and steady climb. We have seen everything a trail can offer. Fabulous!
We reach heart lake and decide to have some lunch there. We had only stopped a couple other times for about 5 minutes. Feels super nice to have a longer break in such pretty area. The water is not super clear but sure refreshing to jump in and cool off. There is nothing better than cool off at an alpine lake after hiking. It's a estate of body shock that truly works to give the body more energy for more miles.
Muscles are now ready for the final stretch. We know, well... I know that this final stretch is not going to be as scenic and most likely it won't be easy to complete at the end with view of tall trees only....I'm for sure expecting some difficult miles, but I feel Chad and kids are not....
The first few miles down hill are super hard. Chad decides to take over and be in the front instead of having Ariana. Both are fast but when Chad is the one leading the pack it s not easy and too fast for all of us. He keeps forgetting he s a lot taller than us, which helps him take longer steps.
A couple hikers that go by now say they have seen a bear roaming around past Heart Lake. They also said he s just doing his thing and totally ignoring the people going by... well that's good to know! I now want to make sure we are walking together just in case. I have a feeling we are also going to see it, and sure enough... We do! It's a mile away from Heart Lake. There is this really nice green grass valley with tall lush trees around and there it is munching away. I try to take some photos but they are not great.
We continue hiking, and starting to feel the exhausted bodies from walking all day. Ariana is now complaining about her shoes, Shane is also feeling pain under his soles, I m also feeling aches and Chad continues asking how much longer. We do not know. My GPS watched didn't work well so now we are just guessing... I m estimating we will arrive around 5PM. It's now about 3:30. We are walking in the forest, and distance feels longer and longer. There is the river sound but we are not really paying attention to it. We are too tired to do so. We just want to get there. The positive attitude we started with is gone. Sore muscles, inner soul also tired but we are pushing forward.
We made it, and yes! we are exhausted! It's sure time for a nice cold drink and why not some junk food. Well deserv