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Ruger
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 8:51 am 
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My son asked me last year if we could do the loop around Seven Lakes Basin without knowing anything about the permit system etc. Well fire season got in the way and there was no way we could make it happen without setting it up in advance.

Would any of you be willing to share what direction is the better route, and how many days would make it a good experience? I was thinking about late July or sometime in August for making the reservations in a few weeks.

Ruger
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lookout bob
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 8:59 am 
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Hi Ruger.   I did the Seven Lakes hike about 10 years ago.  I didn't go all the way around as I came over Appleton Pass and out the Elwha so didn't do the low part of the Soleduc on the way out.  However, I believe that counter clockwise is the way to go.  I'd go in through Deer Lake and then on around.  I'd really try to stay at Silver Snag camp if you have the days to do it.  It's up on the ridge and is a lovely windblown place.   I did it in July and the lilys were awesome and the view of Mt Olympus magnificent.  I hope you have a great hike there! cool.gif

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"Altitude is its own reward"
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 9:02 am 
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When I did it I ran it counter clockwise!  That is to say I exited out Heart lake.  Afterwords I decided when I did it again I would hike into Heart and exit out Deer lake. I can only say I came to that conclusion because at the time it seemed like it would have been more fun to have gone that route.  Good luck.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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Schroder
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 9:20 am 
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I did it counter-clockwise and I think that's how I would prefer it again - gaining elevation to views right away and saving the long slog down the Sol Duc River at the end.
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BigBrunyon
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 11:54 am 
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Watch out for the bears that live up there!! Seen em every time

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i ALWAYS camp at the upper lake!
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Ruger
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 1:45 pm 
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Thanks for the information on counter clock wise. Any suggestions on where to stay the night?
I think we were thinking of 3 nights but could add another if needed.
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Waterman
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 6:42 am 
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Try to time it for flower season. Walking that ridge is like  walking through  a  calendar.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
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Sculpin
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 8:55 am 
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Not Lunch Lake.  The rangers can get so thick you can't stir 'em with a stick!   frown.gif

Seek camps farthest from the main loop.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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IanB
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 11:33 am 
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Among the reservation system camps, SBL has great views and is at least a little bit off the loop.  It made Heart Lake seems as hammered as a Wal-Mart parking lot, and would be nice for the last night of a CCW trip.

And yes, the bears in the 7-Lakes area are completely unfazed by people.  You may be pitching a camp while they lounge about less than 100 yards away.  Proper food protocols are essential!

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"Forget gaining a little knowledge about a lot and strive to learn a lot about a little."    - Harvey Manning
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JonnyQuest
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 1:24 pm 
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IanB wrote:
Among the reservation system camps, Swimming Bear Lake has great views and is at least a little bit off the loop.

Glad they're now clarifying that Cat Basin and Swimming Bear is part of the quota area.  I've stayed at SBL a few times on my way into the Baileys, and love it.  But I was once stopped by a ranger at Cat Peak and he asked me where I had camped the night before.  When I mentioned SBL, he asked if I had a reservation.  My pointing out that (at the time) the regulations made no mention of SBL, and that the quota area was only defined as "Sol Duc / Seven Lakes Basin" didn't seem to dissuade him from pulling out his citation book.  When I asked how I was supposed to know that SBL (in the Elwha drainage) was a reservation area when they didn't mention it in the ONP info and it wasn't even shown on a map, he just said that they didn't mention it because they didn't want people to know about it.  Huh?  Luckily, the conversation somehow evolved to a kayak that was left partway down Cat Creek.  He was the ranger that had found the kayak, and I was the one who directed ONP to the kayak's owner.  With that, he put his citation book away and wished us a good trip.  He then proceeded across the catwalk ahead of us, allowing us to pick up what had to be a bag of his trash at Boston Charlie's.
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meck
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PostWed Mar 06, 2019 6:37 pm 
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Please don't mention SBL on the interwebs  wink.gif   that whole place/loop is a zoo up there already, no need to mention that spot too. (yeah I'm that person, I had to say it...)

I've day hiked the loop a couple of times; all I've got to say is that the stretch from Heart Lake back down to the TH, while a fine river valley hike (especially when the berries are ripe), is not something I'd spend any time hanging around on.  I'd recommend having at least a day to wander around the basin and visit the lakes.  I've only been to three of them, but it looked like there were boot paths to the others.

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hermes
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PostMon Mar 11, 2019 11:35 pm 
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its been 12 years but still a great hike either way.
SLB ONP
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SwitchbackFisher
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PostSat Mar 16, 2019 11:33 am 
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Ruger wrote:
My son asked me last year if we could do the loop around Seven Lakes Basin without knowing anything about the permit system etc. Well fire season got in the way and there was no way we could make it happen without setting it up in advance.

Would any of you be willing to share what direction is the better route, and how many days would make it a good experience? I was thinking about late July or sometime in August for making the reservations in a few weeks.

Ruger

I am glad you posted this cause I'll be going up there this year hopefully too August to September ballpark for me

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I may not be the smartest, I may not be the strongest, but I don't want to be. I only want to be the best I can be.
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Ruger
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 9:51 am 
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Thank you for the suggestions, I was able to get reservations yesterday for the last weekend in July.
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Ruger
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PostTue Jul 16, 2019 1:04 pm 
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We are going next week, counterclockwise and will be staying the first night at Lunch Lake with night 2 being at Sol Duc Park.

We are planning on having most of the day on day 2 to explore the basin before heading to Sol Duc Park later in the afternoon to camp.

Any suggestions on what to explore in the basin during that day?
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