Royal Basin has been a favourite day hike destination for me for a long time now, but I have never spent the night there. Royal Lake has become increasingly more crowded in recent years, so I had no desire to stay there. I had my eye on the upper basin, with an abundance of opportunities for exploration. I decided to take my girlfriend here for her second backpacking trip.
It was a wet August morning and we set out for Port Angeles to pick up our permits. Luckily, waiting time was minimal and we were at the trailhead around 9. Due to the on and off light rain I didn't take any pictures on the way up. We made it to the upper basin in the afternoon and found an ideal spot on the hillside just to the south of upper Royal Lake. There's a little clump of trees that provides some shelter and privacy. If you continue up the hillside a bit more you reach a saddle that provides excellent views down to the lower basin. This would be a really nice camp.
Upper Royal Lake in the morning
Milky outlet creek
Far end of the lake
The next morning we set out to explore a small arm extending from the west edge of the basin just north of Mt. Deception. I remember seeing it from a distance during previous visits, surprised at how green it is.
Slight breeze rippling the lake
Looking down the valley
Marmots were everywhere
He was giving us the cold stare
Views from the arm
Wildflowers on the steep hillside
Looking up the steep hillside we were traversing
Greeted by another friend
Glimpse of the needles
As we ascended the rest of upper Royal Basin unfolded. There's a lot more lakes than I realized.
We eventually went as far as we could comfortably go and headed back to camp. It was a wet and cold evening, which it had been for most of the trip. You never know what the weather will be like up there.
Looking back down on the upper basin
Look down to more milky lakes
Rock wall close-up
Continuing up the arm traversing to the left of the boulders
What plant is this?
Milky lake close-up 1
Our lunch spot boulder
Milky lake close-up 2
Camp view west
Camp view south
Camp view south feat. Clara
Glassy water 1
Glassy water 2
The next morning we left fairly early and made good time going down. We made sure to stop at the Halfway House for lunch.
Awesome. Love the marmot close-ups! Royal Basin is such a good spot. Lots of great memories up there with family and friends. Man, your reports are making me miss the Olympics. I really need to get back there this year!
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