Forum Index > Trip Reports > Upper Royal Basin August 10-12, 2019
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olympichiker77
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Location: Bainbridge Island
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PostThu Mar 19, 2020 1:06 pm 
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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
Upper Royal Lake in the morning
Milky outlet creek
Milky outlet creek
Far end of the lake
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
Slight breeze rippling the lake
Looking down the valley
Looking down the valley
Marmots were everywhere
Marmots were everywhere
He was giving us the cold stare
He was giving us the cold stare
Views from the arm
Views from the arm
Wildflowers on the steep hillside
Wildflowers on the steep hillside
Looking up the steep hillside we were traversing
Looking up the steep hillside we were traversing
Greeted by another friend
Greeted by another friend
Climbing Higher
Climbing Higher
Glimpse of the needles
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
Looking back down on the upper basin
Snack spot
Snack spot
Look down to more milky lakes
Look down to more milky lakes
Fireweed Paradise
Fireweed Paradise
Rock wall close-up
Rock wall close-up
Needles close-up
Needles close-up
Continuing up the arm traversing to the left of the boulders
Continuing up the arm traversing to the left of the boulders
What plant is this?
What plant is this?
Milky lake close-up 1
Milky lake close-up 1
Our lunch spot boulder
Our lunch spot boulder
More wildflowers
More wildflowers
Milky lake close-up 2
Milky lake close-up 2
Camp view west
Camp view west
Camp view south
Camp view south
Camp view south feat. Clara
Camp view south feat. Clara
Glassy water 1
Glassy water 1
Glassy water 2
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.

Departing
Departing
Don't want to leave this place
Don't want to leave this place
Goodbye lake
Goodbye lake
One last reflection
One last reflection
Last look up to upper basin
Last look up to upper basin
Down to the arrowhead meadow
Down to the arrowhead meadow
Sunlight?!
Sunlight?!
Second waterfall vista
Second waterfall vista
Back in moss land
Back in moss land
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Mar 19, 2020 2:21 pm 
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olympichiker77 wrote:
What plant is this?
What plant is this?

stonecrop (Cascade specifically I believe)

Such a cool, weird little plant isn't it?
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Mar 19, 2020 2:23 pm 
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Cool area.  Somehow I've never seen an Olympic marmot.  Tons of hoary and a few yellow bellied here and there.
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Jake Robinson
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PostTue Mar 24, 2020 6:07 pm 
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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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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Upper Royal Basin August 10-12, 2019
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