3 Tips for Beginner Backpackers in Washington
The state of Washington provides excellent variety for both beginner hikers as well as professionals. The land is immensely diverse, and you can trek high into the mountains known as the American Alps, walk along the rocky shores of Olympic, or hike into centuries-old forests.
Here are a few valuable tips if you're a beginner at backpacking in Washington.
1. Get A Wilderness Permit for Backpacking in Olympic National Park
The Olympic National Park offers acres of Alpine forests that are littered with shimmering blue lakes. You can trek through vibrant trees or marvel at Sol Duc Falls, the most famous waterfall in the park.
It takes about three days for a hiker to traverse the National Park with a mileage of approximately 19 miles and an elevation gain or loss of about 4000 feet. Remember to apply for a wilderness permit, as it's mandatory for all backpackers in the area.
2. Be Prepared to Spot Wildlife in The Enchanted Valley
The Enchanted Valley in the Olympics National Park is right alongside the Quinault river. You can spot plenty of wildlife grazing near the rivers, such as elks, black bears, deer, etc. The trail is low elevation and very beginner-friendly.
The whole track takes about four to five days, and you'll meet plenty of other backpackers as you hike in the rainforest. This trail is very popular, so it's better to pay a $6 fee and reserve your wilderness permit in advance.
3. Take Water with You When Going to The Ancient Lakes
There is very minimal elevation gain along the trail to the Ancient Lakes in Quincy in Eastern Washington, making it perfect for beginners. If you live near Seattle, you can go for a weekend trip to the lake. There are plenty of campsites near the area that offer magnificent views of the starry sky at night.
It's a two-mile hike to get to the lake, so you have to pack all your water with you, especially if you're staying there overnight, as the nearby water comes from farmlands and is polluted from agricultural toxins.
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