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Bailey Range Route

Very Difficult
 5.0 (2)

With endless panoramic views, many think this is the greatest backpacking traverse in Olympic NP.


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Map Key

13.4

Miles

21.6

KM

Point to Point

6,007' 1,831 m

High

4,299' 1,310 m

Low

4,574' 1,394 m

Up

4,085' 1,245 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Impassible in the winter months, and keep in mind that some snow will remain through the summer.

Need to Know

There are many areas that local knowledge is required in order to navigate the traverse. In addition to the difficulty of navigation, there are sections with significant exposure for falls. There is also an area where an unstable snow bridge forms each year that has been the cause of significant injuries as recently as last year. Of the approximately 150 visitors that received wilderness permits in 2018 to complete this route, 9 were required to be rescued by helicopter in five separate incidents.

Description

There are a handful of routes in the National Park Service that leave even the most jaded travelers and backpackers speechless from beauty; this is one of them. Whether you start in the Elwha or Sol Duc, getting to this trail requires quite bit of work, making it extremely isolated except in the peak summer months. Far removed from the crowds, the Bailey Range Trail is one of the most awe-inspiring routes in America, giving endless panoramas of the Olympic interior.

From Sol Duc, the trail is not maintained and once you pass the "Cat Walk," people are few and far between. You start off passing a small pond before following what looks more like a climber's path than a trail that leads up toward Mount Carrie. Mount Carrie is probably best known for getting mistakenly identified as Mount Olympus from Hurricane Ridge. While the main trail passes Mt. Carrie, those looking for insanely gorgeous views need to climb to the summit of this 6,995ft beauty. The views are downright breathtaking, with the entire Pacific Northwest expanding in every direction.

From Mount Carrie, the trail continues on the side of a ridge, where it is nearly impossible to pass by without wanting to soak in the views of the Hoh River Valley below. Passing near tarns and somehow even better views of Mount Olympus, the trail continues until it reaches the spine of the Bailey Range. Here, take one last look at Olympus start your descent to the Long Ridge Trail above the Elwha River.

This is seriously some of the most beautiful high-alpine terrain in the country, if not the world. You stand above the Hoh Rainforest, take in the majesty of the Olympic Mountains and be exposed to wildlife and wildflowers. This is an endeavor best left to those looking for a serious backpacking adventure.

Flora & Fauna

Marmots, grouse, mountain goats and maybe even a black bear sighting make this trail fantastic for wildlife viewing. High alpine plants, including fantastic wildflower displays make this a must see in late summer, which is convenient because that is when the nicest weather comes.

Contacts

Shared By:

Doug Scott

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#712

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#57

in Washington

#712

Overall
53 Views Last Month
6,067 Since Mar 5, 2015
Very Difficult

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Photos

Goat and Mt. Olympus.
Feb 22, 2016 near Port An…, WA
Entering the Cat Track.
Feb 22, 2016 near Port An…, WA
Towards the peak!
Feb 22, 2016 near Port An…, WA
Sun at our back.
Feb 22, 2016 near Port An…, WA
An epic ridgeline view...
Feb 22, 2016 near Port An…, WA

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