for free!
show related photosets
3 Photosets

Cat Basin, WA
mini location map2022-08-01
15 by photographer avatarshelby147
photographer avatar
Cat Basin, WA 
Cat Basin, WA
Hiking24.70 Miles 6,300 AEG
Hiking24.70 Miles   12 Hrs      2.35 mph
6,300 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
What a gorgeous day to spend on the high divide! The breeze kept the bugs at bay, lakes were smooth and glassy, puffy clouds set the scene. Even a bit of a cloud inversion in the Hoh and towards the strait. The crowds were minimal all things considered.

I started up towards Deer Lake and took a nice break at Lunch Lake. I continued up in the lakes basin toward the ridge. There are so many nice little tarns, I'd love to spend a whole day just rock-hopping in there. There are some unmarked trails that appear to lead down to long and morgonroth lakes.

Instead of turning down toward Heart Lake, I opted to explore the Cat Basin trail. The trail is in great shape until Swimming Bear lake. There it forks and the Bailey Range trail appears to get more love. Swimming Bear is charming and nicely tucked away from the crowds. I counted 16 newts just when I went to collect water! The trail crosses the lake outlet then disappears into talus and took some real searching to find again. I got lucky finding the trail again because it was just visible when I was leaving a snow patch.

Between Swimming Bear and Appleton pass the trail cuts across the steep slopes. In the meadow it's very apparent but thin and eroding. It's easy enough to figure out the general idea when crossing talus fields because there's little vertical change. The worst are the treed sections where the trail is horribly overgrown and you have to guess your way around downed trees on steep slopes. I got pretty mixed up in one forested spot where the trail appeared to split and ended up scrambling up a loose chute (better up than down).

Above Appleton Pass I startled a bear in the shrubs. It crashed right off but I got jumpy because someone had told me about a bear with cub in the area earlier. The tarn at Appleton is less charming than I'd imagined - silty and with a bathtub ring. I didn't linger long because I had a long hike back through the forest. As much as I get annoyed with trees blocking my view, I have to admit the forest along Sol Duc is kind of pretty with all the moss, huge trees, and nurse logs.
1 archive
HAZ Member
9 Photosets


end of page marker