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Grand Valley Badger Valley Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Grandview Peak from upper Grand Valley. The trail get's pretty rough as you get up closer to Grand Pass (Jerry Adams)
Some of the nicest views are right at the start, within a mile South of the Obstruction Point trailhead. (Jerry Adams)
Looking back down Grand Valley from Grandview Peak. (Jerry Adams)
Marmot - the wildlife are very tame - easy to catch good photos. (Jerry Adams)
Badger Valley from the top. (Jerry Adams)
  • Start point: Obstruction Point TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • Trail log: Trail Log
  • Distance: 14 miles
  • Elevation gain: 4250 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: August, September
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Yes

Contents

Hike Description

The Grand Valley is one of the best hikes in the Olympics. You get grand panoramic views of mountains in all directions, alpine lakes and meadows, and some of the most tame wildlife.

But don’t expect any solitude. This is one of the most popular hikes. If you're backpacking, you have to reserve specific camp areas on specific days. Since this is a fair distance from Portland, I don’t think I’de recommend this unless you happen to be in the vicinity for a few days anyway. Perhaps you could combine this with a trip that includes taking the ferry to Victoria, walking along the Dungeness Spit, and/or the Pacific Ocean beaches.

I think an “upside down lollipop” route is best – start South from Obstruction Point and go back via Badger Valley. You can see the Grand Valley and Grandview Peak as you’re going in, and the way out, you start at the bottom of the Badger Valley and the views get better and better as you go up.

There is camping only in designated campsites, each one marked with a numbered post. There are a few sites in each of Grand Lake, Moose Lake, and Gladys Lake. You have to reserve a particular lake for each night. That’s a good thing in that you’re guaranteed a site, but the sites at a particular lake are first come first served, so if you don’t want the worst site, you better come early. Some sites are somewhat private, others are right next to the main trail, but no sites are really private – this is one of the negatives of this hike. I think the highest, Gladys Lake is best, followed by the next highest Moose Lake. You get better views because it’s more open, but there’s still plenty of shelter if the weather gets bad.

There are bear wires at all three lakes. The only problem is it might be a bit of a walk from your campsite to the bear wire. There are composting toilets at Grand Lake and Moose Lake. It’s basically just a large plastic box with a hinged lid that you open to use it. Not the best wilderness toilets I’ve used. I’de rather just dig a cat hole, but due to the heavy use of this area, that’s not very practical.

If you want to extend your hike, the trail down from Obstruction Point to Deer Park is great, and if you wanted to do a loop, you could hike back up the Cameron Creek Valley and back up over Grand Pass and back to Obstruction Point via Grand Valley – that loop would be about 30 miles.

Detailed Description

Start at the Obstruction Point Trailhead. Go South on the Grand Pass Trail, following the signs to Grand Pass, Grand Lake, and Moose Lake.

Go for about 1.6 miles along a ridge, going up and down a little. These are some of the best views you’ll see the whole trip.

Then you hit a junction to an unmarked trail that continues along the ridge. This trail is not shown on the National Park map. It goes most of the way to Grand Pass, bypassing most of the Grand Valley. I think it requires a little scrambling and walking on loose rock, more adventurous than the other trails.

Stay left on the marked trail that goes down to the Grand Valley. It’s 1.8 miles and 1600 feet elevation loss down to the Grand Valley. There’s a trail junction – it’s about 0.2 miles and 200 feet down to Grand Lake, which you can see through the trees. Stay right on the Grand Pass Trail

Moose Lake is in about 0.4 miles, Gladys Lake is in another 0.7 miles. There’s about 450 feet elevation gain up to Gladys Lake.

Grand Lake is 3.6 miles, 450 feet gain, and 1850 loss from the trailhead. Moose Lake is 3.8 miles, 650 gain, 1650 loss from the Trailhead. Gladys Lake is 4.3 miles, 900 gain, 1650 loss.

From Gladys Lake, it’s 1.6 miles and 1000 feet to Grand Pass. There are some tricky places as you get towards the top. Earlier in the season there can be steep snow. There are loose rocks to slip on. There are places where you might have to use your hands a little.

As long as you’re at Grand Pass, do the additional 0.2 miles and 300 feet elevation gain to Grandview Peak. The trail is easier than what you’ve just done. The views are, indeed, grand!

On your way back, go out via the Badger Valley. Take that 0.2 miles and 200 feet down to Grand Lake. The trail continues down 1.4 miles and 700 feet loss down to Badger Creek, then up 2.7 miles and 2050 feet back up to the ridge and a trail junction. You want to go left, 0.3 miles back to Obstruction Point. Right it the trail to Deer Point.

Maps

Grand Valley Badger Valley Map (Jerry Adams)

Fees, Regulations, etc.

There is a $25 National Park fee per car. This covers entry into the park and is good as long as you stay, plus it's good for re-entry for 7 days. There are a number of other cards you can use such as an annual permit or the lifetime Senior Access Card.

If you're backpacking, there is also a $5 per group fee plus $2 per person per day.

You can get these at the visitor center in Port Angeles.

You have to reserve specific campgrounds for specific days in the Grand Valley.

Dogs are not allowed here, sorry.

No fires are allowed in the Grand Valley - just too many people and if they allowed fires and all the down wood was burned up, it would alter the aesthetics.

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

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More Information

Port Angeles Visitor Center (360) 565-3100

Forks Visitor Center (360) 374-7566

Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.