By the Numbers
Steep climbing to, and steep descent from, Royal Lake, a little more modest to Royal Basin
I hadn’t been to Royal Lake since a backpacking trip in July 2011. At the time we were unable to make it to the upper basin because of a late melting snow pack. I was excited to explore the upper basin on this trip as over the last few years I had become pretty familiar with the region from prior rides and hikes.
The hike starts from the Upper Dungeness Trail #833.2 trailhead, also the origin of the hike to Marmot Pass. The trail is in great condition and winds its way through the woods for a mile or so before coming to a log bridge over the Dungeness River – cross the bridge for Marmot Pass, continue on the trail to Royal Lake and Royal Basin.
After a few miles of hiking the woods gave way to meadows and many, many streams before arriving at Royal Lake. Take a break here, eat some food, take a photo but definitely do continue on to the upper meadows.
The upper meadows and Royal Basin were magical, the colors of the lakes, the blue of the sky, Olympics perfection.