Outdoor adventures, mostly gravel rides, but not always

Royal Basin

Fall colors, blue tarns, yellow meadow, fiery reds, grey mountains; an ideal fall hike

By the Numbers

Steep climbing to, and steep descent from, Royal Lake, a little more modest to Royal Basin
16 miles
3930 feet
Moving Time
Stream crossings every five minutes, water is plentiful

With the changing fall colors, I wanted to return to Royal Basin to take in the scene. Last time we ran as much as we hiked but this time I went alone and spent a significant amount of time photographing the colors and the abundant small waterfalls and rushing creeks.


Quiet woods
Quiet woods

The trail starts through the woods along the Dungeness River. One mile from the trailhead the trail splits, across the bridge to continue on the Upper Dungeness River Trail or continuing along the trail to Royal Basin.

Trail leading to the meadow
Trail leading to the meadow
Lower Meadow
Lower Meadow

After a few miles of walking through the woods the trail opens up into the lower meadows. The fall colors were definitely beginning to show, primarily the yellows both along the trail and on the mountainside across the valley.

Royal Lake
Royal Lake

The reflections on Royal Lake were not so impressive from the north but as I walked along the lake on the way to the upper basin the wind calmed and reflection of the mountains appeared.

Trail through the gold meadow
Trail through the gold meadow
Reflections on the upper tarn
Reflections on the upper tarn

I’m always impressed with the upper basin and spent a leisurely lunch & coffee taking it all in before heading back down the trail to shoot more waterfalls I had spied on the hike up.


So many colors along the walk; reds, golds, yellows, blues, & greens.

Creeks & Waterfalls

Abundant creeks along the trail provide ample opportunity to shoot long exposure water falls and flows.


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