Badger Valley - Grand Lake Loop, Obstruction Point Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Badger Valley - Grand Lake Loop - 8.4 miles
Obstruction Point Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||8.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||6,125' - 4,755' (6,438' max elevation : 4,057' low elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-1,370' net elevation loss (+2,622' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Badger Valley - Grand Lake Loop - 8.4 Miles Round-Trip
The Badger Valley Trail offers a lightly used alternative route to Grand Lake, and joins the Lillian Ridge Trail to form an 8.4 mile loop back to Obstruction Point.
The Badger Valley - Grand Lake Loop is ecologically diverse, spanning high alpine ridges and old growth forests in a relatively short space. The following description begins at Obstruction Point and travels clockwise to Grand Lake:
The trail dips from Obstruction Point to the Badger Valley Trail (.25 miles : 6,032'), which drops steeply on switchbacks through open scree in the upper valley.
Grades moderate to the Deer Park Trail becoming narrow, vague and overgrown for brief periods. Be mindful of burrows along the way, as they're difficult to see and can cause injury.
The forest thickens and diversifies to a creek (1.67 miles : 5,057'), shifting quickly and dropping in steep spurts to a big opening on the valley floor (2.15 miles : 4,690').
The trail levels but loses clarity through this large brushy meadow, which can be tricky to locate on the far-side (2.5 miles : 4,575').
Note the sharp contrast in forest composition before and after the meadow, where subalpine fir and yellow cedar yield to old growth Douglas fir and hemlock. The trail steepens under a tall canopy to Grand Creek (3.05 miles : 4,057'), the route's lowest point.
The trail climbs from Grand Creek to an elevated log bridge aided by wire (3.45 miles : 4,245'). The bridge can be slippery and the wire rail offers minimal security - fording the creek is an easy alternative.
Once over the trail rises in a thinning forest to an unmarked spur for Grand Lake (4.4 miles : 4,768'). It provides limited access to log jams choking the outlet, while the main trail continues to the open west side of Grand Lake (4.6 miles : 4,755').
Here signs point up to Lillian Ridge (4.8 miles : 4,945'), where you'll begin a strenuous climb with remarkable views back to Obstruction Point. The Lillian Ridge Trail runs level to a creek (5.2 miles : 5,065'), then steepens considerably on switchbacks through the last of treeline (5.9 miles : 5,675').
It straightens up a long scree slope to a saddle (6.75 miles : 6,435') where grades moderate through expansive tundra with views of Badger Valley, Lillian River Valley and Mt Olympus. Travel is now mild save one steep push up Lillian Ridge back to Obstruction Point (8.4 miles : 6,125').
- N47 55.101 W123 22.930 — 0.0 miles : Obstruction Point (6,125')
- N47 55.250 W123 22.783 — .25 miles : Badger Valley Trail split
- N47 55.259 W123 22.536 — .67 miles : Steep switchbacks moderate
- N47 55.063 W123 21.961 — 1.25 miles : Deer Park Trail split (5,357')
- N47 54.831 W123 21.616 — 1.67 miles : Cross stream in cluttered gulch
- N47 54.648 W123 21.294 — 2.15 miles : Enter Badger Valley meadows
- N47 54.662 W123 20.901 — 2.5 miles : Travel through open meadow
- N47 54.490 W123 20.518 — 3.05 miles : Grand Creek bridge (4,057')
- N47 54.169 W123 20.536 — 3.45 miles : Cross long footbridge (4,245')
- N47 53.734 W123 20.517 — 4.0 miles : Weave through thinning forest
- N47 53.478 W123 20.791 — 4.4 miles : Spur to Grand Lake (north side)
- N47 53.433 W123 20.862 — 4.6 miles : Grand Lake (4,755')
- N47 53.414 W123 20.986 — 4.8 miles : Grand Valley - Obstruction Pt split
- N47 53.785 W123 20.967 — 5.4 miles : Grade steepens in high forest
- N47 53.933 W123 21.278 — 5.9 miles : Methodical switchbacks clear treeline
- N47 54.025 W123 21.602 — 6.4 miles : Steep climb up open scree
- N47 54.113 W123 22.137 — 6.9 miles : Level in open tundra (6,405')
- N47 54.466 W123 22.465 — 7.4 miles : Rolling travel on Lillian Ridge
- N47 54.777 W123 22.509 — 7.9 miles : Level open tundra and snowfields
- N47 55.101 W123 22.930 — 8.4 miles : Obstruction Point
- Overgrowth may obscure portions of the Badger Valley Trail, particularly in the lower meadows. Basic route finding skills may be required through these brief sections.
- Be mindful of marmot burrows on the Badger Valley Trail, which can cause injury.
- Snow may linger and obscure portions of the Lillian Ridge Trail well into summer. Steep, north facing slopes are a particular concern to hikers. Call ahead for trail conditions.
- Obstruction Point Road is subject to weather and damage closures without notice. Always call ahead for road conditions. The road sees heavy traffic when open, especially on weekends. The road is narrow with steep drop-offs in places. Weekday travel is preferable during peak season.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's a $5 registration fee per group, + $2 per person per night (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for all Grand Valley destinations. 50% of sites can be reserved in advance; the other 50% is available first come, first served from the WIC during business hours up to 24 hours in advance. Self registration is not permitted during this time.
- Camp only in established sites, which are available at each lake in Grand Valley.
- Food Storage: Bear canisters are not required, but are recommended.
- Fires are not permitted in Badger Valley or Grand Valley.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
Obstruction Point is located 24.8 miles from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles.
From the visitor center, follow Hurricane Ridge Road 17.3 miles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center; just before entering the lot, turn left onto Obstruction Point Road. Follow this road 7.4 miles to the trailhead.
Obstruction Point Road is a groomed dirt road that's subject to weather and damage closures without notice. Always call ahead for road conditions. The road sees heavy traffic when open, especially on weekends. The road is narrow with steep drop-offs in places. Weekday travel is preferable during peak season.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Quinault Wilderness Information Office