Olympic Sea to Summit Adventure

Trip Highlights: 
  • Camp in Washington state
  • Hike, explore Deception Pass
  • 3-day Sea Kayak San Juan Islands
  • Rock Climb Mt Erie
  • High Divide Olympic Backpack
  • Swim in oceans, lakes, rivers
  • Soak in natural hot springs
  • Canada day trip and ferry ride
Trip Details: 

Dates:  July 20 - August 1, 2017
Ages:  12-14 (grades 6, 7 & 8)
Tuition:  $2695 (airfare not incl.)
Start:  Seattle, Washington
End:   Seattle, Washington
Travel:  Travel Information
Packing:  Packing List
Status:  Limited Availability Register

Trip Photo Gallery:

"I have learned so much in the past 2 weeks! In fact, I learned as much, or more, than I learn in two weeks at school! Not only has Alpengirl been enlightening, it has also been extremely fun! I am sad to leave. All in all, I've loved trying everything, and I think every girl deserves to have an opportunity to have all the experiences I've had here." ~ Ellie G (Lafayette, Colorado)  Read More Testimonial Reviews

Trip Description

A Girls Summer Adventure Camp in Washington Olympic Mountains & San Juan Islands

From ocean tide pools to lush rainforests to alpine lakes - this Washington state summer camp will have you brimming over with enthusiasm for wild places in the Pacific Northwest! 

Set in the San Juan Islands and in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state where ecological diversity abounds, this multi-adventure Alpengirl trip boasts one of our favorite backpacking trips where you hike out of the rainforest to the top of a rocky “High-Divide” ridgeline to find yourself standing in a field of purple gentians and yellow glacier lilies while admiring a 360-degree view of snowy peaks and Mount Olympus in the distance.

If this best-of-the-best backpacking trip isn’t enough to get you to lace up your hiking boots, we’ll boost your inspiration by adding a 3-day overnight sea kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands, hiking and exploring local trails, rock climbing at Mt Erie, camping and hot spring soak, and campfire on the beach plus a grand finale in Canada!

Want more fun this summer? It's easy to add on the North Cascades Adventure (I) and enjoy 25 days of adventure with Alpengirl!

Trip Itinerary 

Day 1: Arriving at SeaTac International Airport in Seattle, WA, your Alpenguides will greet you and introduce you to the rest of your group. Icebreakers, name games, and get-to-know-you fun abounds before you and your new expedition mates hop in the van and drive to our first campsite.

Once we arrive, we'll learn how to set up our tents and enjoy the first of many delicious and fresh camp meals before settling into our tents for the night.

Day 2: Waking up refreshed and renewed, you will grab your sleeping pad, head outside to an open space under the trees nearby, and set up for your first daily morning yoga session. After a strong morning stretch, we’ll fill our bellies with a yummy Alpengirl breakfast of perhaps Peach Cinnamon Pancakes before packing up to meet our sea kayaking guides.

This afternoon we’ll enjoy a trail hike to reach the highest point on Whidbey Island at Deception Pass for great views of the Salish Sea, Mt Baker and the Cascade Peaks in the distance.

Days 3-5: It’s time for our first expedition! For the next three days, we’ll be on a sea kayaking and camping trip in the beautiful San Juan Islands.  

First we’ll arrive to the islands by ferry to meet our friendly and knowledgable sea kayaking guides. The guides will help us pack our camping gear into boats, explain our route and provide us with an introduction to sea kayak paddling, handling and safety. Then, we’ll head out in our dual kayaks, with an Alpengirl at each helm! We’ll paddle about 2-3 hours to reach an island beach where we set up camp and gather firewood for a campfire tonight. 

On day 2 of kayaking we’ll enjoy a “full-day paddle” around the island or to another nearby island and have opportunities for learning about natural history, exploring the intertidal areas, going birding or appreciating other local wildlife knowledge that the guides have to share with us. This afternoon’s adventure may allow us to see eagles, herons, otters, and seals with pups. We could opt for a sunset sea kayak or sunset hike on this night.

On our final day of kayaking, we’ll pack up our gear into the boats again and paddle back to our starting point and return by ferry back to the mainland. Tonight we’ll get wild with an Alpenolympic event and perhaps even a themed costume party dinner.

Day 6: The adventure never stops as we head from ocean to land. An afternoon of rock climbing on the solid rock of Mt Erie is in store and at 1300 ft above sea level - it’s the highest point around with awesome views. We’ll learn proper climbing and belaying technique and even the girl who has never been on a wall before will get to call herself a climber at the day’s end. 

We’ll be taking another ferry tonight as we make our way to a campsite in the Olympic Peninsula where we will prepare for the best backpacking trip ever!

Day 7: Today is a rest and re-supply day with showers,  swimming and hot spring soaking at Sol Duc Hot Spring pool in the valley below our upcoming backpacking trip. There’s lots we can do today, it’s girls choice! Tonight may also be a great night for the Alpenwear Fashion Show.

Days 8-11: Before we arrive at the trailhead, your experienced Alpenguides will teach you how to properly pack your backpack, lift it safely onto your back, and adjust and carry it throughout the expedition. Packing only the essentials, we’ll leave our van and extra gear behind, grab our cameras, and hit the trail!

Our challenge will be a four-day, three-night, slow and steady 20 mile backpacking loop starting in the Sol Duc rainforest of Olympic National Park and crossing the High Divide with views of Mt Olympus in the distance before returning to the forest valley below.

We’ll start our backpacking trip by hiking a three and a half mile uphill and forested stretch past a beautiful 3-legged waterfall to camp at Deer Lake, a gorgeous place to be!

The following day, after more miles of uphill travel, we gain the ridgeline, and, we’ll get out our cameras and soak in the breathtaking views of Deer Lake, Heart Lake and Seven Lakes Basin. Looking closer, you’ll be able to see the glacier-capped peak of Mount Olympus.

The third day is a highlight - we'll make it to our highest point and stop to enjoy lunch of perhaps hummus wraps with fresh bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, and salami before we start the downhill to set up camp near picturesque Heart Lake.

The rest of the trip, we’ll wind downhill through the rainforest’s tangling ferns and massive trees, which might make us feel like we’ve traveled back in time to the Jurassic Era. On our way out, we’ll have a long descent, hoping to catch one final glimpse of the wildlife in this area, such as mountain goats, deer, and elk. 

We'll enjoy hot showers and a do a final small load of laundry after backpacking ends. We're back in the front country again at a campsite overlooking the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the distant shores of Canada.

Day 12: Early to rise & All Aboard! For our last hurrah together, we’ll hop aboard the ferry in Port Angeles to get a taste of some international flavor. Crossing the border into Victoria, British Columbia, we’ll spend the afternoon exploring this Canadian city and doing some much desired souvenir shopping. We’ll have our traditional end of session awards ceremony and swap contact info with our new Alpenfriends. 

Day 13: It’s time to go home! Exchanging hugs with your friends, you’ll depart from SeaTac International Airport in Seattle, WA, knowing that you’ve had a ton of fun and accomplished great things as an Alpengirl and will be a part of our fantastic community for life. See you next summer!

PLEASE NOTE: This is a sample itinerary. Alpengirl reserves the right to cancel or alter any aspect of our program, including program itinerary, trip dates, activities or location, as a result of unforeseen circumstances, including weather, environment, or health hazards. To the best of our ability, substitutions of activities will be comparable to, or better than the original activity. Parents will be notified by email if there are any significant itinerary changes.

Trip Campsites & Amenities

Seven nights are spent in tents in public “front country” campgrounds where we have pre-assigned campsites with neighbors and campground hosts nearby, running potable water, and private outhouses or flushing toilets.

Five nights are spent in tents in wilderness “back country” areas where we will purify our water before drinking and learn and practice basic Leave No Trace camping skills such as how to select a campsite, how to go to the bathroom, and how to keep clean outdoors. ALL backcountry campsites in this itinerary have an outhouse available to us.

Why Choose This Trip

Girls who are looking for an adventure of land and sea in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world will love this Olympic Sea to Summit session. This trip will have any outdoorsy girl anticipating her next backpacking trip the minute she gets home. From ocean to rainforest to alpine air, this trip isn’t one to be missed! If you like sea kayaking and hiking coastal areas and living in the mountains too - this is the trip for you!

Special Notes

Read an Alpengirl Blog Post about this trip.

This trip does not require a passport for minors to enter Canada with Alpengirl, however, it does require a copy of a US birth certificate along with an Alpengirl Canada Entry Permission Form (emailed to you with pre-camp letter in May) completed by a parent/guardian. International campers should call Alpengirl to inquire about Canada entry before registering for this session to discuss proper documentation for Canada entry with the group.

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