Olympic Sea to Summit Highlights
A multi-day sea kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands sets this trip apart, plus Olympic Natl' Park ~ it’s an Alpengirl Win!
DatesJul 19 - Jul 31, 2020
Ages12-14 (enter 7th-9th)
Tuition$2885 (airfare not incl.)
- Camp in Washington state
- Hike, explore Deception Pass
- 3-day 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
I have learned so much from this trip, from that dragonskin lichon grows and inch in 10 years to how to compress a sleeping bag.
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 the wild places of the Pacific Northwest!
Set in Washington State's San Juan Islands and Olympic Peninsula, where ecological diversity abounds, this multi-adventure Alpengirl trip boasts one of our favorite backpacking trips as well as a sea-kayaking expedition guaranteed to dazzle the senses. The spectacular hiking portion of the camp leads you out of the Hoh rainforest and up to the top of the rocky “High-Divide” ridgeline, where you'll 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 Mount Erie, hot springs soaking, a campfire on the beach, and a grand finale in Canada!
Want more fun this summer? It's easy to add on the North Cascades Adventure and enjoy 25 days of adventure with Alpengirl!
Day 1: Arriving at SeaTac International Airport in Seattle, WA, your Alpenguides will greet you and introduce you to the rest of your camp 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'll 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 - 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 before 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, crossing the High Divide with views of Mt Olympus in the distance, and finally returning to the forest valley below.
We’ll start our backpacking trip by hiking a 3.5 mile uphill, forested stretch past a beautiful 3-legged waterfall to camp at Deer Lake. It's a gorgeous place to be!
The following day, after more miles of uphill travel, we gain the ridgeline at last! We’ll get out our cameras and soak in the breathtaking views of Deer Lake, Heart Lake and the Seven Lakes Basin. Looking closer, you’ll be able to see the glacier-capped peak of Mount Olympus in the distance.
The third day is a highlight - we'll make it to our highest point and stop to enjoy lunch and soack in the views. Perhaps our picnic will include hummus wraps with fresh bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, and salami. We'll be well-fueled before we start 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-anticipated 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! Limited to 10 girls in the group.