Because there is no camping permitted at Obstruction Point or Hurricane Ridge, the "old" practical route (including Grand Pass) presents logistical challenges. (One option is to camp at PJ lake, near the Obstruction Point road. But it's a sad pond with no view.)
The "new" practical route (Red route on this mapset
) also includes a (downhill) road walk on the well-used-but-often-damaged Whiskey Bend trailhead road
. So both options will require some road walking
before you reach the Elwha Ranger Station near Altaire campground.Both options are fantastic, and the Olympics won't disappoint.
The "new" red route avoids civilization for longer, which is kinda nice. The "old" blue route provides some of the most scenic ridgeline hiking in the world. You pick.
PS: Bogachiel state park is a short walk from your finish line. It's a good spot to get a hot shower and wait for your pick-up ride. You can also flag down Clallam Transit busses to get you North into Forks.PERMITS
Most PNT thru hikers delay getting permits because their schedule may change due to weather, injuries, etc. If your dates are set, there's no reason to delay getting permits.
This will allow you to get prime camping locations in the High Divide (aka "Seven Lakes Basin") region. I recommend camping at Heart Lake if possible. Note that camping in the High Divide area requires
bear cans. Because there's tons
of amazing wildlife. Worth the trouble, in my opinion.