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Upper Lena Lake

The trail to Lena Lake is a pretty, and popular, weekend destination. But hearty hikers and backpackers who venture to Upper Lena Lake will leave the crowds behind and experience a little bit of nirvana.

Upper Lena Lake sits in a gorgeous alpine meadow with Mount Lena and Mount Bretherton looming overhead. With the views, the flowers and heather, and the lake, you will be glad you expended the effort to climb up here.

The first part of the hike follows the trail to Lena Lake (described in detail in our Hiking Guide). The way trail is usually in good shape and climbs moderately, gaining 1300 feet in three miles. There are 28 established campsites at Lena Lake - and on a sunny summer weekend all of these could be filled.

For more solitude, you should push on - but make sure you get a backcountry permit from Olympic National Park (360) 565-3100) before you hit the trail. You will be crossing into the national park shortly.

As you approach the west side of Lena Lake, the trail to Upper Lena Lake branches off. You can also proceed to the lake and catch a spur trail along Lena Creek that will lead to the trail. Conditions early in the season may be sketchy, with blowdowns to navigate, but most get logged out as the summer progresses.

You will enter Olympic National Park at four miles and cross a creek at 5 miles (be careful during high water!). After this point the trail steepens and becomes rougher until at last you reach Upper Lena Lake. Heather and huckleberry dominate the vegetation and The Brothers dominate the horizon. Make sure you camp only in designated spots - this is a fragile environment!
Driving Directions:

From Hoodsport travel US 101 north for 14 miles. At milepost 318 turn left (west) onto Hamma Hamma River Road (Forest Road 25). Continue for 7.5 paved miles to the trailhead.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 63 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Upper Lena Lake — Mar 15, 2014 — 12people
Day hike
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Lower lena was a bit muddy. Upper lena lake trail was cover in waits deep snow. Couldn't make it all...
Lower lena was a bit muddy. Upper lena lake trail was cover in waits deep snow. Couldn't make it all the way. Lost the trail.
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Upper Lena Lake — Mar 08, 2014 — Mr_big_willy_styles
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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The trail to lower Lena was wet but free of snow and debris. My partner and I decided to see if...
The trail to lower Lena was wet but
free of snow and debris.

My partner and I decided to see if we
could make it to upper Lena.

Upper Lena trail was covered with water
 on the first half. The second half was
covered in knee deep slush. Lots of debris
 and trees on the trail made us loose
the trail at one point.

Stopped 1.5 miles from upper Lena and
turned around. I don't enjoy post holing.

Happy hiking.
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Upper Lena Lake — Aug 31, 2013 — Pam and Paul Kaperick
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Bugs
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This trail is a beast. 14.2 miles and about 4400 total feet of elevation gain and 8 miles of the tra...
This trail is a beast. 14.2 miles and about 4400 total feet of elevation gain and 8 miles of the trail are the Uper trail which is rustic at best and brutal in places. There are water crossings and blow downs and some steep sections to get up and down.

All that said, it is one hell of a great day hike. We used just under 8 hours round trip including breaks. It was a perfect weather day and the views were spectacular.

More pictures and story here http://dog-walks-man.blogsp[…]na-lake-owie-owie-owie.html
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Upper Lena Lake — Jul 27, 2013 — SanGaek
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Mudholes
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The trail to Lower Lena Lake is in great condition, and it becomes narrower and rougher after the ju...
The trail to Lower Lena Lake is in great condition, and it becomes narrower and rougher after the junction. There are quite a few blowdowns once you get on Upper Lena Lake trail. And the last 2 miles to Upper Lena Lake is pretty steep.

Upper Lena Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Olympics. (I like Moose Lake, too). This is a great trail, albeit a little rough and steep toward the end. A lot of people around Lower Lena lake, and about two dozen at the upper lake on this Saturday afternoon.

Wildflowers are still strong near Uppder Lena Lake: Valerians, Tiger Lilies, Lupines, Heathers, and many others.

FYI, the map and guidebook suggests that lakeside trail along Lower Lena Lake eventually rejoins Upper Lena Lake trail, but that section is closed. I thought I was going to take that trail on the way down, but the trail was marked for closure at the junction, and when you get past it, you will find that the trail is completely blocked in a few yards.
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Upper Lena Lake — Jul 20, 2013 — Goat's Path
Overnight
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Bugs
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Current Trail Conditions: trail description follows Trail is snow free all the way to Upper Lena La...
Current Trail Conditions: trail description follows
Trail is snow free all the way to Upper Lena Lake. Some snow patches are on the trail around the lake, particularly if you go left at the first fork, past the group site. There are multiple blowdowns along the trail past the lower lake. They can be crossed but did slow us down. There is a river/stream you have to cross, this is easier just below the trail and it's shallow enough we didn't have to take off our boots. Lots of hungry bugs along the way and at the lake.

We heard from other hikers that if you go right at the fork at the upper lake the trail does become muddy. Another group had been to Milk Lake and reported that it is still completely frozen/snow covered. The trail to Milk Lake is currently a huge snow field.

Trail Description:
For the first three miles the Lena Lake trail is mostly wide switchbacks that climb fairly easily. To continue to the upper lake, take the left fork at the lower lake. We debated having lunch at the lower lake, but decided against it after hearing lots of kids screaming in the direction of the lake. Turns out there are lots of nice lunch spots ahead. From here the trail gets much narrower, but continues to climb gradually. There are quite a few blowdowns in this section which slow you down, but don't stop you.

Eventually you get to a river with a log crossing, after this the trail starts to climb much more steeply and it is very rocky in places. After a bunch of climbing you'll reach another major stream, but this time there is no log. The stream was moving quickly, but just below the trail there is a slower pool that we could cross easily without taking off boots. Here you get a slight reprieve, but only for a short distance, there is still more climbing to do. Eventually at the top of a hillside the trail evens out more and leads to to the lake.
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Upper Lena Lake  bcmac.jpg
Upper Lena Lake. Photo by bcmac.
WTA worked here!
2013
Location
Lena Lake (#810), Upper Lena Lake (#811)
Olympics -- East
Olympic National Park
Statistics
Roundtrip 14.0 miles
Elevation Gain 3900 ft
Highest Point 4600 ft
Features
Lakes
Waterfalls
Old growth
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Wildlife
Established campsites
User info
Dogs not allowed
National Park/Refuge entry fee required
Guidebooks & Maps
100 Classic Hikes in Washington (Ira Spring & Harvey Manning) - Mountaineers Books
Green Trails #168 The Brothers

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Red MarkerUpper Lena Lake
47.6008706 -123.1455854
  • BCRT 2013
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