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Lena Lake

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An extremely popular backcountry lake surrounded by ancient timber and ringed with designated campsites complete with fire rings-don't expect a wilderness experience on this hike. You'll encounter all walks of life on this wide, well-groomed, and easy-graded trail that delivers the masses to Lena Lake. Those willing to expend a little more energy can push farther into wilder and quieter places. But if you're intent on Lena, expect lots of company unless you visit in the waning days of autumn.

The day hike to Lena Lake is one of the most popular in the Olympics. As one of the easiest trails to a backcountry lake, and with developed campsites, it attracts throngs of backpackers, too, especially neophytes. And while this good-sized body of water nestled among old-growth firs and cedars is fairly scenic, there's just too much detracting from it.

The trail is badly scarred by ding-a-lings cutting switchbacks. The Forest Service has had to construct railings along the way to discourage these ne'er-do-wells. And litter? Expect to see beer cans and cigarette butts tossed along the way. Finally, the fire pits are nuisances, encouraging the denuding of shoreline vegetation.

So, is it worth it? Yes, but keep in mind the ambience. Perhaps find some teachable moments along the way to help correct the ways of less-than-enlightened backcountry travelers. Carry a trash bag with you. Gain bigger rewards than the view. Be a shining example to others. With that said, enjoy the hike.

The trail takes off in second-growth timber, climbing gently and carefree. Lena Creek can be heard crashing in the distance. After about a mile, come to impressive old growth. As the trail nears Lena Creek, prepare for a surprise. You soon find yourself standing on a bridge over missing waters. Lena Creek makes a subterranean passage below, leaving you standing high and dry over a mossy, rocky draw.

Now winding around and below a ledge, the trail makes a final push to the lake. At 3 miles a junction is reached. Venture right, and within a few hundred feet encounter an inviting sunny ledge that provides a resting spot and a wonderful view of Lena Lake 100 feet below.

The trail continues, descending to the shoreline and passing overused campsites. A half mile beyond where Lena Creek tumbles into the lake makes for a scenic lunch spot.
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. Privy available.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 240 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Lena Lake — Apr 14, 2014 — Joe Hendricks
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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5 minutes of video clips from the hike: http://youtu.be/m9AsG5zaL3Y Trail is in great shape. For f...
5 minutes of video clips from the hike: http://youtu.be/m9AsG5zaL3Y
Trail is in great shape. For flowers, saw trillium, red flowering currant, avalanche lilies and lady slipper orchids. Only about 20 other hikers all day.
April is a great time for this popular hike - no crowds on the trail yet, lake is full from snowmelt, spring flowers starting up and no biting bugs!
Had a wonderful time with my good friend Dan, admiring the huge trees, the enormous moss-covered boulders, cascading creeks, picturesque trail bridges and then of course the dramatic alpine lake. A friendly butterfly even landed on my hand a few times!
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Lena Lake — Mar 30, 2014 — watermelon84
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail
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Trail is well maintained up to Lena Lake. Running water on trail. Water-proof boots are a must. Abov...
Trail is well maintained up to Lena Lake. Running water on trail. Water-proof boots are a must. Above Lena Lake (up to the National Park Boundary), the trail becomes narrower, rockier, and with more blowdowns. Some small snow patches off trail above the lake just before the park boundary. Only went a few hundred yards past the boundary before we turned back.

Hiked with two dogs and saw a few groups heading up trail as we were heading down.

The lake is self is beautiful and if it were warmer I would have loved to jump in. Good views of the lake if you keep right at the fork. I recommend backtracking to the fork (only a couple hundred feet) if you plan on heading up towards Upper Lena Lake as the connector from the north end of the lake to the Upper Lena Lake trail is sketchy.
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Lena Lake — Mar 23, 2014 — samnkyle
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail
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On this beautiful early spring afternoon the family piled into the rig and took off for a trail we'd...
On this beautiful early spring afternoon the family piled into the rig and took off for a trail we'd yet to visit. There is nothing more magical than hiking in new territory.

The parking lot had quite a few cars, the Lena Lake lived up to her reputation for drawing crowds as we were in good company. I'm happy to report that there was not much litter on the ground - I'd expected to stuff my pack with garbage.

The trail was in great shape, only a few areas had minimal water. No snow, no wash outs and only a few manageable blow downs that were easy to step over.

Looking forward to visiting again.
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Lena Lake — Mar 22, 2014 — Briony
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Day Hike to Lower Lena Lake. Nice moderate 6 mile round trip out and back. The Lake is beautiful. Tr...
Day Hike to Lower Lena Lake. Nice moderate 6 mile round trip out and back. The Lake is beautiful. Trail well maintained and well traveled. March is a good time of year to do this hike, as the trail is busy and would get more so in the summer. Driving to the trail head is easy, on paved roads.
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Lena Lake — Mar 15, 2014 — Josh
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Trail was clear and dry. No snow, mud, bugs or trash which was an excellent hike. Weather was windy ...
Trail was clear and dry. No snow, mud, bugs or trash which was an excellent hike. Weather was windy in town but not on the trail. No rain with a few outbreaks of sun throughout the day.

Ate lunch at the trail head about 12:15pm, a little under 2 hours hike to the lake, 30 min rest and take in the view, and then back to the car just before 4pm.

Camp site were vacant and very few people on the trail that day. Daffodils have bloomed in a few spots. Switchbacks are a very easy grade and well spaced.
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Lena Lake efeinitz.jpg
Lena Lake. Photo by efheinitz.
WTA worked here!
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Location
Lena Lake (#810)
Olympics -- East
Olympic National Forest - Hood Canal Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain 1300 ft
Highest Point 2000 ft
Features
Lakes
Waterfalls
Old growth
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Established campsites
User info
Good for kids
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails The Brothers No. 168
Custom Correct Mount Skokomish-Lake Cushman

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerLena Lake
47.5997333333 -123.151183333
  • BCRT 2010
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  • Trail Work 2013 Frontcountry
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