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Elk Lakes

Olympic Peninsula > Hood Canal
47.5793, -123.1204 Map & Directions
Length
4.9 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
400 feet
Highest Point
1200 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
Trail sign at the beginning of the Elk Lakes Trail. Photo by Salal. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Wildlife
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

This hiker-only trail makes for a quick way to sample the ecosystem on the east slope of the Olympic mountains. Plus, it's a decent starter backpacking trip for kids and makes for a nice day for birdwatchers. Continue reading

Rating
2.40 out of 5

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Hiking Elk Lakes

This hiker-only trail makes for a quick way to sample the ecosystem on the east slope of the Olympic mountains. Plus, it's a decent starter backpacking trip for kids and makes for a nice day for birdwatchers.

Two trails depart from the main trailhead: the left leads you along the south shore to Cedar Creek and several good campsites before ending at just over a half mile. The right fork crosses Jefferson Creek, then follows the creek drainage for about 1.5 miles before dead ending at a Forest Service Road.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Maple Fire severely damaged this trail. The fire burned both organic material and the root systems of nearby trees. This has left numerous holes and gaps in the tread. and WTA has been hard at work to improve the tread in anticipation of the trail opening. 

WTA worked here in 2021 and 2019!

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Elk Lakes

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5793, -123.1204 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Hoodsport, travel 14 miles north on Highway 101 to Forest Road 25 (Hamma Hamma Recreation Area). Turn west on Forest Road 25 and drive 6.5 miles to the junction of Forest Road 2480. Turn left and travel 3 miles to Forest Road 2401 and turn right. Travel 2.5 miles on Forest Road #2401 until you reach the fairly steep spur road 2401-012. The trailhead is at the bottom of this spur.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula > Hood Canal

Elk Lake (#805)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Custom Correct Mount Skokomish–Lake Cushman

Buy the Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S map

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Elk Lakes

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