Access to Home Lake is possible via several trailheads, but any way you slice it, you're in for a long trip.
The best place to start heading for Home Lake is from the Upper Dungeness Trailhead. Here, you'll enjoy a mostly flat first section of trail, staying left at the junction with the Royal Basin Trail, only a mile in.
Camp Handy comes into sight along the rivers edge at 3.4 miles. Its expansive riverfront meadow and cedar shingle shelter make it a popular campsite for people, which in turn has made it a popular cafeteria for gray jays and chipmunks. Take the side trip down to the meadow and enjoy the views up the valley toward Constance Pass and Inner Constance.
From Camp Handy, the trail forks after a half mile, and then climbs without switchbacking in the three miles to Boulder Shelter. The trail crosses two good water sources along the way. At several points, the westward vistas offer clear views into the Milk Creek and Heather Creek drainages and at numerous avalanche paths on the opposite side of the valley.
You’ll arrive at Boulder Shelter at about 6.4 miles. The shelter was standing as of this writing in 2014, but much of the nearby area is strewn with avalanche snapped trees--harsh winters can take their toll on the area and the shelter may not be standing when you visit. The creek at Boulder Shelter offers the most reliable water on the trail.
If you're hiking with dogs, this might be a good place to turn around, since it's only another mile to the National Park boundary.
Turn right at Boulder Shelter to continue on to Home Lake. Here, you've joined the Constance Pass Trail, and it's only 3.6 miles to Home Lake. One mile past the Boulder Shelter, cross into the National Park. 2.9 miles further on, come upon scenic Home Lake. Camp wisely, so as not to impact the vegetation.
- 19.4 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 3,000 feet
- Highest Point
- 5,330 feet
Hiking Home Lake
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.8280, -123.0413 Open in Google Maps