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Mink Lake

Olympic Peninsula > Northern Coast
47.9688, -123.8638 Map & Directions
Length
5.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1450 feet
Highest Point
3100 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

The forest to Mink Lake is beautiful, packed full of Queen's Cup, lilies and bunchberry flowers in bloom. Depending on the season, you may see Western Coralroot orchids and Indian Pipe, or Beargrass, Anenomes and violets around the lake. Continue reading

Rating
3.14 out of 5

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Hiking Mink Lake

Start your hike at the Mink Lake trailhead at 1650 feet of elevation. The trail to Mink Lake splits right at the initial junction with the Lovers Lane trail (which will be your return if opting for the loop). The first half mile passes through gloomy second-growth. The original forest here was logged a century ago and now the trees are in a state of early maturation.

At a quarter mile the trail jogs across an old logging road and soon enters old growth. The forest opens up with sword fern and shrubs among the stately trunks of ancient firs, which give way to hemlock as the trail climbs ever upward. It is cool and moist on the north aspect of the slope, enabling skunk cabbage and trillium to bloom into early summer. The forest to Mink Lake is beautiful, packed full of Queen's Cup, lilies and bunchberry flowers in bloom.

At two miles, the trail rounds a spur at about 2800 feet, before gently arching toward the lake.

At 2.5 miles and 3100 feet lies tiny Mink Lake. Hemlock, silver fir, and marshy beargrass meadows line the tranquil waters, which are often disturbed by jumping fish. Depending on the season, you may see Western Coralroot orchids and Indian Pipe, or beargrass, anenomes and violets around the lake.

A side trail forks left where overnight hikers will find the bear wire and an old shelter, now home to rodents.

The lake, while picturesque, is a haven for mosquitoes--bring plenty of bug spray or patience, whichever you prefer. The silence and unbroken stands of trees that surrounded the lake are gorgeous, and on the way down, you can study the intricate patterns of roots, flora and other wonders of a healthy forest.

Hike Description Written by
Wes Partch, WTA Correspondent

Mink Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.9688, -123.8638 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park 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 Port Angeles follow US 101 west for 29 miles, passing Lake Crescent. About 2 miles beyond the Fairholm store, turn left onto the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. (From Forks head east 28 miles on US 101, and turn right just past milepost 219.) Follow this road for 12 miles (passing the park entrance booth). Just past the Eagle Ranger Station turn right into the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.

Park at the back of the lot where the trailhead is marked by a kiosk (trail is uphill and left of the gated road next to the kiosk). The lot has plenty of room for cars, and the resort offers a full range of amenities, including cabins, restaurant, hot spring pools, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. There is a large and ever-booked national park campground near the resort. Call ahead to find out if any spots are available.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula > Northern Coast

Mink Lake (#35)

Olympic National Park

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin-Hoh

Buy the Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin/Mt Olympus Climbing No. 133S map

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Mink Lake

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