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Wagonwheel Lake

Olympic Peninsula

A steep trail climbing to a small lake. What this trail lacks in views and photo ops it makes up for in the excellent workout. Continue reading


Olympic Peninsula -- Hood Canal
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5.8 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 3200 ft.
Highest Point: 4100 ft.


2.80 out of 5

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  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

Wagonwheel Lake is all about the elevation gain. This trail is an excellent workout in a relatively short distance. Be prepared for a number of rooty and rocky sections.

The trail climbs steeply almost from the beginning, and continues climbing. What switchbacks there are are short, and only somewhat relieve the steepness. Most of the hike is through a nice forest, with occasional views of nearby peaks. The trail becomes faint in a few areas, watch carefully to keep track of it, especially beyond the switchbacks. In snow, the trail can be very hard to follow.

Just before the lake, the trail traverses a hillside, which gets brushy. Drop down, cross a stream, and you’ll soon be at the lake. The lake is small and the picnic spots are all high above it. But this hike is less about the destination than the journey. Enjoy a break before heading back down. If you have creaky knees, you’ll definitely want poles for the descent.


Hike Description Written by
Jessi Loerch, WTA Staff

Wagonwheel Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.5161, -123.3276 Open in Google Maps


Olympic Peninsula -- Hood Canal

Wagonwheel Lake (#111)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Custom Correct Mount Skokomish-Lake Cushman

Buy the Green Trails Mt Steel No. 167 map

Getting There

From Hoodsport, just off of Highway 101, turn left onto SR 119. Drive a little more than nine miles where 119 'T's with FR 24. Turn left here. Drive 1.7 miles to where the pavement ends. The road continues as gravel and in 3.7 miles, arrive at a junction. Make a right here, and continue 1.2 miles to the Staircase Ranger Station. Look for the parking lot on your right, across from the campground.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

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Wagonwheel Lake

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