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Trip Report

Mount Townsend - Silver Lakes Traverse, Silver Lakes — Saturday, May. 13, 2023

Olympic Peninsula
View from Saddle Above Silver Lakes

Trail conditions (May 13th - May 14th) Driving to the Upper Mt Townsend Trailhead is clear. No snow along road - you'll be able to make it in no problem. Just watch for rocks along the side of road (some are sharp). Not much snow until you reach the switchbacks about a 1.5 miles in. This is where you'll start seeing snow. Well packed with all the foot traffic. At the turn off towards Silver Lake, the trail was not packed! I was the first person to go back there in a very long time. It was slow going. Mostly crusty snow you'd sink in a bit but very often you'd sink in over a foot. It took hours to break in the trail - very slow going! After the junction of Welch Peaks the snow was incredibly difficult to navigate through. There's still about 4-5 feet of snow on the trail. Definitely bring gators if you attempt this - your boots will get very wet! The trail all the way down to Silver lake was difficult with all the snow. It does lighten up towards Silver Lake. The lake is still iced in with signs of melt. I camped along the shores of Silver Lake. Still about 2 feet of snow on the ground there. For sunrise the next day, I climbed the saddle above Silver Lake. this wasn't too bad in the morning as the cooler morning temps kept the snow fairly hard. Views are amazing from above! My advice if you want to do this trail: either wait until it melts out or find a day where the snow is hardened (cooler temps) and bring some gators / extra pair of socks. Silver Lake is a sweet spot and the stars at night were beyond amazing. (See photos for conditions)

Campsite at Silver Lakes
Silver Lake
Silver Lakes Basin
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