Lake of the Angels — Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014
The Lake of Angels trail showed why it was appropriately named on Sunday August 3, 2014. We set out early Sunday morning with a day pack and plenty of water. Make no mistake: Lake of the Angels is beautiful -- but you have to earn it. I would go so far as to say it’s less of a hike and more of a climb. Whatever it is, it’s not a beginner hike. The trailhead was easy to find and the first mile or so is wooded with plenty of space to hike. The trail eventually narrows and becomes steep. There were a few spots we found ourselves scaling mini rock walls and climbing over gigantic tree roots. As we climbed higher, we crossed a few little streams and saw some beautiful waterfalls. When you make it to the lake, the views are phenomenal. It really is a little chunk of paradise. The highlight of the hike was seeing the beaming smile of backcountry ranger Sidney as she described the incredible country under her stewardship. Both the Park Service and Forest Service have done a fantastic job. The terrain is dotted with beautiful sprays of Shooting Star wildflowers, Magenta Paintbrush in the glades, and arrow-like Alpine Firs on high. The mountain goats we saw provided a bit of comic relief by nibbling on the "Goat Warning" sign. We only saw about ten people on our way up and back and a few campers at the lake. There aren’t too many places to fill up on water before or after the lake, so we made sure to refill there. With a nap and lunch break at the lake, it took us about 3 hours to get up and 3 hours to descend. Yes, it was a bit of a climb, but between the fresh breezes below Mt. Stone (which we saved for another day) and the reflection of Mt. Skokomish (which is an enduring image reflected on the lake), you don't have to wait for paradise, you can have Lake of the Angels.