Lower Lena Lake Trail

Hoodsport, Washington

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6 Reviews
5 out of 5
Dominated by a shoulder of The Brothers, this forest lake was formed thousands of years ago by a massive rock slide that dammed the valley. The “dam” leaks and the lake resembles a reservoir in that the water rises and falls with the season. Wading and swimming are possible, but even in summer the water is so cold that only a child will enjoy it. This is one of the most popular hikes on the eastern slope of the Olympic Mountains, so the trail is eroded by the thousands of feet that have traveled it. Expect many roots and rocks for little feet to tumble over. The trail switchbacks through an area that was first logged by railroad in 1931. The half-century-old trees look pretty big until, at approximately ¾ mile, the trail enters old-growth forest, where you find the really big trees. At 1½ miles, the way crosses a dry streambed of Lena Creek, which runs underground most of the year. If time permits, explore the caves made by giant boulders lying on top of nature’s dam and marvel at the size of the trees growing on it. That rock slide was a long time ago! At 3 miles, reach the shore and outlet of Lower Lena Lake, at 1800 feet.
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)

Dominated by a shoulder of The Brothers, this forest lake was formed thousands of years ago by a massive rock slide that dammed the valley. The “dam” leaks and the lake resembles a reservoir in that the water rises and falls with the season. Wading and swimming are possible, but even in summer the water is so cold that only a child will enjoy it. This is one of the most popular hikes on the eastern slope of the Olympic Mountains, so the trail is eroded by the thousands of feet that have traveled it. Expect many roots and rocks for little feet to tumble over.

The trail switchbacks through an area that was first logged by railroad in 1931. The half-century-old trees look pretty big until, at approximately ¾ mile, the trail enters old-growth forest, where you find the really big trees. At 1½ miles, the way crosses a dry streambed of Lena Creek, which runs underground most of the year. If time permits, explore the caves made by giant boulders lying on top of nature’s dam and marvel at the size of the trees growing on it. That rock slide was a long time ago! At 3 miles, reach the shore and outlet of Lower Lena Lake, at 1800 feet.

©  Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Hoodsport
Distance: 7
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: May-November
Trailhead Elevation: 685 feet
Top Elevation: 1,885 feet
Local Contacts: Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District; Olympic National Park
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 168 The Brothers; USFS Olympic National Forest/Olympic National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Lower Lena Lake Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

3/18/2018
0

6/21/2009
0

My wife and I really enjoyed this as a day hike with our two boys (4 and 6) on Father's Day. The trail is excellent (tho' rocky and root-y as good trails can be) and interesting for kids even though there wasn't much wildlife to be seen. Arriving at the lake is a welcome reward and we were lucky on a partly cloudy day that it was sunny while we were there. Very beautiful. Honestly, it was probably 2 miles too long for our 4-year-old but he was a trooper and we had plenty of snacks!


6/12/2009
0

Great first hike of the season, absolutely a beautiful hike, can be done in a day but recommend overnighting at Lower Lena.


4/15/2009
0

This is a great trail, well marked, lots of elevation climb and gorgeous scenery. The drive up is easy on the car and not hard to find. Lots of parking and good information at the trail head. The lakes are a good reward for a few hours spent climbing elevation. Go check it out!!


7/7/2008
1

We took our kids (ages 7 & 10) on their first backpacking trip to (lower) Lena Lake. The lake is beautiful, as is the hike up. There are a bunch of nice campsites at the lake with fire rings. The hike was a bit tougher than we anticipated, with switchbacks for about the first mile and a half. Our kids have been hiking for a few years so it was ok, but it may be a little hard for younger/less experienced children. The only downside about this hike is its popularity. On a nice Saturday in June we were hard pressed to find a parking spot at the trailhead and equally hard pressed to find a campsite at the lake.



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