Hiking Olympic National Park
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© 2015 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The trail up to Lena Lake is a gentle graded set of switch backs. I personally do not enjoy the monotony of switch backs but the scenery of ONF in a down pour of rain was worth it.
The lake is definitely a popular hike, I assumed that due to the rainy conditions I would be one of a few there, wrong... many of the camp sites were flooded and there appeared to be some kind of semi-organized group in the few open ones. I did manage to find two empty sites uphill past the the outhouse.
This really is a beautiful lake, I will be returning later in summer to explore the shoreline. The rain produced a lot of run off and the lake was very high.
The trail from the park boundary to Upper Lena is not well maintained. It deserves it's "Strenuous" rating. The last 2 miles are extremely steep, rocky and needs to have brush cleared. Several sections of the trail have water running down it. Upper Lena Lake however is one of the most beautiful lakes in ONP. Milk Lake is located in a cirque a half mile beyond Upper Lena. It is a little over half frozen. We traversed the snow fields beyond Milk Lake to reach the ridge leading to the summit of Mt. Brotherton. Beyond the snow fields the scramble to the ridge leading to the summit is steep and over loose rocks and bolders. It's not for the faint of heart. The views from Mt. Brotherton are breath taking. Saw several mountain goats while climbing Brotherton. The trail to Scout Lake is easy until just above the lake. It's a difficult scramble down to the lake. Also, the trail is difficult to find any many places. You defintley should have a map and compass if you plan on going to Scout Lake. The trail passes several scenic ponds and has good views of the back side of Mt. Brotherton.
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