Wagonwheel Lake

Hoodsport, Washington

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1 Review
4 out of 5
The trailhead sign warns (or boasts) that this is one of the steepest trails in Olympic National Park. Gain over 3000 vertical feet in less than 3 miles. Utilizing tight switchbacks and no switchbacks at all, the grade is brutal. And once you get to Wagonwheel Lake, you’ll find a tiny forest-ringed pond with nary a good place to soak your feet. But if you can muster some energy to climb the open ridge behind the lake, this hike goes to four stars and all that sweat and pain will be worth it. Despite its grueling statistics, little Wagonwheel Lake gets its fair share of visitors—rather, its attempted share. Many hikers comprehend 2.9 miles, but not 3175 vertical feet. It’s an insane combination, bringing many an unconditioned hiker to their knees and back to the trailhead unfulfilled.
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition

by Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)

The trailhead sign warns (or boasts) that this is one of the steepest trails in Olympic National Park. Gain over 3000 vertical feet in less than 3 miles. Utilizing tight switchbacks and no switchbacks at all, the grade is brutal. And once you get to Wagonwheel Lake, you’ll find a tiny forest-ringed pond with nary a good place to soak your feet. But if you can muster some energy to climb the open ridge behind the lake, this hike goes to four stars and all that sweat and pain will be worth it.

Despite its grueling statistics, little Wagonwheel Lake gets its fair share of visitors—rather, its attempted share. Many hikers comprehend 2.9 miles, but not 3175 vertical feet. It’s an insane combination, bringing many an unconditioned hiker to their knees and back to the trailhead unfulfilled.

© 2016 Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hoodsport
Distance: 5.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,175 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Mid-June to November
Additional Use: Camping
Features: Views
Local Contacts: Olympic National Park, Wilderness Information Center
Local Maps: Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S, Custom Correct Mount Skokomish–Lake Cushman
Driving Directions: Directions to Wagonwheel Lake

Recent Trail Reviews

6/20/2009
0

The sign doesn't lie, it is steep and feels much longer than the 3 mile length on the signpost. Very challenging but worth it. We camped at the top and were the only ones there. We had a beautiful campsite overlooking the lake. The hike down was challenging as well due to the steepness.



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