Happy Lake Ridge Loop

Port Angeles, Washington 98362

Happy Lake Ridge Loop

Happy Lake Ridge Loop Professional Review and Guide

"A 15.2-mile backpack loop that climbs to the crest of Happy Lake Ridge. This trail provides access to the pools of Olympic Hot Springs, then climbs up to an alpine ridgetop for sweeping views of the peaks to the south. The path is heavily traveled as far as the Boulder Creek campground, but the ridge walk itself receives only light traffic.

For the first 2.2 miles, the trek follows an old paved road along the forested banks of Boulder Creek. This road ends at a junction below the Boulder Creek campground."

Happy Lake Ridge Loop Reviews

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The trail was pretty well maintained for the most part. There were a couple of spots, maybe 5 or 6 spots, where trees have fallen across the trail causing you to detour around, above, or under them. Parts where you could climb over the trees were getting a little worn down close to the edge of the trail where you put you feet. Bear hangers were intact and functional at both Boulder creek camp and up at Boulder Lake. The toilet up at the lake was starting to get full, but still a bit of use still left. The snowbirds at the lake are quite tame and will steal your food if you are not careful! Wild life was amazing! You could hear the fish jump all day and night, we saw a wild turkey, a deer and a fawn, and mama bear with two cubs. The bears were up near Boulder Peak. We saw them from a distance and they moved up and over the ridge rather quickly. All in all we had a great trip! I would recommend that hike to anyone. Its fairly easy in the beginning and steepens up towards the end, but very do able. Be sure to bring mosquito repellent of some sort if camping near the lake.
We put in at the minor trailhead and came out by the hot springs. Expansive vistas to the north and south from atop the ridge make the haul worth it. I recognized the Dungeness Spit from a distance which was quite nice. Unfortunately someone took a horse as far as the Happy Lake spur and droppings covered the first 4.5 miles. It would appear that the high parts of the ridge don't get much traffic since there were plants growing right in the middle of the trail, as well as several trees across it, so if you're looking for solitude you'll find it there. Boulder lake was amazing. Between Happy lake and Boulder lake and a little past there are a few spots that are steep enough for stairs but there aren't any making for some slippery footing in the rain. Olympic hot springs were definitely hot, but it seems as though people have no respect for the land leaving trash strewn about. All in all it was fantastic even if it could use a little maintenance.
No recent report. Stockusers: Trail puncheon above the hot springs is rotting, use caution! Bear canisters recommended. Deep snow in the high country.

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Trail Information

Port Angeles
Nearby City
4,070 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Late June to mid-October
1,900 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,300 feet
Top Elevation
Olympic National Park, permit required for backcountry camping
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Carrie, Lake Sutherland; Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin - Hoh
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018