Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, WA that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
Great trail, well maintained. A definite climb. We didn't make it the last pitch because of rain, but will return.
It's a nice hike to do in summer cause it is muddy , slippery and some parts of the trail with a lot of water, be ready to get wet.
9 MILES NOT 6!!!!!
I totally recomen to bring a map or his app cause is easy to get lost.
Great trail. Middle part is tough, so be prepared. Took 1:40 minutes each direction, with 20 minutes to walk around the lake and take pictures. GPS watch said total distance was 6.9 miles. I highly recommended this trail!
The distance in here is not accurate. Even using the record feature the total distance for me was about 8 miles round trip.... Much farther than expected. Most of the hike is all up, and I highly recommend hiking poles. The view is worth the pain. Next time I will be going back to camp!
If you want to spend anytime enjoying the lake make sure to get an early start because the mileage is much longer than the park's sign and maps estimate. Its definitely the most challenging "on trail" hike I've completed. The trail is easy to lose track of in the first mile, so make sure to veer left, away from the river when you reach the massive boulders. Also, there's a marshy "false lake" pond a mile before the lake, so don't mistake this for lake of the angeles and head back before reaching the lake. The views are spectacular with wildflower meadows and Mt. Rainier in the distance.
Beautiful hike! In the summer you can swim in the lake...(very refreshing) challenging but worth it.
This hike is almost too hard to enjoy, and can feel downright unsafe at points, the views of course are unbeatable, but prepare yourself for an absolute aerobic challenge, and not being able to walk tomorrow. Pack light, or you will definitely regret extra weight, lots of scrambling, makes the stair master feel like walking.
First on the scene to the Putvin trailhead at 7:15 AM. The Putvin Trailhead #833 is located 12 miles up the Hamma Hamma River Road (Forest Road 25), past the Lena Lake parking area and after you travel ~5 miles on unpaved road. Be on the look for a turnout for parking on the left and the trailhead on the right.
The first part of the trail is moderate, so enjoy it. You will reach an old road and see a new trailhead sign stating you have 2 miles to go. From here, the trail climbs aggressively ALL the way up to the lake. A true thigh burner and you will be drenched in sweat. Difficult hike up, with some extra steep areas and scrambling needed, but very achievable for those who love a challenge and are in better shape.
There are a few tips to keep in mind so you don't stray from the trail: 1) after you complete scrambling up what some refer to as the "Headwall," look for a small rock cairn to the left. 2) after you pass the first pond, TURN LEFT. You will see cairns, a flag on a stick and a make-shift log foot bridge. Cross this and then TURN RIGHT - you will see a small flag on a tree.
You may cross other areas in the meadows and on the trail that you need to pay attention, but just look for the most prominent path and cairns.
The beauty of this hike is mesmerizing. And the setting for Lake of the Angels is gorgeous! I will say that the lake itself didn't quite live up to my expectations, but it's still a pretty alpine lake.
Saw 3 grouse on the hike up, frogs and tadpoles in the many ponds along the way, 3-5" fish rising in the lake...and the highlight of the trip: mountain goats!! I had the pleasure of watching a family of 3 (saw 8 total) up-close.
Bugs weren't too bad, all things considered. Horse flies, deer flies and some mosquitos were definitely present at the lake, so apply bug spray. Bugs intensify the closer you are to the goats.
My total time on the trail was 4 hours (2.5 up; 1.5 down). At least 7.5 miles (if not more) roundtrip. Overall, such a memorable trip - loved it!
Awesome hike. If your daring its not to hard to make it to the peak directly East of the lake.
6.2 miles my ass. This was a great hike but I will caution that this is not for the lighthearted. My girlfriend and I clocked the total hike at 11.7 miles this afternoon/evening. Unfortunately we did not see much wildlife though the alpine lake up top was beautiful. Plan for a 5+ hour hike and some decent scrambling on the second half of the trek up.
Saw a black bear in the meadow. Scramble was pretty thrilling too. Very rewarding hike.
The trail was pretty steep. My advice is to go sleep well before going to this hike - we didn't and it was very difficult to go up. First 1/3 of the trail is pretty fine, not much elevation per mile. Second 3rd is getting harder and you go up pretty much most of the time. Final third of the trail is getting just crazy: you have to climb the rocks at some places and follow very steep trail.
The lake is beautiful tho. We have seen some goats and their babies. They don't afraid of people as you would expect and you can get pretty good pictures of them if you have your clear ready and willing not to move.
- get a bear spray just in case. You may not see the bear but the spray will work just fine if goats are going to be aggressive.
- try to take as less stuff with you as possible.
Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. We did lose the trail twice towards the end, but it was really our mistake because we didn't bring a map. We left at 10am and emerged around 4:45 with some nice long rests and a significant (2 mile or so) detour.
Specifically, when we came to Frog Pond, there was an obvious trail pretty much straight ahead. We took that one and it led us up up up up through some pretty steep sections (also marked with cairns) towards Mt. Stone. We realized our mistake when we saw the lake down below us. It was worth it for the view and would be fun in the future to do the full scramble up to the summit!
We retraced our steps and saw the cairn and a small bridge just past Frog Pond on our original trail, leading over to the lake. A bit of trudging through muddy runoff, a creek crossing, a walk up some slushy snow, and a steep trail up an avalanche field took us straight to the lake (we took 25 minutes walking quite briskly). After a quick dip and a snack, we headed out. On the way down, made some friends and helped to carry their doggie down some of the steeper scramble sections.
Gorgeous views of Rainier all along the way, lots of amazing wildflowers, and fun wildlife -- watched the crazy display and sounds of the sooty grouse, saw many mountain goats + their babies, a deer, a garter snake, lots of froggies, fish, a peregrine falcon... no marmots this time...
All in all, a perfect day!!
"Switchbacks, we don't need no switchbacks" must have been the motto of whoever laid out this trail. This trail is mostly just steep up which means steep down on the way out. Beautiful scenery and not a lot of people. Definitely worth the effort but it is intense. The lake was just starting to thaw but still a lot of snow in the cirque.
Great hike, but we did lose the trail a few times. Make sure to keep you eye on the trail markers because it was easy for us to trail off, which cost us time, so we will be thinking it to make it all the way to the lake in a few weeks. It is definitely a difficult hike, but worth it.
Tough hike, and there is no possible way it is only 6.2 miles. closer to 9 or 10.
Beautiful. An amazing hike.
Absolutely beautiful. This is my favorite hike