Lake Constance Trail

HARD 24 reviews
#28 of 158 trails in

Lake Constance Trail is a 12.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Brinnon, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

12.8 miles
4,770 feet
Out & Back






nature trips







wild flowers




no dogs

Strenuous route mostly paralleling Constance Creek. Ends at Lake Constance. 2 mile, 3400 ft. route terminating at Lake Constance. Wilderness Permit required for overnights at Lake Constance.

1 month ago

June 31, 2018
Rode bikes in first 4.5 miles, stash and lock em’ up. Very steep climb on way up, map says 1.5 as the crow flies, but probably closer to 3-4 miles up with turns and whatnot. Hike is very difficult up, with downed logs and etc. Lake was thawed and beautiful, lots of brown trout. Some small patches of snow, Mt Constance looks summit-able with good weather. Saw some people attempt it but got turned around due to weather. Good luck.

2 months ago

Push a bike to trailhead!Good water
entire way up.Stay to left of creek.9th
time up.Advise SLOW ascent to save Quads coming down.Lake half thawed
very little snow.

3 months ago

It was a Friday, April 27th. Beautiful day, about 68 degrees and sunny around midday. Got to the trail around 0730 and to the trail head for the Lake Constance trail at about 0930 (we walked, not mountain biked). From there, it was all uphill. Downed trees to climb over, a trail marker here and there to help guide us. As we reached about half way up the steep incline, we hit a little snow, thought nothing of it. Then we began trudging thru about a foot to two feet of snow our entire rest of the way to the lake. Maybe our own ignorance is to blame, or just eager to hike up to what we saw in the pictures previously posted, but we did not imagine that much snow or the lake being so frozen over this close to May. However, we did see a bald eagle at the top so you can't complain too much there. The descent took awhile as well due to the snow and how slippery everything was. All in all, we were probably a tad too out of shape for this, but we prevailed and finished. When they recommend June thru October, we'll be sure to heed that warning next time.

4 months ago

This trail was beautiful the whole way. It was definitely longer than 12.1 miles though. My tracker said 15.3 miles round trip.
5.37 miles until the turn off where the actual climb starts. Took me about an hour and 40 to get to this point. This portion of the trail was well maintained and easy.
After 5.37 miles, the turn off to climb up to the lake will be on the right. It can be easy to miss, but there is a wood sign on the ground that says “Lake Constance”. There are a lot of downed trees on this portion of the trail so be prepared to climb over them. For first mile, it is fairly easy to find the trail. As you get higher up the trail gets hard to find at times. But there are occasional pink and orange ties to guide you. I had the app opened and used the map on here to help me find the path. This portion was slightly over two miles and took me just under two hours. Coming down was slippery so be sure to allow extra time.
There was a little snow toward the top, but nothing crazy. I brought spikes but didn’t need to use them. I did this hike by myself but I would recommend having company.

11 months ago

Extremely hard hike but all worth it at the end!

Monday, July 10, 2017


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Long story short, my father took all 5 of us children on this trail, at least to the lake, to show us how awesome all the other mountains were. This mountain is awesome, the lake is beautiful, the trail kicked my butt as a 12 year old hiking in January. Part of the trail was washed out, and this was before the road below washed out, becoming the Dosewallips Road Trail (They haven't fixed it since so I didn't have those added miles on). Make sure that you are ready for a continual up hill hike, and give yourself plenty of time on it. I'm hoping to do this hike again some day, because it was the hike that taught me how wonderful all other mountains and hikes are, and I have not complained about going on a mountain climb or hike since. Great hike, just make sure you're ready ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Biked/scrambled/hiked to Lake Constance back at the end of July with my brother and dad (63 yo mountain man going strong)
We cut time on the first few miles by taking our bikes; be careful traversing across the road washout with them in hand.
I loved the ascent to the lake. The mix of hiking/scrambling made it rather enjoyable despite minimal viewpoints. The old growth forest along the stream is gorgeous and refreshing. We also cut off to the right at one point where the trail became a bit confusing to follow - look for the red metal markers on the trees - and scrambled up under a waterfall. Gorgeous!
The descent was a killer on the knees and required watching your feet, a bit slick with the dry dirt and rock the last 1/3rd.
Biking back to the car was a win. Less than 15 min!

Go explore, find how Constance is for yourselves :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Extremely difficult. Lots of downed trees. several spots where 50 feet of rope would come in handy to leave your hands free for climbing.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Very nice lake but all the trail is under the trees and no view point during the way up. And it's a very hard trail.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lake Constance, or Lake Constant, as I like to call it (and how I remember it's name), is a physically demanding destination that is well worth the effort.

GETTING TO THE TRAILHEAD: Take Dosewallips Rd. from Highway 101. The road will eventually become Forest Road 2610 and you will cross over a washout (take it slow) until you reach the end. From here, you have a choice: hike or bike for ~4 miles on the old road to the trailhead. I highly suggest bringing a mountain bike!! Walk up a short but steep detour which takes you up and around the river to the road. The road is in great condition and is very wide in most spots. It is mostly uphill to the trailhead, so I only ended up biking 1/3 of it and just walking alongside my bike the remainder. 100 feet past the second wooden bridge, look to your right and there will be two brown posts and a nice bold sign to help mark the Lake Constance trailhead.

THE TRAIL & LAKE: You will gain 3,300 feet of elevation in 2 miles, passing through 3 pretty distinct sections. The first 3/4 of a mile is very steep and exposed due to a forest fire back in 2009. The second part of your journey isn't quite as steep (enjoy while you can) and you are welcomed by the cover of the forest canopy, mossy surroundings and the sight of massive rocks among the trees. The third and final stage is the steepest and most technical, where you will have to use roots and rocks to scramble at times. The trail gets harder to follow the closer you get to the lake, so keep your eyes peeled for red markers and pink ribbon on the trees. Don't ever cross the creek (dry or flowing) on your ascent - keep it to your right.

At the top you are welcomed to the calming turquoise waters of Lake Constance, and the surrounding peaks, crags and avalanche shoots. I traveled around the entire edge of the lake and would advise against exploring the Western side as it steepens and becomes thick with vegetation. There are 4 camp sites, a toilet and a bear wire on the North end of the lake. It's a deep lake and there are fish visible near the shores and jumping farther out. No other visitors on this day, which is exactly what I was expecting and hoping for.

TIMELINE: Started at 7:05 am from the parking lot. Made it to the Lake Constance trailhead by 8:00 am. Arrived at the lake at 10:20 am, explored the shores and enjoyed the views. Started down the trail at 1:30 pm. Made it down to road at 2:45 pm. Finally, back to the car in only 20 minutes (3:05 pm), thanks in large part to coasting downhill on my mountain bike. Another plug: Bring your bike!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Definitely a tough trail. The elevation gain is crazy compared to the actual length of the trail. Lake Constance is gorgeous and worth it!

Monday, May 02, 2016

I didn't expect how tough this hike was, even with the warnings of family members! The site at the top made it well worth the effort!

Friday, January 08, 2016

The hardest day hike I've done so far, but I would do it again.

rock climbing
Thursday, October 01, 2015

I first encountered this "trail" 30 years ago when I was relatively young and reckless. We left Olympia at 4 AM and were at the trailhead just after first light. There were three of us and we were planning to climb Mt. Constance, so we got an early start.

Calling this way up a trail is like calling a ladder a sidewalk. One of the most difficult, green, wet and pillow-layva infested ways up the side of a mountain in an area known for it's challenging terrain. The lake was very beautiful and serene when we passed it early in the morning. We summited Constance at noon, but coming out we made a wrong turn and didn't get back to the lake until about 10PM. Being short of headlights and totally exhausted, we spent the dark hours huddled together out of the wind at the edge of the Lake, savoring our cool alpine experience and worrying our loved ones. I discovered the trip down was even worse on my body than the hike up - of course, I discover that every trip.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Hiked up to Lake Constance today 9-4-13. We started the 2 mile battle just before 8:00 a.m. and arrived at about 10:30 a.m. Just a day hike so our packs were pretty light. The hike was not east but totally worth it. Up, up, up you climb. You have to use your hands quite a bit. Had to be very careful too no rushing, this trail could definitely hurt you. To many cool things to describe as far as the scenery, but just what you expect in the Olympic National Park. You get to enjoy the sound of water the whole hike as you stay pretty close to Constance Creek. The Lake itself was beautiful. The water was a great clear dark turquoise color. Saw a few trout swimming around. Views of Mount Constance and other peaks can be seen. Overall really happy with the hike.

Tip: the road to the trailhead has been washed out for sometime...we mountain biked 3.5 miles from parking to the trail. And on the way out the bikes are a blessing, downhill back to the vehicle.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yea the description above is perfect. I did not get to the top but would not suggest it with out a group even though i went solo. also if you have any leg issues(i have a bad knee) really would not suggest it more on the downward descent. it's a bit tougher on the way down if your legs are starting to act up. The trail is kind of tough to follow in some parts but for a novice it wasn't terrible. The views are gorgeous even just for the river and if you have a group would defiantly suggest it. oh took me 3.5 hours to get up about 1.5 miles(i hope not fantastic at reading topo maps)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

***note: There is no trail to Lake Constance. It is a "route" which travels up a steep gully burned in 2009. The way is marked by ribbon, but does not follow a constant path. At times you may find yourself looking around for signs of direction. Route-finding skills are mandatory. It is arduous, and at some places dangerous, due to exposure and the possibility of loosened and falling rocks. Only those in groups and with excellent physical ability should attempt this hike.

Drive to Dose washout, 10 miles from Brinnon. Hike starts at the bypass of the washout and follows the road for 3.6 miles. Biking this portion can save at least an hour off your roundtrip time and is fun on the return half. Leave the abandoned road at Constance Creek, formerly marked by a sign reading "Constance Route, 3400 feet gain", and follow flag markers. The first of two miles climbs relentlessly upward through recently burned forest. Be careful, as erosion is taking its toll here on the severly steep, unprotected slopes. After a grueling mile the way levels out next to the creek, which is a raging torrent on hot days, and a good camp site for those who do not wish to lug their packs up the remaining treacherous mile. This second half of the hike leaves the creek entirely at a spot most will find unfriendly to those with fears of heights or falling. The trail zigzags, always upwards, through rocky walls littered with forest debris. Careful footing is necessary for safe travel. You'll feel elated when you step up to a mound before Lake Constance, cross the creek that drains the lake, and meander around the shore. Hearty folk might continue up the deep valley north of the lake as far as their abilities allow. Views are best at the lake, and flat ground affording a nap is in abundance. Camping is on north shore in woods.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015