Lena Lake Trail to Upper Lena Lake Trail

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Olympic National Park

Lena Lake Trail to Upper Lena Lake Trail is a 12.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.

Distance: 12.8 miles Elevation Gain: 4,609 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

The 3 mi trail to the lower lake is wide, well maintained and easy to moderate. As you approach the lake you see glimpses of it through the trees. Continue on the main trail which parallels the west side of the lake until you come to the upper lake trail. This trail immediately becomes a single track trail and you notice the increase in elevation. The upper lakes trail is noticeably more difficult but becomes even more so as you approach Upper Lena Lake. The last hour or so was very challenging especially with packs. Many people camp at Lower Lena and do a day hike up. Along the upper trail, you enter the Olympic National Park so dogs are not allowed past that point. Be prepared for lots of vertical hiking. Upon coming to a beautiful alpine meadow you feel a little relief from the challenge only to realize the rest of the hike is the most difficult. There are 8 designated wilderness campsites which require a permit and reservations for a stay. It is needless to say, beautiful and secluded. From Upper Lena you can explore Scout Lake and Milk Lake. This is a spectacular hike with views at the top of Mt Lena and Mt Rainier.

hiking
7 days ago

Very pretty trail. You need some waterproof boots as water is sometimes rushing down the trail. I had to turn back at 5.2 miles where there was a strong and deep stream I could not cross. Very busy to go to Lena lake but I did not see anybody afterwards.

blowdown
flooded
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
snow
13 days ago

attempted the upper tail yesterday 5/16 lower lena lake is easy but do not underestimate the upper trail. 0 maintenance so far this year. The trail becomes sketchy really quickly especially in the rain. Trees and rocks everywhere. We made it .07 miles from the top and lost the trail due to snow and had to turn back. Heavily trafficked even for dumping rain.

hiking
muddy
over grown
22 days ago

I went to Lower Lena Lake on May 9 and attempted the hike to Upper Lena Lake. The trail from Lower Lena to Upper is in pretty bad condition. Lots of downed trees, branches, and mud on the trail. I ended up turning around and spending the night at lower Lena lake. I'm sure the hike to Upper is still very possible but won't be a great hike since the trail is in bad shape.

hiking
rocky
snow
5 months ago

Couldn’t find the upper lake due to Snow Great Day

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Nice hike for a family to go to Lower Lena lake and camp. I would say only experienced hikers should head up to the upper Trail. Definitely make it a two day deal and wait until spring time to do it. Very icy trail in some spots borderline dangerous. Beautiful hike. Not many people.

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

Tough trail but lots of fun!

Just keep telling Yourself the Reward is worth the hard work. After the fun little root climb to the top of the rock take a break because the last mile is very difficult but take it slow and You will be happy You did...

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

Such an incredible hike!! This was honestly one of the hardest I’ve done, mostly in terms of navigating the conditions as we had to cross through a NARROW trail consisting of water, mud, fallen trees, dense brush, roots and rocks. Props to the pros who can actually manage to haul backpacks to upper Lena because I can’t imagine climbing and ducking the fallen trees let alone scrambling up some of the steeper areas near the top with rocky/wet ground. We backpacked to lower Lena where we set up base camp and then made upper a day trip which took a total of about 6 hours including lunch at the top. Be careful of BEES toward to the top of the trail, could hear a lot of them buzzing and two circled my head and kept landing on my arms/headband for a good 30 minutes I couldn’t lose them there must be a hive nearby. I took pine needles and rubbed some on me which seemed to help deter them! Overall beautiful experience the top is surreal and so peaceful, almost like a secret piece of wilderness to enjoy. Side note it was fun to be able to have a campfire at lower Lena! Lake was warm enough to swim in. We heard howling last night which was really cool (wolves??). Will definitely be back! PLEASE leash your dogs!! :)

hiking
blowdown
rocky
9 months ago

Scenery was fantastic, the wildflowers were best in the morning and mountain Views were best in the afternoon when the marine layer cleared. A few trees down that you had to crawl under but overall the trail was in great condition. Beware of the distance, I was expecting a 13+ mile round trip from the trailhead but clocked over 17 miles (via the Lower Lena Lake campground loop). Two other parties experienced the same with their GPS indicating the distance was greater than the maps show.

What a great hike! We did the day hike to the lower lake. It’s a bit challenging at times but well worth it!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
9 months ago

Awesome hike in the summer! The first three miles to Lower Lena Lake are just a warm up. The trail to Upper Lena Lake is much less traveled and there are many more technical sections, stream crossings, downed large trees and steep sections. The last mile is fairly challenging because it is very steep and has lots of loose rock on hard packed trail. I’m not sure where the posted mileage comes from. It is 3 miles to Lower Lena Lake, but my GPS ticked the 8 mile mark when I arrived at my lunch spot at Upper Lena Lake. The total out and back mileage for the day was 16 miles. Granted, I did a little exploring around the lakes, but even if I had gone straight to Upper Lena Lake and back down it would have been 15+ miles. Looks like a great place to spend the night. I opted for a day hike and the 16 miles took me 6:15. I am in pretty good shape and was carrying a 28 pound pack to condition myself for an upcoming backpacking trip. The views near the top and at the lake are well worth the effort to get there!

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