Lena Lake Trail to Upper Lena Lake Trail is a 12 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
12.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,570 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

backpacking
2 months ago

Everyone else’s review is spot on. Lower Lena... no problem (very popular with a lot of chatty Cathy’s, small dogs, and families on the weekend) but Upper Lena is a bit challenging. Steep, trails overgrown with vegetation, often difficult to decipher or find, and random spots with heavy horse flies. I counted 15 downed trees that I either had to climb over, under, or around and I missed a switch back shortly after the lower Lena split and wandered off the trail. There was also another questionable creek crossing that was not clearly depicted. Needless to say I found Upper Lena and it was definitely worth it! Heard a mountain goat bleat in the distance around sunset but never saw one. A lot of deer activity at night near my tent (5 feet away/campsite #9) and mosquitoes were thick! Mosquito/insect repellent is a must!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, but really technical! I carried up 50 lbs on this hike out and back in a day! From a backpacker perspective, this trail sucks in a lot of ways! The trail up to Lower Lena Lake is pretty cut and dry, but upper Lena Lake is a lot more demanding. There were several downed trees which I either had to take my pack off and crawl under or crawl with the pack on. This was irritating and also low-lying vegetation which obstructs the view of the trail. The bugs were relentless at the top so bring plenty of spray. That being said, it was a beautiful lake and a scenic hike. I hike 2 days a week and just think there are nicer trails to pack weight on! Also, I would not solo this one again!

3 months ago

Worth it!!! It is a pretty tough hike! Be prepared. Steep towards the end of the trail turns from physically demanding to mentally. Over all it is worth every drop of sweat. Take swim trunks and enjoy that lake and lay in the sun at the top. Feels amazing and very rewarding. Have fun!

hiking
3 months ago

Trail is clear and easy to get to lower Lena which is a good place to camp for a day to 2. Upper Lena trail has fallen trees and is a bit overgrown towards the top but no snow on the trail as of 7/5. Totally worth the view at the top!

3 months ago

Great hike to upper Lena, I did not properly prepare, but it was still a great day! Definitely bring hiking poles.

Also, 15 mike loop. The last 1.5 to Upper Len lake is brutal but worth the payoff!

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing trail we did it in January and it was perfect not a lot of snow and cold weather which felt good for hiking

4 months ago

Almost made it to the top. Turned around because of snow and was only wearing running shoes. Lots of downed trees also. Other than those things it was a really nice hike! Get there as early as possible if it’s a weekend, parking lot fills up fast.

6 months ago

Fun trail...didn’t get to upper Lena Lake today since I wasn’t prepared for that much snow. Definitely would be fine to get through with proper footwear. No snow for about 1.5 miles past the lower Lena lookout rock.

backpacking
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Me & two friends went Sept 23-26 & had an amazing time!!!! We did a day hike to Milk Lake & enjoyed the hike there very much. While we were there we saw mountain goats on the mountains surrounding the lake. We also saw deer, bears, rabbit, frogs, eagle, osprey & a little snake on this trip. We did a little fishing but the trout are small. There were tons of blueberries all over the place. We ate pounds of them...it helped process all of the dehydrated food! LOL

The hike itself was great...the more intense it gets, the closer you are to the upper lake.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

wow! be in shape for this one. amazing views. well worth the hike. bring polls!!

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Absolutely stunning scenery! The horse flies were so intense that we couldn't it enjoy much, even with all the bug spray we had on.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

fantastic hike beautiful lakes and such great access to the Olympics

backpacking
Monday, July 17, 2017

16 switchbacks to lower lena

hiking
Saturday, June 24, 2017

We tried to make it to Upper Lena Lake today, but we've never hiked this trail before. We were probably .1 miles or less from it, but lost the trail in the snow. Walked around for a bit trying to find it, but fell through the snow and decided it wasn't worth it. There wasn't another person on the upper trail but tons of people on the lower trail. Didn't see any bugs until we took the Upper trail. No horse flies at all. Lower trail to the main lake is relatively easy going. Upper trail is much more challenging with several blow downs.

Monday, June 19, 2017

had a great hike to upper Lena and milk lake. pretty wet in Nov.

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hiked in late November, trail conditions are still great. Nothing challenging, beautiful up at lower Lena. No snow at Lower Lena, but the snow line starts on the way up to Upper Lena. Road to the trailhead is paved and perfect. Bathrooms are closed up at the lake though~

hiking
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Too crowded. Plenty of parking,toilet at TH.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hikers should be aware that dogs are not permitted beyond the National Park boundary. You can take your dog to the lower lake, but not to Upper Lena Lake.

backpacking
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The 3 mi trail to the lower lake is wide, well maintained and easy to moderate. I wish people would stop cutting the switchbacks as this wear on the trail detracts from the beauty of it. As you approach the lake you see glimpses of it through the trees. We continued on the main trail which parallels the west side of the lake until we came 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. Our last hour or so was very challenging especially with our 20-30 lb packs. I can see why 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 leadow you feel a little relief from the challenge only to realize the rest of the hike is the most difficult. We are seasoned mountain hikers and were exhausted upon our arrival to Upper Lena Lake. 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. We found that trail maps for these trail extensions to be non-existent but the trails seem easy to follow. This is a spectacular hike with views at the top of Mt Lena and Mt Rainier.

hiking
Monday, July 18, 2016

Good day for a hike. The lower lake is not hard to get to and is a great lake. Started making my way to the upper but then my knee started to be crappy. For the section I did make my way up was very nice and peaceful. And a thanks to the WTA who were heading up to do some trail maintenance.

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The hike was great and the lake was beautiful

hiking
Friday, July 15, 2016

This is a hike, not a walk. The lower lake is doable for younger kids, ( lots of switch backs) but to reach the upper lake, it's a lot tougher. Leashed dogs are welcome. You can hike in and out in a day, or hike in and camp. Both lakes are beautiful, but the upper lake is the best.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The lower lake is very accessible and the upper lake is incredible, though a climb.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gorgeous hike, we went mid July 2016 and the trail was very well maintained. Moderately trafficked, nice camp grounds at the lower Lake and very peaceful setting.

hiking
Sunday, June 19, 2016

Very nice hike. The lake at the end was worth it!!!

hiking
Sunday, June 05, 2016

gorgeous hike

hiking
Monday, April 11, 2016

Easy hike. Good for early conditioning. Busy trail but people were friendly. Beautiful lake even on an overcast day.

hiking
Friday, April 01, 2016

It was an amazing trip and I'd recommend going of trail a little To the waterfall and getting down to the lake

hiking
Monday, March 14, 2016

This was a wonderful hike , we didn't make it to the lake just the first bridge. We hit about a foot of snow covering the trails and coming down fast and hard. Would do this one again in the spring when the snow lets up. A bit fought due to the weather. Wear rain waterproof boots because you cross several small creeks and water is running across the trails. Warm gloves with an extra pair would be recommended as well.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beautiful snow hike.

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