Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels

HARD 45 reviews
#14 of 175 trails in

Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington 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 best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3828 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
4 days ago

I started this hike very late (noon) which gave plenty of time for everything to warm up as you will find reading further. As the very few previous reports stated, snow starts at about 3700ft. After only a few more hundred feet in elevation gain, it becomes steep and deep. I finally made it to the lake after skinning/climbing for a total of about 4.5hrs with multiple change overs.

Thanks to the two people that laid the skintrack that morning otherwise I probably wouldn't have made it as navigating is tough here. The Lake of False Prophet is rapidly melting and will be impassible soon, so you will need to navigate around.

Active slide areas on the slope when you start heading west at about 4600ft towards Mt. Skokomish are big and covered the skin track. Same situation right after the False Prophet going up the chute at 4700ft.

If you're going to attempt this, I suggest advanced navigation skills and ski's/splitboard with skins as well as ice tools. I don't think snowshoes will cut it on the steep slopes.

The night was cool but not too cold, with very little wind. Super clear and made for an awesome sunrise.

Or just wait a few weeks until more snow has melted out :)

backpacking
1 month ago

I've hiked this trail a few times now, my father would take us when we were teenagers, and it was always beautiful, a little rough getting up to the meadows, but absolutely gorgeous once up there. There were lots of goats, wild flowers, and clear blue skies last time I was there. We usually do this as a day trip but it would be a perfect place to camp as well.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

we made it to the top but got lost in the Meadows

3 months ago

We've hiked this twice. Enjoyed it both times. We didn't find it overly difficult to navigate. Might want to reconsider a name change to Lake of the Goats. The goats are a bit possessive about their little bit of land.

6 months ago

Great trail, well maintained. A definite climb. We didn't make it the last pitch because of rain, but will return.

6 months ago

7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

8 months ago

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!

hiking
8 months ago

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!

hiking
9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Beautiful hike! In the summer you can swim in the lake...(very refreshing) challenging but worth it.

10 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

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!

10 months ago

Awesome hike. If your daring its not to hard to make it to the peak directly East of the lake.

hiking
10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

Saw a black bear in the meadow. Scramble was pretty thrilling too. Very rewarding hike.