Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels

HARD 81 reviews
#14 of 155 trails in

Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels is a 6.1 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.

6.1 miles
3,474 feet
Out & Back



nature trips





wild flowers


no dogs

From Hoodsport, 14 miles north on U.S. 101 to Forest Service Road 25. Turn left and drive 12 miles to the Putvin Historical Marker. The trail is on the right side of the road.

1 day ago

Insanely beautiful hike! Did this two days ago. There’s a little snow at the top but most of it has melted so parts of the trail are pretty muddy. But beware...there’s LOTS of mosquitos here currently. My group and I camped up there for the night and we’ve never experienced anything like it. They swarmed us and we got home looking like we all had some crazy skin infection or disease. If the mosquitos weren’t as bad as they were, we could have enjoyed the area a little more! The lake was crystal clear, and the backdrop of the snow-covered peaks was picturesque and stunning. We even saw a family of mountain goats! This trail is very very very steep and involves some scrambling, so it’s more for advanced hikers. Worth it!

1 month ago

This is a strenuous hike and well worth the trip. While there was snow over the lake, it is a beautiful bowl area with soaring peaks. At this time of the year the lake and two smaller ponds feed a creek that heads into a waterfall. Spectacular. Having hiking poles made a big difference as it is quite steep going up and yes, going down. Only 5 other hikers on the trail all day so it is beautiful and quiet. One of the steeper hikes on this side of the Olympics but well worth it. Excellent hike.

1 month ago

It's amazing and worth the sweat:). Great workout so be prepared and pace your selves. Did not make it to the lake to much snow and no markers. I will do it again soon loved it!

6 months ago

Loved this hike. I absolutely plan to go back again and make it an overnight trip. It is steep so do be prepared for a bit of a workout but my biggest was actually over packing with my camera gear and preparing for a classic Olympic Peninsula rain. But it did stay dry and gorgeous the whole trip. There is also the short rock area which I would describe as a basic bouldering section. Not technical just make sure to watch your footing. Also one other thing, i went in early Sept. and the entire hike is was pestered by bees. Not sure if anyone experienced this, and it was not swarms nor did i receive any stings or anything but there always seemed to be one or two always following me. This was during mid day almost since I stayed up at the north end of the park and got a late start to the day. All in all though, the end location was absolutely worth the effort. Gorgeous lake with a mountain back drop. Could even see as far as Mt Rainier at some points of the trail

8 months ago

Very tough but very rewarding. Take Trek Poles for the way down.

9 months ago

Spent a night here. Wonderful hike, beautiful scenery, would do it again in a heartbeat. Come prepared for a good workout...steep, suffered from sore muscles days after and I am an experienced hiker.

9 months ago

I've been on a few steeper trails, but this one is right up there. The payoff vista at the lake is worth it. The headwall section is not very long and looks the worst just at the top. Height helps, but so does the rope someone hung there.

10 months ago

By far the hardest trail I've been on. The headwall scramble was the easiest part of it all. The last 300ft of climbing might as well have been Everest, I was so gassed by that point. Took about 3-4 hours to get to the top. Trekking poles would have been wonderful. The switchbacks climbing from the road intersection a mile up the trail to the headwall are comically short and steep.

10 months ago

Fantastic but fitness is a must.

11 months ago

Much harder than I expected. Be prepared for a very steep climb, but the views will make it all worth it. Even with a bit of smoke in the air from the fires I couldn't imagine better views. Chiming in with everyone else on here the hike is longer than it states above. We measured the length and for us it came out a little over 10 miles. Keep an eye out for mountain goats around the lake at the end. And last of all least go left after the first lake you see, not right.

11 months ago

Amazing hike and the bonus of seeing mountain goats!! Don't go here thinking it's just hard. It's extremely hard. Take plenty of water and food. Trekking poles or staff are a must!! Jump in the lake it's worth it!

11 months ago

BRUTAL! The lake and views (and mountain goats) make everything worth it. The ground was very dry and dusty but the air was super muggy. I would recommend this to everyone but please know what you're getting into!

P.S. The head wall was not hard at all, probably the easiest part of this hike.

11 months ago

The mountain doesn't stop dishing it out. Plan for more than 6 miles everyone we ran into GPS was registering more than 6 miles of total hiking ours was registering 10.

lakes snow free

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This trail was definitely one of the hardest I've ever hiked. The first mile or so on the Putvin trail is a walk in the park compared to the steep climb to come. The scramble was actually pretty fun though, and easy to climb with the rocks and roots to use for support. Still A LOT of snow at the top and around the lake. About ten or so mountain goats were at the top as well. All in all, the views were beautiful and you'll definitely feel a sense of accomplishment when you're finished with this trail! Bring lots of water and high carb snacks to fuel up for trek.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

8 miles roundtrip, 3300 ft elevation gain, roughly 7 hours to complete (including 30 mins of break). Toughest trail I've ever hiked, just when you think it can't get harder it does. Stunning but expect to work for the beauty.

The first 3/4 of the trail is very well marked but gets more difficult once you hit the snow. We had foot tracks to follow but the trail would have been impossible without these.

The two head walls were fine. Once we got over these it took us roughly another hour in snow to get to the lake. The last 500 meters to the lake are steep uphill through slushy snow and made me want to punch someone and cry. Annoyingly there's still a lot of snow around the lake, impeding the scenery significantly.

You definitely want shoes with grip, a couple of different layers of clothing, and a good amount of water. HIKING POLES WOULD HAVE MADE EVERYTHING EASIER! We also saw dogs on this trail (no idea how they made it down the head wall).

4 stars because this was so difficult.

Monday, July 03, 2017

made it to top July 1st. lots of snow still, lake is totally covered. kicked my butt. stayed night at trail y Vista just after 2 rock wall. lost back pack off cliff from Vista fell due south pretty far if found reward. has fryguy name tape on it. appreciate it.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lots of snow the last half mile of the hike. Making it hard to stay the course and find the lake, at least for us. Other than that it was beautiful. We crossed 2 back to back small headwalls on the way up. Possibly a 3rd one to get to the actual lake. I'm not sure, we stopped at the waterfall.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This was the last hike I completed prior to moving from WA to CO last fall. It was a terrific hike. Challenging, but the lake was beautiful and so worth it. There were about 10 other hikers out that day, but I only saw three others at the lake. The head wall will make those afraid of heights a little queazy, but scramble away! It was an amazing morning, and one that I will always think of when I remember my WA years.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Whew! This is a steep hike, especially after you reach the 2mi. to Lake of the Angels. The conditions were good; very few bugs, trail was easy to follow and thoroughly passable. We only went as far as the meadow and didn't get to the headwall, but heard there was still a fair amount of snow toward the top. We will go again later in the summer!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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 :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

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.

Monday, September 12, 2016

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!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

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!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

It's a hard climb but the reward is worth it I recommend a life straw or a water filter of some sort to enjoy the stream water

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

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

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