Putvin Trail to Lake of the Angels

HARD 121 reviews
#18 of 165 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.

Distance: 6.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,474 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice hike, stunning view in the end! Not for beginners.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

It’s definitely a hard trail. Take plenty of water, wear the right gear and you will set! It’s up hill so be prepared! We took frequent stops, but it was enjoyable.

hiking
muddy
scramble
snow
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked 6/13/19. Only a little bit of snow the last quarter mile. Super steep trail most of the way but worth it. My gps clocked it at 8.25 miles total. Only saw a few other hikers. Great hike if you’re looking for a challenge and solitude.

hiking
muddy
scramble
snow
12 days ago

hiking
muddy
off trail
scramble
snow
16 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

Awesome hike! Really wish there less clouds out; around every corner there were great views. There are a couple pretty "use caution" scrambles. Once you get to the lake of lost prophet, there's a bunch of mud. Snow is a non-issue, just follow the foot kicks. I lost my favorite sunglasses; black raybans. If you by chance found them please email drew.molloy@live.com

muddy
snow
22 days ago

This hike was so awesome! great views the whole way up. Definitely one of the more difficult day hikes I've ever done. alot of snow towards the top, I found myself off the trail when it started to get snowy. I did this hike on 6/1/19

loved it. hiked it with my then 10 yo and 16 yo. they rocked it! beautiful views. its was nice and sunny at the start and then a snowing at the top...pretty cool. we layered up and down like 3 times lol.

rocky
scramble
snow
26 days ago

such an interesting trail with views almost all the way up. The lake has an open, high altitude feel with views of huge Rock buttresses a nearby peaks. The trail is not really maintain it as more of a scramble in many places. as of May 26th 2018 the last three quarters of a mile is deep snow. Also I found a tooth guard and retainer along the trail. If you or someone you know lost it please contact me at 360-941-3094

backpacking
off trail
scramble
snow
2 months ago

Summarizing Quotes: "Holy $#!? This Is Awesome!!" "One of the best overnight snow hikes ever!" Recommended Gear: Trekking Poles Ice-Axe GPS & Topographic Map Extra stove fuel (to melt/boil snow) Standard winter clothing/equipment Snow shoes * A gourmet meal (i.e. pre-prepped panang curry and pineapple fried rice) ** Old blow-up sleeping pad *** * Our party was able to make it to Lake of the Angels without snowshoes.  ** Always a morale booster *** These are great for zooming down snowfields!  ------ This hike is not for the faint at heart.  Navigation is difficult and route finding skills are absolutely necessary. Hiking though soft and unstable snowfields can be dangerous. There are cornices aplenty and evidence of recent avalanche activity on nearly every south facing slope above 4,500 feet. If you decide to hike to Lake of the Angels in the next couple weeks, travel safely and know your limits. ____________________ The road between Lena Lake Trailhead and Putvin Trailhead was fairly clear. 6-8 inches snow was encountered about 3/4 of a mile from the Putvin Trailhead. Our attempt at driving through the snow in my Subaru Outback was unsuccessful so we started the hike at this point.  See previous trail reports for pics of the roadway and Putvin Trailhead sign. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this trail, it's steep. The first 2 miles were almost entirely clear of snow and the trail had only a few downed trees crossing it (easily navigable). At about 3,500 - 3,600 feet we began to encounter snow. By the time we reached the Whitehorse Creek Camp basin there was at least 3+ feet of snow covering the ground in the areas that were not protected by trees.  Trekking through this basin was not particularly difficult as we were using both GPS and topographic maps. The 'headwall' (as some people have referenced in other trail notes) was clear of snow making the scramble far safer than I expected. Above the headwall the trail is impossible to follow. This is where the hike becomes a  "choose your own adventure".  By this time the snow had softened significantly and we were post-holing up to our groins with every 3rd or 4th step. I doubt that snowshoes would have made travel any faster because of the pitch of the terrain and the condition/quality of the snow. At any rate travel was slow and exhausting so our party decided to make camp about 2/3 of a mile from the lake.  There is a scenic spot just before the ascent to the Pond of the False Prophet that we camped in (~4,300 ft elevation). After a relatively cold night the snow solidified and the surface crust offered good, tractionable surface. The crust was able to support our weight so we decided to make a morning trek to the Lake of the Angels. After about 20 minutes of hiking, route-finding, and cutting footholds with ice axes we made it to the lake's basin.   Words/pictures cannot convey how incredibly beautiful this place is; you'll simply have to go see for yourself. The hike out was uneventful but we did discover two abandoned backpacks, one of which contained an iphone and another contained a multiple water bottles with a name of Ben Able(y?) written on one.  While hiking from the Putvin trailhead back to my car we noted that the snow covering the roadway had melted out quite a bit. I expect that the roadway should be almost completely free of snow in the next 1-2 weeks.  see WTA for pictures/report

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Hiked 2/2/19. Really steep and grueling hike but with some amazing views along the way. Like someone else said, it was impossible to finish the hike. After the “no stoves” sign, we only made it about 1/4 mile until we were waist deep in snow with a snowstorm beginning. We couldn’t find the trail at that point. Can’t wait to try again in the summer.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a hard hike but also really pretty. There was too much snow after the no stoves point so we couldn’t finish the trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty steep hike near the end, but a super fun one to do right now (mid-end of October) to see the lake frozen over and the glistening frost!

hiking
7 months ago

the roots and rope climbing sections here are definitely a highlight

camping
9 months ago

Exhausting, but we'll worth it. Distance seems to be debatable, feels like way more than 6 miles. Streams on the way up to cool off and refill water. The lake is amazing, goats all around and snow packs near by. highly recommend!

10 months ago

Absolutely worth the grueling and challenging hike. Spent 1 night up at the lake and although my body is still dying, I'm already planning a second trip! Definitely not for the lighthearted!

10 months ago

Hiked this one week ago with my two kids. Putvin trail is maintained and beautiful. Highly recommend. But, the lake of the angels trail is not well maintained and I would NOT recommend for children under 16! Loose dirt, steep, and at times dangerous. We finally had to turn around about 1/2 mile from the lake because it was too dangerous for my 12 year old. One slip on steep, loose dirt and he could have fallen off the side of the mountain. Lake of the angels made Mt. Ellinor(we just hiked it a couple weeks ago) seem easy! Hope this helps!!

hiking
10 months ago

This hike has been on my list for a very long time. I can finally check that box! What a beautiful hike. It did, however, meet and exceed previous trip reports on how hard it is. It is very demanding. Steep in parts, steeper still in other parts. I encourage you, if you are setting out on this adventure, to remember to stop and take in the scenery. It is endless beauty from the start to the unbelievably gorgeous lake at the end. If you are thinking of trying this hike/climb be aware there are a couple of kinda dangerous parts aside from the rest of the trail. One is scrambling up rocks and roots, and the other has a fixed rope up a rocky section that is a big help. They both have minimal exposure, and are pretty easy to climb up, just be cautious. The trail is in great shape, and easy to follow. The lake...I’ve looked at so many pictures of this, and my breath was taken away by how beautiful it was in person. My breath was also taken away when I jumped in for a dip! You gotta do it, it is like jumping into an ice cube I think. There was a family of around 6 goats hanging out up there which was pretty cool. Mountains soaring on every side, beautiful sound of the wilderness to accompany you for lunch. It truly is my idea of heaven.

hiking
11 months ago

This hike will absolutely kick your butt and then some. You have to really earn that stunning view at the top - but what a view. After all that climbing and scraping once you reach the lake - the feeling is surreal. But yes this hike is not for beginners. The trail is steep from the outset and gets steeper as you go along. There is very little respite on this hike, you are pretty much going up all the way through. The trail is also narrow most of the way so you have to be careful on some portions. But it’s a gorgeous hike and I would absolutely to this all over again. The view of the lake enclosed by the beautiful valley was something else. And there was a family of mountain goats too to add to the beauty :)

hiking
11 months 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!

hiking
Wednesday, June 06, 2018

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.

hiking
Tuesday, June 05, 2018

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!

hiking
Tuesday, January 02, 2018

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

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

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

Monday, October 02, 2017

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.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

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.

hiking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

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.

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fantastic but fitness is a must.

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