Silver Lake Way Trail

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Olympic National Park

Silver Lake Way Trail is a 6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Quilcene, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,709 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Silver Creek Trailhead is the start of the hike. The first mile or so alternates flat meadows with moderate inclines. The second mile or so consists of moderate incline with very uneven terrain and narrow trail. The third mile or so consists of steep inclines. There is one semi confusing fork in the trail where you come across two trees one says “No” and the other says “God’s Men”, go towards “God’s Men” and then keep right.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 day ago

I usually do this trail via Townsend, but did the Way Trail yesterday full pack for conditioning. My mileage was more than 6 miles. I thought this trail was on the harder side of moderate around the 1 1/2 mile mark then wasn't too bad. Trail is in good condition, turn right at the T that isn't really marked...remember it for way back. I used micro spikes for about 1/2 mi. toward the end, but they weren't a must... just helped. Pretty rocky and rooty in parts. Lake is mostly iced over still. but thin layer will thaw soon. Warning... on my way out there was an older man hiking toward me completely naked.. just shoes and a pack on... creeper!!

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
6 days ago

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
washed out
12 days ago

This was probably the worst experience I’ve had on a hike. Mostly due to my ability’s. But, know before you go, more then half of the trail is in snow or snow/mud. The last mile or more (idk I didn’t make it to the lake before deciding to turn around) is either knee deep snow or compacted and slippery. If you look at my recording you’ll see I went all over the place, that is due to my ability to ascertain a discernible trail in the snow pack. This lead me to being off trail for so long I had to give up in order to ensure I got back to my car before dark. I will try this trail again when there is hopefully less snow.

icy
snow
19 days ago

I had a full pack on as a workout but didn't stay over night. However people were able to camp at the lake on top of the snow. The trail conditions can be split into thirds. The first third of the trail is pretty much clear of ice and snow, a little muddy in small parts but it's great. The second third has portions of snow and ice. The last third is completely snow and thick in many areas, with only a small portion or two of dirt. We had a rough time at the last third, but do-able if you really want to see the lake. I would recommend some type of spiked shoes, something that can handle slippery surfaces. The lake is almost completely frozen over but it appears to be thawing gradually.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

We went on 12/14/19 and the trail was snow covered the majority of the way. About an inch at the trailhead and almost a foot at the lake. We didn’t have any trouble and only used micro spikes. Snow made the trail difficult to follow at times. Highly recommend having gps. Road has snow on it but was able to make it in FWD car without any trouble. Trailhead isn’t marked and there is only room for a few cars. We didn’t see anyone else the whole day though!

hiking
5 months ago

This was a beautiful trail. Steady incline for last mile or so with some very rocky and steep sections. First two thirds of the trail offers you some flat ground so enjoy it while you can. Beautiful frozen lake makes the trek very much worth it.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Easier end of moderate for experienced hikers. I took someone who hadn’t been out in about a decade. One small climb at the trail head, and one big climb about 2 miles in but other than that it’s a pretty manageable grade. Watch your step on rocks and roots sticking out. The view at the lake once you reach it is worth the trek.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiked 8/25/19 ***Started from Upper Townsend Trail. Trail gets down to business right away, after the turn off about a 1/4 mile past Camp Windy it's fairly flat until the saddle. Then headed down down down in basin, then back up to Silver Lake. Small beautiful lake... it was emerald green that day. Some nice campsites along the lake. I made the side trip to Lower Silver Lake.... it was a way trail that was very steep. Then hiked back the same way I came in from. logged over 11 miles, I'd say this route to Silver Lakes leans toward a difficult moderate, NOTE: this is different than the route to Silver Lakes than listed as Way Trail...There isn't a Silver Lake from Townsend Trail in Alltrails to write review.

hiking
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

Really amazing hike with amazing views! A couple of uphill areas but mostly flat. It’s about 5.5 miles to the lake. There is one semi confusing fork in the trail where you come across two trees one says “No” and the other says “God’s Men”, go towards “God’s Men” and then keep right. We camped at the lake and had an amazing time! Happy hiking!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

This is an intense hike that leans more toward difficult than moderate. The first mile alternates flat meadows with moderate inclines. The second mile consists of moderate incline with very uneven terrain and narrow trail. The third mile consists of -very- steep inclines (scrambles) and switchbacks. You are essentially hiking straight up for three miles. I thought the hike to the lake was bad; the way back is almost worse. You have to watch every single step as a slick root or wet rock could land you flat on your back, or worse, down the side of the mountain. Trekking poles are highly recommended, pay attention to every step every time! The lake is very serene and a great place for peace and relaxation. There weren’t too many great views due to thick fog. You can access the trailhead using just about any car so long as you go slow and be mindful of the shear drop off.

hiking
11 months ago

As a chubby old dude I would put this towards the difficult end of a 'moderate' rating. The first section of the trail is quite overgrown with a lot of Devil's Club (Oplopanax horridus) so long pants will do you good. You have to get through a bit of a muddy area before you start to gain elevation. This was a slow hike for us- it was rocky at parts and about 2 miles in you will encounter a steep grade that boarders on being a 'scramble'.At the top you will find a wonderful lake framed by mountains with some snow still present in July. This was a good place to have a sandwich. Your dog would probably like this trail, but don't be the asshole who lets them off leash! Also there was a mama-bear and cub spotted on the ridge opposite the trail- so keep an eye open!

hiking
snow
Fri May 24 2019

great dog on leash trail. May 24th there was still a significant amount of snow above 5000ft. Lake was 90% frozen over beautiful views. The majority of the trail is moderate with a few hard spots. Great small waterfalls too.

hiking
Sat Apr 20 2019

Trail was in good condition little Icy on 110219 probably the last week to hik this till it snows up there the lake was frozen it was pretty cool the first hill is ok the 2nd hill is a little rough and this hike is 8 miles not 6 thought it was gonna take 3 hours ended up taking five and we missed a baby shower so plan accordingly! Worth the view though

Sun Nov 25 2018

Would love to do this trail, but spent two hours unable to find. Followed the road up to FS27 to FS260 as directed, road does not end. Only found trailheads to mt Townsend

hiking
Sun Oct 07 2018

Beautiful hike and views!

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