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Silver Lake Way Trail

MODERATE 67 reviews
#26 of 173 trails in

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
snow
1 month 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
1 month 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
3 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
4 months ago

hiking
5 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 leans toward a difficult moderate for sure.

hiking
bugs
rocky
5 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
5 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 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
6 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
8 months ago

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
9 months ago

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!

Wed Sep 19 2018

One of the most beautiful, peaceful hikes I've been on in awhile . Fall colors were amazing. Trailhead can be a little tricky to find, small sign. Trailhead does split off in a few areas but easy to figure out. The lake was beautiful, but extremely cold for September! Past two people the whole hike.

hiking
Sat Sep 01 2018

Spent hours looking for trailhead... couldn't find it so turned around and went home. Sad day.

hiking
Sat Aug 25 2018

Rain cleared out most of the smoke, but made the trail pretty slick, so watch your footing, especially on steeper parts of the trail. Parts of the trail (mostly during the first half mile) are overgrown and you'll have to fight your way through some brambles, but it was doable! There was plenty of parking at the trailhead and the trail itself is relatively well-maintained, but I'd definitely recommend downloading the offline map. There were a couple of unmarked forks on the trail that we had to double check. All in all, a great hike to a beautiful lake with plenty of spots for camping. There weren't a ton of bugs and we only met a handful of people on the trail. It did get a bit chilly when we stopped for lunch at the lake though, so definitely bring a warm rain jacket!

hiking
Sat Aug 25 2018

Because of the smoke or fog we didn see a lake, but star minus is for long way to get to the parking lot and the trail wasnt so well maintened, plenty of greens. But I believe that hike is good for hikers with dogs.

hiking
Mon Jul 23 2018

Absolutely beautiful.

Sun May 27 2018

Absolutely beautiful trail. Still lots of snow at the top and the lake is still frozen. There was fog at the top too but I could tell if there wasn't there would have been beautiful views. Thankfully I read the prior reviews because I missed the turn on the way down due to snow and started heading up the mountain and realized I missed it. The creek runs along the trail the whole way to help guide you up and down.

hiking
Sun May 27 2018

I did this hike on 5/26/18 with the vague description from the website and thank goodness the trailhead was in my google maps before turning off the 101 because once you start going offroad, getting to Silver Lake is not marked at all (the 'Getting There" description is helpful if you ever reach a cross road you are unsure about but save it ahead of time because you probably will not have service when you want to reference it). It's pretty easy to see the trail, it's the only one there at the end. The trail was beautiful for the first 2 miles but once we crossed the river a second time we started hitting snow. Luckily we ran into two other hikers doing a loop and were pointed in the correct direction to get to Silver Lake or we would have missed the intersection between Silver Lake and Mt Townsend completely. As a note, when we went there were pink ribbons tied to the tree and that was helpful coming back down to know where to get off the trail. We walked for about a half mile on snow and then transitioned to the trail when we crossed the water again. The next section was dry until we got to the lake which was completely frozen. Luckily it was clear when we first got there but the clouds rolled in and it got foggy. It was a great hike and I would recommend! Definitely look out for the trees with notches in them, that helped us a couple times when we weren't sure where the trail was but it would be helpful to have them in more places.

hiking
Tue Jul 11 2017

Amazing views! The trail is kept up pretty well. The first few miles is mainly steep incline with a few flat spots. Plenty of nice area to stop and rest if need be. We took 2 dogs with us and they loved it. The trees have notches in them to mark the trail, but other than that there are no signs. About 5 miles in you come to a T in the trail along the creek. Keep right to go to Silver Lakes, or take a left to head up Mt Townsend. When heading back down the trail, it's very easy to miss this turn. You will know you missed it because you will start climbing up Mt Townsend.

backpacking
Sat Jun 24 2017

We climbed the back side of Mount Townsend from the little Quilcene river trail head and took the trail to silver lakes from there. Great views at Townsend. The lake was gorgeous, still mostly frozen. Lots of snow on the trail still. Be wary of trail conditions. Worth the scramble over the snow.

hiking
Wed Aug 17 2016

We ended up on this trail when we couldn't find another one; the trailhead is marked 300. The first 2 miles or so are pretty steep, but it evens out as you top the ridge line. The lake is beautiful and worth the climb. There are some spots to camp by the lake, and I think the trail continues past the lake, but we turned around there. Round trip was approx 11 miles. We went in mid August, and most of the trail is well shaded.

backpacking
Thu Jul 28 2016

Beautiful views of the ridgelines, once you're at a higher elevation. Lake is so clear, the water is nearly see through. Took my (then 7 year old) daughter on this hike and she conquered it!

backpacking
Mon Jul 11 2016

My brother and I just completed the hike to Silverlakes. The trail was steep and clearly marked well worn and well-traveled. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get to Silverlakes from the parking lot. This is a good hike for someone who is looking for a single night of camping in the Olympics. The views are absolutely breathtaking

hiking
Sat Apr 11 2015

Hiked this trail on 3/5/2015. It was a beautiful hike with amazing views of the peninsula. We started from the Mt. Townsend trail head just before 0900 and hit the junction to Silver Lake at 1100. Parts of the trail had traces of snow and some ice. We headed to Silver Lake about 1115, trekking through a couple inches of snow up to the peak. Once we started down the trail over the peak to reach Silver Lakes, there was ~6" of snow on trail, but not too difficult to follow. We reached the lake a little before 1300. We stopped often to take in the beautiful views. The lake was frozen over with a few inches of snow on it. We headed back around 1345 and returned to the trail head just before 1600. I highly recommend this hike. Take the time to stop along the trail and take lots of pictures.

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