Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Lilliwaup with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Everyone else’s review is spot on. Lower Lena... no problem (very popular with a lot of chatty Cathy’s, small dogs, and families on the weekend) but Upper Lena is a bit challenging. Steep, trails overgrown with vegetation, often difficult to decipher or find, and random spots with heavy horse flies. I counted 15 downed trees that I either had to climb over, under, or around and I missed a switch back shortly after the lower Lena split and wandered off the trail. There was also another questionable creek crossing that was not clearly depicted. Needless to say I found Upper Lena and it was definitely worth it! Heard a mountain goat bleat in the distance around sunset but never saw one. A lot of deer activity at night near my tent (5 feet away/campsite #9) and mosquitoes were thick! Mosquito/insect repellent is a must!

Great hike, but really technical! I carried up 50 lbs on this hike out and back in a day! From a backpacker perspective, this trail sucks in a lot of ways! The trail up to Lower Lena Lake is pretty cut and dry, but upper Lena Lake is a lot more demanding. There were several downed trees which I either had to take my pack off and crawl under or crawl with the pack on. This was irritating and also low-lying vegetation which obstructs the view of the trail. The bugs were relentless at the top so bring plenty of spray. That being said, it was a beautiful lake and a scenic hike. I hike 2 days a week and just think there are nicer trails to pack weight on! Also, I would not solo this one again!

For the effort involved, this hike boasts nothing special. The viewpoints are mediocre (except at the top, where they’re decent). It possibly gives access to better terrain, but as a hike in and of itself, I wouldn’t recommend it.

The North Fork Skokomish River Trail was my first overnight backpacking trip. We spent 3 days and 2 nights. Our first night was at Home Sweet Home. Getting there the first ten miles are flat and very well maintained. We had lunch at Nine Streams camp. Nine Streams is a wonderfully maintained camp and the last place to camp where you can have an open fire. (in a fire ring, of course.) The next 4-5 miles of trail are straight up. Just after Nine Streams, up the river there is no bridge, but a decent place to rock hop just across the trail on the opposite side. The switch backs in the beginning of this section of the trail remind me of Wagon Wheel trail, located in the same park. There is some meadow crossing, with beautiful flowers and butterflies. Watch the trail in spots. The flora easily covers drops offs on the sides of the trail and completely covers t in spots. There are a couple of blow downs that are easily scrambled over or under. One you can walk around. On the way up we passed Two Bear camp. This camp is a great place for a break and it looked like it had a decent amount of spots with great access to water. Home Sweet Home was gorgeous Located in an expansive valley nestled between mountain peaks. Some snow obstructs the trail, but is easily walked around. There is a toilet and a bear wire. We found one of the bear wires to be tangled in itself and useless. The ranger was notified before we left. Hopefully it is fixed soon. A trail leads down to a creak where there is water access withing a couple hundred paces from camp. The valley this camp is in is very marshy which means mosquito chased us into our tents early. The trek back was similar to the hike up. We stayed at Big Log Camp on night 2. The trail down to the camp is steep. Keep in mind what you climb down you have to climb up! The camp was well maintained. We ran into a couple rangers here providing some of that maintenance. Privy was in good order. Multiple tent camp sites and fire rings. Bear wires were in good repair with a nice log below to stuff a bear canister. Easy water access.

Worth it!!! It is a pretty tough hike! Be prepared. Steep towards the end of the trail turns from physically demanding to mentally. Over all it is worth every drop of sweat. Take swim trunks and enjoy that lake and lay in the sun at the top. Feels amazing and very rewarding. Have fun!

Trail is clear and easy to get to lower Lena which is a good place to camp for a day to 2. Upper Lena trail has fallen trees and is a bit overgrown towards the top but no snow on the trail as of 7/5. Totally worth the view at the top!

Great hike to upper Lena, I did not properly prepare, but it was still a great day! Definitely bring hiking poles.

Also, 15 mike loop. The last 1.5 to Upper Len lake is brutal but worth the payoff!

1 month ago

My second time up this trail, this time with my 10th month baby. Trail is relatively crowded up until Beaver Flats then it starts to thin out. Trail maintenance after that point also goes down.

Amazing trail we did it in January and it was perfect not a lot of snow and cold weather which felt good for hiking

Almost made it to the top. Turned around because of snow and was only wearing running shoes. Lots of downed trees also. Other than those things it was a really nice hike! Get there as early as possible if it’s a weekend, parking lot fills up fast.

Fun trail...didn’t get to upper Lena Lake today since I wasn’t prepared for that much snow. Definitely would be fine to get through with proper footwear. No snow for about 1.5 miles past the lower Lena lookout rock.

I have hiked this trail starting at the Duckabush trail head and linking to this trail then out. Also I have solo hiked this trail and linked to Duckabush and in to Marmot lake, then out on the Dosewallup trail and out.
This is a well maintained trail that starts along side the Skokomish River and meanders past a number of good camps. Camp Pleasent is well named and is large with ez access to water and only 7 miles in. Nine stream camp is 10 miles in and very good as well. At that point the trail climbs steadily. At 11.5 there is a good lunch camp called two Bears and has a small stream flowing directly thru the camp. The trail at 13 miles tops a ridge and you look down into a sub alpine meadow that forms a bowl and is home to a beauty of a place called Home Sweet Home. Here I have seen a Black Bear in the early morning as well as a herd of elk 70 to 80 strong! There is a small copse of trees in the camp that I have pitched my tent in and after a furociuos storm awoke in the morning to a dry tent.Continuing on the trail drops you down to the intersection of the Duckabush trail where you can continue out to the Duck trail head or travel further into the Olympics. For traveling further into the Olympics I recomend the Skokomish trail above the Duck as it has much more to offer.

Me & two friends went Sept 23-26 & had an amazing time!!!! We did a day hike to Milk Lake & enjoyed the hike there very much. While we were there we saw mountain goats on the mountains surrounding the lake. We also saw deer, bears, rabbit, frogs, eagle, osprey & a little snake on this trip. We did a little fishing but the trout are small. There were tons of blueberries all over the place. We ate pounds of them...it helped process all of the dehydrated food! LOL

The hike itself was great...the more intense it gets, the closer you are to the upper lake.

Beautiful. Worth the extra miles from flapjack.

Great trail with beautiful views of mountains, waterfalls and wildlife. Be aware that there are rolling hills for about 8 miles, and then you climb a fairly easy ascent with switchbacks. Worth the trip, but nothing too difficult.

wow! be in shape for this one. amazing views. well worth the hike. bring polls!!

Absolutely stunning scenery! The horse flies were so intense that we couldn't it enjoy much, even with all the bug spray we had on.

fantastic hike beautiful lakes and such great access to the Olympics

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I've done this trail a couple of times and totally love it. Nice and cool in the summer with constant access to the river. Pretty flat up until Nine Stream, but there's snow past there up until July.

Monday, July 17, 2017

16 switchbacks to lower lena

Monday, July 17, 2017

Stayed up here because Flapjack was full. Definitely worth the trek up..incredible views and very peaceful camping. We heard a mama bear had been wandering around the far side of the lake...but we never saw her. Try later in the season once the blueberries are ripe.
One note however, definitely not a single fish in this lake. We saw risers coming up as we approached, but it turned out to be what must have been hundreds of salamanders...bright red and yellow salamanders coming up for air.

We tried to make it to Upper Lena Lake today, but we've never hiked this trail before. We were probably .1 miles or less from it, but lost the trail in the snow. Walked around for a bit trying to find it, but fell through the snow and decided it wasn't worth it. There wasn't another person on the upper trail but tons of people on the lower trail. Didn't see any bugs until we took the Upper trail. No horse flies at all. Lower trail to the main lake is relatively easy going. Upper trail is much more challenging with several blow downs.

had a great hike to upper Lena and milk lake. pretty wet in Nov.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Beautiful River rapids! The trail is a bit crowded within the first mile or so, but it begins to clear up after that. If you plan on doing the whole route, be prepared to cross the river at a fairly dangerous spot (fast moving water and slick rocks). Get there early as parking goes fast.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hiked in late November, trail conditions are still great. Nothing challenging, beautiful up at lower Lena. No snow at Lower Lena, but the snow line starts on the way up to Upper Lena. Road to the trailhead is paved and perfect. Bathrooms are closed up at the lake though~

Too crowded. Plenty of parking,toilet at TH.

Hikers should be aware that dogs are not permitted beyond the National Park boundary. You can take your dog to the lower lake, but not to Upper Lena Lake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The 3 mi trail to the lower lake is wide, well maintained and easy to moderate. I wish people would stop cutting the switchbacks as this wear on the trail detracts from the beauty of it. As you approach the lake you see glimpses of it through the trees. We continued on the main trail which parallels the west side of the lake until we came to the upper lake trail. This trail immediately becomes a single track trail and you notice the increase in elevation. The upper lakes trail is noticeably more difficult but becomes even more so as you approach Upper Lena Lake. Our last hour or so was very challenging especially with our 20-30 lb packs. I can see why many people camp at Lower Lena and do a day hike up. Along the upper trail, you enter the Olympic National Park so dogs are not allowed past that point. Be prepared for lots of vertical hiking. Upon coming to a beautiful alpine leadow you feel a little relief from the challenge only to realize the rest of the hike is the most difficult. We are seasoned mountain hikers and were exhausted upon our arrival to Upper Lena Lake. There are 8 designated wilderness campsites which require a permit and reservations for a stay. It is needless to say, beautiful and secluded. From Upper Lena you can explore Scout Lake and Milk Lake. We found that trail maps for these trail extensions to be non-existent but the trails seem easy to follow. This is a spectacular hike with views at the top of Mt Lena and Mt Rainier.

Ended up doing this as an add on morning hike to the flapjack lakes trail (trail junction at Donahue Creek). Totally worth checking out along with Gladys Divide.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Good day for a hike. The lower lake is not hard to get to and is a great lake. Started making my way to the upper but then my knee started to be crappy. For the section I did make my way up was very nice and peaceful. And a thanks to the WTA who were heading up to do some trail maintenance.

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