Lena Lakes – 14.6mi / 23.5km
A lake created by a landslide and another lake perched high up in a stunning landscape make for an extremely rewarding day. The hike up through the forest to Lower Lena Lake offers a mellow grade due to a generous amount of switchbacks. Views are scarce, but the forest is beautiful.
You arrive at the lake where a perch on Picnic Rock gives you a view of the natural dam, created by a landslide, locking in the lake. Continue through the campground for shoreline access. Beyond the campground, stay left at the junction and follow Lena Creek upstream.
The trail trades its easy-to-moderate grade for a strenuous one with brief respites as it climbs up, officially entering into Olympic National Park. Vantages open up with some frequency as you climb, giving you views of the rugged ridges and lovely hillsides. Mt. Rainier can be seen in the distance on a clear day.
Once you drop into the basin containing Upper Lena Lake, towering Mt. Lena reflects in the gorgeous waters. There are many places to relax along the shores of the lake before heading back down.
For those looking for some extra, a 0.6mi/1km trail leads up to Milk Lake, a glacial lake tucked beneath the rocky Mt. Bretherton.
Trailhead: From Hwy 101, just north of Eldon, turn onto the Hamma Hamma Road and follow it 7.6 miles to the trailhead.
Elevation Gain: 4,700ft / 1,410m – Elevation Loss: 4,700ft / 1,410m