Lena Lake/The Brothers Trail - Hiking

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Summary

A tranquil alpine lake coupled with a densely green old growth forest, Lena Lake is an appealing hike for those looking for a splendid swimming hole or a chance to camp and trek further into the surrounding Olympic valleys.

Written by

Marc Fryt

Distance

7.2 miles

Distance to Lower Lena Lake campground is 3.2 miles, the junction with Upper Lena Lake is just before that, and the junction with the Brothers Trail is at 3.6 miles. Most of the areas to either camp or enjoy the lake are on the west and north end.

Destination Distance From Downtown

38.3 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

The trail to Lower Lena Lake is an appropriate trail for those looking for an enjoyable and pleasant weekend hike. Beyond Lower Lena Lake, hikers can add more to their trek by continuing west to Upper Lena Lake or explore the Valley of the Silent Men, along the Brothers Trail, to the northeast.

Time To Complete

6 hours

Most of your time on the trail will be spent on the switchbacks making elevation from the trailhead. Be sure to set aside a couple hours to enjoy Lena Lake, and on a sizzling day a dip in the lake is a sublime experience.

Seasonality

All Seasons

Although Lena Lake can be reached year-round, depending on road and snow conditions, it is a fantastic destination for summer camping and alpine lake swimming.

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

Yes

Overnight visitors will need a Park Wilderness permit which can be purchased at the trailhead.

Review

Intro

Excellent for either a quick day hike with an afternoon swim or a weekend camping trip, Lena Lake offers a variety activities for both the two- and four-legged alike. The Lena Lake Trail is well maintained and does not exceed anything more than a moderate grade, which makes it ideal for families, trail runners, and those looking to trek further out into the surrounding valleys and Olympic Mountains.

What Makes It Great

Lena Lake, a naturally formed alpine lake created by a rockslide some 1,300 years ago, provides a retreat into the Olympic National Forest and acts as a springboard for other ventures such as climbing The Brothers, trekking to Upper Lena Lake, or indulging in photographing the Valley of the Silent Men. The trail up to Lena Lake is wide and of moderate grade with plenty of switchbacks to make the journey easier and more enjoyable. Once at the lake there are campsites nestled in the old growth forest against the lake but these sites can fill up quickly on a sunny summer weekend. Delighting in a well deserved dip is a fantastic way to enjoy the lake on a more heated afternoon.

Beyond Lena Lake, there is the option to trek west along trail #811 to Upper Lena Lake which is settled another four miles away. Dogs are not permitted at Upper Lena Lake as it is part of the Olympic National Park. More solitary camping and views of Mt Lena can be found at this lake but be sure to obtain your permits through the Olympic National Park service.

Another stunning day trek beyond Lena Lake is through the Valley of the Silent Men along The Brothers trail, trail #821. The trail is less maintained but is teeming with captivating sights of emerald waterfalls and creeks embraced by carpets of velvety moss and a dense canopy of vibrantly green conifers. Continuing on this trail ends at the climber's camp for The Brothers for those looking to scramble to its summit.

Who is Going to Love It

Anyone looking for an ideal summer weekend camping trip with family and friends, with a chance to cool off in an alpine lake, will savor Lena Lake. The additional trails beyond the lake also provide a gateway for those seeking more solitude or the chance to spend a day photographing the beauty of the surrounding valleys.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Seattle, you can utilize either I-5 South or Highway 16, 302, and 106 to reach Highway 101 North. From 101 North continue past the towns of Hamma Hamma and Eldon, which provide opportunities for great post-hike hamburgers or clams and oysters, and turn left onto North Hamma Hamma Road NF-25. The road is all paved and there a couple of forks in the road but the signs will guide you to the Lena Lake trail head. Roughly seven and a half miles later you will arrive at the parking area, and at this spot there is the option to set up camp at one of the designated sites across the road from the trail head.

Location

Lena Lake/Brothers Trail

47.5997, -123.1512

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