Old trail sign for Lena Lakes tacked on a tree
Here’s another new trail for us, Lower Lena Lake in the Olympics. The trail divides near the lower lake and goes up another 4 miles to Upper Lena Lake but we were stopping for lunch at the lower lake, walking around it a bit and then returning to the trailhead. It is a 6 mile round trip the extra walk to the campground plus around part of the lake adding another ½ mile or so. The trailhead is at 700 ft, there are 18 switchbacks with an elevation gain of about 1300 ft to end at 2000 ft at the lake. For us the walk down to the lake and back up to rejoin the main trail added another 200 feet for a total of 1500 ft.
Wonderful large trees and peek-a-boo views
Dramatic stone outcropping, suitable for Trolls
Nice wooden bridges
First view of Lower Lena Lake from the trail
Lower Lena Lake from our lunch spot
Lower Lena Lake beach in the campground
White veined wintergreen
I’m not sure if I’m ready to backpack up 18 switchbacks to sleep on hard ground and cook over a camp fire but Lower Lena Lake is gorgeous, the campsites are nice and relatively private with vegetation separating each site. There is a plaque in memory of scouts and leaders 1927-1941, Boy Scouts of America Tumwater Council, "Where youth learned to appreciate our outdoor heritage."
There are newer solar composting toilets at the campground; however, they are currently under repair so there are no facilities at the present time.
This poster provides information on what to do if one encounters a cougar or bear. On another hike awhile back we did see a bear from a distance once but I don't care to come face to face with one. This did little to alleviate fears as it served to remind me that we were sharing the woods with them even if we didn't see them. Bob laughs.
Amid tall Douglas Fir trees along the trail at 1500 ft. and bigger trees to be found at the campground at 2000 ft.