Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Crescent Lake, Olympic NP, 7/03/2016

We had driven along the southern shore of beautiful Crescent Lake on our trip from Forks, WA, to Port Angeles, WA, on Highway 101. Today, we headed back that way to spend some time hiking the Spruce Railroad Trail.  

First we stopped at a pull off area along Highway 101 on the south shore of Crescent Lake. It is a a long narrow lake carved by a glacier with steep rock walls. It is 12 miles long and the depth has been measured from 640' to 1000' feet (the second deepest lake in the state). The water is a brilliant blue due to low level of nitrogen in the water (thereby keeping algae from growing there). 

There is parking near the Spruce Railroad trailheads at the northwest and northeast ends of the river. We took the route past East Beach and the Log Cabin Resort to the northeastern parking lot. The trail is 4 miles one way and follows the north shore of Lake Crescent. A paved 6.5 mile extension trail continues to Highway 101. 

The first part of the trail is gravel through a forested area. 

Streams drain into Crescent Lake at numerous places along the trail. 

The trail narrows as it continues through the forest along the banks of the lake. 

We came to a lovely cove called the Devil's Punch Bowl by locals (we met lots of interesting people along the trail). People were jumping off the cliffs into the water. And dogs were  enjoying a swim as well (including Sadie)!

The views of Crescent Lake from the trail were just gorgeous on this bright sunny day. 

We had packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it while sitting on some rocks on the banks of the lake. We saw lots of people in kayakes, canoes, and boats enjoying the water.

We hiked the two miles back to where our car was parked. We enjoyed seeing the forest here as wll as the lake. It was a very enjoyable day. This is probably our favorite hike thus far at Olympic National Park (being dog-friendly made it extra nice). 

There is no entrance fee to this part of Olympic National Park. For additional information, check out the park's website.

Website: www.nps.gov/olym

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