Backpack - Upper Lena Lake

Enjoy a wonderful high-summer weekend in the Olympics

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  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 14.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,900 ft

We'll carpool as much as possible. Details closer to the trip date.

We'll do it at a leisurely pace, so most any backpacker should be able to do it.

The cost of the ONP permit for 2 nights is $16pp. I will collect money by cash or check on the trip. 

Day 1 - We will head up the Lena Lakes trail early Friday morning, July 27 with a break at Lower Lena Lake, and then tackle the trail to Upper Lena; the trip up should take around 6hrs with big packs but, as usual, no one will get left behind. The Lower Lena trail gains about 1300ft in 3 miles and the upper trail ambles along for a while and then ratchets up another 2700ft in the last 2.5 miles with one root scramble, one possible creek crossing and some exposure. The entire trail is 7.2 miles one way. Once at the lake, we’ll snag a couple campsites, set up camp, get water and maybe have a nice, cooling swim before dinner.

Day 2  - We’ll have a leisurely breakfast in camp Saturday, July 28 (although sunrise coffee can be extraordinary by the lake)  and do a short hike to Milk Lake, a milky turquoise snow-fed lake off Mt. Bretherton, with a great view of the scramble route on Mt. Bretherton. After that, we will take a longer (up to 6mi round trip) hike with about 600 ft of elevation gain) from Upper Lena toward Scout Lake. We’ll get back in the mid-afternoon for a swim, chill time in camp and dinner.

Day 3 – After an un-rushed breakfast (and maybe a last swim and walk to the other side of the lake), we’ll break camp and head back mid-morning Sunday for the 7.2mi 4000ft descent from Upper Lena. This is likely to take about 4 hours. 

Notes borrowed from Meryl Lipman without permission (yet)



Upper Lena Lake

  • Green Trails The Brothers No. 168

    Custom Correct Brothers - Mt Anderson

    Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S

    Custom Correct Mount Skokomish - Lake Cushman
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports