Friday, July 28, 2017

Lake of the Angels

 We drove out to the Olympic National Forest 12 miles down the Hamma Hamma Road on the west side of Hood Canal to hike the Putvin Trail to the Lake of the Angels in Olympic National Forest. 7.5 miles rt with 3,400 ft of net elevation gain.
The trail starts in the forest along Boulder Creek and the first 1.5 miles gains 1,100 ft.

The trail winds around some large boulders before traversing across the slope towards Whitehorse Creek.

The trail enters the Mount Skokomish Wilderness at 1.5 miles from the trailhead and starts climbing more steeply. The trail will gain 1,900 ft in less than 1-1/2 miles as the trail climbs up the headwall to reach the Lake of the False Prophet.

 There are some spots along this section that climb less steeply giving your muscles a break. Here the trail went through thick berry bushes.

There are also a few places where scrambling is required.

There are areas where you can see over the Hamma Hamma Valley. Here looking east, the Hood Canal and Puget Sound areas were covered in clouds, with Mt Rainier above the clouds (zoom).

 We also could see to the northwest a waterfall coming over the headwall. We still have a lot of elevation to gain!

 Before the last steep section up the headwall, we entered a beautiful alpine meadow.

To the south are Jefferson Peak and Mt Pershing.

To the west the side of Mt Skokomish.

This meadow was filled with flowers.
The last section going up to the headwall was very wet and muddy from the snow melt.

The top of the headwall was a muddy boggy area, we soon reached the Lake of the False Prophet, here reflecting Mt Skokomish.
At the north end of the Lake of the False Prophet, there is a log crossing a creek, this leads to our trail heading west.

The trail meanders up and down through a boggy/meadow area and enters Olympic National Park 3 miles from the trailhead.

There is one more climb along the way, 300+ feet up this ridge.

 There were lots of avalanche lilies in bloom along with other flowers.
 Soon after the trail levels out, it passes a small tarn, the Lake of the Angels is about 1/4 mile to go.
 First view of the Lake of the Angels, we saw mountain goats up on the hillside grazing.
 There is a trail that goes all around the lake, we decided to go counterclockwise and crossed Whitehorse Creek were it leaves the lake.
 Lake of the Angels nestled in Mount Skokomish to the south.

 Small waterfall near the lake
 view of the Lake of the Angels from our lunch spot. We watched fish jump is these crystal clear waters.
 There were some small snow fields around the lake.
 Mt Stone on the northwest side of the Lake of the Angels.
 There were many marsh marigolds along the stream coming off of Mount Skokomish.
The hike back down was slow on the dry steep sections that had loose dirt and rocks on them. We took our time and enjoyed this beautiful trail.

Some of the many wildflowers and plants we saw along the trail today:


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