Lake of the Angels, Putvin Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

Lake of the Angels - 7.2 miles

Putvin Trailhead

Lake of the Angels (4,888')

Lake of the Angels (4,888')

Round-Trip Length: 7.2 miles
Start-End Elevation: 1,535' - 4,888' (4,888' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +3,353' net elevation gain (+3,769' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Lake of the Angels - 7.2 Miles Round-Trip

Lake of the Angels (4,888') is located 3.6 miles from the Putvin Trailhead (#813) on Hamma Hamma Road in Olympic National Park. It lies in a spacious alpine basin below Mount Stone at the head of Whitehorse Creek. This strenuous trail climbs 3,353' through rough and varied terrain to the lake.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Though the last 1.6 miles are considered unmaintained, it's well-traveled and generally easy to follow when snow-free. The hike compares favorably to Mildred Lakes from a navigation standpoint, but similar in overall difficulty.

Fishing is quite good, and goats are common at the lake. Established routes continue on to Mount Stone and Hagen Lake:

The trail heads north along Boulder Creek until bending west (.5 miles : 1,925') and moderating across a hillside. It crosses three ravines leading to a marked junction for the lake (1.35 miles : 2,340'). The trail turns sharply uphill on a very steep climb past the Mt Skokomish Wilderness Boundary (1.6 miles : 2,610') to the edge of a broad basin capped by a waterfall on Whitehorse Creek (2.2 miles : 3,665').

It levels briefly through tall brush before pitching steeply up the basin headwall and negotiating a short but challenging scramble (2.4 miles : 4,120'). This rock-root wall is exposed to drop-offs, and can be especially tricky with large packs. Be mindful of falling rocks.

Once above, travel moderates across flower-filled slopes with good views of Mt Pershing and the Hamma Hamma valley. Follow cairns and ribbons left at a subtle fork (2.5 miles) that lead through an oft-muddy meadow (2.75 miles : 4,520') to a small pond (2.9 miles : 4,560'). 

Follow cairns and ribbons left across a makeshift bridge over the pond's inlet, then rise and drop to the Olympic National Park Boundary sign in a meadow (3.2 miles : 4,535').

General Note: The route through this meadow + pond section may be obfuscated by mud, streams and social trails used by backpackers. Stay vigilant, and note your way for the return hike.

The trail switchbacks above the ONP sign before leveling along the outlet stream to Lake of the Angels (3.6 miles : 4,888'). Well-defined social trails fan out through this broad, open area. Enjoy wildlife from a safe and respectful distance.

Facebook Comments

Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 35.001 W123 14.032 — 0.0 miles : Putvin Trailhead on Hamma Hamma Road
  • N47 35.282 W123 14.146 — .5 miles : Variously steep intervals across hillside
  • N47 35.271 W123 14.459 — .8 miles : Cross ravine
  • N47 35.241 W123 14.488 — .88 miles : Cross ravine
  • N47 35.122 W123 14.888 — 1.35 miles : Sign for lake - turn right
  • N47 35.159 W123 15.133 — 1.65 miles : Mt Skokomish Wilderness Boundary
  • N47 35.337 W123 15.322 — 1.85 miles : Very steep climb
  • N47 35.419 W123 15.370 — 2.0 miles : No fires above this point (3,440')
  • N47 35.514 W123 15.495 — 2.2 miles : Briefly level on edge of basin
  • N47 35.653 W123 15.575 — 2.4 miles : Challenging scramble up exposed root-rock wall
  • N47 35.680 W123 15.511 — 2.5 miles : Take subtle fork left
  • N47 35.827 W123 15.748 — 2.75 miles : Level across muddy meadow
  • N47 35.811 W123 15.898 — 2.95 miles : Follow markings across pond inlet to the left
  • N47 35.738 W123 16.045 — 3.15 miles : Olympic National Park Boundary
  • N47 35.738 W123 16.243 — 3.35 miles : Steep climb into basin
  • N47 35.811 W123 16.372 — 3.6 miles : Lake of the Angels (4,888')

Worth Noting

  • The descent is equally arduous, and can be precarious in places with loose rock, and when wet. Plan travel accordingly, especially when carrying heavy packs.
  • Camping terrain is limited on this trail until reaching the meadow at 2.75 miles. These swale-like meadows can be damp and muddy through mid-summer.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

  • There's a $5 per person - per night fee (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time. You may also register on site at the Putvin Trailhead.
  • Food Storage: Bear canisters are not required, but are recommended.
  • Fires: Campfires are not permitted above 3500'. Fires are not permitted at Lake of the Angels.

Dispersed camping is permitted within the Mount Skokomish Wilderness Area. Self-registration is available at the trailhead. It's always advisable to call the Hood Canal Ranger Station (360.765.2200) before your trip for current conditions and information.

  • Campfires are not permitted above 3,500', or at Lake of the Angels
  • Camp in established campsites whenever possible to minimize impact.

Fishing Information

  • A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt. No license is required to fish at Lake of the Angels.
  • A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Always contact the Park before setting out for the latest guidelines.
  • Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
  • The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.

Rules and Regulations

  • A NW Recreation Pass is not required to access the Putvin Trail or Lake of the Angels. Olympic National Park fees are not collected at this location.

  • Campfires are not permitted above 3,500', including at Lake of the Angels.

Directions to Trailhead

The Putvin Trail (#812) - Lake of the Angels Trailhead is located 11.8 miles west of Highway 101 on Hamma Hamma Road (FS #25). Hamma Hamma Road is 22.7 miles south of Quilcene and approximately 14 miles north of Hoodsport near mile marker 318.

Turn west on Hamma Hamma Road from 101 and travel 6.3 miles to a fork. Veer right towards the Lena Creek Campground and Lena Lake Trail. Continue 5.8 miles to trailhead parking on the left. The trail begins across the road on the north side. 

Hamma Hamma Road turns to dirt 8.0 miles from Highway 101. High clearance is advisable, though passable for 2WD cars in good condition when the road is clear. Washouts can prevent 2WD cars from reaching this trailhead. Call ahead for road conditions.

Contact Information

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798

Visitor Information: 360.565.3130

Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131

Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)

Staircase Ranger Station: 360.877.5569
Seasonal Hours: June 24 - September 2: Open 8:30 - 5, Friday - Sunday

Hood Canal Ranger District | Quilcene Office
295142 Highway 101 S.
PO Box 280
Quilcene, WA 98376

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


No one has written any comments


Add Comment

Only used to identify you to ProTrails. Will not show on comments list.
Tell us when your experience with this trail happened.