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6 BEST Lake Crescent Hikes in Olympic National Park

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Of all the trails within Olympic National Park, the hikes at Lake Crescent are some of the most diverse. You’ve got epic mountain summits, trails through lush forests with waterfalls, and easy routes that follow the lake shore.

Whether you want to tackle them all or only have time for one or two, here are some of the best trails in the Lake Crescent area.

1. Mount Storm King (Most Popular Lake Crescent Hike!)

Distance: 5.3 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 2,076 ft

Other important notes:

When it comes to Lake Crescent hikes, Mount Storm King is, well, king! Reaching the summit is no easy feat, and the trail is one of the most challenging hikes in Olympic National Park.

Woman on the summit of Mount Storm King with Lake Crescent and mountains in back.
Mount Storm King is undeniably the most challenging of the Lake Crescent hikes

However, it’s also one of the most rewarding. Those who make it to the summit will be treated to sweeping views across Lake Crescent and towering mountains. The bragging rights are also a bonus for completing this burner.

Nina climbin gup the rope section on the Mount Storm King hike with Lake Crescent in the back.
Sketchy rope section!

Note that getting to the summit requires a sketchy rope climb and some balancing skills on the narrow rocky summit. Because this trail is so challenging, only seasoned hikers should attempt to summit.

READ MORE: Hiking Mount Storm King in Olympic National Park

2. Marymere Falls Trail

Distance: 1.7 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 298 ft

Other important notes:

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Marymere Falls Trail is one of the most relaxed Lake Crescent hikes.

Woman crossing wooden bridge near Marymere Falls, Washington
Footbridge to the falls

Winding through old-growth forests with fantastic views of the lake, mountains, and Marymere Falls, this hike offers some of the best bang for your buck in Olympic National Park.

Its convenient location right off Highway 101 also makes it extremely popular, so be sure to arrive early in the day to avoid the inevitable crowds.

View of Marymere Falls surrounded by greenery.
Waterfalls always make a hike worthwhile

You could marry this hike with the Mount Storm King hike for some extra mileage! They share the same trailhead, so it would be easy to finish the Mount Storm King hike and then continue along the trail to reach Marymere Falls.

This is what we did and it made for a great day of hiking!

READ MORE: Marymere Falls Trail in Olympic NP

3. Devil’s Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail

Distance: 2.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 144 ft

Other important notes:

More of a recreational walk than a true trek, the Devil’s Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail is perfect for hikers of all ages. The trail is paved and accessible, making it a favorite amongst families.

Hiker crossing wooden bridge on the Devil's Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail with mountains in the back.
Devil’s Punchbowl is one of the best Lake Crescent hikes for families

The route follows Lake Crescent’s northeastern tip and ends at Devil’s Punchbowl—a beautiful swimming hole that can be accessed by jumping off the bridge.

Even if you don’t brave the chilly lake waters, the views from the bridge are some of the best in the park.

4. Spruce Railroad Trail: Lake Crescent

Distance: 11.2 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 410 ft

Other important notes:

If you loved the trail leading to the Devil’s Punchbowl, you could always continue cruising on the Spruce Railroad Trail. From Devil’s Punchbowl, the trail meanders southwest along the lake’s coast.

Woman entering tunnel on the Spruce Railroad Trail.
Extend your hike along the Spruce Railroad Trail

While this route is on the longer side, it’s an easy hike thanks to the mostly flat, paved trail. Although most of the trail is accessible, there are some rough patches that those with wheels should look out for.

5. Pyramid Mountain Trail

Distance: 6.6 miles
Type of Trail: Out & Back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 2,486 ft

Other important notes:

A fork in the Spruce Railroad Trail leads to the trailhead for the Pyramid Mountain Trail. This detour is no walk in the park, however.

It’s one of the most demanding Lake Crescent hikes, and it’s even a bit more rugged than Mount Storm King.

View of Lake Crescent with Pyramid Mountain in the back.
Pyramid Mountain looming over Lake Crescent

The summit offers excellent views of the lake below, though they are somewhat more hidden due to the overgrown vegetation.

While this trek is challenging and remote, it’s less crowded than some other trails around the lake.

This makes it a great option for those hoping for some solitude while visiting Lake Crescent. Just know you’ll have to work for that peace and quiet you seek!

6. Moments in Time Trail

Distance: 0.7 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 9ft

Other important notes:

If you’re short on time (or energy), check out the Moments in Time Trail. At less than a mile in length, it’s one of the shortest Lake Crescent hikes. It’s also one of the easiest, making it extremely popular.

Woman walking through tall trees on the Moments in Time Trail.
Fairytale scenery on the Moments in Time Trail

This short and sweet trek is a self-guided nature trail, so you’ll get some information about the local flora, fauna, and beautiful views along the base of the lake.

Other Nearby Hikes in Lake Crescent

There are a few awesome hiking areas on either side of Lake Crescent if you’re willing to drive just under an hour in either direction.

The Sol Duc Falls hike isn’t too far from here if you want to chase more waterfalls. And if you want to tackle more mountaintop views, try out the Hurricane Ridge trail!

Which Lake Crescent hikes are you tackling? We hope this helped you plan your trip!

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