With brilliant blue waters for boating, alpine scenery and abundant hiking trails, this glacial lake is the perfect wilderness escape.
With its sparkling blue water and pine-clad hillsides, Lake Crescent is one of Olympic National Park’s most popular scenic destinations. Breathe in the fresh air, walk among the pines and toast marshmallows by the campfire. You’ll find plenty of serenity in this pristine wilderness area.
Lake Crescent is a deepwater, glacially carved lake that plummets to an official maximum depth of 624 feet (190 meters), though some depth measurements put it far deeper than this. Either way, the depth and elevation mean the water remains cold year-round, so boating is the preferred water pastime.
Rent a rowboat from Lake Crescent Lodge and set off from one of the boat launches located at either end of the lake. Glide over the water and marvel at its clarity and the reflections in its mirror-like surface.
Once you’re back on dry land, explore the surrounding area on foot. Choose one of several different day hikes around Lake Crescent. These range from a short 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) loop with no elevation gain, to a more challenging one-way 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) hike that has an elevation gain of 4,200 feet (1,280 meters).
Set off on the 0.8-mile (1.3-kilometer) trail from the Storm King Visitor Center to Marymere Falls for a relatively easy hike. Walk through the old-growth forest until you reach the cascading falls, which are 90 feet (27 meters) high. The falls are accessible to disabled persons, with some assistance.
There is much to see at Lake Crescent. If you want to cover several of the nearby trails, you’ll need to stay for a few days. Camp at the Fairholme Campground at the western end of the lake. During summer, accommodation is also available at Lake Crescent Lodge or the Log Cabin Resort.
Lake Crescent is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) west of Port Angeles. The Olympic Peninsula’s scenic highway passes right by the lake, giving easy access.