This is a burly day trip, but a great overnight destination for exploring the Sawtooth Range in the Olympic high country.
Your adventure starts on the gentle grade of decommissioned roadbed that is now the North Fork Skokomish Trail, Trek for 3.7 miles to the junction with the Flapjack Lakes Trail.
Turn onto this trail, and enjoy Madeline Creek and its mini-waterfalls which will entertain you as you climb to a junction with the Black and White Lakes Trail. Take in some carbs here to tackle the final steep section up to Flapjack Lakes.
While many former mining and logging trails have place names evoking food and drink, get a bit above the upper lake and you’ll see the pioneers weren’t making this one up — the scene does indeed look like two roughly circular pancakes!
The water reflects the greens and browns of the surrounding dense forest and rocky ridges. There’s a narrow isthmus between the lakes, not suitable for camping but perfect for photography and fishing.
A bear wire and toilets are available, and you may find a seasonal backcountry ranger camped on a raised wooden platform.
Flapjack Lakes are an ideal launchpad for day-tripping up to Gladys Divide or over to Black and White Lakes, but the trail to the latter is often riddled with fallen trees. At the end of your trip, consider a short extension by taking the suspension bridge to the Rapids Loop Trail and enjoying the thunderous Staircase Rapids.