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Wynoochee Lake

Olympic Peninsula

Location

Olympic Peninsula -- Olympia
View map below

Length

12.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1100 ft.
Highest Point: 950 ft.

Rating

2.88 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

The trail around Wynoochee Lake is a pleasant stroll through second growth forest with a lush understory. As with many “lakeshore” trails, the trail is not actually near the lakeshore. While the lake is generally out of sight, it does allow the possibility of a hike/canoe biathlon, if you can find a partner with a canoe. Wynoochee Lake is smaller and calmer than some of the lakes in Washington, making this a nice option.

The trail starts near the day use area at the north end of the beach (up-lake from the dam). Pass several social trails as you make your way through the campground. These paths head to campsites or to the water, and there is little doubt which trail is the main trail. Soon you’ll come to a couple of junctions with other trails, but these are well signed. The first one you’ll see is the Working Forest Nature Trail on your left. The next one you’ll see is the Chetwoot Campground on your right. Avoid both of these and stay on the lakeshore trail.

The trail crosses a couple of small creeks, losing and gaining elevation each time. The creeks are pretty small, but could result in wet feet in the early season. In July, look for foxglove at these crossings, a tall plant with pink flowers.

At the north end of the lake you’ll have a choice – you can attempt a ford of Wynoochee River, or you can continue along the trail for another 2 miles to a good bridge overlooking Maidenhair falls. This choice is also an opportunity to do a one-way hike and take an alternate form of transportation back. If you have friends with the canoe, arrange to meet them on the river. If you’re traveling with companions of varying hiking abilities, arrange to meet them at Maidenhair falls with the car. Maidenhair Falls and the accompanying gorge is a mere half mile from its trailhead and is a worthwhile destination for waterfall lovers.

For those who prefer a long walk, the trail continues along the east side of the lake. The loop around the lake is 12-16 miles, depending on whether a ford of the Wynoochee River is safe. At the southern end of the lake, cross the Wynoochee River Gorge on the road bridge.

 

Wynoochee Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4084, -123.5852 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula -- Olympia

Wynoochee Lake (#878)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Getting There

Take the Devonshire Road exit off of hwy 12 just west of Montesano. Cross Devonshire Road, then cross Pioneer Ave and continue on Wynoochee Valley Road/FR 22, following signs to Wynoochee Lake. If you have an older Gazetteer Atlas or are using Bing, the road is labelled Wynoochee Rd.

After about 35 miles, follow signs to Coho campground. You'll take a left, then shortly a right towards the campground. Take a look at the signboard by the walk-in camp sites - there may be useful area maps. Find the trail at the north end of the lakeside day use area by a boat launch.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Wynoochee Lake

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