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Mink Lake

Olympic Peninsula

Location

Olympic Peninsula -- Northern Coast
View map below

Length

5.2 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1450 ft.
Highest Point: 3100 ft.

Rating

3.14 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 
 

Start your hike at the Mink Lake trailhead at 1650 feet of elevation. The trail to Mink Lake splits right at the initial junction with the Lovers Lane trail (which will be your return if opting for the loop). The first half mile passes through gloomy second-growth. The original forest here was logged a century ago and now the trees are in a state of early maturation.

At a quarter mile the trail jogs across an old logging road and soon enters old growth. The forest opens up with sword fern and shrubs among the stately trunks of ancient firs, which give way to hemlock as the trail climbs ever upward. It is cool and moist on the north aspect of the slope, enabling skunk cabbage and trillium to bloom into early summer. The forest to Mink Lake is beautiful, packed full of Queen's Cup, lilies and bunchberry flowers in bloom.

At two miles, the trail rounds a spur at about 2800 feet, before gently arching toward the lake.

At 2.5 miles and 3100 feet lies tiny Mink Lake. Hemlock, silver fir, and marshy beargrass meadows line the tranquil waters, which are often disturbed by jumping fish. Depending on the season, you may see Western Coralroot orchids and Indian Pipe, or beargrass, anenomes and violets around the lake.

A side trail forks left where overnight hikers will find the bear wire and an old shelter, now home to rodents.

The lake, while picturesque, is a haven for mosquitoes--bring plenty of bug spray or patience, whichever you prefer. The silence and unbroken stands of trees that surrounded the lake are gorgeous, and on the way down, you can study the intricate patterns of roots, flora and other wonders of a healthy forest.

 

Mink Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.9688, -123.8638 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula -- Northern Coast

Mink Lake (#35)

Olympic National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin-Hoh

Buy the Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin/Mt Olympus Climbing No. 133S map

Getting There

From Port Angeles follow US 101 west for 29 miles, passing Lake Crescent. About 2 miles beyond the Fairholm store, turn left onto the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. (From Forks head east 28 miles on US 101, and turn right just past milepost 219.) Follow this road for 12 miles (passing the park entrance booth). Just past the Eagle Ranger Station turn right into the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.

Park at the back of the lot where the trailhead is marked by a kiosk (trail is uphill and left of the gated road next to the kiosk). The lot has plenty of room for cars, and the resort offers a full range of amenities, including cabins, restaurant, hot spring pools, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. There is a large and ever-booked national park campground near the resort. Call ahead to find out if any spots are available.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 

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Mink Lake

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