Lake Angeles, Heart O' The Hills Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Lake Angeles - 6.4 miles
Heart O' The Hills Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||6.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||1,856' - 4,282' (4,310' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+2,426' net elevation gain (+2,460' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Lake Angeles - 6.4 Miles Round-Trip
Lake Angeles (4,282') is located 3.2 miles from Heart O' The Hills Trailhead in Olympic National Park. The lake is distinguished by a large island and encased on three sides by the vertical walls of Klahhane Ridge. The trail is very well maintained but climbs 2400' in just 3.2 miles to the lake:
The trail begins on a moderate grade through a forest that burned in 1898. Though fire scars are absent, the uniform height and tight spacing of trees indicate a relatively recent disturbance.
The understory is littered with deadfall and a verdant layer of Oregon grape, salal and ferns. Higher slopes support little more than a thin soil layer topped by scattered debris.
It climbs steadily to a footbridge over Ennis Creek (.95 miles), and weaves through a cluttered area of felled trees into a uniform - and markedly drier - montane forest. The trail crosses 3500' at 1.9 miles, past which fires are not permitted.
It rises quickly (and rather uneventfully) until leveling by a pond and small meadow just before reaching the lake (2.95 miles : 4,288'). This is a good place to step off trail and look for wildlife. Note the introduction of silver fir in this subalpine environment.
The trail crests by a group campsite, where social paths branch down to various points on the shore of Lake Angeles (3.2 miles : 4,282').
Perennial snow clings to vertical walls and waterfalls tumble from Klahhane Ridge behind the lake's distinguished island. While there are a number of good places to step out for a view, thick timber and vegetation ring the shore and limit exploration.
Arguably the best views can be had by splitting off on the Klahhane Ridge Trail (which veers right just before reaching the lake), and climbing another 450' in about .5 miles up to a ridge with views that extend over the entire basin out to the Strait, and across Klahhane Ridge to Mount Angeles.
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N48 02.340 W123 25.884 — 0.0 miles : Heart O' The Hills Trailhead
- N48 01.943 W123 26.137 — .5 miles : Steady climb in upper lowland forest
- N48 01.524 W123 26.267 — .95 miles : Cross creek on footbridge
- N48 01.554 W123 25.820 — 1.3 miles : Steady climb into montane forest
- N48 01.346 W123 25.895 — 1.9 miles : Cross 3,500' - no fires beyond
- N48 00.944 W123 25.841 — 2.4 miles : Steady climb in hemlock forest
- N48 00.631 W123 25.913 — 2.95 miles : grade abruptly levels
- N48 00.511 W123 25.997 — 3.2 miles : Lake Angeles
- The Klahhane Ridge Trail branches off from the Lake Angeles Trail just before reaching the lake. As of May 2016, this important trail sign was not present - anticipate this split (to the right) if planning to continue on.
- Lake Angeles is a popular destination. Arrive early to secure parking and preferred campsites, which are limited at the lake.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's a $5 per person - per night fee to backcountry camp in Olympic National Park (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time.
- Alternatively you may self-register at the trailhead. Forms and pay envelopes are provided.
- There are no quotas or required reservations. Campsites are not individually assigned, but available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.
- Camp only in established sites, which are intuitively found along the trail, and clearly marked at the lake.
- Food Storage: Bear canisters are not required, but are recommended.
- Fires: Campfires are permitted up to 3,500'. Fires are not permitted at Lake Angeles.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $25 entrance fee to Olympic National Park ($50 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Lake Angeles Trail begins at the Heart O' The Hills Trailhead, 5.2 miles from the Visitor Center in Port Angeles.
Go 75 yards past the Visitor Center and bear right on Hurricane Ridge Road. Continue 5 miles to a sign for Lake Angeles, located just before the Hurricane Ridge entrance station. Follow signs .1 mile into the lot.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office