Grand Lake, Obstruction Point Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Grand Lake - 7.6 Miles
Obstruction Point Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||7.6 Miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||6,125' - 4,755' (6,438' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-1,370' net elevation loss to lake (+2,433' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Grand Lake is located 3.8 miles from Obstruction Point in Olympic National Park. This popular lake sits just below treeline at the foot of Grand Valley, one of Olympic's most scenic and celebrated alpine destinations. While the lake is exceptional, the hike itself is equally compelling. [see photos]
The trail begins at 6,125' and traverses open tundra for 1.65 miles before descending steeply into the valley. Views extend to Mt Olympus and across several distinct ranges and valleys. Marmot, grouse, deer and mountain goat are common, and wildflowers rival any in the Park. The Grand Pass Trail continues up valley to Moose Lake, Gladys Lake, and Grand Pass:
The Lillian Ridge Trail heads south from Obstruction Point and rolls moderately through open tundra with spectacular panoramas and easy access to several perennial snow fields.
It crests at .7 miles (6,350') and drops steeply to a razor-thin ridge with rangy views down the Badger and Lillian River valleys (1.3 miles : 6,310').
The trail rises back up to a saddle (1.65 miles : 6,435'), where it shades east and drops decisively down steep, barren slopes. Grand Lake soon comes in to view on this very fast descent.
The trail shifts quickly through patches of krummholz as the forest gradually reconstitutes at lower elevations (2.65 miles : 5,400').
Open rocky slopes give way to grassy meadows leading to a small creek (3.1 miles : 5,065'), where grades level into a broad meadow at the Grand Pass - Grand Lake Trail split (3.6 miles : 4,945').
The Grand Lake Trail switchbacks down to the west shore of Grand Lake (3.8 miles : 4,755'). The lake is ringed by thick timber, but with a number of sizeable openings for anglers and exploration.
Access the north shore via the Badger Valley Trail (an alternative route to Grand Lake from Obstruction Point), or continue across the inlet to designated campsites.
Those with time should consider continuing on to Moose Lake (5,045') and Gladys Lake (5,372'), .7 miles and 1.2 miles from he Grand Lake Trail split, respectively.
Both lie in significantly wider berths in the valley with rangier views and rolling meadows to explore. The trail continues up to Grand Pass (6,450'), 1.45 miles from Gladys.
GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View these GPS points on a Google Map
- N47 55.101 W123 22.930 — 0.0 miles : Obstruction Point Trailhead
- N47 54.777 W123 22.509 — .5 miles : Rolling travel in high open tundra
- N47 54.466 W123 22.465 — 1.0 miles : Rolling travel atop Lillian Ridge
- N47 54.113 W123 22.137 — 1.5 miles : Steady climb toward divisive saddle
- N47 54.025 W123 21.602 — 2.0 miles : Steep descent down barren slope
- N47 53.933 W123 21.278 — 2.5 miles : Steep drop into vestiges of forest
- N47 53.785 W123 20.967 — 3.0 miles : Fast, shifting descent into forest
- N47 53.414 W123 20.986 — 3.6 miles : Grand Lake access trail split
- N47 53.409 W123 20.866 — 3.8 miles : Grand Lake
- Consider returning via the Badger Valley Trail, a longer but milder climb back to Obstruction Point. It receives lighter use and maintenance, so basic route finding skills may be necessary when overgrown.
- Grand Lake and Moose Lake generally see much heavier day and overnight traffic than Gladys Lake, which is located 1.2 miles from the Grand Lake split. Backpackers should consider Gladys Lake for significantly more privacy with a competitive aesthetic.
- Snow may linger and obscure portions of the trail well into summer. Steep, north facing slopes are a particular concern to hikers. Call ahead for trail conditions.
- Obstruction Point Road is subject to weather and damage closures without notice. Always call ahead for road conditions. The road sees heavy traffic when open, especially on weekends. The road is narrow with steep drop-offs in places. Weekday travel is preferable during peak season.
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 registration fee per group, + $2 per person per night (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.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for all Grand Valley destinations. 50% of sites can be reserved in advance; the other 50% is available first come, first served from the WIC during business hours up to 24 hours in advance. Self registration is not permitted during this time.
- Camp only in established sites, which are available at each lake.
- Food Storage: Bear canisters are not required, but are recommended.
- Fires are not permitted in Grand Valley.
- 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 $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Obstruction Point is located 24.8 miles from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles.
From the visitor center, follow Hurricane Ridge Road 17.3 miles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center; just before entering the lot, turn left onto Obstruction Point Road. Follow this road 7.5 miles to the trailhead.
Obstruction Point Road is a groomed dirt road that's subject to weather and damage closures without notice. Always call ahead for road conditions. The road sees heavy traffic when open, especially on weekends. The road is narrow with steep drop-offs in places. Weekday travel is preferable during peak season.
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