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Lake of the Angels

August 15-19, 2010« More activities from 2010

This is a spectacular but physically challenging hike that reaches remote country in which seeing another person or party is a surprise. It passes by as many as nine lakes, traverses two watersheds, and offers the chance to summit up to four peaks. The route we took began off the Hamma Hamma River on the route to Upper Lena Lake, just south of the Brothers – 4,000′ and 7 miles. The upper reaches of the trail are steep and rugged in places.

Day Two allowed a climb on Mt. Bretherton; another option would be Lena Peak, but Bretherton is the more challenging and interesting – and it allowed glissading on the return. Swimming at Upper Lena was necessary, but it was only two days past ice-out, and darn chilly. Day Three was the major cross-country/off-trail day, and took about 11 hours to complete, albeit at a modest pace. (The boys swam at the lunch break.) At one point we had to lower packs by rope. The route traverses steep snow and rock fields on the east face of Mt. Stone and crosses into the next basin through the pass called St. Peter’s Gate, elevation, 6000′. From there, we descended to camp at Lake of the Angels. On Day Four some climbed on Mt. Skokomish (more glissading), some read, some swam, some fished, some explored, and again, a second climbing option would be Mt. Stone.

From our camp there, we were forced by a forest fire to shorten the trip and return on Day Five via the rough, steep, but shorter Putvin Trail to the Hamma basin. The full trip plan, which would be wonderful to complete, called for a short cross-country route to overnight at Hagen Lakes for more play, and then two days hiking out, via the Skokomish River, finishing at the Staircase Rapids Ranger Station above Lake Cushman. – GS

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