Lower Lena Lake
The hike to Lena Lake is doable for nearly every type of hiker. A wide path switchbacks gently at first and then just a little more steeply uphill through old- and second-growth forest to a large lake ringed by silent sentinels–huge old-growth fir trees that keep watch over day hikers and campers who elect to stay overnight at this wilderness refuge.
Beginning at the trailhead, an inviting path leads uphill into the forest. Roots and rocks are present, but for the most part, the way is smooth, and you’ll enjoy the sound of Lena Creek crashing downhill until a long traverse takes you away from the big stream. But you’re hardly leaving water. All along the way, waterfalls, streams, rivulets, and small drips cross the trail, keeping WTA volunteers busy each year building drainage ditches to keep your feet dry. Where the creek crossings are large, bridges provide not only a dry crossing, but also photo opportunities looking both uphill and down.
One mile from the trailhead you’ll enter a forest made up of more old-growth than second-growth. Carry on, keeping an eye out for a truly enormous boulder; a glacial erratic from eons past. Shortly after the boulder, find yourself on a beautiful bridge that crosses a dry gully! Take some photos from this unusual crossing, and then continue on to a fork about three miles from the trailhead.
The right fork takes you down to the lakeshore just a few hundred feet, but hiking along for roughly one-quarter mile leads you to a beautiful overlook of Lena Lake. You can’t access the lake from here, but it’s a great spot to stop and enjoy lunch, laze in the sun, and get some good shots of the large lake below.