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Hiking Upper Lena Lake (The Brothers Wilderness & ONP) (about 14 miles with 3900 ft elev gain), Sun, 6-8-2014
Earlier this week during weekly PWC Green Mt hike, Jay and I talked about possibly hiking together on Sunday. Jay is a PWC website webmaster and a trip sponsor. He does excellent job with trip sponsoring. I've hiked several hikes that Jay sponsored. For the last few years, Jay has been sponsoring the weekly PWC Green Mt hike. It was probably my first hike to Green Mt since some time in 2012 (I biked to there from Ueland tree Farm several times though). My last hike there was when we commemorated Soon's death at the Green Mt summit. She was a lovely and cheerful lady, but sadly passed away so early (48 years old) due to cancer.
Jay wanted to hike Upper Lena Lake where he hiked there before so many years ago. It's a tough hike (14 miles roundtrip with 3900 ft elev gain) but rewarded with a wonderful alpine Lake. I think that the Upper Lena Lake, the Lake of the Angels, Cedar Lake, Mildred Lakes, a tarn below Gray Wolf Pass, & Upper Royal Basin tarns are some top 10 beautiful alpine lakes in the Olympics. It was my forth hike there but never get tired of its rugged trail.
Trail was in decent shape since it has not been maintained yet. There were probably 10-15 down trees between lower and upper lake. Surprisingly, other than a couple patches of snow, the entire trail was snow free. One note here was that we forded the Lena Creek at 3900 ft elev. However, on the way down, we found a way (winter route) to just walk down with some scrambling which saved us some time. Or one could ford the creek just below where the creek flew calm.
Click here for Youtube Video
Here was our hiking summary:
a. Lena Lakes trailhead (650 ft elev). Left at 0800.
b. To Lower Lena Lake (1900 ft, 3 miles). Took a 15 min break.
c. To Creek crossing (with log bridge). Took 15 min break.
d. To Creek crossing (without log bridge) (3900 ft elev). We needed to ford this creek by taking off our shoes. When we came down, we crossed the creek just above without taking off our shoes and bushwhacked a little which saved us about 10 minutes. We met a solo hiker who turned around at this creek. She wanted to follow us and see the Upper Lena Lake. We offered to help. Looked like she was a trail runner and did not have any problem with its rugged trail. Once crossed the creek, she was long gone in front of us and having lunch at the Upper Lena Lake. On the way down, she chose an easier fording route, just below the "summer" trail.
e. To Upper Lena Lake (4550 ft, 7 miles). Arrived 1230. Took 30 min break. Left 1300.
f. To Lower Lena Lake (11 miles). Took 15 min break.
g. To Lena Lakes trailhead. Arrived at 1600.
Hikers observed or encountered above Lower Lena Lake: one solo backpacker. 2 solo day hikers (women. met one on the way up (hiked together). The other on the way down). 2 hikers (men, met on the way up) who did not make to the summit, & 2 hikers (women. met on the way down).
All in all, it was fun day with Jay (PWC webmaster). We were lucky that it was a beautiful day and a nice hike to a high country in the Olympics for the early hiking season.
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