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A Day Excursion to Lake Crescent

In Port Ludlow we are extremely luck to have 26 miles of maintained trails to hike, explore, and make memories on. With trails in both the woodlands and waterfronts varying difficulties and lengths, there’s a trail for everyone.

Two of Port Ludlow’s most popular trails are Ludlow Falls – a 1/2 mile interpretive, looped trail to a waterfall, and Beach Loop Trail – located at the Inn and continuing onto the beach with views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.

Many people visit Port Ludlow and the Olympic National Park with the intent to make a trip to Olympic National Park and Forest.

Olympic National Park is a jewel of the peninsula. The park is over 922,651 acres and homes the Hoh Rain Forest, one of the only temperate rainforests in the United States and one of the park’s most popular spots.

One of our favorite places to visit in the Olympic National Park is Lake Crescent. The 10,000 year-old, glacially created lake is a breathtaking place where old growth conifer and maple trees reign over manicured trail and the turquoise hue of the lake is intoxicating. Native American legend describes the lake as being created when an upset mountain spirit angered by the warring Klallam and Quileute tribes hurled a boulder at the warriors killing them all and damning the river, thus forming Lake Crescent.


The drive to Lake Crescent is just shy of 90 minutes from Port Ludlow making a hiking or boating excursion at the lake a great day trip. Rent kayaks at the lake or hike one of the many trails.

The most popular trail at Lake Crescent is the portion of Barnes Creek Trail that leads to Marymere Falls, an old growth forest leading to a 90 foot water fall. The 1 1/2 mile looped trail has two vantage points of the falls. The hike is enjoyable and visually stunning. I couldn’t stop myself from snapping pictures of the vast root systems and mossy trees that adorn the trail.


The trail begins at Storm King Ranger Station and continues onto a trail lined with moss and ferns. As you continue down the trail you will cross several brides and climb a couple sets of stairs leading to the picturesque Marymere Falls. People of all ages hike to Marymere Falls, but it is worth noting that if stairs and inclines aren’t for you, Moments in Time trail might be a better choice.


Lake Crescent is a seemingly magical place encompassed by trees with views of the lake as far as you can see. Whether you choose to boat, hike, or just enjoy the views you are guaranteed to enjoy your time in the Olympic National Forest.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester



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