Submitted By: Byron
From U.S. Highway 101 from Olympia head north towards Port Angeles. Just past the town of Hamma Hamma turn left at Hamma Hamma Recreational Area sign. Follow road for several miles past the trailhead of Lena Lake. Road will become gravel and in some places is very bumpy so take it slow. The Putvin Trail sign is about three to four miles after Lena Lake trailhead, on the right. Hard to see, so drive fairly slow.
This hike begins along the Hamma Hamma River. I usually begin on an old logging road that connects to the Putvin Trail. This first mile is easy, the grade is maybe a 5-8% grade. However, upon reaching the checkin station where National Park Permits can be picked up the trail shoots right up the side of Mt Stone. At first there are switchbacks, then these turn into just straight up hiking. Look for views to the left and south of Mt Pershing's spires. After about .5 miles on the steep section you'll come to an open avalanche slope where views open up. Mt Pershing is clearly visible and Copper Mtn is peeking out to the west of Pershing. This avalanche area is cleared for maybe .5 miles of the trail. Then the first headwall will be reached. This is a scramble and caution should be made in ascending if you don't know what your doing. Above this views open up of Rainier in the distance. The base of Mt Stone is visible to the north, and the east buttress of Mt Skokomish on the left and to the west. From here on until the 2nd headwall the trail is light. It wanders through subalpine forest meadows past a small pool called "Lake of the False Prophets" after this a quick crossing of Whitehorse creek is made before beginning the ascent of the 2nd headwall. This one is not as dangerous as the first but is taller. Once this is surpasses the trail leads right to the Lake of the Angels in just a few minutes. This small alpine gem sits in a basin between Mt Skokomish on the west and Mt Stone on the northeast. Whitehorse Creek drains from the northwest down into and out of Lake of the Angels. The lake is usually frozen over until middle to late June. Expect snow into July and early August.
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