Mink Lake

  • Region: Olympic Mountains
  • Length: 3 miles
  • Min Elev: 1600 ft
  • Max Elev: 3080 ft
  • Season: Summer/Fall

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From Port Angeles, drive west on Highway 101 for 27 miles past Lake Crescent to Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. Follow this road for 12 miles to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, and park at the north end of the resort near a gated road and the trailhead.

Trail Description

While not providing spectacular views of towering peaks, rugged ridges, or massive glaciers, Mink Lake does give hikers seeking escape from the crowds of Olympic National Park a place of refuge. The Mink Lake Trail leaves the parking lot at Sol Duc Hot Springs, immediately splitting from the Lovers Lane Trail that proceeds to the left. Continue on the path leading to the right and up the hillside. Soon, the trail joins up with an old road-grade before switch backing up the steep hillside. Views from the trail are limited but it does travel through some very nice Olympic Mountain forest. Several nice camping areas are located approximately 2 miles up, where the trail starts to follow Mink Lake's outlet stream and the terrain levels out briefly. The trail continues to climb at a moderate rate as it encounters Mink Lake, a marshy pond surrounded by gentle-forested ridges. Several campsites can be found at the south end of the lake.

Mink lake offers a good starting point for exploring Low-Divide. The trail continues past Mink Lake for 2 more miles to a junction with the Low Divide Trail. A good view of Olympus can be found near this trail junction, but be sure to soak it in-the only views of Olympus to the east of the junction are mostly through the trees. A good loop trip can be created by continuing along Low Divide to Elk Lake, traveling down to Sol Duc Falls and continuing back to your car via the Lover's Lane Trail. For an even longer and breathtaking trip, continue past Elk Lake to High Divide, some awesome views, and to Heart Lake. Circle down the Sol Duc River and back to your car using the Lovers Lane Trail.


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Note: "Elk Lake" in the trail description above is actually DEER Lake.

This isn't the best hike in the Olympics, but it is a nice place to visit if you have the time and just looking for a quiet lake.



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