People tell us that no matter how often they visit the Olympic Peninsula, they never tire of the sight of deep, turquoise blue Lake Crescent! Lake Crescent is 624 feet deep and 8.5 miles long. Searching its depths, it's not hard to imagine why ancient tribal tales speak of spirits that hide in these waters. Legend has it that nearby Mount Storm King once became angry at warring Clallam and Quileute tribes – so angry that he threw down a massive rock, dividing the deep blue lake from Lake Sutherland to the east. Today, scientists tell a surprisingly similar story; that an ancient rock slide once took place there, sending water from Lake Crescent out through the Lyre River.
Lodging. Historic Lake Crescent Lodge, located in the Olympic National Park on the lake's shores, was once known as "Singers Tavern." The turn-of-the-century Lodge remains much the same as when originally built by Al Singer in 1916. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the area in 1937, enjoying trout in the Lodge's dining room and studying a proposal that would create Olympic National Park in 1938. Today as then, the lake is famous for its Beardslee and Crescenti Trout, two subspecies often ranging 12 to 14 pounds. After a day out and around the Lake, dinner at the Lodges' unique waterfront dining room is a wonderful treat, complete with spectacular views of the lake.
Also located in the Olympic National Park, is Log Cabin Resort, which is on the sunny northeast side of Lake Crescent, secluded among old growth firs and cedars. Built on the site of a lodge originally constructed in 1895, but destroyed by fire, the popular resort offers lakeside chalets, lodge rooms, rustic and camping cabins, as well as RV hook-ups. In addition, Log Cabin Lodge offers restaurant services, a gift shop and a general store.
Camping. The nearest campground is an Olympic National Park facility at Fairholm which is also on Lake Crescent. Campground amenities include 88 sites including vehicle pull-in sites, restroom facilities, picnic tables, fire grates and an amphitheater for interpretive and educational programs during the summer months. Parking is available for boat trailers and fueling is provided between the campground and the Fairholm General Store and Cafe.
Activities. Lake Crescent offers swimming, boating, camping, picnicking, and, of course, fishing right in the Park. The lake has several beaches and boat ramps. No matter where you vacation on the Peninsula, you'll want to spend at least one day canoeing or kayaking Lake Crescent's shores and walking down the trail to the footbridge and swimming hole (pictured in the postcard above) known as Devil's Punch Bowl.
Hiking. Along with the short hike to Devil's Punch Bowl, Lake Crescent is home to a number of other trails, including the kid-friendly Spruce Railroad Trail. This four-mile trail offers a gentle stroll following the grade of an old railroad bed. Other nearby day hikes include Moments in Time Nature Trail, a half-mile loop that's wheelchair accessible; Marymere Falls, which winds through old growth forest up to a spectacular 90-foot waterfall; Mount Storm King Trail, with its steep climb to great views and Pyramid Peak Trail, a 2,600-foot climb with great views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Getting there. Less than a half hour's drive west of Port Angeles on US Hwy 101. There are numerous places along the lake's south side to pull out and admire the view or enjoy a picnic lunch as you travel along the highway. While continuing on Hwy 101, you'll see signs for Lake Crescent Lodge and Marymere Falls, as well as for Fairholm (which is at the far west point of the lake).
To get to Log Cabin Resort, drive west out of Port Angeles US Hwy 101 and watch for the "Piedmont" turn off to the north (right) on to East Beach Road and watch for the Log Cabin Resort turn off, which is on your left.
Click for the Park's webcam view of current conditions on Lake Crescent.