Mt. Lena and Upper Lena Lake

Mt. Lena and Upper Lena Lake: 5995 ft.Elevation gain: 5,300 ft. Distance: 17 miles Time: 10-11 hrs. % alpine 25% Rating 4 Trailhead: 700 ft.

Mt. Lena from Upper Lena Lake. Route in red

Mt. Lena from Upper Lena Lake. Route in red

Overview:Beautiful Upper Lena Lake is sandwitched between two peaks, Mt. Lena to the north and Bretherton to the south. Bretherton is a very tough scramble. Mt. Lena is much easier and the views from the top are spectatular. The Brothers and Mt. Constance seem close enough to touch. Mt. Lena involves some bushwacking from the lake to get to the slopes but it is well worth the trouble. The 7 mile trail to Upper Lena Lake passes by, the often crowded, Lower Lena Lake. The trail to the upper lake weeds out the majority of casual hikers, especially the last 1.5 miles, which are steep and gnarly with roots and rocks in places.

Getting to The Trailhead:From U.S Hwy 101, 13 miles north of Hoodsport and near mile marker 318, turn west on the signed, Hamma Hamma River Road. Drive 8 paved miles to the Lena Lakes Trailhead on the right at 700 ft. elevation. A large parking area is on the left.

The Trail:The first three miles of the trail switchbacks through the trees and passes large boulders to Lower Lena Lake. The grade is relatively easy, gaining only1,250 feet of elevation and is very popular. At 3 miles come to a junction sign with the Upper Lena Lake trail and turn left. Upper Lena Lake is 4 miles and 3,000 feet of elevation higher up the valley. While at the junction, walk .1mile straight ahead to Chapel Rock, a good spot to look out over Lower Lena Lake. Then return to the junction and continue up the valley to the upper lake. Miles 4 and 5 continue to follow a moderate grade near Lena Creek. But miles 6 and 7 become much steeper and the trail is rougher. At 7miles come to Upper Lena Lake, a beautiful small alpine lake sandwitched between Mt. Lena to the north and Mt. Bretherton to the south. Both peaks are quite visible from this point. While Mt. Lena is hikable, Bretherton is a much more difficult and dangerous scramble. Find a trail junction at this 7 mile mark, Lena to the right, Bretherton left.

The Peak:Continue around the lake for .2 mile and turn right, north, at another trail junction, signed for Scout Lake. Follow this trail for about a quarter mile, until it begins to go too far west. Go off trail and follow a drainage up the steep meadow slope, northeast toward the east ridge of Mt. Lena. Traverse all the way across the face of the mountain to a saddle just to the right, east, of the peak. Then turn left and walk the final slope to the top at 5,995 feet. (Note, another option is to leave the trail at camp site #1 just before the Scout Lake Trail and bushwack through trees and brush until you gain the east ridge of Lena. I prefer to avoid the bushwacking by going a short distance up the Scout Lake trail and traversing the open face.) The views on top of the Mountain are spectacular. Upper Lena Lake sits 1,000 feet below you. Mt. Bretherton looms very large straight south. The Brothers and then the Hood Canal and Puget Sound lie to the east. Southwest is Mt. Stone and its three rocky peaks. A 360 degree feast for the eyes.

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