Lake Crescent is a strikingly blue, deep (624 feet) lake that sits in the forest 18 miles west of Port Angeles. Because there’s very little nitrogen in the water, it doesn’t support much phytoplankton, so the water stays very clear; the lake is also home to two subspecies of trout found nowhere else on the planet. And for the murder-mystery enthusiasts, this ecosystem also created unusual evidence in the Lady of the Lake investigation.
Statistics aside, Lake Crescent is a popular spot for water sports, waterfall watching and hiking.
Rent or bring your own kayak, standup paddleboard or canoe to paddle the shoreline of the lake. Or stroll the nearby beautiful hiking trails to destinations like Marymere Falls, an easy outing suitable for families, and Mt. Storm King, a short but challenging hike with steep elevation gain assisted with ropes (www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/mount-storm-king-trail.htm).
Want to just relax and soak in the views? Both lodges on the lake have comfy chairs along the shore for quiet, romantic moments overlooking the lake.
Lake Crescent has every kind of lodging. Stay at the elegant Lake Crescent Lodge and Cabins with gourmet restaurant. Or sleep in a modest cabin at the Log Cabin Resort. Eighty-eight sites for tents and RV camping can be found close to the lake and boat launch at the Fairholme Campground.
Need an Olympic National Park map? Buy the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park map at REI.com. The map includes clearly marked trails and points of interest such as scenic views, campgrounds, trailheads, boat launches, picnic sites, ranger stations and more printed on waterproof, tear-resistant material.