Lake Crescent is a stunning glacially carved lake located in the heart of Olympic National Park in Washington state. This lake is known for its crystal-clear waters, towering peaks, and lush forests. Lake Crescent is a popular destination for a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, boating, and fishing. There are several hiking trails around the lake, some of which lead to waterfalls and viewpoints with stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Lake Crescent is a truly special place, and it is a must-visit for any nature lover or outdoor enthusiast. In this post, I am sharing a complete guide to Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park. I hope this guide makes it easier to plan your visit!
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Guide to Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park
From Port Angeles, take 101 West for 20 miles (heading towards Forks). It will take about 30-45 minutes. There will be a sign for Marymere Falls and the Lake Crescent Lodge with room to park on the right. There is lake access from here. However, if you are heading to the campsite you are going to continue on for 15 more minutes. There will be a sign for the campsite on your right.
If you are coming from the direction of Forks, you will take 101 East for around 20- 30 miles. The campsite will be on the left. If you are going to access the lake from the Storm King Ranger Station, you will continue on for 15 minutes until you see the sign for Marymere Falls and the Lake Crescent Lodge.
This lake is only about 3 hours from Seattle. if you are heading from Seattle, take the Bremerton ferry to the peninsula and then follow signs towards Port Angeles before following the directions above.
About the Fairholme Campground
The Fairholme campground is the place to stay if you are visiting Lake Crescent and want to camp. There are 88 sites and some of them are lakefront. My personal favorite sites are the lakefront options, but you will have to hike your things down a hill and they are not accessible if you are staying in a trailer. However, if you are interested in fishing, you are able to fish from your campsite.
Reservations are not accepted at this campground and getting a site is on a first-come, first-serve basis. While it can get busier on the weekends in the summer, I haven’t had a problem visiting on a weekday and snagging a site. The cost per night at this campground is $24. RVs up to 21 feet can be accommodated. The restroom facilities here are always really clean and the toilets flush (a luxury!!). There are also showers and potable water. Pets are allowed at the campground but are not allowed on any of the trails in the area.
By the docks, there is the Fairhome store which is a small convenience store open from the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day and runs 9:00 am- 7:00 pm. Here you can rent canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks. Pricing for the rentals is $20 for 1 hour, $35 for 2 hours, $45 for 5 hours, or $60 for 8 hours. They have snacks like hot chocolate and ice cream, but also offer some camping supplies that you may have forgotten at home.
Lake Crescent Lodge
If you are wanting a more luxurious stay at Lake Crescent, there is a lodge. The lodge is open from May 7th to January 2nd. The lodge is located in a parking lot next to the Mount Storm King/Marymere Falls hiking trailheads.
At the lodge, there is dining, a bar, and a gift shop. You can stay in cabins or within the main lodge. There are also boat, kayak, and paddleboard rentals. Pricing depends on the room that you are staying in as well as the season. However, you can expect to spend $125- 250/night. Check-in for the lodge is 4:00 pm in the main lodge and checkout is 11:00 am. Pets are allowed to stay at the lodge for an additional $25 fee and must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are only permitted in the cabins outside of the main lodge and not within the main lodge. For more info on the lodge, check out the website here.
Hiking in the Area
There are so many different opportunities to hike in the area. For an easier waterfall hike, head to Marymere Falls. For a more challenging hike, Mount Storm King is one of my favorites and overlooks the lake.
If waterfalls or hot springs are more your vibe, you’re in luck. Sol Duc Hotsprings and Falls are only a few minutes away from the campground. For a longer hike, try the Lovers Lane Trail. If you are looking for more of an exploratory hike, try the Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail.
There are plenty more opportunities to hike in the area, Storm King, Marymere, and Sol Duc are just some of the closest options. Forks, Port Angeles, Lake Ozette, or the beach are also great places to explore in the Olympic National Park if you are visiting.
- The Fairholme Campground, as well as the surrounding hikes, does not get great service. Plan to not have service just in case if you are planning your visit!
- If you’re planning on boating or fishing, be sure to purchase a permit from the National Park Service. You can purchase permits online or at the Lake Crescent Ranger Station.
- If you’re planning to go to Sol Duc, you’ll need to have an Olympic National Park pass that you can buy at a booth at the entrance or in Port Angeles.
- The best time to visit Lake Crescent is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the lake is beautiful year-round, and each season offers its own unique experiences.
Guide to Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park
If you are visiting the Olympic National Park, I highly recommend stopping by Lake Crescent. It’s truly a magical place with its crystal clear waters and mountain views. Lake Crescent has something to offer everyone whether you’re looking to enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, boating, fishing, or swimming.
MY HIKING + CAMPING FAVORITES
For more PNW-related posts, check out some of my previous posts below.
- Falls Creek Falls: What to Know Before Hiking
- Moulton Falls Regional Park
- 10 Outdoorsy Facebook Groups to Join if you Live in the Pacific Northwest
- Lewis River Falls | Trail Route, Hiking Tips + Best Time to Visit!
I hope you found this guide to Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park helpful! If you want to follow along on my hikes and get notified when I post new posts, be sure to follow my Instagram @maddie_deer here or like my Facebook page here.