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Lake Crescent in Winter: A Perfect Washington Getaway

If you're looking for the perfect winter getaway in Washington, then look no further than Lake Crescent. Located on the Olympic Peninsula, this stunning lake is a breathtaking sight during the winter months. With its crystal clear waters and snow-capped evergreen trees, Lake Crescent is the perfect destination to enjoy some winter activities, such as skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

Whether you're looking for a romantic weekend away or a fun-filled adventure with family and friends, Lake Crescent in winter is sure to provide the perfect escape.

Lake Crescent in Winter


Lake Crescent is a deep, glacially-carved lake located in the Olympic National Park in Washington State. It is situated between Lake Sutherland to the north and the town of Port Angeles to the south. The lake is popular for its breathtaking views and crystal-clear water.

During the winter months, access to Lake Crescent can be tricky. The lake is accessible all year round, but because of the snowfall and icy conditions that come with winter, visitors need to take extra care when driving to the lake. There are some roads that may be closed, so it’s important to check road conditions before you go. Snowshoes and other winter gear may also be needed depending on conditions.

Lake Crescent in Winter

If you love Lake Crescent, we highly recommend you check out some of the other glacier-formed lakes in Washington.

Getting There

If you’re planning to visit Lake Crescent in winter, the best way to get there is by car. The lake is located in Olympic National Park in Washington State, and you can access it via Highway 101 or US Highway 112. You’ll want to leave plenty of time for your journey, as road conditions can be unpredictable during the winter months. Snow tires are recommended if you’re traveling in the snow, and you may want to bring chains just in case.

You can also take a bus to Lake Crescent in winter, with many routes that pass through the Olympic Peninsula. If you’re coming from out of town, you can fly into either Seattle-Tacoma International Airport or Sea-Tac Airport, both of which have bus services that run to Lake Crescent.

Finally, you can also take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and then travel via bus to Lake Crescent. This is a great option if you’re looking for a scenic ride to your destination!

Ice at Lake Crescent

What to Do at Lake Crescent in Winter

When it comes to exploring Lake Crescent in winter, there are plenty of activities to enjoy! First and foremost, you can take part in a wide range of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. You can even explore the lake on a winter hike around the shoreline! Afterward, warm up with hot cocoa or a cup of coffee at one of the nearby lakeside cafes. Another popular winter activity is to bundle up and take in the view of the frozen lake.

For a unique experience, try your hand at ice skating on the lake’s glassy surface – it’s an unforgettable experience! If you’d prefer something more low-key, why not spend a day exploring some of the area’s historic sites, museums, and trails? With so much to do and see around Lake Crescent in winter, you’ll never get bored.

View of Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent Hikes

If you're looking for outdoor activities while visiting Lake Crescent in winter, there are plenty of excellent hikes to choose from. The lake is close to some of the best hikes in Olympic National Park. Here are some of the most popular hikes near Lake Crescent during the winter months:

Spruce Railroad Trail

This 7.2-mile out-and-back trail is a popular spot for hikers in winter. It follows the shoreline of Lake Crescent and gives hikers breathtaking views of the lake. As you make your way through the trail, you can spot a variety of wildlife and natural wonders such as old-growth forest and cascading waterfalls.

Marymere Falls Trail

This short 1.8-mile round-trip hike is a great option for those looking for a quick outing with some spectacular views. Along this easy-to-follow trail, you can spot some of Lake Crescent's diverse plant life, views of the beautiful Marymere Falls, and the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Crescent.

Marymere Falls
Marymere Falls in winter

Mount Storm King

This moderate 3-mile round-trip trail takes hikers up to a stunning viewpoint where they can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Crescent in winter. The trail includes steep sections but rewards hikers with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, deep valleys, and of course, Lake Crescent.

Mount Storm King

Where to Stay

When visiting Lake Crescent in winter, there are a number of different accommodation options available. Hotels are a great option if you’re looking for a warm and comfortable place to stay during your trip. The Lake Crescent Lodge is a historic hotel on the shores of Lake Crescent, offering comfortable cabins, cottages, and rooms for an enjoyable stay. The Lake Crescent Inn is another great option, with rooms offering lake views and warm hospitality.

If you’re looking for something more unique and cost-effective, camping near Lake Crescent in winter is also an option. The Fairholme Campground provides campsites with access to nearby trails and stunning views of the lake. For something more remote, the Heart O’ The Hills campground offers drive-up sites nestled in the forests just above the lake. Both locations offer showers, toilets, and other amenities for an enjoyable camping experience.

You might also want to check out Salt Creek Campground, a popular tent and RV-camping spot near Port Angeles.

Tips for Visiting

1. Be sure to dress warmly when visiting Lake Crescent in winter - the temperatures often drop below freezing, and you will want to be prepared.

2. Be aware of the possibility of icy roads when driving to Lake Crescent in winter, as they can be slippery and dangerous. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, and take extra caution while on the roads.

3. Pack appropriately for your trip to Lake Crescent in winter, as many of the trails and attractions may not be open or accessible.

4. Bring an extra layer of clothing and shoes in case your first layers get wet. The lake itself is not typically accessible during the winter months, but snow-shoeing and other activities may leave you vulnerable to the elements.

5. Make sure to check ahead for possible road closures before heading out to Lake Crescent in winter - closures due to snow or ice are not uncommon and can delay your travel plans.

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