Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 16 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Olympic National Forest
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/wonderland-trail.htm

The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State, United States. The trail follows the shoreline of Wynoochee Lake, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and dense forests. While the trail is now a popular recreational destination, it has a rich historical background that dates back several decades.

The area around Wynoochee Lake has long been inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Quinault and Chehalis tribes. These tribes relied on the lake and its surrounding resources for sustenance and cultural practices. The lake itself was named after the Wynoochee River, which flows into it and was named by the Quinault tribe.

In the early 20th century, the construction of the Wynoochee Dam brought significant changes to the area. The dam was built between 1969 and 1972 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood control and hydroelectric power. As a result of the dam’s construction, the lake’s water level rose, creating the scenic reservoir that exists today. The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail was established to provide public access to the newly formed lake and its surrounding natural beauty.

Over the years, the trail has become a popular destination for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and anglers. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the diverse ecosystems of the Olympic National Forest, including old-growth forests, wetlands, and wildlife habitats. The trail also provides access to various recreational activities, such as fishing, boating, and camping, making it a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Today, the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail stands as a testament to the area’s rich history and natural beauty, attracting visitors from near and far.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Wynoochee Lake Campground: This is the starting point of the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail. It offers parking facilities and access to the trailhead.

2. Wynoochee Dam: Located near the Wynoochee Lake Campground, the dam provides another access point to the trail. Visitors can park their vehicles near the dam and start their hike from there.

3. Wynoochee Falls: This scenic waterfall is a popular attraction along the trail. It can be accessed via a short side trail from the main trail.

4. Wynoochee River: The trail follows the shoreline of Wynoochee Lake, providing access to the river at various points. These access points allow hikers to enjoy the river views and potentially take a break or have a picnic.

5. Wynoochee Lake Overlook: This viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of Wynoochee Lake. It can be reached by following a short side trail from the main trail.

6. Wynoochee Lake Dam: Towards the end of the trail, hikers can reach the Wynoochee Lake Dam. This is another access point where visitors can park their vehicles and explore the area.

Please note that these are some of the major access points along the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail, but there may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the way.

Transportation Available

1. Wynoochee River Road – A scenic road that provides access to the trailhead of Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail.
2. Wynoochee Valley Road – Another road that leads to the trailhead, offering convenient access for hikers.
3. Wynoochee Lake Campground – A campground near the trailhead, providing parking facilities for visitors.
4. Private Shuttle Services – Various private shuttle services are available in the area, offering transportation to and from the trailhead.
5. Ride-Sharing Services – Popular ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in the region, providing transportation options for trail visitors.


The amenities available at the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail, including at the trailhead and at designated camping areas.

2. Parking: There is parking available at the trailhead, allowing visitors to easily access the trail.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers designated camping areas where visitors can set up tents and spend the night. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables and benches.

5. Fishing: Wynoochee Lake is known for its fishing opportunities, so visitors can enjoy fishing along the trail. However, fishing licenses may be required.

6. Boating: The lake also allows boating, so visitors can bring their own boats or rent them to explore the lake.

7. Wildlife Viewing: The trail offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to observe various species of birds, mammals, and other animals in their natural habitat.

8. Scenic Views: The trail provides beautiful scenic views of Wynoochee Lake and the surrounding forested areas, offering a picturesque experience for hikers.

9. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural history of the area, enhancing the educational experience for visitors.

10. Accessibility: The trail may have sections that are accessible for individuals with disabilities, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the trail.

Please note that amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check with local authorities or park management for the most up-to-date information on amenities available at the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Wynoochee Lake Campground – Campground located near the trailhead of Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail.
2. Wynoochee River Roadhouse – Restaurant offering food services near the trail.
3. Wynoochee Valley Volunteer Fire Department – Emergency services available in the area.

Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Difficulty Notes

The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers. The trail spans approximately 13 miles and features a mix of flat sections, gentle inclines, and some steeper sections. While the trail is generally well-maintained, hikers should be prepared for some uneven terrain and occasional obstacles such as fallen trees. The trail also includes a few creek crossings, which may require careful navigation during periods of high water. Overall, the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail provides a satisfying challenge for intermediate hikers, offering beautiful views of the lake and surrounding forest along the way.

Features And Attractions

The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is a beautiful hiking trail located in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state. Along the trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail:

1. Wynoochee Lake: The trail follows the shoreline of the stunning Wynoochee Lake, offering breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains.

2. Wynoochee Dam: Near the trailhead, you can find the Wynoochee Dam, a historic structure built in the 1970s for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. It’s an impressive sight to behold.

3. Old-growth Forests: The trail takes you through lush old-growth forests, where you can marvel at towering trees, moss-covered logs, and a diverse array of plant and animal life.

4. Waterfalls: Along the trail, you may encounter several small waterfalls cascading down the hillsides, adding to the scenic beauty of the area.

5. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, as the area is home to various species such as deer, elk, black bears, and a variety of bird species.

6. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail, providing a perfect spot to rest, enjoy a meal, and take in the serene surroundings.

7. Fishing Spots: If you enjoy fishing, there are several spots along the lake where you can cast your line and try your luck at catching trout or salmon.

8. Wildflower Meadows: During the spring and summer months, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, creating a colorful and picturesque landscape.

9. Campgrounds: The Wynoochee Lake area offers several campgrounds where you can spend the night, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

10. Overlooks: There are a few designated overlooks along the trail that provide panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains, offering excellent photo opportunities.

These are just a few of the highlights along the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail. Exploring this trail will undoubtedly provide you with a memorable and enriching outdoor experience.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
– Camping is allowed only in designated areas.
– Campfires are permitted only in designated fire rings or grills.
– Do not damage or remove any natural or cultural resources.
– Hunting and fishing are allowed in accordance with state regulations.
– Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail but must yield to pedestrians.
– Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during winter months.
– Pack out all trash and leave no trace of your visit.
– Swimming and boating are allowed in designated areas only.
– Alcohol consumption is prohibited in certain areas, as indicated by signage.
– Follow all posted rules and regulations for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Seasonal Information

The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail, located in the beautiful Olympic National Forest in Washington state, offers visitors a stunning outdoor experience throughout the year. However, the best times to visit the trail depend on personal preferences and the activities one wishes to engage in.

During the spring and early summer months, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery. This is an ideal time for nature enthusiasts and photographers to capture the beauty of the blooming flora. The temperatures are generally mild, ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees Celsius), making it pleasant for hiking and camping. However, it is important to note that the trail can be quite muddy during this time due to melting snow and rain, so proper footwear is recommended.

Summer is another popular time to visit the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail. The weather is typically warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 29 degrees Celsius). This is an excellent time for swimming, fishing, and boating in the crystal-clear waters of Wynoochee Lake. The trail offers shaded areas, providing relief from the heat during hikes. It is advisable to bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be quite active during this season.

As for seasonal closures, it is important to be aware that the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail may be inaccessible during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. The trailhead and access roads may be closed, making it difficult to reach the trail. It is recommended to check with the Olympic National Forest Service or local authorities for current trail conditions and closures before planning a visit during the winter season.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail are during the spring and early summer for the blooming wildflowers and mild temperatures, as well as the summer for swimming and water activities. However, it is crucial to stay informed about seasonal closures, particularly during the winter months when heavy snowfall may render the trail inaccessible.


1. Paved Trail: The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is fully paved, allowing for easy wheelchair access and smooth navigation for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are located near the trailhead, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
4. Picnic Areas: ADA-compliant picnic areas are available along the trail, providing accessible seating and tables for individuals with disabilities.
5. Fishing Access: The trail offers wheelchair-accessible fishing areas, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy fishing activities.
6. Scenic Overlooks: ADA-accessible scenic overlooks are strategically placed along the trail, providing stunning views of Wynoochee Lake for all visitors.
7. Interpretive Signage: The trail features interpretive signage with braille and large print, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can access information about the surrounding environment.
8. Benches and Rest Areas: Wheelchair-accessible benches and rest areas are available at regular intervals along the trail, providing opportunities for individuals to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
9. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the trail, providing support and assistance to individuals with disabilities.
10. Trail Accessibility Guidelines: The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail follows ADA accessibility guidelines, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can fully enjoy the trail’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper hiking footwear and physical fitness.
2. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail is located in a temperate rainforest, and rain gear is recommended.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 13 miles long, so plan accordingly and allow enough time to complete the hike.
4. Wildlife Awareness: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as bears, cougars, and deer, and maintain a safe distance if encountered.
5. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with signs and trail markers, but it’s always a good idea to carry a map or GPS device for navigation.
6. Water Sources: Carry enough water for the duration of the hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
7. Camping: There are designated camping areas along the trail, but make sure to obtain any necessary permits and follow Leave No Trace principles.
8. Trail Conditions: Check for trail conditions and closures before heading out, as the trail may be affected by fallen trees or other hazards.
9. Cell Phone Reception: Cell phone reception may be limited or non-existent along the trail, so inform someone of your plans and expected return time.
10. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, emergency whistle, and other essential items in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
11. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike in groups for safety, especially in remote areas.
12. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing impact on the environment, and respecting wildlife and other hikers.
13. Trailhead Parking: Park your vehicle in designated areas and ensure it is locked and valuables are not visible to prevent theft.
14. Trail Etiquette: Yield to uphill hikers, be respectful of other trail users, and follow any specific trail rules or regulations.
15. Personal Fitness: Ensure you are physically prepared for the hike by gradually increasing your fitness level and consulting a healthcare professional if needed.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. The trail is located within the Olympic National Forest in Washington State, which is managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). As a part of the national forest system, the USFS is dedicated to preserving and managing the natural resources and ecosystems within its jurisdiction.

Efforts have been made to ensure the conservation of the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail and its surrounding environment. The trail is regularly monitored and maintained by the USFS to minimize human impact and preserve the natural habitat. This includes regular trail maintenance, such as clearing fallen trees and debris, as well as managing erosion and preventing the spread of invasive species.

Additionally, the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is subject to regulations and guidelines set forth by the USFS to protect the surrounding ecosystem. These regulations may include restrictions on camping, fishing, and other recreational activities to prevent overuse and minimize disturbance to wildlife and vegetation. The USFS also works closely with local conservation organizations and volunteers to educate visitors about the importance of preserving the trail and its natural surroundings.

Overall, the conservation status of the Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is considered to be in good standing, thanks to the efforts of the USFS and other stakeholders involved in its management. The trail provides an opportunity for visitors to experience the beauty of the Olympic National Forest while ensuring the long-term sustainability and preservation of the area’s natural resources.

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