Community June 8, 2023

Visiting Lake Crescent

Visiting Lake Crescent from Bainbridge Island is a must. It’s only two hours from Bainbridge Island, and the lake lies in the heart of the Olympic Mountains. A delight to all who visit, Lake Crescent’s glacial blue water and local hiking options attract visitors from around the world.

Lake Crescent Lodge


Photo by Leo Phillips.

Located about 20 miles west of Port Angeles, Lake Crescent Lodge is the perfect spot for those looking to spend some time at the lake in the Olympic National Park & Forest. Built in 1915, the lodge offers cabins, cottages, and rooms in the historic lodge. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed at the lodge in 1937, and in 1938 he signed into law the creation of the Olympic National Park.

A dining area, lounge, coffee bar, and gift shop are also found on site. Dining at Lake Crescent Lodge includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but check their website for hours and current menus. Reservations are not needed for breakfast or lunch, but they are recommended for dinner. You can call the lodge directly: (360) 928-3211.

Lake Crescent is also the perfect place to get out on the water when it’s nice outside. And, you can rent boats and paddleboards from the lodge. The rentals are on a first-come, first-serve basis and are available to rent from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Check out this amazing virtual tour to get a sense of the beauty that awaits.

Log Cabin Resort

For visitors looking for a more rustic, outdoor experience, look no further than Log Cabin Resort. The resort operates from May to October and offers a wide variety of accommodations.  Options include Lakeside Chalets, camping cabins, log cabins, and RV sites with full hook-ups as well as tent camping sites. Everything is close to the shore of Lake Crescent.

This virtual tour gives you a look at the grounds. In addition, there is a small retail store as well as boat and kayak rentals. Guests can also hop on their bikes and onto the nearby section of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Fairholme Campground

Lying west of Lake Crescent, Fairholme Campground’s 2023 season is open from April to September. It has 84 campsites available for RVs and tent camping, one of which is ADA-accessible. During the peak summer season, campers can make reservations online. The Lake Crescent boat launch is located adjacent to the campground. Also, the Fairholme Olympic Discovery Trail is available at this access point.

Once you’ve found a place to stay, consider the fun recreational activities listed below, which are offered in and around Lake Crescent.


Photo by Leo Phillips.

Fishing, Swimming, and Scuba Diving

Many people enjoy fishing at Lake Crescent. The lake contains Rainbow Trout and Coastal Cutthroat. The area is also renowned for its fly fishing. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own gear and keep abreast of fishing regulations. Currently, the lake is only allowing catch and release in an effort to support the Rainbow Trout population.

If you simply want to swim in the clear blue waters of Lake Crescent, you are free to do so. The water is chilly, so caution is advised.

For those wanting to go deeper, scuba diving is also permitted in Lake Crescent. But remember to dive with at least one other person for safety reasons. You can dive off your boat, or there are two shore diving sites. The clear waters offer visibility all the way to 150 feet.


There are a plethora of hikes around Crescent Lake. The Spruce Railroad Trail runs along the north shore of the lake. It is a paved, accessible trail on an old railroad bed with two tunnels. Bikes and pets are permitted on the trail. A popular section of the trail is the Devil’s Punchbowl. This 2.4 mile in-and-out hike is also dog-friendly as long as your pup is on a leash.

Another hike around Crescent Lake is Marymere Falls. It winds a mile through an old-growth forest and ends at a picturesque waterfall. There is also a self-guided nature trail called Moments in Time that is a mile round trip. It is accessible with some assistance.

For those looking for a big challenge, look no further than Mt. Storm King. The hike is 4.4 miles round trip and entails steep switchbacks to the summit. However, the reward for the grueling 2,000-foot elevation gain is a magnificent view of the lake.


Along with the option to ride a bike on the Spruce Railroad Trail, you can grab your bike and go on the Olympic Discovery Trail. The West Central portion of the trail is 31.7 miles long and includes parts of Lake Crescent. If you want to explore the area further, you can check out these maps and guides.

Lake Crescent is the perfect place to enjoy as a day trip or as a weekend getaway that really highlights the magic of the great outdoors. You don’t have to travel far to spend some time away from it all. The wide range of lodging options and water, hiking, and biking activities will give any visitor more than enough to do and see!

Curious about other places to explore? Check out these unique Washington retreats.