This trail leads to an alpine lake on the northern flanks of Copper Mountain. It is very steep as it gains 3,200 feet in less than three miles. Some of the trail is covered by dense underbrush and poison oak is present. There are a few camping sites on the lakeshore and the lake is stocked with cutthroat trout.
Begin this hike from the Staircase Ranger Station at the end of Forest Road 24. The trail begins by climbing the eastern valley wall of the North Fork Skokomish River. It ascends northward on switchbacks at first until gaining the ridge crest between Slate and Lincoln Creeks. From this point the trail climbs the ridge for approximately one mile gaining 1,650 feet.
The trail is steep through old growth and second growth forest stands. You may be able to glimpse Mt. Lincoln to the north (left) as you climb through the trees. After climbing straight up the ridge the trail veers to the left leaving the ridge line. At this point the grade lessens as you contour the northern ridge of Copper Mountain. The trail crosses the outlet stream of Wagonwheel Lake then reaches the western lakeshore at 4,100 feet. The lake lies on the southeastern border of the park.
Directions: From Eldon, Drive south on Highway 101 to a junction with Forest Road 24, Jorsted Creek Road. Turn right, westward, toward Lake Cushman. Drive 15 miles through private, state and national forest lands to the Staircase Ranger Station within the southeastern boundary of Olympic National Park.
Elevation: 800 feet
Ending Elevation: 4,100 feet
Usage: Heavy in Summer
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Olympic National Park, Washington
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