One of the deepest lakes in Washington, Lake Crescent measures more than 5,000 surface acres. Surrounded by the mountains, its clear blue waters are ideal for boating, swimming, and other sports.
- A deep, turquoise body of water that is simply stunning to behold, Lake Crescent provides more than 5,000 acres of water for boating, swimming, fishing, and even scuba diving.
- The area around the lake is ideal for hiking and camping. Don’t forget your camera as you’ll want to capture the scenery!
What can I see and do at Lake Crescent?
Boating: Located about 17 miles west of Port Angeles, Lake Crescent Washington is truly one of the most picturesque lakes in the state. Located entirely within Olympic National Park, it is a premiere destination for all kinds of boating.
This glacier-carved lake, which descends to 624 feet, is a magnet for those who love sailing as well as kayakers and canoeing enthusiasts. There are several places along the lake where you can rent these vessels, including Lake Crescent Lodge, where the boats are affordable and maintained in excellent condition.
Fishing: There are two trout species found in the waters of Lake Crescent – the Crescenti (from the cutthroat family) and the Beardslee (of the rainbow species). However, because the population of these fish is at an all-time low, Lake Crescent fishing is catch-and-release only.
When fishing on the lake, only artificial lure with barbless hooks are allowed. Fishing season is from June 1 through October 31.
Swimming: Many visitors to Lake Crescent take advantage of the crystal clear waters and go swimming in the lake. The area known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl is quite popular with swimmers as are the waters near the lodge. Even in the summer, however, the water is quite chilly.
Scuba Diving: There are a number of easy shore dive sites that SCUBA enthusiasts can enjoy while visiting Lake Crescent. Instructors say the biggest peril, however, is the clearness of the lake, which allows the sun to penetrate deeply and keeps divers from realizing just how deep they’ve traveled.
For an especially cool dive, head by boat to Barnes Point and check out the underwater forest, complete with 60-foot-deep trees. You’ll also see plenty of fish at this location.
Camping: At the far west end of Lake Crescent is the Fairholm Campground, which includes 88 sites, restrooms, picnic tables, and an amphitheater where interpretive programs are presented. A general store and café are within walking distance of this Lake Crescent camping area.
Hiking: There are several trails of different skill levels around Lake Crescent. For an easy hike, try the Spruce Railroad Trail, which follows an old rail bed, or the Moments in Time Nature Trail, a half-mile loop suitable for anyone. For a look at one of the loveliest sites in the park, take the Marymere Falls Loop, which puts you face-to-face with spectacular 90-foot falls.
Where is Lake Crescent?
Take U.S. 101 west from Port Angeles. You’ll begin to see the lake at about 15 miles outside of town. There are numerous pull-overs where you can stop and take pictures, or continue to the turn-off for Lake Crescent Lodge, where you can park your car and explore the lake as well as the quaint lodge.