Boulder Lake - Happy Lake Ridge Loop
ElevationAscent: 4,238' 1,292 m
Descent: -4,247' -1,295 m
High: 5,272' 1,607 m
Low: 1,723' 525 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 57% (29°)
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“A long climb to an expansive ridge, complete with two stunning lakes.”— Pete B
The first side trip option is a short jaunt to Boulder Lake where you can stop for a snack or even a chilly dip in the pristine waters.
Up on Happy Lake Ridge, there's the slightly longer option to check out Happy Lake. This side trip adds about 0.8 miles to the overall loop, but is worth it if you have the time.
After this climb, there is a short side trail to the left which goes to Boulder Lake, a beautiful sub-alpine lake with exposed rock in the background. In the summer, this lake is warm enough to swim in for extended periods of time, but otherwise a quick dip into frigid waters is always possible.
From the lake, the Happy Lake Ridge Trail climbs a bit further to gain the ridge. The trail continues along this ridge, offering views into the Elwha valley. It eventually reaches the turn-off to Happy Lake, which is not as picturesque as other lakes in the Olympics, as it is buried in the trees, yet it is still worth the trip down.
The trail then continues a short while longer along Happy Lake Ridge before dropping toward the road.
If one were to hike this backwards from what is drawn, they could stop at the hot springs before the quick three mile, road-grade jaunt out.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Olympic National Park