3.2 miles, 179ft gain/1400ft loss. Thankfully, the new Garmin GPS is still working, and the cool thing about it, and the free software that you can download, record ALL of your ups and downs during a hike, and gives you the stats in a graph, so you know exactly how much elevation gain and loss was truly registered, over all the changes, so the elevation changes may be slightly different than what is noted on other websites, as it’s no longer a matter of noting the elevation at the trailhead, and subtracting from the high point. Very cool!
It’s an easy, gradual downhill to the trailhead, and within an hour and a half, we’re at the car, unloading gear.
All in all, it was a good trip except for the few little hic-ups we encountered, like needing reservations, and the water filter problem. However, the amount of sweat equity that’s needed to see upper Lena Lake, makes this a location I’ll probably never venture to again, as there just isn’t that much to see unless you camp at the upper lake for a few days and go exploring to the nearby peaks. And, don’t forget to reserve ahead of time your camp at the Upper Lake!
From May to September, you will need to get a reservation, as this is a quota area in the Olympic National Park, up to 30 days in advance. For more info, go to http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/upload/WildernessMap.pdf and you will see that Upper Lena Lake is a wilderness camp, permits limited area. Going to the WIC, or Wilderness Information Center site, you can contact the ranger station for reservations, at http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-permits.htm
If you click on the “see if reservations are required” link, you will notice that Upper Lena Lake is NOT listed, which can be confusing, but trust me, reservations are required! If in doubt, be sure and call the WIC for the latest info.
As of 2013, the NPS has updated their site, so the confusion factor that we faced on this trip has been alleviated…Thanks, Park Service!