Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington

Route 101 hugs the shore of Lake Crescent creating a picture perfect scene as you enter Olympic National Park. A number of pullouts afford magical views, but there was frequent construction on this stretch of road causing anywhere from 30 minute to 4 hour delays. Check road conditions before your depart.

Lake Crescent Lodge

Lake Crescent Lodge is another state park lodge that is long on history and charm and short on value. Like the Lake Quinault Lodge the charm is in the main lobby, a lovely wood room with a large stone fire place perfect for that glass of wine before dinner or catching up on a good book. A row of cozy cabins lead up to the lodge. The cabin rooms are small and dated but they make an effort to keep them warm and comfortable, a weird fake fire place that does provide heat with two comfy chairs in front of it, for instance.

Dinner at Lake Crescent Lodge

Dinner in the lodge is expensive but good with traditional American offerings such as steak, salmon, duck and pasta. The dining room faces the lake. Be sure to make a reservation if you want a lake side table. We started with the tomato soup, a homemade spicy recipe that hit the spot on a cold rainy night. For mains we tried the salmon on a bed of black rice served with sautéed vegetables and the gnocchi with crab in a basil broth. Both dishes were well done. For dessert the marionberry cobbler was worth the splurge – a bit saucy but great berry flavor.


Breakfast, served in the same dining room as dinner, offers a traditional selection of items. Not wanting a full American breakfast I choose the just the eggs and the potatoes à la carte, reducing the price from $17 to $10. Don’s gravlax and cream cheese was a treat served with all the fixings and miniature bagels – an elegant albeit costly way to start the day.

Hiking Trails

Choosing a trail near Lake Crescent was more difficult than it should be. With the traffic delays on 101 we did not want to back track too much. There was also a road closing at Elwha with nothing accessible by car beyond the Madison Waterfall. Therefore we decided to walk from the Lake Crescent Resort along the Barnes Creek Trail with a side trip the Marymere Falls. The trail passes though beautiful sections of old growth forest. The Marymere Falls are only of moderate interest but make a nice destination for a short walk. For a longer hike, you can then continue up the Barnes Creek Trail although it does get quite steep. Short on time we only went a short ways up. The Storm King trail also branches off this same network of trails.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Pacific Northwest page.

May 14-15, 2019