Lena – Putvin Traverse

September 27, 2015

This was a beautiful overnight trip on the Lena - Putvin Traverse I did with Cheryl and some friends from the Peninsula Wilderness Club. The following are the notes I took immediately after the trip. "Take the Lena Lake trail to Upper Lena Lake, then take the Scout Lake Way Trail to near a point where the trail drops down to Scout Lake. At this point go off trail staying at near the 4800-4900 foot level towards Saint Peter's Gate on Mt Stone. You will soon be back on a way trail, this time the Stone Ponds Way Trail. Saint Peters Gate will be the snow filled route on the right. Climb over Saint Peter's Gate, which is the high point of this route and then drop down to Lake of the Angels. From LOA, utilize the horrible Putvin Trail back down the to the Hamma Hamma valley floor."

So I guess I really hated that Putvin Trail so much that I called it horrible in my notes, HA! Usually my memory of how horrible a trail is fades so much until all I remember about it is the good stuff. At least until the next time I hike it, that is. But sitting here right now reminiscing, yes, the Putvin Trail really sucks. I had a hard time walking for about a week after coming down that trail. Did something to my achilles. I'm sure I've been on trail as bad, but with the overnight pack, I probably pushed it more than I am normally used to.

I normally don't share my GPS tracks, but because so much of this is off trail, I will share this one. You can find the download link below the map at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind these are tracks created with my cell phone so they will not be spot on but they should get you where you need to go.

The whole group at the trailhead
Heavenly light on the way up
Lena Lake snack break at Lunch Rock
The footlog crossing on Lena Creek
When you reach this sign, you have arrived at Upper Lena Lake
The group sets up camp. Cheryl, Steve and Myself opted to set up camp near here but not with the main group.
The big group camp
Socializing with the group
It was a little chilly
Everyone was in a great mood.
Enjoying some hot beverages
Big meadow by the lake
Watching the weather move in and out. It was supposed to be nicer the following day
Upper Lena Lake
Fall colors on Upper Lena Lake
I took a side trip up the mountainside near the lake to get a different perspective. This is a panorama of the scene.
The next morning proved to be clear, but it also was very cold over night and everything frosted over.
Sunrise on Upper Lena Lake
Sunrise on Upper Lena Lake
Watching the sunrise above Upper Lena Lake
Watching the sunrise above Upper Lena Lake
Sunrise above Upper Lena Lake
Sunrise above Upper Lena Lake
Soon, after packing up and having a hearty breakfast, we were traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail. This section is very beautiful and scenic.
Traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail amidst the fall colors.
Traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail amidst the fall colors.
Traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail amidst the fall colors.
Traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail amidst the fall colors.
Traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail amidst the fall colors.
Traversing the Scout Lake Way Trail amidst the fall colors.
Deerheart Lake with Mt Stone and St Peter's Gate in the distance
Deerheart Lake with Mt Stone and St Peter's Gate in the distance
Scout Lake. This was the only view we had of it as we traversed the Scout Lake Way Trail.
A little tarn on the Scout Lake Trail. One leaves the Scout Lake Trail near here in search of the Stone Ponds Way Trail. According to the Olympic Mountains Trail Guide, "At this point one should leave the trail and travel cross-country, going left through easy terrain to meadows, thus avoiding the steep descent to Scout Lake via the trail. The route is longer but much safer. The hiker should go south as far as the big meadow, where the Stone Ponds Way Trail can be followed north to its intersection with Scout Lake Way Trail." To be sure you're on the correct route, you may download my tracks that I saved. You can find the link under the map below.
St Peter's Gate
St Peter's Gate
St Peters Gate. Don't be tempted to go to the lower spot on the left. St Peters is the snow filled section on the right.
Fall colors on the Stone Ponds Way Trail
Following the Stone Ponds Way Trail
Following the Stone Ponds Way Trail
Following the Stone Ponds Way Trail
Following the Stone Ponds Way Trail
Following the Stone Ponds Way Trail. St Peters Gate directly ahead
One of the Stone Ponds. Mt Rainier in the distance.
The beginning of the ascent to St Peter's Gate.
Looking back from where we came. One of the Stone Ponds below.
Climbing the Glacier (or maybe it's just a permanent snow field?) just below St Peter's Gate. You will definitely want traction for this section because it is solid ice.
Looking back from St Peter's Gate. One of the Stone Ponds directly below and Scout Lake in the distance.
Having a break at St Peter's Gate.
The view of Lake of the Angels from St Peter's Gate.
Mt Washington. Bet you can't guess why its called Mt Washington.
Almost October and Zac decides to go for a swim in Lake of the Angels.
That had to be cold.
Parting shot of LOA. A panorama.
Leaving the wilderness area on the drop down the Putvin Trail
One of the few views going down the Putvin Trail. A shot across the Hamma Hamma Valley of Jefferson Peak.
Download file: Lena-Putvin-Traverse.gpx
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One thought on “Lena – Putvin Traverse

  • May 15, 2016 at 7:38 pm
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    Fantastic photos, very pretty area. I have to agree that the Putvin Trail is horrible. I started going up it once but gave up pretty quickly. Not just steep but the tread is very narrow and unstable too. Love the shots of St Peter’s Gate.

    Reply

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