Lake Crescent, Washington, USA

Also known as:  Crescent Lake

Lake Crescent is a majestic glacial lake located at the northern tip of the Olympic National Forest in Clallam County, Washington. Glaciers during the last ice age carved a deep valley in the Olympic Mountains through which Indian Creek flowed. A massive landslide about 8,000 years ago dammed the creek, creating 5,127-acre Lake Crescent. Water flowing into the valley eventually found an outlet into the Lyre River, which follows a – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Crescent! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Crescent cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Crescent! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Crescent cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent is a majestic glacial lake located at the northern tip of the Olympic National Forest in Clallam County, Washington. Glaciers during the last ice age carved a deep valley in the Olympic Mountains through which Indian Creek flowed. A massive landslide about 8,000 years ago dammed the creek, creating 5,127-acre Lake Crescent. Water flowing into the valley eventually found an outlet into the Lyre River, which follows a route north over the Lyre River Falls before emptying into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Today, several creeks feed into the lake, including Barnes, Smith, Aurora, Lapoel, Cross, and Eagle Creeks.

Lake Crescent is serenely scenic, nestled at the base of Mount Storm King, an imposing 4,534-foot peak located on the south side of the lake. Most of Lake Crescent’s shoreline is mountainous, except at either end. Known for its pristine turquoise water, Lake Crescent is 8.5 miles long and reaches depths of 624 feet, one of the deepest lakes in Washington state. The bottom of the lake is actually below sea level. Local native legend claims that Mount Storm King grew tired of fighting between the Clallam and Quileute tribes, so he threw giant rocks to stop the warring. The rocks created the deep depression that is now Lake Crescent.

Found in the crystal blue water of Lake Crescent are two unique trout species, the Beardsley (a subspecies of rainbow trout) and the Crescenti (a subspecies of cutthroat). The Beardsley trout are known to reach large size and put up a good fight. However, due to their declining population, catch and release rules are now in effect to protect and preserve this native trout found nowhere else on earth. There is healthy fly fishing for steelhead trout and salmon in the rivers of the Olympic Peninsula’s West End, from the Lyre River on the northeast to the Quinault River on the southwest.

In addition to fishing, Lake Crescent is popular for boating, kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, camping, hiking, bird watching, and picnicking. Boat rentals are available through resorts scattered along the shoreline. Although there is not much aquatic life in Lake Crescent, shore dives to an underground forest and to sunken boats is easy due to the extremely clear water and lack of current. Light penetrates deeply into the lake’s clear waters, so divers are cautioned not to dive deeper than planned and to fly a dive flag.

Lake Crescent is roughly 15 miles west of Port Angeles on US 101. The highway runs the length of the lake along the southern shore, just a few feet above the water for a striking view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Just off of US 101 is the Storm King Ranger Station with trailheads to the Moments in Time Nature Trail and the Barnes Creek Trail to Marymere Falls. The ranger station offers modern bathrooms, picnic facilities, docks, and a boat ramp. The Moments in Time Trail is a 1/2 mile loop along the banks of Lake Crescent through massive cedar and Douglas fir trees. The Barnes Creek Trail is a one mile hike to the stunning 90-foot Marymere Falls. The one mile Storm King Trail splits from the Marymere trail and climbs more than 3,000 feet with beautiful views across the lake. The National Park Service recommends against climbing to the summit due to hazardous conditions.

Along Lake Crescent’s northern shore are the Spruce Railroad Trail and the Pyramid Peak Trail; both reward hikers with beautiful lake vistas. The Spruce Railroad Trail follows an old railroad built during World War I to transport Sitka Spruce trees to Seattle. Pyramid Peak is accessible from the Spruce Railroad Trail. It is a strenuous hike, a 3-1/2 mile climb to the summit at 3,125 feet with views all the way to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Lake Crescent area is prime bird watching territory. Hikers will be treated to views of the American dipper, gray jays, thrushes (particularly along the waterfall trail), warblers, flycatchers, and vireos during the daytime. Nighttime sightings include the Northern pygmy, Northern saw-whet, and barred owl.

Lake Crescent accommodations include campgrounds and vacation rental homes, or for a historic and luxurious stay, check out the Lake Crescent Lodge, built in 1916. Famous visitors included President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. Rowboats are available to rent from the lodge. Homes line small coves along the tranquil northern edge of the lake. Another option for visiting is the Log Cabin Resort on the northeast shore of the lake. There you can rent A-frame chalets and rustic cabins, as well as campsites and RV hook-ups. Boat, canoe, and kayak rentals are also available.

Olympic National Park has 16 campgrounds operated by the National Park Service. The Fairholm Campground is located at the west end of Lake Crescent. The campground is open from April through mid-fall with a boat launch nearby; RVs and trailers up to 21 feet can be accommodated. Also at the western end of the lake is the Fairholm General Store and Cafe, where s’mores and other supplies can be found. There are campsites and RV hook-ups on site, plus a cafe serving hot meals on a deck over the lake. The general store also rents motor boats, rowboats and canoes to get you out on the water.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head for Olympic National Park to spend quality time on and off the waters of Lake Crescent.

Things to Do at Lake Crescent

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Lake Crescent

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Trout

All About Lake Crescent

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Crescent

The Lake Crescent map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Crescent Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Crescent Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Crescent Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Crescent Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Crescent lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 5,127 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 580 feet

Average Depth: 300 feet

Maximum Depth: 624 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Crescent news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Crescent forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Crescent photos coming soon!
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  • Share this Lake Crescent article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Crescent? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Crescent forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Crescent vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Crescent forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Crescent photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Crescent article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Crescent vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

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New Lake Crescent photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi