Eagle Lakes - Aurora Ridge Trail, Aurora Ridge Trailhead - Sol Duc, Olympic National Park, Washington

Eagle Lakes - Aurora Ridge Trail - 12.2 miles

Aurora Ridge Trailhead - Sol Duc

The Aurora Ridge Trail features a beautifully recovering Douglas fir forest

The Aurora Ridge Trail features a beautifully recovering Douglas fir forest

Round-Trip Length: 12.2 miles
Start-End Elevation: 1,340' - 3,040' (3,470' max elevation on Aurora Ridge)
Elevation Change: +1700 net elevation gain (+3,400' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Eagle Lakes - Aurora Ridge Trail - 12.2 Miles Round-Trip

The Aurora Ridge Trail is an under-rated 12.2 mile out and back leading to the remote Eagle Lakes. The lakes are a set of beautiful deep green pools that drain into majestic Lake Crescent.

The Aurora Ridge Trailhead is easily accessible, located just 2.5 miles off of Highway 101 in the Sol Duc Valley.

Leaving from the Aurora Ridge Trailhead (0.0 miles : 1,340’), the trail begins a gentle ascent through a riparian corridor lined with 100’ alders and young Sitka spruce. The understory is filled with shoulder-high sword ferns, bear grass and shiny Vanilla leaf.

Within a ½ mile, patches of salmonberry appear (0.5 miles : 1,630’) as the trail narrows into a slightly overgrown corridor. Gators or long pants will provide protection from stinging nettles and devil’s club.

Continuing, the trail reaches a distinct ecological break and begins an aggressive ascent (0.9 miles : 1.715’). Alders and ferns give way to Douglas fir and salal as the trail rises through a young coniferous forest.

Western hemlock and Douglas fir now dominate the forest canopy as the trail rises towards Aurora Ridge (1.5 miles : 2,155’).

At this point, the trail makes an aggressive push to the ridge gaining over 400’ in the next half mile (2.0 miles : 2,400’). 

Now officially on Aurora Ridge, the trail remains unchanged for the next 3 miles as it undulates up and over the knobs that dot the top of the ridge. Hikers will notice significant downfall caused by blow down and lightning strikes. Despite the off trail debris, the trail itself remains clear throughout.

The trail reaches its crest (5.0 miles : 3,470’) before rolling .6 miles to the well-marked Eagle Lakes Split (5.6 miles : 3,420’).

Turn left at the Eagle Lakes split and descend .5 miles and 380’ to the scenic outlet of main Eagle Lake, then the lake itself (6.1 miles : 3,040’).

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N48 03.689 W123 59.584 — 0.0 miles: Aurora Ridge Trailhead - 1,340'
  • N48 03.547 W123 59.119 — 0.5 miles: Level trail through riparian corridor - 1,630'
  • N48 03.375 W123 58.792 — 0.9 miles: Enter distinct fir forest - begin ascent - 1,715'
  • N48 03.472 W123 58.511 — 1.5 miles: Agressive ascent through mixed conifer forest - 2,155'
  • N48 03.385 W123 58.093 — 2.0 miles: Continue aggressive ascent through mixed conifer forest - 2,400'
  • N48 03.478 W123 57.561 — 2.5 miles: Trail briefly levels out - 2,605'
  • N48 03.459 W123 57.077 — 3.0 miles: Undulating along Aurora Ridge - 2,585'
  • N48 03.336 W123 56.561 — 3.5 miles: Continue undulating along Aurora Ridge - 2,758'
  • N48 03.287 W123 56.128 — 4.0 miles: Lush vegetation along Aurora Ridge - 2,905'
  • N48 03.266 W123 55.579 — 4.5 miles: Small ascent towards lake split - 3,255'
  • N48 03.022 W123 55.169 — 5.0 miles: Small descent to lake split - 3,470'
  • N48 02.743 W123 54.697 — 5.6 miles: Split for Eagle Lakes - turn left and descend - 3,420'
  • N48 02.871 W123 54.276 — 6.1 miles: Main Eagle Lake - 3,040'

Worth Noting

  • The first mile of the Aurora Ridge Trail runs through a narrow riparian corridor known for bear foraging activity. Please be mindful.
  • The first mile can also be overgrow in spring / summer - wear long pants or gators for protection if desired.
  • Eagle Lakes drain into Lake Crescent via Eagle Creek.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Camping is permitted in and around Aurora Ridge and at Eagle Lakes. A backcountry permit is required and can only be obtained in person at the Wilderness Information center in Port Angeles.

Fishing Information

Fishing in Eagle Lakes is permitted with a valid WA State fishing license.

Rules and Regulations

  • Pets are not permitted on any trails - nor can they be kept locked inside vehicles unattended for even the shortest periods.
  • No horses, bikes or motorized vehicles permitted
  • No open fires above 3000' elevation within the park
  • Camping by permit only - strictly enforced

Directions to Trailhead

The Aurora Ridge Trailhead is located along the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. 

From Port Angeles, head west on US 101 approximately 28 miles to Sol Duc Hot Springs Road (marked by large NPS sign along highway). Turn left and continue 2.5 miles to the well marked trailhead and smal parking area.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Road is closed seasonally due to weather. Call ahead for road conditions and accessibility.

Contact Information

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798

Visitor Information: 360.565.3130

Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: 866.476.5382

Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center

Quinault Wilderness Information Office

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


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