Waukena Lake, located in the Pioneer Mountains, starts out pretty flat and takes you through various flower fields. It then goes into denser forests with several brook crossings with what look like newly constructed bridges. After 3.5 miles you pick up some incline. The majority of the incline lasts probably .75 miles and returns to flatter terrain. You’ll walk next to the creek and hike through several other flower fields until finally reaching the lake. Waukena Lake features a beautiful sandy shoreline and a mountain backdrop of Mt Tahepia. It is a fun place to stay for a while or spend the night!
Note: Part of the drive to the trailhead passes next to a large steep slide (which goes into Browns Lake) – not for the faint of heart! You can park at Browns Lake which would add on ~4 extra miles.