Area activities include fishing (with permit from the Quinaults), scenic drives (a loop around the lake is longer than 30 miles (48 km)), and hiking. The southern side of the lake features a system of short hiking trails maintained by the National Forest Service that are accessible to casual day hikers.
The southern side of the lake is home to the historic Lake Quinault Lodge and the Rain Forest Resort Village and is encompassed by the Olympic National Forest. The Quinault Loop Trail on the south side of the lake and the nearby Quinault Rain Forest Interpretive Trail connecting campgrounds, trails, and the lodge, with excellent temperate rainforest viewing. Each trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1979. The north side of the lake is bordered mainly by private homes and some small resorts located in Olympic National Park.
Lake Quinault receives an average of 332.92 centimeters (131.07 inches) of precipitation per year.