Hike to Blue Lake in the North Cascades

Rate this Adventure 4.4 miles 1050 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Crystal Guthrie

Quiet day hike with sweeping vistas of granite peaks, forests and a gorgeous lake near Seattle. Washington has a number of hidden gems in the North Cascades, including this hike to Blue Lake.

The trail begins adjacent to the parking lot and takes you over a few boardwalks as you descend from the road. You will then start ascending through the forest along a well-maintained trail. Near the halfway point of the climb, the trail transitions into sweeping meadows which will have wildflowers in the early Summer. This will be your first view of Early Winters Spire (a popular climbing destination for humans and mountain goats). Press on to Blue Lake and follow a rocky path that circles the lake and a nearby pond. Look in the other direction to see the Liberty Mountains which have sharp, craggy, glacier cut peaks that the North Cascades are known for.

Autumn is one of the best times to experience this hike because you can see and photograph the abundant larch trees, which turn to a golden hue around October. Although they are conifers, their needles turn yellow and then fall off as winter approaches. Take some time to sit by the lake and enjoy the moment. Try dipping your feet into the crisp, cold water to refresh yourself prior to heading back down the trail.

Getting there:North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20Blue Lake (#314)Coordinates: 48.5191, -120.6742Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

Take I-5 to Newhalem, then drive 42 miles further on Highway 20, trailhead will be on the right, just before the Washington Pass Overlook. There is an outhouse by the parking lot.

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Tags

Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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