Explore old growth hemlock and cedar forest protected since 1947 by the Lake 22 Research Natural Area. Along the hike, you'll take in stunning views of Whitehorse Mountain to the north, beautiful wildflowers and wild berries in summer, and several small waterfalls just off the trail.

If you're looking for a taste of the Mountain Loop Highway area, but don't have it in you for a longer, steeper journey, look no further than Lake 22. The trail starts out as flat and well-maintained, from the parking lot, before becoming a true mountain rainforest trail. Water and dampness are fairly ubiquitous on this trail, so be prepared with your footwear!

At 0.6 miles, you'll be offered a break from the watery trail and cross the bridge over Lake 22 Creek. There are several waterfalls in this area, so stop and enjoy the view. At 1.5 miles, you'll leave the old growth forest and start climbing a talus slope - on a clear day you'll have great views of the surrounding mountains from this section of the trail. About another half mile onwards, and you'll reenter the forest.

The final climb to Lake 22 is the wettest (and therefore lushest!), so again be prepared for getting those boots muddy or wet. You'll pop out at the lake after just 2.7 miles, and have the expansive north face of Mt. Pilchuck towering over you.

There is a combined boardwalk and trail that circumnavigates the lake. The trail has recently been updated with new construction, but prior to this, it had been noted that you should only attempt this if you are a well-seasoned hiker that can read the conditions well, that there's a boulder field on the far end of the lake and can be difficult to navigate and that there's the potential for seasonal avalanches on this side, as well. If you feel most comfortable staying off the path or don't want to add the mileage, there are plenty of great spots along the path to stop and have a snack and take in the view!

On your way back through Granite Falls, stop and get some delicious Mexican food at Playa Bonita.

Getting there: Take Highway 92 to Granite Falls, then follow signs for the Mountain Loop Highway. Continue 10.5 miles further to enter the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest - the Lake 22 trailhead will be on your right in another 2.5 miles.

Pack List

  • 10 essentials
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Camera
  • Snowshoes (if hiking in winter)
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RT Distance 5.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1350 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

7 months ago

This Place Made Me Fall In Love With Nature

I normally don't hike the same place twice but with lake 22 it's different. It's an easy hike that is great for everyone (kids,dogs,beginners)! The trail is very well maintained I can honestly say that this is where my love for nature started. I've hiked to the lake in the summer and fall (today!) but I definitely plan on going back during winter and spring. It's not too long of a hike either and trust me - the minute you hit the boardwalk and see the lake with the mountains in the background, it'll all be worth it.

8 months ago

Switchbacks For Days For A Kinda Cool Lake

The switchbacks and the high traffic took away from the hiking experience. Definitely get there early, and be prepared to work hard for the final destination. Once at the lake, WALK AROUND IT. To me, that was the most rewarding.

Tough, But Fun

This hike has tons of things to do and see! Beautiful waterfalls, wild flowers, and a serene lake to take a dip in. Only issue we encountered was the smoker air due to the BC wildfires, otherwise it was a great work out and hike!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

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Snowshoe or hike through old-growth forest and snowfields to reach the summit of Mount Pilchuck. Along the trail you’ll catch glimpses of the phenomenal views that lie ahead.

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Hike to Heather Lake

The trail takes you on a gradual climb up to Heather Lake with beautiful second growth to admire along the way.

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