Lake 22

Granite Falls, Washington

4.5/5
based on 17 reviews

Details

Distance

5.98 miles

Elevation Gain

1434 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by The Outbound Collective

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!

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.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Explorer

11/22/20

The hike itself is pretty and not that difficult, which means it's full of people. I'd recommend going early; as early as 7am before the crowds fill up the parking lot and the hikers who play their music loud. For a cool experience go up there in the spring, too, when it's snow and the lake is still somewhat frozen over. I'll include photos to the adventure.

This was a relatively straightforward hike to a beautiful lake. The trail was incredibly crowded. Look for the unnamed waterfall about a mile in.

Brave the cold and wet and take on this hike during winter. Come prepared and you'll be extremely satisfied. Makes for a very photogenic hike!

This is not an easy hike. Most of the way up consists of stairs, stairs and more stairs. The top is beautiful and I highly recommend walking around the lake. If you have not done Lake Serene it is an easier hike with a better payoff (IMO). A little video I made of this hike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_NyH4KOexU

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.

08/22/17

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.

Explorer

08/11/17

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!

Just did this hike early this morning. We got to the trailhead early, about 730am because it being summer and a Saturday I was prepared for crowds. It was a good call considering everything I heard about the popularity of this hike was true. We managed to get a parking space and make our up to the trail which is very well maintained all the way throughout. I recommend good, waterproof hiking boots due to streams and small waterfalls running over the trail, but none of them will submerge your feet. The lake is beautiful and there is a trail that continues around the entire lake providing up close views of the northern shoulder of Pilchuck. It was 85 degrees today but there is still some snow up there that is easily passable. Most of it is melted and will be gone within the oncoming weeks. My only real complaint is that there is not really any ideal places to post up to relax or grab a bite other than just sitting on the edge of the wooden walkway. Overall, I recommend the hike but unless it's the rainy or snowshoeing season, stick to the weekdays and no matter what, go early!!

Have done this hike multiple times in the Winter as well as Summer, it looks great covered in snow. The mountain walls around the lake are stunning for not very much effort.

I did this hike when around 7 years ago. After a lot of up, we emerged into an incredible scene of a frozen lake surrounded by snowy cliffs. Absolutely beautiful and definitely worth the climb!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Winter Hike to Heather Lake

Hike to Mount Pilchuck Lookout

Snowshoe to Mount Pilchuck Lookout

Hike to Heather Lake

Backpack the Cutthroat Lakes

Hike to Three Fingers Lookout