Hike Lake 22

5.4 miles 1350 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

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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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

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Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

1 day ago

Beautiful, but busy

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.

PRO

🥇Top Contributor

20 days ago

Beautiful yet crowded!

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

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Fun in Winter, too!

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!

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