With a fantastic effort to payout ratio, this minimal elevation hike 90 minutes outside of Seattle is the ideal hike for beginners, families or those looking for a quick morning or afternoon jaunt. 

With less than 500 feet of total elevation and 4.4 miles of round trip hiking, the Barclay Lake trail is a perfect hike for beginners, families, or those looking for a quick morning or afternoon jaunt. Yet dont let the simplicity of the hike fool you. The end result of the hike is nothing short of amazing. At 6,129 ft in elevation (2444 ft in prominence), Baring Mountain is an awe-inspiring, surreal view as you sit on the banks of the peaceful Barclay Lake. 

From Seattle the trailhead is only 63 miles away. Plan for the drive to take approximately 90 minutes. Start by taking Hwy 405 N, merge onto WA-522 E at exit 23, and then to US-2 E (aka Stephens Pass Hwy) toward Wenatchee . You'll travel 27 miles on US-2 E until you reach the town of Baring at which you'll take a left onto 635th Pl NE. The road is paved for only the first 1/4 after which it turns to gravel. In the warmer months, its accessible by basically any vehicle so 4 wheel drive isn't necessary. The drive along the gravel road is 4 miles and should take 15-20 minutes.

The parking lot can only fit about 10-14 vehicles so depending on when you arrive you may need to park a bit further from the trailhead.  Once on the trailhead the path is straightforward. There are a fair amount of exposed roots along the entire path so watch your footing but the trail is clearly marked and easy to navigate. A majority of the hike travels along Barclay Creek of which you'll cross about 1/2  way into the hike. Once at the lake, travel along its banks looking for the best place to set up shop and take it all in. 

Note that there are some great campsites nestled into the shores of Barclay Lake along with some good fishing opportunities there as well. Bring the tent and/or fishing pole if desired. 

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit
  • Food/Beverages
  • NW Forest Pass
  • Fishing Pole (optional)
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RT Distance 4.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Snowboarding, Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Fun Fall Morning!

This is a great trail for an easy hike with plenty of water access for your dogs, just be careful when the river is high - it moves quick! We really liked how the trail changed too, from a quiet dense dark stump filled forest - to rushing water - to open views of the huge rock face - to a quiet peaceful lake.

Beautiful Lake, Currently Clustered with Blow-downs

The lake is absolutely beautiful this time of year (early Spring) with very few people camping around the lake. Currently the trail is covered in blow-downs from some of the winter wind storms we have had. Until the trail is clear, be prepared to climb up and over trees for about a mile after you reach the bridge across the river!

Nice Short Hike

It felt like a lovely stroll through the woods. Not very crowded so at the lake I felt as if I was the only person there. Photographs really can't do it justice. Would definitely come back here in the summer for swimming!


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