Heather Lake is a great alternative that is both slightly shorter and less strenuous than nearby Lake 22, but still packs a punch as far as a workout goes. Views of Mount Pilchuck are also equally spectacular.

After exiting Mountain Loop Hwy, follow the gravel road up 1.1 miles before you reach the parking lot. WATCH FOR POTHOLES! The trailhead can be found to the left of the small parking lot. After filling out your group information in the small stand, you can begin your trek up to Heather Lake.

The trail starts with multiple switchbacks before evening out along an old logging road. After the trail breaks off from the logging road, the trail once again begins to switchback with an increase in elevation. It is along this part of the trail where you’ll need to make sure to watch you steps as the trail is covered in tree roots and many large rocks. There is also a lot of water runoff along the trail so the trail may be very wet from this point on.

At around the 1.2 mile mark, you will begin to see snow along the trail, this is also where you will stop hiking and start ice skating if you do not come prepared. There are many pockets of ice along this portion of the trail. The trail remains to steadily incline for another 0.4 mile until it again evens out. The final part of the hike should be on compact or freshly fallen snow until you reach the lake. 

Find a great spot along the shore of the lake to take a break, eat a snack and take in the views of the surrounding mountain peaks.  

Pack List

  • With Water
  • Trail Snacks
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Yak Traks (in winter)
  • Layered Clothing 
  • Camera
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RT Distance 4.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 1100 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Snowshoeing, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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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

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