Gillette Lake is a 6.3 mile out and back trail located near North Bonneville, WA that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Easy hike, Great Lake at the end to enjoy. Perfect for a date!
We hiked this trail the 2nd of January. Cold, crisp and windy, but no rain so all was good. There were lots of large downed trees covering the trail in places, due to recent high winds. But still navigable. Diverse scenery along the way. The lake is a nice rest point before returning. For an added bonus, we had massages at Bonneville Hot Springs after. Now that's hiking!
Third time hiking to Gillette Lake today. From Washougal to the Bonneville Dam parking lot the rain was coming down HARD. Thankfully just after we started hiking it let up and only really rained on us once in the 4 hours we were hiking. This time after hanging out at the lake for a while, we kept going up past the next small lake then looped back onto the PCT before we headed back. The bridge crossing the creek that fills Gillette Lake was a pleasant surprise! The creek was in full glory and the best part of the trip for me. Frustrating how many empty beer cans were along the road section of the trail
trail was nice and easy
OK, so there are some clear cut areas that you have to hike through. Those areas are not so beautiful but I figure they are just part of a working forest. There are plenty of really nice forested areas to walk through that were enjoyable.
Big plus about this hike is that sometimes it is nice to hike on a trail where you don't feel like you are just working really hard to climb up a mountain, this is one of those trails. Nice easy going walk that doesn't really wear you out from too much climbing.
great trail especially in the snow...really pretty hike to Gillette lake. although the clear cut dampens the beauty a little bit...easy to find right off the 14 and lots of parking.
I have hiked this trail to Gillette Lake 2x with my friend. The first time we started at the PCT trail head off of SR14 by the Bridge of the Gods, the second we sent from the North Bonneville Trailhead. We both preferred the Bonneville trailhead to the PCT. If you start on SR14 at Bridge of the Gods, all you do is walk along SR 14 for what seems like FOREVER before you finally turn North about the time you get near the Bonneville trailhead. Unless you are really wanting to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, then don't bother.
Now, I agree with most of the other reviews. This trail has some good parts and a lot of open boring parts. If not for the lake at the end, I would have never gone again. I gave it 3 stars, 1 for the lake alone. Also, my buddy did get poison oak rash pretty bad the second time. He was in shorts while I was in jeans. It was a hot day and he was enjoying the shorts while we hiked, but in the end, I won!
We love this hike! The small, bright blue lake is gorgeous!
The hike to this lake could be better. Due to the clear cutting, parts of the hike have been left with some less than impressive sections. The lake is very pretty, however. The color of the lake is a deep blue/green (similar to that of Little Crater Lake on Mt. Hood), a rare hue. If you can tolerate the mosquitoes it's a nice place to catch a picnic, and is definitely worth the 5 miles.
Pretty simple hike. Lots of shaded areas and lots of areas that were once clear cut but in various stages of growth. The trail in some spots were well maintained and in other spots the ferns were covering the trail. My twelve year old and I did this with ease and even jogged from the lake back to the car which was parked at the trailhead. This hike did not grab me as a "do again later".
This trail truly disappointed me. There were nice areas that were forested and had lots of dragonflies, butterflies and garter snakes, along with tons of birds. But these nice areas were eclipsed, in my opinion, by the devastating clearcuts the trail passes through (the one just before the lake looks like a nuclear wasteland), the mosquitoes, and the parts of the trail that were overgrown with poison oak and other underbrush. Kids and dogs would be at a heavy disadvantage on this trail because of the overgrown areas. The lake is nice and the campsites near it looked nice but do yourself a favor and drive in on the gravel roads to the lake for camping and fishing. Avoid hiking this stinker of a trail and choose one of the other dozens of great hikes in this area instead. I wonder what PCT thru hikers think when they see that Washington's trail is surrounded by clearcuts. Disappointing, indeed.
Considering this was the first "hike" I have done in a great while, it was great. The weather, sights, sounds, and smells were great. Gillette Lake was gorgeous! The only thing that had me concerned were some insects by the water that bit...hard, but other than that it was refreshing.