Surprise Lake Trail is a 10 mile out and back trail located near Randle, WA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.
We got a late start to the trail on Friday and ended up starting at 4 at the trailhead. We planned on staying the night so it seemed to be ok. Beautiful walk through the meadow however by the time we got the switchbacks we had to hurry so we didn't end up setting up in the dark. Felt a little rushed and was difficult to finish with a 30 pound pack - equipment divided between 8 people. I'm not yet what I would call an avid hiker so keep that in mind if you read this review. I was very happy to finally see the lake... Seemed like way more than 7 switchbacks. The trail was combined with meadows, forest, steams/creeks to cross, waterfall and awesome views and well worth the energy. We didn't do the loop but next time I really want to take the time. It sure seemed it was further than the 5 miles in and out. I highly recommend the over night trip and get early start so you can thoroughly enjoy and soak in. With the pack this is moderate to "difficult" at the switchback. We had great company and this inexperienced group, some of which had never camped or put up a tent so I enjoyed being part of their experience too!
This trail offfers beautiful views and a variety of scenery to hike through. The lake at the top is lovely and there was almost no one there. When we were there, there was a restoration project going on and there was a lot of tape designating where people could go. It detracted from the view somewhat (though no doubt it will improve it over time) but it was still absolutely stunning. We took our dogs, and they had a great time too.