Winchester Mountain Trail is a 3.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Maple Falls, WA that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from June until November.
Directions from Glacier: Follow Mt. Baker Hwy. 542 east for 12 miles to Forest Road #3065 (Twin Lakes Road). The road is located on the left side of the highway just beyond the Department of Transportation's Shuksan maintenance facility. Turn left on Twin Lakes Road and continue approximately 4.5 miles to the Tomyhoi Lake/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead. The remainder of the road beyond this point is not maintained for passenger vehicles. Those persons with a 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicles may be able to continue the remaining 2 miles to Twin Lakes. Check with the ranger station for road conditions before heading out. The trailhead is located between the two lakes.
incredible trail! did it with 5 friends. there was place that was washed out, a huge patch of snow was blocking the trail. we ended up going up & around it. going down was all gravel & did not seem safe.
the road was rough in a few spots going up to the trail head. my Nissan didn't make it up but we all piled into my friend's Outback. not a lot of visibility at the top.
jumped into one of the Twin Lakes after! great hike.
Amazing view. Road to the trailhead was pretty rough when I did it back in Sept 2013.
As previously mentioned by others a high clearance vehicle is recommended beyond the Yellow Aster Butte TH, but the road isn't too bad except for about 4 very large "speed bumps" from wash outs. And unlike the YAB trail there is lots of available parking around the Twin Lakes. It a quick hike up to the lookout with several switchbacks. Although it is a shorter trail I still rate it 5 stars based on the amazing views of so many jagged peaks from the top. This trail was more crowded than High Pass which I hiked on the same day, but both offer superb views and I recommend them both.
We parked down at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and hiked the 2.5 miles up to the Twin Lakes and Winchester Peak Trailhead, because of reports of road conditions. The road conditions were actually pretty good and we could have driven most of the way up and parked off the side of the road. Near the top, the road became icy and slick, slushy in some spots. We also were unaware that there was quite a significant amount of snow at the top. Due to the amount of snow and some dark clouds rolling in, and trail conditions, we were unable to hike all the way up to the peak. This hike will go on to-do list for next summer, it was absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine what it will look like with wildflowers all over the place! I'd recommend it to anyone, though it is rather steep, you will feel it for a couple of days after.
Gorgeous hike and view of the twin lakes! When you reach the top there's an awesome little cabin that anyone can stay in on a first come, first serve basis. It's pretty set up with a stove, cot, propane tanks, etc. You can't beat the view, either! The sun beats down on you pretty good, so wear some shorts on a sunny day for sure.
One of the most incredible hikes I've been on. The views were unbelievable, and for such a relatively short hike. Pretty difficult though, had our hearts beating pretty hard. We went in September and there were still patches of glacier which we did without snow shoes, but it would have been safer if we'd had them. Definitely worth it, though! We'll be back!