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Beautiful hike today. Trail is in great condition. No water sources along the trail so be sure to bring enough.

Nice easy to get to hike. A good amount of people and dogs however on a Thursday morning. Still very enjoyable.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome trail, but try to avoid it on weekends. It is literally the interstate of hikes.

hiking
6 days ago

We loved the hike and would recommend it to others. But we have a few words of caution. Though very beautiful, the bluffs and scenery were somewhat difficult to see due to so much smoke in the air from fires. Afterwards, I asked about the smoke at the nearby ranger station and the ranger did not know the origin of the fires causing the smoke. On our descent we ran into two families with kids aged about 4 to 10. The kids were struggling, especially through the rocky sections. I would hesitate to take young kids on this trail unless they're used to hiking a lot.

hiking
7 days ago

TLDR... Very worthwhile hike, if early. Bummer crowds. Keep your dog on it's leash for the love of all things decent. Nike running shoes will get you there, but for sure would recommend boots.

We got to the trailhead around 7:15 am and the lot was only about half-full. We were pretty fortunate to not encounter anyone for over a mile and a half - just the sweeping fog and light rain. The hike itself is a relatively gentle climb through some old growth and a couple slightly more tedious sections (think Pennsylvania on the AT) added in for a nice kick. The trail is well maintained. The alpine lake at the top is gorgeous and was well-worth the trip up. We strolled around the lake for awhile before the crowds arrived and decided to head back down around 9:45 am.

Unfortunately once we started heading back down we were smacked with a never-ending (as in, from the lake down until the parking lot) line of people heading up. The crazy foot traffic was harsh, but not nearly as lame as how people treat that place. We encountered about 10-15 deposits of trash that were not on the trail when we ascended a couple hours earlier and lwayyyyy too many groups of tech-bros and bro-ettes that were letting their dogs run off the leash - WE GET IT, you're dog is "chill" but with the amount of traffic (and kids), coupled with how narrow and rocky it can be at times, the entitlement isn't warranted or beneficial.

All-in-all, the hike is incredibly enjoyable and not very taxing and could be rated +4/5 on quality of trail, scenery, and workout alone. However, considering you're bound to come across a bunch of people here, it's worth knowing that... yup, a bunch of them suck.

hiking
7 days ago

The view at the top is totally worth it!

on Lake 22 Trail

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this last week with a girlfriend and kids (ages 9-15). Definitely bring water. Gets rocky but still doable in regular running/athletic shoes. I’m not in great shape (lol) but we all made it up and back okay.

Lake is gorgeous and worth the work to get up there. We did it on a weekday, started about 10:15am - got back to car about 3:15pm. Slow and steady and hung out at lake for a bit and ate our lunches. Several waterfalls along the way. Well maintained trail. Mostly in forest.

This was a difficult hike but the views were amazing!

The pictures posted here only scratch the surface of how beautiful this hike is.

hiking
10 days ago

Gorgeous/ Moderate hike/ worth it!!

hiking
12 days ago

absolutely beautiful hike and Lake. You can even see some trout swimming around in the lake. Still some snow up on the canyon wall set if you're careful you can get up to. As a reminder people with dogs please pick up your droppings.

hiking
12 days ago

Arrived at 7 AM on Sunday morning and had plenty of parking space. However, in the 5 minutes it took us to get ready, 10 other cars arrived. This won't be difficult for anyone in decent shape. Trail sneakers with good grip are fine, but you'd be wise to wear boots. Not for the grip but to protect your ankles. Lots of roots and rocks. I've posted a bunch of photos of the actual trails so you'll get an idea of what to expect.

My impression? I loved it. Worth every drop of sweat. We arrived to the lake just before 9 AM and there were already at least 50 people up there. Didn't feel crowded yet as the trail around the lake is just over a mile. If you want to swim, and you really should if the weather permits, go to the other side of the lake where access is better. Lots of large rocks and boulders where you can enjoy the view, and if you go higher up, you'll really get some peaceful time as most people don't bother climbing rocks. We spent good 3 hours up there before we headed back down.

It was crazy busy on the way down. Met good 200 people heading to the lake, with lots of people who seemed rather unprepared for the hike, wearing inappropriate shoes and carrying an 8 oz. bottle of water in their back pocket. When we arrived to the parking lot, there were cars waiting for a spot, and other cars parked by the side of the road. And yes, saw absolutely no bugs.

hiking
12 days ago

Got there at 8am and there was lots of parking. By the time we left at 1:15, the lot was full (and it was a Monday)!

Trail was in good condition. According to my friend I hike pretty fast so it took us about 1 hr 15 min to reach the top. Not a lot of bugs which was nice. Bring your bathing suit- it’s the perfect lake to hang out for a few hours and swim at. If you have the time, walk the path that goes all around the lake!

hiking
14 days ago

Huge potholes on the way to the trail head, take an SUV or truck if you have one, if not it will take forever and a half!

The hike up we lost the trail a couple of times. You wont get very far off trail though, keep an eye out for the plastic markers to stay on trail. Trekking poles are recommended, as they helped a ton!

The hike up is steep, so be mentally prepared. You’ll make your way up until you hit some logs laying down, go up and then you seem like you lose the trail. You can either go straight up, or take a right. Both will get you to where you’re going. Once you’re almost to the lake, you’ll come to a spot where you can go left or right, and on the right will be pink plastic bits tied to a tree branch, around eye level. GO RIGHT! Its approx. 1/4 a mile till the lake. Once you’re here though, put on your bug spray before you get to the water.

Once you go right, there’ll be some nice spots to see a pond and the moutains over yonder. You’ll keep going till you see purple wildflowers on the ground, and then you’ll see a pond. You’ll think this pretty thing of water is the lake, but keep going and you’ll reach the lake.

The pond has a pretty spot if you veer to the left to sit and eat some snacks for a minuet while looking at the trees and a small meadow! Once you’re done here, the lake is right around the corner. Its very rocky at the lake, but beautiful nontheless.

The hike down will feel like nothing. Its surprisingly easy going down than going up. The potholes going back to civilization are not any easier. You can’t win at everything!

Hiked today (8/5), sunny and in the 70's. No snow.

We arrived at the trail head at 2pm and had no trouble finding a parking spot. We only saw a dozen people and had the trail to ourselves on the descent.

SO.. first off, the trail is actually 8.2 miles round trip (add it to the list of inaccurate distances in AT). I have to be honest, I hated this hike for the majority of it. The first 70% of it is switchback after rocky, rooty switchback until it opens up towards the final ascent. After that, it was more enjoyable and the views are, indeed, beautiful; 360° of surrounding peaks and enough room to enjoy a secluded snack at the top. We saw a few mountain goats in distance too! Then back to the unrelenting switchbacks...
All in all, I probably won't don't do this one again with so many other options in the National Forest with similiar, more attainable results.

This was a great hike but it’s an ass kicker.
WARNING: As others have written, The trail distance info listed here as well as on the trailhead markers ARE INCORRECT!!!!
It’s exactly 4.2 HARD miles over Headley pass to the lake. Then another .7 miles to the summit.
Plan on 5 miles EACH WAY and spending the night at the lake is a good call.

Route finding experience is suggested but the trail is failed well marked with cairns on the boulder fields where it’s easy to get lost. While on the boulder fields keep your eyes peeled for these cairns and other hikers. We ran into several people who lost their way.

The trip was amazing but very crowded with helicopters & mountain rescue teams looking for the lost hiker.

hiking
14 days ago

Loved this hike . Parking was difficult.

hiking
14 days ago

4 Stars. About 3.5 hours round trip. Little rocky at a few switchbacks, but overall good tree cover most of the route.

hiking
15 days ago

Did this trail today (Saturday) and here are my tips as a 30 yr old woman not in amazing shape, hiking with a dude of similar health and our two small dogs (10# yorkie/minpin and a 7# chihuahua mix). This was our first real hike in a while.

Parking: yikes! we arrived around 9:15am, parking lot was full and grabbed 1 of 2 remaining spots at the picnic place just down the road.

Trail time: we took about 1hr 45min to go up - certainly took our share of breaks, passed some people, got passed by others. About 45 min to go around lake (lots of pictures) and walking a lot on essentially large gravel. Took just under 90 min to go down.

Lake: if you walk around to the far side there are good places to sit on rocks without getting muddy/wet/disturbing nature! Also good rocks to sit on if you start walking around the lake to the left.

Gear: just had sneakers, we did fine, though given the amount of loose rock, we really wished we had hiking boots with some ankle support on the way down. Was wet/muddy a lot.

Dogs: they did great! The 10# did awesome no real issues, the 7# didn’t like walking through the streams and got carried a bit going down the steep scrambling area. There were lots of dogs on the trail (even saw 2 bulldogs), but mostly they were labs/retrievers. Dogs should be leashes but we saw some that weren’t - please don’t be that person! Your dog might be great offleash but a dog onleash might not be.

Downsides: not a lot of great areas to stop for breaks (especially if you want to sit) and trail can get narrow in places (no biggie but can make passing a little tricky). We didn’t have bug issues except when we got to the lake.

Cell phones: fwiw we lost signal about 20 min from trailhead, so don’t expect to rely on your phone!

In sum, do it! It’s great and doable! Lots of different people from very young to very old on the trail so it’s doable. Do be careful because of wet rocks and scrambling areas, but worth the views!

Did this trail last weekend with my 5 yr old daughter. She was a champ and walked the whole way plus around the lake. She also wanted to touch the snow, rocks were a little loose so take it slow. It's a pretty steady incline to get to the lake. We got fairly early, before 8, ad I wouldn't suggest getting there much later. Trail was packed, people had no where to park. Maybe it was just that day but I didn't think the bugs were that bad. Going again tomorrow.

hiking
16 days ago

Swimming is perfect! Huckleberries, thimble berries and salmon berries snack bar is open. Twin Flowers line the trail and Alpine Meadow Groundsel fringes the lake (could someone please confirm identity)
Malo potholes, "if they drive straight they must be drunk", saying from Costa Rica applies.

Beautiful hike. In my opinion a very easy hike but there are a lot of rocks. This is a good family hike as I don’t think it’s too hard for anyone and the reward is worth it. The lake is beautiful, you can walk around the entire lake and take a swim!

Great little hike hard on your vehicle's wonderful swim at the lake much warmer than I thought it would be!

forest road was pretty decent, car could make it up just go slow. trail was easy enough for kids and not too long. independent lake was gorgeous!! aqua blue. tried to make it to north lake but turned around half way. talked to a few people on the way up who said its easy to lose the trail best to download the map. we will be back to camp and go to north lake.

**Even though there is a Mount Pilchuck State Park, this trail is in the National Forest so you’ll need a National Parks pass and not a Discovery Pass**

Get to the trail early. I went up at 8:30 and it was very quiet but there were a lot of people coming up as I was leaving. The parking lot was full at 11:30 on a summer Tuesday.

It’s gorgeous at the top.

Mosquitos weren’t a big deal but other posters have said this was a huge problem. It may depend on the time of day you go.

There are no surprises on the trail. It’s a slow steady climb to the top but it’s never especially steep. It’s a workout but very manageable.

No cell service (T-Mobile) at any point on the trail.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a great hike, you do have to be up for it. It is a lot of work to get to the top, I haven’t much experience, but I still got there. Honestly it’s worth the veiw. Not gonna lie your back will probably hurt pretty bad at the end of it, just bring some Advil. Oh and on a side note, definitely bring some first aid up there with you, god forbid you get hurt or someone els. You need to be prepared. (We went up about a year ago, this kid was climbing on these giant rocks when you get to the top, he fall and cut his leg open right to the bone. This won’t happen if you are, well...not stupid. My aunt was a nurse and my uncle had the supplies for this accident. But always be prepared for anything)

Not my favorite hike, it felt like it was never ending. I’m in shape and hike with my daughter on my back in her pack all the time and this hike seemed to challenge me more than most. The rocks in the last mile were difficult but other than that the trail was easy, just feels very long (some people were even turning around)
The bugs are fierce so bring spray!

hiking
21 days ago

Easy hike out to Monte Cristo, gets a little tough after that. Absolutely beautiful the whole way, but there were lots of flies.

Loved this hike! A little over half-way the loose rock can be a bit challenging, but the view at the top was stunning!

This has been my top hike in the PNW so far!

I suggest a Truck or SUV. The road up has deep pot holes.

Some areas of the trail are difficult to find. Watch for tape markers it can help you navigate your way to the top and back.

Tons of blood sucking bugs. Be prepared.

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