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Great hike with nice view, no bugs

Road to North Lake trail is not too bad. Low clearance vehicles can do it, but have to go slow in a few spots. Trail from Independence Lake to North is steep, rocky, and lots of tree roots. Slower going than trail to Independence. Follow cairns around rock fall near the saddle at the top above North Lake.

The hike itself is beautiful, quiet and mostly clear trail full of big trees and wildflowers perfect for a small child or children. Easy hike not too long up to a wonderful lake with a few places to walk around and see the water, dragonflies, flowers and watch fish jump in scenic dark green lake.

Access to the lake is limited with just the view in between trees and a few places to get right down to the boggy green lush lake. There’s a small space to eat lunch and have the kids explore.

I’m not giving it 5 stars, I would love to but the road up to the trail head is horrible. It’s hard to enjoy the hike when you know you have to drive back down the road which happens to be about 7 miles of miserable damaged road with little space to pull over for cars coming the opposite way. It’s a bad start and finish to what really is an amazing little hike my son absolutely loved. Hope some maintenance to the road in the future could promote a happier hike all around!

The trail and lake were both nice, but there wasn’t much of a trail around the lake. It’s definitely a kid friendly hike, we went with our 4yr old and he enjoyed it.

I’m giving it a 2 star rating because how unbearable the drive to the trail head is. It’s about 6 miles of single lane road filled with large/very large pot holes and rocks... the entire way. We went in a good sized SUV and it was still a pretty uncomfortable drive.

First intentional day hike/fish excursion. a family of four and a little pup went for a day hike (really to fish) 1 mile seemed perfect for our first together & hope to have many more. This hike is listed at Moderate and I would agree, from the trail head it was 3 quick switchbacks then onto a bit more level hike/walk, it was dry so this was relativiely an easy hike, although a couple of us were huffing an puffing because a) were out of shape b) were ex-smokers c) it was about 65 degrees. Overall a great hike. Once we got to Independence lake we stopped to fish, this was the clearest most blue water I'd ever laid eyes on and yes, there were fish in the lake. We got quite a few hits & double hits from the fish whom were chasing rooster tails/lures like candy but wouldn't take em. Great hike, we will definitely be back here and continue to explore this great Northwest we have in our backyards.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike was great. Road to trailhead, 7 miles gravel but not too many pot holes. Only one on trail. Tons of mosquitoes (bring spray!). Bit through clothes, ugh! Trail says 7.9 miles, we clocked 10+. Spada lake is gorgeous. Grieder lakes were beautiful & hiked to big greider. Trek poles for the 40 switchbacks. More of a moderate hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this one back in may, beautiful wilderness area, lots of switchbacks..

hiking
2 months 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!

Closed for Search and Rescue.

Looks like a beautiful trail. However, it is closed for SR. I hope they find her safe.

hiking
2 months 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.

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.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy to lose the trail in some places. that being said, we didn’t get very far before realizing we were off trail and a little back tracking we were able to figure it out. DO NOT GO WITHOUT BUG SPRAY. There were nasty horseflies and other small bugs everywhere. Not the easiest trail ever, full of large logs and roots. Lastly, The way to the trailhead is miserable, huge potholes and really only room for one vehicle so if you happen to stumble upon someone coming down while you’re going up, good-luck.

2 months ago

High clearance vehicle required for gravel road or will have to drive very slow. The trail was very nice and lake is beautiful. Careful on the melting snow as to not fall through.

hiking
3 months ago

The road to the trail head has a lot of pot holes and very rocky.
I highly recommend off road tires and a high clearance vehicle.
Although I did it in my compact Hybrid Honda Insight (Prius), it was slow going and a lot of navigating, I am a pro driver but I still bottomed out twice as there is no way around a few deep pot hole spots.
If you ever wondered what stairclimbing up a dry creek bed was like in the middle of heavily rooted forest.....look no further, you have found it.
The trail gives you a taste of the root steps, stones for stairs, large loose stones path, and the erosion before you even get to the Y.
Once you begin the trek it goes from a forest, over and with water paths, and a lot of fallen trees.
Once past the ridge, it becomes a trek through water and bogs, there are a few snow melts and it is easy to get lost or miss the trail.
the current snow melt along the rock path down hides many voids in rocks n branches, so beware.
The bugs were out in force, and were around me from the parking lot until I returned back.
the path down is just as treacherous, the path is steep and very unsteady footing.
rocks move, roots have soil eroded so it feels as if you are walking up n down ladder steps, and general soul erosion has many dips in the path.
make sure you are sure footed and have proper footwear and gear.
I was in hiking shoes and I almost twisted each ankle from the decent and slick footing.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike did not disappoint. The 40 switchbacks were strenuous but worth it. The path is well maintained and I did not experience a lot of bugs, only one mosquito bite and I did not need to use bug spray. Bring your suite, the water in both lakes is perfect for swimming!

hiking
3 months ago

Perfect weather today for this short hike with a Beautiful lake at the end for a nice picnic! Concur with previous reviews though for the road condition. Trailhead is 5 miles from Mt Loop Hwy and that 10 miles combined probably took just as long as the hike. We made it in our Kia Forte but did scrape in a few spots. If you have similar vehicle and don't know how to navigate these obstacles (potholes, rocks) then may be good to choose another hike. The worst of road is first 2.5 miles I would say.

hiking
3 months ago

We just did some of the Pineclle Lake trail and did the short hike to Bear Lake. The road requires a high clearance vehicle, but is added fun if you like off-roading!

Wish there were more signs on where to go. But this is truely a hike of a lifetime!

on Boardman Lake Trail

3 months ago

Relaxed, fairly easy and short hike. The lake is beautiful, although there were a lot of bugs so repellent is a must. I loved seeing all the water lizards swimming around. There are a lot of huge pot holes on the road up so I wouldn't attempt getting there in any low to the ground vehicle.

hiking
3 months ago

We could not get to trail head in a Nissan. Pot holes huge. Need a car truck with high clearance. Wish there had been better info on road.

the road up to the trail has a lot of potholes but managed to get a 2wd car through there, recommend bringing a 4wd. the trail was great, lots of snow up there!

Gorgeous views and not too difficult, nice campsites near the lake with fire pits. Road is gravel but I made it just fine in a low clearance sedan. Lots of bugs at the lakes so if you want to stay up there to camp BRING BUGSPRAY

3 months ago

Still some snow on the trail. Wasn’t able to make it to the second lake, but still worth the trip.

hiking
3 months ago

It was a good hike with my 3 year old sun. The road to the trail head indeed has a lot of potholes but it was fine for my subaru forester, drive slow and you should be fine.
The hike is not very complicated but your kid will need help in some places. Both lakes are beautiful. It took us 45 min to get to the second lake. Be ready for bugs. And please don't leave garbage after yourself.

Good trail, fun to navigate ✔️

backpacking
4 months ago

This is a great little backpacking spot away from the crowds of I-90 and Highway 2. We went on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and only had one other person also camping at the big lake. The hike up is flat part of the way, until you get to switchbacks which give you a nice workout. The trail then levels out about a quarter mile from the little lake. Campsites have fire pits, which is great. Lakes are beautiful. Road to the trailhead can be driven by literally and car. I would say this is a perfect backpacking trip for beginners or anyone that just wants a simple weekend in the woods.

hiking
4 months ago

Weather and trail conditions were great! The upper lake was awesome and had some great campsites with fire rings. A few guys were fishing, but didn’t appear to catch anything. Switchbacks has pretty good elevation gain.

4 months ago

Found this trail by chance. The road is closed due to snow and most of path leading to the trailhead is covered with a few feet of snow/slush. Beautiful views throughout and made it to the lake without much snow gear or snow shoes. The lake is gorgeous, still a bit frozen but in the process of melting.

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