Ashland Lakes Trail

MODERATE 48 reviews

Ashland Lakes Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Granite Falls, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
826 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Verlot: Travel east on the Mt. Loop Hwy. for 4.5 miles. Turn right on the Schweitzer Creek Rd. #4020 and continue 2.3 miles to the Bear Lake Rd. #4021 and then follow this road for 1.5 miles to the junction with Forest Rd. #4021016. Turn left and follow this road to the end. You must walk 1 mile on the abandoned road to the trailhead on your left at the junction.

7 days ago

Went the end of July, bug spray and watch out for horse flies.. Went over night hike, it was very enjoyable. We also started to do the other trail first the bald mountain trail, not maintained at all we got to
The point where you had to make your own trail. Also with fresh cougar tracks we were ok turned around about 3 miles into it. Yas the road sucks to the trail. No need for a forest pass although it’s always a good idea to have.

Doing the trail again nice little hike to do with friends and kids easy and enjoyable.

hiking
25 days ago

It’s a pretty hike but I probably wouldn’t do this one again because of the road. We thought the previous reviews were exaggerating how bad it is. They aren’t. Parking wasn’t an issue for us on a Sunday morning.

There’s a nice boardwalk throughout much of the trail, and the bugs weren’t too bad once we put some bug repellent on. Lots of blueberries and salmon berries to snack on along the way too!

backpacking
1 month ago

I feel like you can’t start a trip report from Ashland Lakes without talking about the road. Yep, it’s every bit as bad as every other report says it is. For reference, I drove a Toyota Tundra to the trailhead. One of the potholes was big enough to fit the entire truck. Seriously. All four tires were in. It was also filled with water so it was like driving through a pond. That said, just drive slow. Most cars can make it.

We arrived at the trailhead at 11:00 on a Saturday morning and there were no parking spaces available. So I kept driving and found a pullout about two hundred feet further down the road with room for about two vehicles. Speaking of parking, remember that this is a Washington Discover Pass trailhead. I noticed about half the cars were sporting Northwest Forest Passes hanging from their mirrors, even though there is a giant sign as you enter the parking area reminding you that you need a Discover Pass. Kudos to the guy who had both a Northwest Forest Pass and a Discover Pass in his window. Way to cover your bases! And shame on the two vehicles that didn’t show any pass… may karma and a ranger catch up to them.

Anyway, hitting the trail, the first half mile or so are easy going. You’ll come to a nice sturdy bridge crossing a creek. After that it starts to climb a bit and the trail becomes rougher. There’s plenty of slippery boardwalk (I slipped twice over the course of the weekend), exposed roots, and slippery rocks. I was with a group of Boy Scouts ranging in age from 11 to 15 and they all navigated it like they were pros.

The first lake is Beaver Plant Lake, it was my favorite of the three. There are a couple of campsites here, but none are suitable for a group so we had to keep moving. But if you are looking for a nice place to camp, there is an especially nice site for just one tent that’s next to the creek at the outlet of the lake.

It’s a short and easy hike from Beaver Plant to Upper Ashland Lake. Upper Ashland has more campsites, and they were mostly full when we got there. So we decided to head down to Lower Ashland. The descent was relatively steep, so we were hopeful that we’d find a spot to camp there since we weren’t looking forward to carrying our heavy packs back up the hill the same day. We were starting to get discouraged when we got to the lower lake and found the first campsite taken. It was a fairly large site that had exactly one tent in it. We kept going and found a much larger campsite just down the trail.

For reference, we had five tents in our group. Later in the evening a large family came in looking for a spot. We shared the space with them, they had four tents. We probably could have fit two more tents in the area if needed. So if you are hiking with a group Lower Ashland Lake should be your destination.

Sunday morning we hiked out, and when we got back to the trailhead the parking lot was even more full than the day before. On our way back down the mountain we passed seven more cars headed up. Apparently being featured as Craig Romano’s Hike of the Week have given this hike some new popularity. Then again, it was nothing like the mess at Lake Twentytwo that we passed on our way home…

hiking
1 month ago

This is a pretty easy hike overall. With only 600 ft or so of elevation gain I think it is a stretch to call it moderate. My GPS cloaked the out and back at 4.5 miles.

The trail itself if easy to follow and is well maintained overall. It was raining pretty good when we went but if the weather had been clear then I might have tackled some of the smaller lakes along the way as well. Maybe another time? We didn't see many people out hiking but there were a few groups camping near the lake.

The road up is another story; I wouldn't recommend tackling this unless you had 4WD or AWD. Lots of pot holes on the way up to the trailhead.

Overall, I'd recommend this hike.

hiking
10 months ago

BEAUTIFUL, magical place! It gets a 4 only due to the road up...TERRIBLE! I know the forest service is busy, but give that road some ♡ especially because there is more than 1 trail up it! I loved all the boardwalks, and the neon green from the vegetation at the first lake was gorgeous! We only saw a 2 other people and some campers! It was a peaceful, perfect day! :)

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tough one. The road up has many potholes I would recommend a truck or SUV.
We hiked all 3 lakes making this just about 6 miles round trip. The terrain was soggy and slick. I fell and saw 2 other gals fall. Step.. navigating over large roots, rocks, through creeks. Being next to the lakes is so beautiful!! The first lake Beaver is so pretty!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Tried to make it to the trailhead and the road was partially closed because of washout. Only got within 3mi of the trailhead because the road wasn't drivable in our Toyota Camry. It is May 31st. Will try again in the months to come

hiking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

I was up on ashland lakes trail and boardman lake trail just this last week . the trails are very beautiful and it very tranquill and scenic . but getting there on the dirt road has such deep pot holes that even though i due drive a SUV i almost didn't make it on the road . in one one of the pot holes was so deep that i came to hanging up my subaru forester . I sure hope the forest service gravels and blades this road soon .

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Great trail with a little bit of everything, rocks, roots, boardwalks and a big payoff at the end with the upper and lower lakes. Not too difficult and very peaceful, we ran into only 2 other small groups on this trail on Labor Day but on our drive out saw that the Lake 22 trailhead was overflowing - miserable. If you like a little elbow room on your hikes and clear reflective lakes, throw your car in 4WD and go hike this trail!

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Logging road up was pretty narrow and very bumpy. Had a jeep and it was no problem, however, a low clearance vehicle might have some trouble with a bad driver. Hike was pretty easy. Took my kids (4 & 9) and dogs with me and had the trail to ourselves. The last lake, Lower Ashland Lake, is the prettiest. About 70 degrees out and clear skies. Lots of mud on the trail, especially near the lakes so the dogs will get dirty. Bugs didn't swarm which was good. Lots of roots with some rocks, especially between Lower and Upper Ashland Lakes. Didn't see any wildlife except a snake up by the lakes. No views other than the lakes and the trees around them on this hike. Again, fairly easy trail for kids and dogs. 2.1 miles to the far end of Upper Ashland Lake. About another 1/2 mile beyond that to Lower Ashland Lake. We put in about 10 km total for the hike. Trip down the mountain on the logging roads was again pretty bumpy!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The trail was nice but the road to get there was horrible. Probably would not choose to do it again or the other trails in the area because of the road.

hiking
Thursday, June 23, 2016

We had 2-3 year olds, 2-4 year olds, 2-6 year olds and a 7 year old and everyone was able to make it to the lake and back. Trail wasn't too bad but the road getting to the trail was horrible. So. Many. Potholes. The plastic skirt came out from underneath our car and broke... So make sure you have a vehicle that can handle potholes.

hiking
Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Cold and wet day but a great hike nonetheless!

The view at the Beaver Plant and Upper / Lower Ashland Lakes were socked in with fog, which diminished the views somewhat but also meant I had the entire trail to myself. I didn't see another soul until I was driving back down the forest road back to Mtn Loop Highway (to the young blonde gal in her Pontiac coupe, I pray that you made it safely up the pothole-filled road!).

The trail to the Beaver / Ashland lakes was in good shape but the wooden planks were quite slick from moss and water. Take care when walking on them! You can try walking next to them but you'll likely damage plant life and will get wet and muddy very quickly!

The loop trail around Upper Ashland Lake is "broken" at the lake outlet. It looks like the bridge planks were damaged from a giant tree that fell across the lake outlet. To make it all the way around the loop you'll have to either have to use the large, slipper tree at a bridge or scramble down across the rocks in the stream bed below the lake outlet. Be careful!

When I got to the outlet of Lower Ashland Lake I found the DNR has torn up he trailhead to Twin Falls Lake and put up a "No Access" sign.

!!!WARNING!!!: Traversing closed, damaged or unmarked trails can be dangerous and is done at your own risk!!!

Of course this piqued my interest so I carried on and soon found out why.

The trail to the falls and lake is a mess in quite a few spots, some of which appears to be on purpose to replace worn out bridges and tie tracks but most of the damage is due to water from the vast amount of small creeks and huge trees that have been blown down.

If going off trail for short periods, climbing over / under tree falls, crossing / climbing through creeks and and getting REALLY wet and muddy are not something you are willing, able and eager to do then TURN AROUND at Lower Ashland Lake!!!

That being said, the views at Twin Falls Lake are worth the trek but be prepared for what awaits you. Bring proper gear, map, compass and GPS and know how to use them!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nice easy hike, still snow on the ground and slush on the lake! Tree down across the trail, boardwalks slippery. Peaceful and secluded.

hiking
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nice hike, very easy. When it's wet though, be very careful because the board walk gets slippery..

hiking
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Easy Hike, beautiful lakes, very slippery boardwalk in wet conditions! becareful

hiking
Monday, October 19, 2015

Currently the conditions of the trail were awesome. There were a lot of wooden walk ways which makes me think it tends to be very muddy or very wet usually. My GPS said that I gained 470 ft of elevation. I did the hike with my Son (8) and daughter (4). There was one spot on the trail where we had to go across a sloped rock that had a pretty steep hill next to it but it wasn't too difficult to get the kids across it. We only passed one other couple on our way back from the lake. When you walked around the upper side of the lake and walk along the lakes edge there is a spot with a wooden platform that made a great place to sit and have a snack. We also found that there was an echo at this spot which the kids really enjoyed. The only word of caution is the drive up. I wouldn't plan on taking a sports car up to the trailhead. A bit of ground clearance is highly recommended.

hiking
Thursday, February 19, 2015

Super awesome!!! Bring your fly fishing gear and camp for the night! Hike was pretty easy.

hiking
Sunday, February 01, 2015

We hiked this one today. We did the upper and lower Ashland Lake. Out of four of us three slipped on the planks. Be careful they are really slippery. Parts of the lakes were still frozen. I posted some pictures from today on here..

hiking
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Trail head is next to the bathroom, discover pass required. Nothing amazing about this hike, Pinnacle lake trail is >>>. A few lakes but no real views. Once you get passed the first gravely incline it's pretty even the rest of the way, a few ups and downs. Be carful on the boards that line a majority of the trail, extra slick! I'd suggest waterproof boots that you don't care if they get muddy. Dog friendly, kid friendly and a handful of camp spots.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

trail still good. some frozen spots. Lake is frozen, we didn't make it all the way around the lake because of some very loud strange sounds. Insane oversized wolf or... Sasquatch. Possible Moose stuck in the ice???any one ever heard this we had 3 people not wanting to check it out

hiking
Monday, August 11, 2014

wasn't a planned location just kind of ran into the trail and ended up finding a beautiful frozen lake.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Great trail. Not too many people even on a perfect hiking day. Very small parking lot. Has sites for overnight camping. Be careful on the tree stumps and boardwalk - they can be slippery.

hiking
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Did this hike again and was evening better then I thought is was gonna be when I was there in the winter. The trail is closed at the end of the Lower Ashland Lake to Twin Falls Lake however. It was raining when we left home knowing that its the PNW and you just cant get away from the rain . The trail offers some cover along the trail for the rain which made it nicer. Then the sun came out right when we got to the lakes!! The trail is in awesome condition but be very careful of the wood planked trail. Sometimes there nice to walk on instead of the ground but you are running that gamble of slipping snf falling like I did many times. On a sunny day probably not an issue.

hiking
Sunday, February 16, 2014

Just got doing this hike in the winter and was awesome ! The roads up there were a little snowy so we had to wqlk a little to get to the trailhead. Nice hike with running water on the trail but made it more fun. we went to beaver plant lake aswell. Did not need snowshoes but definitely could bring them if you like to use them ! Would recommend thia hike soon if you can get up there .

hiking
Monday, August 05, 2013

Nice trail with relatively light usage, considering it's proximity to Seattle. Starts in a wooded pine forest then continues into more marshy wooded areas. At Upper Ashland lake, the left "loop" trail is significantly less maintained than the right "loop" trail. Saw winter wrens, chickadees, robins and too many insects. Bug spray recommended. Some parts of boardwalks broken, but mostly on the "loop" trail leading left after arriving at the upper lake.

hiking
Monday, June 18, 2012

Word for todays hike-water, water, water! Definately not a early summer hike and not when it is raining. Did not get to lower Ashland lake due to snow pack and blowdowns. Over 65% of trail was either underwater or channeling water as if a mini streambed from either the rain or swollen streams and run off. I hit the snopack and large blowdowns about 1/4th of a mile form lower Ashland Lake but after falling a few times and post-holing trying to reach lake with fact that no one else was on trail but myself and my dog, took this as sign that I will need to try this hike again later in the season and NOT when it was raining.

hiking
Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Trail was clean and clear to follow but the boards along the way were really slick. The lake was amazing with a spot to sit and eat our lunch. A great hike for beginners with other trails under their belts.

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2011

My seven year old grandson and I had a late start, so by the time we hit the trailhead the low clouds were clearing. This trail was lots of fun. Walking the planks, climbing up rock boulders, mud to squish through, and a tree tunnel to pass under. I liked that the biting bugs were minimal. ( I didn't even have to bust out the bug spray). We found a nice area along the water's edge to eat lunch and enjoy the view. The top lake was closed due to dangerous conditions, so we enjoyed exploring around both Beaver & Ashland lakes before heading back down.

hiking
4 days ago

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