Gillette Lake

MODERATE 101 reviews

Gillette Lake is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Bonneville, Washington that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles
1,043 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


trail running




1 month ago

We did this hike in 93 degree heat and very dry conditions; it was not at the top of our list of hikes. Very overgrown, very few places to stop. Not great views on the way. We enjoyed hikes along water ways much more than this one.

2 months ago

Pretty good hike. Be sure to pay attention though. I had assumed since the trail went to the second lake, so that one must be Gillette right? I was wrong and its not really worth the extra little bit to get there. Overall though still very please the few views you do get are quite amazing of the gorge, and its still possible to take in the beauty of the Oregon scars

2 months ago

The lake was worth it. The trail left a lot to be desired for me. My daughter got bored too without some of the views and waterfalls the gorge has to offer. The lake was very cool though and hiking on part of the PCT is always a fun adventure.

2 months ago

Good hike, forest covered and well marked. Lake was beautiful

3 months ago

This stretch of the PCT is overgrown along its entirety with abundant poison oak. Literally miles of it, some hip high, along the trail. Wish we had not gone near it and plan on spending the evening washing dogs, gear, ourselves. Ugh. Stay away!!

4 months ago

Not as muddy any more. Not too crowded compared to other gorge trails.

5 months ago

Just did this trail yesterday. Be advised that it is super muddy and slippery right now, so to add some extra time into your plans to compensate for moving a bit slower. But it’s a great hike.

5 months ago

Nice trail, although the trail was kind of muddy. We hiked out of the woods in a more open area and we spotted lots of beautiful common garter snakes. Bald eagles all over the place.
Gilette lake is not that special but on a sunny day it is enjoyable.
Looking to the west...who are those two rocky persons sitting on top of that isolated rock? Is one of them wearing a hat?

6 months ago

We started at Bonneville TH and hiked to Gillette Lake. About 6 miles round trip. The trail is not too crowded and hikers were out for solitude and escape. Some horse traffic but overall a wonderful hike.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lovely hike, I had the entire thing to myself the whole time. The overgrowth is beautifully Lush right now. I went during a torrential downpour, which I don't recommend because there's really not much coverage, but I will definitely be back on a nice day.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Nice hike, saw more people on the trail than expected. The only part of the lake that we found to be accessable had slate rock everywhere so it was a slight challenge to find a good spot to relax.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Went on the trail on 5/7 and it was still and it was still muddy towards the beginning. But over all a great hike! Lots of views and open spaces. The water in Gillette Lake is breathtaking and well worth the hike. My girlfriend and I shouldered Kayaks the entire way as well (50 lbs each) and it was still worth the trip

Thursday, April 13, 2017

From Bonneville trail head to PCT is still very muddy, otherwise the entire trek is in good condition. The blue sparkle of Gillette Lake is such a mesmerizing experience. This was well worth the easy hike. Incline variation was easily managed even with my arthritis. The logging destruction is a sad sight, but the lake isn't far past and is sure to brighten your spirit.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

April 9, 2017 - The trail up to the PCT was very muddy today. The lake is absolutely beautiful and worth the hike in for a picnic. As others have mentioned, there is an area where the trees have been harvested, understand the necessity but ugly none the less.

trail running
Monday, April 03, 2017

Trail is open and in good condition. A few downed trees past Gillette Lake (I past the overlook, about 4.25 miles in), all are passable. At about the 1 mile mark the trail hits some clear cut and is technical, if trail running here, watch your ankles. Next time, will have to go all the way out to Table Mtn.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Was a pretty snowshoe, there is a lot of blow down. Didn't make it to the lake this time , ran. Short on my time.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fun hike that I did with some friends. Lake is a gorgeous blue color, worth the hike!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Nice hike-definitely muddy given recent rain. Moderate rating feels appropriate

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Easy hike, Great Lake at the end to enjoy. Perfect for a date!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

We hiked this trail the 2nd of January. Cold, crisp and windy, but no rain so all was good. There were lots of large downed trees covering the trail in places, due to recent high winds. But still navigable. Diverse scenery along the way. The lake is a nice rest point before returning. For an added bonus, we had massages at Bonneville Hot Springs after. Now that's hiking!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Third time hiking to Gillette Lake today. From Washougal to the Bonneville Dam parking lot the rain was coming down HARD. Thankfully just after we started hiking it let up and only really rained on us once in the 4 hours we were hiking. This time after hanging out at the lake for a while, we kept going up past the next small lake then looped back onto the PCT before we headed back. The bridge crossing the creek that fills Gillette Lake was a pleasant surprise! The creek was in full glory and the best part of the trip for me. Frustrating how many empty beer cans were along the road section of the trail

Sunday, March 01, 2015

trail was nice and easy

Monday, February 16, 2015

OK, so there are some clear cut areas that you have to hike through. Those areas are not so beautiful but I figure they are just part of a working forest. There are plenty of really nice forested areas to walk through that were enjoyable.

Big plus about this hike is that sometimes it is nice to hike on a trail where you don't feel like you are just working really hard to climb up a mountain, this is one of those trails. Nice easy going walk that doesn't really wear you out from too much climbing.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

great trail especially in the snow...really pretty hike to Gillette lake. although the clear cut dampens the beauty a little bit...easy to find right off the 14 and lots of parking.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I have hiked this trail to Gillette Lake 2x with my friend. The first time we started at the PCT trail head off of SR14 by the Bridge of the Gods, the second we sent from the North Bonneville Trailhead. We both preferred the Bonneville trailhead to the PCT. If you start on SR14 at Bridge of the Gods, all you do is walk along SR 14 for what seems like FOREVER before you finally turn North about the time you get near the Bonneville trailhead. Unless you are really wanting to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, then don't bother.

Now, I agree with most of the other reviews. This trail has some good parts and a lot of open boring parts. If not for the lake at the end, I would have never gone again. I gave it 3 stars, 1 for the lake alone. Also, my buddy did get poison oak rash pretty bad the second time. He was in shorts while I was in jeans. It was a hot day and he was enjoying the shorts while we hiked, but in the end, I won!

Monday, September 15, 2014

We love this hike! The small, bright blue lake is gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The hike to this lake could be better. Due to the clear cutting, parts of the hike have been left with some less than impressive sections. The lake is very pretty, however. The color of the lake is a deep blue/green (similar to that of Little Crater Lake on Mt. Hood), a rare hue. If you can tolerate the mosquitoes it's a nice place to catch a picnic, and is definitely worth the 5 miles.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pretty simple hike. Lots of shaded areas and lots of areas that were once clear cut but in various stages of growth. The trail in some spots were well maintained and in other spots the ferns were covering the trail. My twelve year old and I did this with ease and even jogged from the lake back to the car which was parked at the trailhead. This hike did not grab me as a "do again later".

Monday, May 21, 2012

This trail truly disappointed me. There were nice areas that were forested and had lots of dragonflies, butterflies and garter snakes, along with tons of birds. But these nice areas were eclipsed, in my opinion, by the devastating clearcuts the trail passes through (the one just before the lake looks like a nuclear wasteland), the mosquitoes, and the parts of the trail that were overgrown with poison oak and other underbrush. Kids and dogs would be at a heavy disadvantage on this trail because of the overgrown areas. The lake is nice and the campsites near it looked nice but do yourself a favor and drive in on the gravel roads to the lake for camping and fishing. Avoid hiking this stinker of a trail and choose one of the other dozens of great hikes in this area instead. I wonder what PCT thru hikers think when they see that Washington's trail is surrounded by clearcuts. Disappointing, indeed.

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