Heather Lake Trail

MODERATE 756 reviews

Heather Lake Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily 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 May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,194 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

beach

forest

lake

partially paved

views

waterfall

wild flowers

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

snow

From Granite Falls, E (left) for 12 miles on Mountain Loop Highway, Right on Pilchuck Road for 1.5 miles to trailhead

hiking
off trail
snow
2 days ago

At this time 2/16/19 trail is snowed over ok with hiking boots, snowshoes recommend but not need until the y split at the lake.

hiking
muddy
snow
15 days ago

We hiked it this morning from 11-1:00 it got super snowy at the top and there were some slick spots but the lake was gorgeous!! Frozen over and covered in snow! Definitely need water proof shoes and gear, lots of mud and streams that cover the trail!

hiking
15 days ago

This is a great trail! It’s just the right length and due to it being super bowl there weren’t many people. Got in around 10 and there was probably half a dozen cars but when I got back there were probably about 20. Some areas there was water over the trail and it’s quite muddy right now. The lake was gorgeous and I will definitely be back in the spring to see it then!

hiking
21 days ago

Gorgeous! Snow all around the lake but No spikes needed. V muddy in some places.

hiking
muddy
snow
21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

First time taking the pup to the snow and it was an absolute beauty of a hike! We’ll be doing this at least once a month!

hiking
28 days ago

Lovely hike! Great couple hour rip. No spikes needed. Arrived at 8:45 was 6th car, down at 10:55 and 30-40 cars in lot. Glad I came early!

hiking
1 month ago

Such a nice hike! I packed extra layers & I’m so glad I did. They were needed at the top, once you stop moving it gets really cold, but the view is worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

We went on 1/11/19. Definitely need waterproof shoes on this one. You have to cross through quite a bit of water, not deep water. We didn’t have Microspikes and we were fine. I used trekking poles once we got to the icey part of the trail. When you get to the lake it is vey beautiful. The lake was almost completely frozen over. We had lunch at the top and it was very cold just sitting there. Hiking warmed you up, but when you stood still for too long it got cold fast. We did the loop around the lake and the snow was deeper there. Worth it to see all the angles of the lake. At the end my Fitbit said 5.50 miles. And yes, just like everyone else said the pot holes are bad on the way to the trail head. Just take your time driving and you’ll be fine. We saw all kinds of little cars that made it too.

1 month ago

Beautiful trail to hike in the winter! We went today on 1-6-19, it took about 3 hours for us to hike the trail (which included some breaks for pictures). There was some snow on the trail leading up to the lake, we brought microspikes in case but didn’t need them, it was mostly just wet (bring waterproof shoes!!). Once you reach the lake you feel like you are in a winter wonderland, it truly was stunning! Potholes galore on the road just before the trail head, please drive slowly and bring a high clearance vehicle if you can!

1 month ago

Trail is in good condition for winter, there are muddy and wet places but overall solid. The snow only starts about an 1/8th of mile from the lake but there are some slick, icy spots. Poles and micro spikes can't hurt but most people were fine without.

hiking
1 month ago

As mentioned in the previous reviews, the road leading to the trailhead parking has some big potholes. The trailhead was fairly packed by the time we reached there around 11 AM. The trail is rocky, muddy and icy. Microspikes definitely help in the last 1 mile of this hike as some areas had ice on rocks which was tricky to pass through. Took us 2 hours for whole hike including staying there up there for a couple of minutes and doing the loop around the lake. Overall, a really good hike. The lake looks beautiful!

1 month ago

I thought this was a great hike. the elevation wasnt brutal and the views were beautiful. we walked all the way around the lake and finally realized we were walking over an avalanche. I fell through the snow and got a good bruise on my shin from a boulder. Was snowing at the top and very wet.

hiking
2 months ago

12|1|18
The road to the trail head is littered with potholes, use caution. The trail register is closed for the season so be sure to let someone know where you are. The trail is very wet. Lots of running water on the tail. Snow made an appearance about 1/4 mile from the lake. There is about 3 inches of snow at the lake and it is starting to ice over. Not many people on the way up we started at 8 am by the time we got back to the car at noon there were no more parking spots. Great hike always one of my favorites

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike! The moderate rating is justified due to the elevation gain, flooded areas, and trees/roots on the trail. Had snow at the lake which made for beautiful photos, would definitely recommend to others and doing it again.

2 months ago

This is my FAVORITE hike in this area. Not too long. Steady elevation. And breathtaking lake! I’ve done this hike probably 20 times, and attempted it during every season and it never disappoints! My 4 year old even did the hike and only needed to be helped at the very top. And bonus theirs a “toilet” at the top ;)

hiking
2 months ago

This is a GREAT hike. We went in November and it was one of the last nice days of the season, which made for a beautiful frost cover near the Lake. It’s colder up there so layers are a must. Water proof shoes, the pot holes and the frosted walk way (not unsafe) in other reviews are accurate. It’s only an hour and half from Seattle and easily done in a half day. Light traffic during this time of year. We loved how you could hike all the way around the lake too. Highly recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice, quiet hike. Worth the committment once you get to the top. 4/5 stars because there isn't much to see along the way. I took my time for photos and still finished in less than 3 hours. HUGE cedar trunks close to trailhead. Lake is just about frozen all the way across the top. No snow yet. Planks a little slippery.
Started as first car, ended with 5 other cars.

3 months ago

Definitely a lot of potholes on Pilchuk Road, but the hike and the lake were beautiful. There were maybe 15 cars in the lot when we got there around 11 on a Saturday, but the trail wasn’t crowded by any means. You warm up hiking in the forest but it definitely gets cold when you’re at the lake and don’t have the tree cover. Like others are saying, the boardwalks along the lake were frosty but it was manageable. There was some snow at the lake (not on the trail itself) and the lake was iced over a bit. We saw a lot of younger children in rain boots that definitely were not enjoying themselves because there are a lot of rocks and tree roots that can be difficult to navigate at times.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing old growth trail. I agree with the moderate rating because of the elevation gain and the difficulty of navigating the trail. Roots and rocks can be a big problem if you don’t pay attention. The reward at the lake is well worth the effort. Beautiful even on a cloudy day! I had the trail and lake to myself today. I ran into 4 people on the way down. I will return to this trail in the summer I am sure it’s even more stunning!

hiking
3 months ago

Wet, slippery but beautiful! Waterproof shoes a must! Beautiful and frosted ground at the lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Went today in the rain, pretty good rainy day hike with a lot of tree coverage. However, there are lots of rocks/roots that get slippery. Several different streams to cross and a good bit of time walking through water, having waterproof boots is *highly* recommended. 2-3 cars when we arrived around 9:30, but was full as we left around 11:45. The gravel road had a lot more potholes than we expected, doable in a basic car, but going slow + dodging was definitely key.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty easy and relatively low incline hike with flat and wide trail! Easy to get to and a great lake view from the top, nestled into the mountain peaks. I wanted to swim by the rocks were kinda sharp and didn’t want to cut my foot. Did this in August.

3 months ago

What a beautiful lake and the trail is pretty nice as well! The frosty boardwalk around the lake was fantastic! So many mushrooms out still and the lonely raven barking across the lake was awesome!

3 months ago

Beautiful forested trail and lake. The only downside are the massive potholes one mile before the trail. I found the hike to be easy and parking was not an issue.

4 months ago

Not the most strenuous hike out there but unbelievable lake and surrounding mountain views!!! Circled around the lake a few times since it was so stunning

hiking
4 months ago

We did this hike right after climbing Mt Pilchuck. It was a well marked trail, It was around 11am and there was a good amount of people on the trail. It is a very easy trail for beginners. The views of the lake are really pretty and worth stopping by for a short hike. The road to this parking lot was very bumpy, we had a truck so we were alright.

4 months ago

super easy trail with pretty views at the end. Not worth more than 1.9m one way but if you're pressed on time this is good

hiking
4 months ago

This was a wonderful hike for a beginner hiker like me! The views at the top were gorgeous. Just make sure to bring waterproof shoes.

hiking
4 months ago

Arrived about 11:00 on Wednesday, October 3. Only one car in the parking area. Road does have big potholes but my Subaru Forester did fine. It’s a flat road and easy to get around most the holes.

Trail is really wet. Not muddy, just running water in a lot of the area. Waterproof shoes are a plus. It’s a good hike, but nothing particularly amazing about it, looks almost exactly like Lake 22.

Nice lake, super clear and clean, no bugs. Still a little patch of snow at the lake, that was a pleasant surprise.

I had done this in some heavy snow a few years back and I found the hike much prettier then.

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