Hidden Lake Lookout Trail

HARD 103 reviews

Hidden Lake Lookout Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Diablo, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3582 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

ice climbing

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

Simply spectacular! One of the finest hikes on the face of the planet, the trail to Hidden Lake Peaks grants continuous sensory overload. Sprawling meadows bursting with wildflowers, granite slabs and boulders laced with heather, glistening snowfields birthing tumbling waters, alpine nooks providing After starting in a clear-cut predating common sense, the trail soon enters unmolested forest where it begins to climb steeply. At about 1 mile leave the forested canopy be-hind for an avalanche chute filled with alder. Cross East Fork Sibley Creek and recommence climbing. While you're traversing the steep side slope that's often brushy and overgrown, showy flowers give some consolation as you slog. Biting flies, however, may diminish the blossom bonus. At 2.5 miles the trail recrosses the creek (elev. 5200 ft) and begins angling south. Stop to admire Mount Baker hovering in the western sky. Now across heather slopes punctuated with shiny granite slabs funneling cascading snowmelt, enjoy increasing views and an alpine wonderland intensifying in beauty. At 3 miles a potential hazard may exist. Early season, or some years all summer, a treacherously steep snow gully may be present. Extremely dangerous to cross without ice ax and appropriate skills, it may be necessary to call it quits, taking solace in prudence and a decent hike even to this point. If the coast is clear, proceed, enjoying heather meadows, glacier lily fields, snowfields dyed red (thanks to an algae), unhindered Cascade mountain views west and south, and territorial views of Hidden Lake Peaks to the east. At 4.2 miles attain a 6600-foot saddle (and the North Cascades National Park boundary) between the 7088-foot true summit of Hidden Lake Peaks (to the left and a fairly easy scramble) and the 6890-foot knoll with the lookout (to the right). Hidden Lake is just below, a glorious backcountry body of water, its azure waters shimmering in the sun. It's a rough-and-tumble drop of 800 feet through talus to reach it. Instead, enjoy its beauty from above and the framing backdrop of impressive North Cascades summits- Eldorado, Forbidden, and Boston among them. To reach the lookout, follow the trail right for 0.3 mile, climbing 300 feet over ledge and rock and possibly snow (use caution). Wow! Drink in views from Rainier to Baker and every peak, valley, and ridge between. Take time to appreciate the lookout too. Built in 1931, it was restored by Fred T. Darvill of the Skagit Alpine Club back in 1961. A tireless advocate for the North Cascades National Park, Darvill, who passed away in 2007.

hiking
6 days ago

Amazing views throughout. Upper half of the trail had plenty of snow but thankfully hikers before us blazed an easy trail. The snow made the rocks at the top pretty slippery but still manageable at a slow pace. Snow also made it difficult to get to the lookout cabin so we'll have to do that next time!

13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Good trail: a bit rooty for the first half hour in the trees.Upper elevations rocky with some side slabs.
Views are amazing. Cool fire Lookout perched at the Peak. Treatable water throughout, including tarns 600 feet lower than the Peak. Snow can be a problem as approach trail climbs a shaded steep valley.

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

1 month ago

Amazing hike great views!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Amazing!! So worth the hike

hiking
1 month ago

Friday 9-15-2017: My friend, wife, and I hiked to Hidden Lake Lookout. The road to the trailhead is rough. The weather was sunny and the temperature was 42 to 75 degrees. The mountains, glaciers, and the lake were beautiful. There were abundant ripe blueberries around the rock garden. We enjoyed 360 degree view at the lookout cabin. It was a great hike.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked up on a cold rainy day, but it was nice watching the fog roll in. Scramble to the top is quite steep.

1 month ago

The most glorious view. Well worth the intense hike as long as you have good snacks for the top! Highly recommend pokes at least 2L of water per person.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome!!! The worst part is the last 5 miles driving. A suv will make your life much easier.
Bring enough water, food, comfy shoes. Hiking poles will help too.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike today as a day hike. Was 130 mile drive from Renton one way. The dirt road is just horrible and extends 4.5 miles. Please please take a 4X4 or an SUV with you. The hike itself is steep but awesome. The first 2 miles are rather steep and then it plateaus out a bit and then the final push is not bad but a little steep again. I didn't plan this properly so while walking back I had to walk last 1 mile using my iPhone flashlight and then getting out of the dirt road was another project on a low clearance vehicle. All in all a stunning lake but a grueling commute hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

The view is absolutely stunning. Although it is NOT for the faint of heart. Parking is horrendous. We stayed the night about a mile down from the lookout. There were some day hikers that had gotten lost from going off trail. Just a reminder to everyone please stay on the trail. Exploring is fun but not when you get lost!

hiking
1 month ago