Hidden Lake Lookout is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, snowshoeing, and ice climbing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,369 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

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
snow
20 days ago

Great trail road was clear when I was out there in nov but the snow conditions once you exit the trees was unsafe so I turned back.

hiking
27 days ago

May 9th 2020. Beautiful views. Last mile of the road before the trailhead was blocked due to snow. Snow covered the trail so was hard to follow. Snow conditions forced us to turn around once we left the tree covering.

hiking
blowdown
snow
1 month ago

Weather/conditions report (April 11, 2020): For those who are wondering, like I was, snow starts on the road up to the trail at about 1.5 Miles. 3 other cars were parked when I got there at 8:45am. Only about 6” of snow at first, but it quickly progresses to multiple feet. Early in the morning the snow was reasonable hard and I was able to walk on it without punching through (most of the time). Right before the trailhead there was some evidence of a recent avalanche. Snow on the trail was well packed. If it wasn’t for the people who were hiking in front of me, I honestly would not have known where the trail was. I followed their snowshoe tracks until I reached the avalanche chute. Evidence found here of two more recent avalanches. At this point I turned around to head back. This made for a round trip of just under 8 miles. The snow was far too grueling to manage with just hiking boots (which I knew it would be). Evidence of recent avalanches left me a little unsettled, especially with the weather starting to warm up. I headed back down around 11:00am and the snow was noticeably softer coming back down. That, mixed with the added weight during descending, caused my feet to punch through the snow fairly often. With the right equipment and experience this is absolutely doable. I’m assuming the hikers/skiers ahead of me made it up. There were also a couple other groups heading up as I was coming down. All in all this is essentially what I had expected. I had been hoping to park a bit further up the road, but otherwise still an enjoyable hike and stunning views at the start of the trail and at the chute. Will try again in a few months.

hiking
bugs
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Hiker Rachel Lakoduk Still Missing on Hidden Lake Trail in Marblemount, WA (Missing since 10.17.2019) "As weather warms up and people start venturing back out into the mountains and trails, Rachel’s family and friends ask that anyone heading out on the Hidden Lake Trail, keep an eye out for Rachel’s remains or any of her gear." Full article: https://www.skagitbreaking.com/2020/03/03/hiker-rachel-lakoduk-still-missing-on-hidden-lake-trail-in-marblemount-wa/?fbclid=IwAR2AV1d2BDHIL14yIiCdyxpD7FBT3RUzml9G8cV8uKSVNobS1xKmBg4u8rU

hiking
6 months ago

Turned around because of weather. Light snow starting at 5k, ice before then.

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best and most beautiful hikes around. Just make sure you are prepared for anything. The forecast may say one thing but things can get bad real quick. This hike should not be done in sneakers.

hiking
7 months ago

There is a rescue effort underway for a young woman. She started her hike last Thursday and has not been heard from. The weather has been too bad for a team to get in there and search for her. If you have been there in the last week and think you might have seen her, that could be important information for the authorities.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Snowing a lot in the meadows, almost made it to the lake however due to falling and being pregnant we decided to turn back before I got hurt. I would love to see this trail in the summer, will be coming back here again to make it to the lake.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Great hike but we did not finish it. About 1/3 of the way up the trail was covered with a fresh blanket of snow, masking the trail. We had to break trail across the traverse and use a gps and a few visual indicators to stay on trail. We turned around less than a mile from the lookout due to worsening blizzard conditions and increasing depth in snow. We saw Search and Rescue going up on our way down, they were looking for a missing hiker, they did not make it to the look out either because of the bad weather conditions.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Great hike! The hike is listed, at the trailhead, as 9 miles overall, but not sure about the accuracy. You will definitely hit snow at this time (mid October) but not enough to become a big obstacle. I didn’t bring cramp-ons, I even wore vans and they did just fine. Lots of mud however and some ice near the top. Fantastic scenery all the way up and down, however. Would do again, preferably in the summer months as we couldn’t see much due to the fog. Recommended for anyone looking for good scenery and a decent challenge as it is an incline most of the way up.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
7 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
7 months ago

AMAZING for the experienced hiker. Definitely one of the best hikes I have ever done if not top. Be warned, this trail has it all, but not for inexperienced hikers. Steep in the beginning but levels out once you hit the meadows to the ridge and then climbs again. The whole trail has technical aspects to it. Slippery tree roots in the beginning, to ice and snow, and bouldering/scrambling at the top. It is not well maintained in the upper reaches with no drains (*hint hint trail crews*) so it was PURE mud on the way down. I’m not a clumsy person and I fell three times with poles. Also, NOT EASY to get to the trail head. It is on the roughest USFS roads I have ever driven and I have an SUV. I would not recommend cars try to make it.

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Went up this weekend, claimed the lookout and shared with 4 other latecomers. It was over cast Monday evening but cleared up this morning, snowed another inch last night. About the last mile was frozen leaving today. The boulders with all the snow on them were kind of a pain to figure out getting through at the top but look for cairns and continue a little around the lookout on the south side for the easiest way up them.Marmots, Pika, glorious views. It’s steep. It’s worth it. Met a woman who was there in 1972!

hiking
8 months ago

Fantastic hike, highlight was reaching the fire hut; incredible views and it’s not often you’re caught in snow storms before October! Be warned, this last Friday brought 6 inches of snow and there’s more in the forecast, so the trail may be unclear - we were lucky enough to follow the footprints of a couple descending. One further note - you can do this in a sedan. First 50 metres are rough but beyond that, go slow and you should face no issues. Saw 8-10 on the trailhead Saturday.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
8 months ago

great hike with a great view. very difficult towards the top. today there was about 7" of snow up at the saddle where you can see the lake.

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