Lake 22 Trail

MODERATE 1,147 reviews

Lake 22 Trail is a 6.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Granite Falls, Washington that features a waterfall 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
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,545 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

snow

Lake Twentytwo Trail is a beautiful hike to an alpine lake through old growth forests ending with stunning mountain views of Mount Pilchuck. The trail can be accessed off of Mountain Loop Highway in the North Cascades area of Washington State. The path starts out gently enough on a dirt staircase through rainforest. You will hear water trickling from twentytwo creek through the forest in several locations along the way. A bridge crosses the creek around a mile in where there is a particularly pretty waterfall. Here the trail gets steeper, with more rocks and some creek crossings. Gentle but persistent switchbacks lead to a long talus slope with the wall of Lake Twentytwo looming above, seemingly insurmountable. The talus is a jumble of sharp rock, but navigable. The trail switches back and heads toward the large stream which outlets from the lake where it finally flattens out. A bit further down the trail is you will encounter lake itself, a turquoise lake with an the enormous steep wall of Mount Pilchuck behind it. A path goes around the entire lake and it is worth the time it takes to do this extra loop trail. The trail is rocky, so sturdy hiking shoes or boots are necessary. Since there are creek crossings, waterproof hiking boots are recommended. This is a great hike, however it is very popular and can be crowded on weekends. It is best to get there early as parking fills up quickly.

hiking
22 hours ago

$5 permit needed for parking. No issues finding parking at 4pm. Such a fun hike given variety of nature such as little creeks or a fallen tree blocking the path. Best of all is the reward of a beautiful lake at the top!

3 days ago

Nice easy to get to hike. A good amount of people and dogs however on a Thursday morning. Still very enjoyable.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome trail, but try to avoid it on weekends. It is literally the interstate of hikes.

hiking
7 days ago

We loved the hike and would recommend it to others. But we have a few words of caution. Though very beautiful, the bluffs and scenery were somewhat difficult to see due to so much smoke in the air from fires. Afterwards, I asked about the smoke at the nearby ranger station and the ranger did not know the origin of the fires causing the smoke. On our descent we ran into two families with kids aged about 4 to 10. The kids were struggling, especially through the rocky sections. I would hesitate to take young kids on this trail unless they're used to hiking a lot.

hiking
8 days ago

TLDR... Very worthwhile hike, if early. Bummer crowds. Keep your dog on it's leash for the love of all things decent. Nike running shoes will get you there, but for sure would recommend boots.

We got to the trailhead around 7:15 am and the lot was only about half-full. We were pretty fortunate to not encounter anyone for over a mile and a half - just the sweeping fog and light rain. The hike itself is a relatively gentle climb through some old growth and a couple slightly more tedious sections (think Pennsylvania on the AT) added in for a nice kick. The trail is well maintained. The alpine lake at the top is gorgeous and was well-worth the trip up. We strolled around the lake for awhile before the crowds arrived and decided to head back down around 9:45 am.

Unfortunately once we started heading back down we were smacked with a never-ending (as in, from the lake down until the parking lot) line of people heading up. The crazy foot traffic was harsh, but not nearly as lame as how people treat that place. We encountered about 10-15 deposits of trash that were not on the trail when we ascended a couple hours earlier and lwayyyyy too many groups of tech-bros and bro-ettes that were letting their dogs run off the leash - WE GET IT, you're dog is "chill" but with the amount of traffic (and kids), coupled with how narrow and rocky it can be at times, the entitlement isn't warranted or beneficial.

All-in-all, the hike is incredibly enjoyable and not very taxing and could be rated +4/5 on quality of trail, scenery, and workout alone. However, considering you're bound to come across a bunch of people here, it's worth knowing that... yup, a bunch of them suck.

hiking
8 days ago

The view at the top is totally worth it!

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked this last week with a girlfriend and kids (ages 9-15). Definitely bring water. Gets rocky but still doable in regular running/athletic shoes. I’m not in great shape (lol) but we all made it up and back okay.

Lake is gorgeous and worth the work to get up there. We did it on a weekday, started about 10:15am - got back to car about 3:15pm. Slow and steady and hung out at lake for a bit and ate our lunches. Several waterfalls along the way. Well maintained trail. Mostly in forest.

hiking
11 days ago

Gorgeous/ Moderate hike/ worth it!!

hiking
12 days ago

absolutely beautiful hike and Lake. You can even see some trout swimming around in the lake. Still some snow up on the canyon wall set if you're careful you can get up to. As a reminder people with dogs please pick up your droppings.

hiking
13 days ago

Arrived at 7 AM on Sunday morning and had plenty of parking space. However, in the 5 minutes it took us to get ready, 10 other cars arrived. This won't be difficult for anyone in decent shape. Trail sneakers with good grip are fine, but you'd be wise to wear boots. Not for the grip but to protect your ankles. Lots of roots and rocks. I've posted a bunch of photos of the actual trails so you'll get an idea of what to expect.

My impression? I loved it. Worth every drop of sweat. We arrived to the lake just before 9 AM and there were already at least 50 people up there. Didn't feel crowded yet as the trail around the lake is just over a mile. If you want to swim, and you really should if the weather permits, go to the other side of the lake where access is better. Lots of large rocks and boulders where you can enjoy the view, and if you go higher up, you'll really get some peaceful time as most people don't bother climbing rocks. We spent good 3 hours up there before we headed back down.

It was crazy busy on the way down. Met good 200 people heading to the lake, with lots of people who seemed rather unprepared for the hike, wearing inappropriate shoes and carrying an 8 oz. bottle of water in their back pocket. When we arrived to the parking lot, there were cars waiting for a spot, and other cars parked by the side of the road. And yes, saw absolutely no bugs.

hiking
13 days ago

Got there at 8am and there was lots of parking. By the time we left at 1:15, the lot was full (and it was a Monday)!

Trail was in good condition. According to my friend I hike pretty fast so it took us about 1 hr 15 min to reach the top. Not a lot of bugs which was nice. Bring your bathing suit- it’s the perfect lake to hang out for a few hours and swim at. If you have the time, walk the path that goes all around the lake!

hiking
15 days ago

Loved this hike . Parking was difficult.

hiking
15 days ago

4 Stars. About 3.5 hours round trip. Little rocky at a few switchbacks, but overall good tree cover most of the route.

hiking
16 days ago

Did this trail today (Saturday) and here are my tips as a 30 yr old woman not in amazing shape, hiking with a dude of similar health and our two small dogs (10# yorkie/minpin and a 7# chihuahua mix). This was our first real hike in a while.

Parking: yikes! we arrived around 9:15am, parking lot was full and grabbed 1 of 2 remaining spots at the picnic place just down the road.

Trail time: we took about 1hr 45min to go up - certainly took our share of breaks, passed some people, got passed by others. About 45 min to go around lake (lots of pictures) and walking a lot on essentially large gravel. Took just under 90 min to go down.

Lake: if you walk around to the far side there are good places to sit on rocks without getting muddy/wet/disturbing nature! Also good rocks to sit on if you start walking around the lake to the left.

Gear: just had sneakers, we did fine, though given the amount of loose rock, we really wished we had hiking boots with some ankle support on the way down. Was wet/muddy a lot.

Dogs: they did great! The 10# did awesome no real issues, the 7# didn’t like walking through the streams and got carried a bit going down the steep scrambling area. There were lots of dogs on the trail (even saw 2 bulldogs), but mostly they were labs/retrievers. Dogs should be leashes but we saw some that weren’t - please don’t be that person! Your dog might be great offleash but a dog onleash might not be.

Downsides: not a lot of great areas to stop for breaks (especially if you want to sit) and trail can get narrow in places (no biggie but can make passing a little tricky). We didn’t have bug issues except when we got to the lake.

Cell phones: fwiw we lost signal about 20 min from trailhead, so don’t expect to rely on your phone!

In sum, do it! It’s great and doable! Lots of different people from very young to very old on the trail so it’s doable. Do be careful because of wet rocks and scrambling areas, but worth the views!

16 days ago

Did this trail last weekend with my 5 yr old daughter. She was a champ and walked the whole way plus around the lake. She also wanted to touch the snow, rocks were a little loose so take it slow. It's a pretty steady incline to get to the lake. We got fairly early, before 8, ad I wouldn't suggest getting there much later. Trail was packed, people had no where to park. Maybe it was just that day but I didn't think the bugs were that bad. Going again tomorrow.

19 days ago

Beautiful hike. In my opinion a very easy hike but there are a lot of rocks. This is a good family hike as I don’t think it’s too hard for anyone and the reward is worth it. The lake is beautiful, you can walk around the entire lake and take a swim!

20 days ago

**Even though there is a Mount Pilchuck State Park, this trail is in the National Forest so you’ll need a National Parks pass and not a Discovery Pass**

Get to the trail early. I went up at 8:30 and it was very quiet but there were a lot of people coming up as I was leaving. The parking lot was full at 11:30 on a summer Tuesday.

It’s gorgeous at the top.

Mosquitos weren’t a big deal but other posters have said this was a huge problem. It may depend on the time of day you go.

There are no surprises on the trail. It’s a slow steady climb to the top but it’s never especially steep. It’s a workout but very manageable.

No cell service (T-Mobile) at any point on the trail.

hiking
21 days ago

This is a great hike, you do have to be up for it. It is a lot of work to get to the top, I haven’t much experience, but I still got there. Honestly it’s worth the veiw. Not gonna lie your back will probably hurt pretty bad at the end of it, just bring some Advil. Oh and on a side note, definitely bring some first aid up there with you, god forbid you get hurt or someone els. You need to be prepared. (We went up about a year ago, this kid was climbing on these giant rocks when you get to the top, he fall and cut his leg open right to the bone. This won’t happen if you are, well...not stupid. My aunt was a nurse and my uncle had the supplies for this accident. But always be prepared for anything)

21 days ago

Not my favorite hike, it felt like it was never ending. I’m in shape and hike with my daughter on my back in her pack all the time and this hike seemed to challenge me more than most. The rocks in the last mile were difficult but other than that the trail was easy, just feels very long (some people were even turning around)
The bugs are fierce so bring spray!

22 days ago

Loved this hike! A little over half-way the loose rock can be a bit challenging, but the view at the top was stunning!

22 days ago

This has been my top hike in the PNW so far!

hiking
22 days ago

Arrive here before 9 AM to avoid crowds!! I arrived here at 9:30 AM and struggled to find parking, so we ended up parking a mile down, then again it was Saturday morning. I hiked here with my dog and she loved it. Some dogs were unleashed which was an annoyance... Overall, a good hike. I don't hike often so the rocky switchbacks were difficult for me. The lake was gorgeous, the bugs were biting, so use bug spray!!

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike! Backdrop on the lake is gorgeous with tons of waterfalls, still some snow up there (but not on trail). You can also hike all the way around this lake, views are incredible.

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail. Moderate hike to the lake. Get an early start to avoid the crowds! Took me an hour and 5 minutes to reach the lake. Eventually hiked the mile around the lake taking a side trip you to the ice cave to cool off and take a break. Around 10am large crowds of hikers began arriving with unleashed pets in tow. It was a lot quicker going back down of course. I even stopped to enjoy some huckleberries.

hiking
25 days ago

I did this hike on 7/22/2018- a warm sunny day. We started at about 12:50pm. It was my first time doing this trail. The trail is well maintained and clearly marked. It is mostly shaded until you get near the top of the mountain- which was probably the hardest part of the trail because it was all rocks and sun. The lake is really pretty which always makes it worth it! It took us about an hour and a half to get up and a little less on the way back down. I would definitely do this hike again!

hiking
27 days ago

the trail is all the way up but the view is decent. you see the lake in different colors which is amazing. we luckily found a parking spot at 12PM.

hiking
29 days ago

One of my favorite trails! Just went back recently to see it in the summer and it is still beautiful though I prefer late fall to catch snow at the top. Pretty easy and dog friendly trail. Lots of bugs at the top in warmer weather, be prepared. Parking lot can also be full very early on weekend and holidays, pretty popular hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike. We went Saturday morning around 10:30/11 a.m. The lot was full but there was parking on the street that wasn’t far. There are a lot of rocks on this trail so be ready. The lake was gorgeous. We put our feet in the water but that was all we could handle as it was very cold.

1 month ago

Great hike

1 month ago

So fun! Beautiful lake!

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