Lake Isabel Trail is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Bar, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.5 miles
2,522 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips

paddle sports




wild flowers




over grown



This hidden gem involves hard work to locate and travel through. First part is steady switchbacks of uphill gravel, then you get to the actual trailhead. The trail is overgrown, travels over rough terrain and a lot of uphill work. Be sure to use GPS to follow along route since the trail will be hard to follow especially in the last section as you make your way closer to the lake. Different color ribbons mark different paths, follow those.

3 months ago

My car was broken into at this TH, nothing was taken cuz there was nothing to take. What a waste.
Trail is rough.
Views were beautiful at the lake.
Saw a plane take off.
Heard zero humans all day.
TH is a bummer.

3 months ago

THIS IS NO GEM! The trail from the road is easy to find and it is just a turnout (it is one of those high maintenance turnouts though so you do need a Discover! Pass). The first half of the “trail” is just a logging road. The views in the distance are great, but up close is nothing but clear-cut hell. Getting onto the real trail is VERY difficult. I found several cairns in incorrect locations, so I think that some jerks are messing with people. The first part of the trail runs along the worst clear-cut that I have ever seen. It most have been the worst loggers in the world to have left such a mess. I have never seen a chop job like that. No person should feel proud of participating in that destruction. The rest of the trail is steep, but pretty. The lake is nice, but not worth all the effort and ugliness that you have to endure to get there. There are many other options in the area that offer better lakes and better views.

3 months ago

Hike at your own risk.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy solitude.

This is an unregistered trail and is not maintained.

Pack it in, pack it out.

Leave this magnificent place better than you found it.

Thank you.

4 months ago

Wish they hadn’t clear cut so many trees. Great Mountain View from the logging road, then very steep once on the trail which is hard to follow. We got turned around a few times. Probably 10 logs or so you have to go over or under, a bit overgrown. The lake is nice, but was very windy, so we hung out on the rocks by the top of the waterfall instead, which was pretty cool. Only passed one other group which was nice.

5 months ago

This was a lovely hike, especially after the clear-cut area. The lake is beautiful and we were told there were canoes available for use (we didn't use them because we didn't have enough time). Even with a late start on a beautiful Fathers' Day, we only met a handful of other hikers.

I know I am out of shape but I am not sure why this is rated moderate. The long easy stretch on the logging trail and a short stretch of clear, easy if steep trail in the wooded area, the trail gets pretty technical. There were stretches of the trail that were not well marked and difficult to follow. Particularly from the base of the waterfall to the lake, the trail is both very steep with lots of fallen trees to scramble over/under/around.

Also, navigation sent us to a small pull-off area off of Reiter Road. I am not sure whether that was from All Trail or WTA's app but the distance from that spot to the lake is 4.6 miles, not the ~3.5 we were anticipating. All in all, it was a good day, just longer and more challenging than we were prepared for.

6 months ago

This trail definitely exists, but requires doing some homework. If you just show up to the parking lot and set off, it is highly unlikely you will find your way to the lake. The trailhead is not marked anywhere, and the turnoff from the gravel road to the trail is hard to spot at best. The last mile or so is mostly following flags/markers and a faint booth path. There are some amazing hidden gems along the way if you know where to look.

9 months ago

Trail is overgrown, but a very nice hike none the less. Less people hike this due to trail conditions, better for you and I! Clear cut area and gravel trail/road are it’s only dings.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

it has been clear cut so not much to look at, not marked so didn't even make it to the lake, gravel trails so it really kills ur feet

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The trail is completely wiped out

Monday, July 10, 2017

once you get into the tree's, after leaving the clear cut logging area, you'll cling up a dry hillside for about 40 minutes. Then the trail levels off for a while. It follows a dry creak bed for 20 minutes and turns in to the tree's that you have to climb up and over. Across another dry creek, climbing up to a wet, muddy path. there are trees that have fallen that you can navigate across. About an hour and a half up, there is a way to walk up the fallen trees for about 30 minutes. Close to the base of the last, hardest part, there's a clearing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

Would not recommend. Easy to follow the logging trail but you don't see actual trailhead to find the route to the lake due to all the logging tree cut. Sad to see the forest demolished and all the logging cables left behind. Ran into a couple as we were heading back, this was their 5th attempt to find the lake. We had a gps and unable to locate trail head off logging road. Directed us to the river to cross the bridge but trail poorly maintained and bridge to overgrown to use.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

great challenge uphill the whole time from where you start look up see the two peaks the lake is in between. just follow the gravel road up to the tree line the trail is back in between where the peaks meet you can hear may creek. bring bug spray or wipes and be ready to climb it gets steep at the end and look for the ribbons trail is difficult to follow. oh and cell phone signal almost the whole time so use Google map if you need to

Monday, June 26, 2017

from where you park, the trail follows a logging road for about an hour. At the place where the trail leaves the old loggin road behind is hard to locate. Don't try to find it, this section of the trail goes straight up a hill that's been clear cut. Stay on the old logging road and follow it around up the hill, it's much easier. As you get neat the top, there will be two groups of tree's. in between is a path that you can follow for about 100 yards to the Lake Isabel trail. From there you're about an hour or so to the lake. Once inside the forest, the trail climbs at a steady pace and will follow the creek for awhile. The steepest part is right before the lake. Take your time, it is a challenge.

Monday, June 26, 2017

the last little bit of hike to the lake is a little worse. your grabbing roots and climbing and lots of flies out right now..
here's a video to take a look.
song by Sturgill Simpsion check it out.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Long walk to get to the actual trail head.

Friday, April 21, 2017

they have been cutting down all the trees in the forest since last year I went hete. it's not even a hike anymore it's more like a construction site. Makes me mad and sad we need a discovery pass for this so called hike

Monday, April 17, 2017

Trail is hard to navigate and took alot of time just trying to stay on the trail. We missed the trail the first time off the logging road. Alltrails navigation helped us realize it and we turned around looking for the pink markers that lead into the trees. Following these Pink (Some Yellow) Markers are key. The trail leads you under and over many trees. It was a challenge but we enjoyed it. There are some straight up hills that make it seem you are not on the trail but you can see the markers on the trees that will help you know which direction to go. Be patient and pay attention to your surroundings. There are many slippery parts throughout the trail along with soft wood when standing on it. All in all it was enjoyable.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I'm not beginner hiker. But I have to say it's toughest hike I've done. the trail is hard to find and follow. the last part of the trail is very steep. it took us more than 2 hours to reach the lake. Made it back to my car right before complete dark. me and my dogs are exhausted. we saw only one hiker on the logging road returning after failed attempt to find the trail.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It is an adventure!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It was definitely an adventure as we set off on a very rainy day. At the end of the gravel road, just as you enter the forest, there is a trail to your right, heading uphill. That trail will take you all the way up to the top. There will be times when you think you can't find the trail because you're crossing rocky streams, walking up rocky hills, climbing over or going under downed overgrown trees, etc...but the trail is there. You just have to look ahead and also take the time to look for the ribbons to guide you. It's a fun and challenging hike to be sure and the rain doubled the adventure. We were muddy, wet and cold when we reached the lake but we screamed in triumphed at having accomplished such a feat. You will be climbing straight up in the end, grabbing at roots. Be careful if it's wet, it can get quite slippery, especially on the way down. Awesome hike if you like the challenge!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Hard to follow, scrambling at the end.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

This is my favorite sub alpine lake. The trail is cool too it is an adventure and I love that it is rugged and the road less traveled!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lots of uphill! Do NOT PACK an 18 pack of beer. Even if it was on sale for cheaper than a 12 pack. First part is steady switchbacks of uphill gravel, then you get to the actual trailhead. The rest is even more uphill. Then you hit the falls that are below the lake. Then surprise! Even steeper uphill. Which is hand over hand grabbing roots to get up the last stretch. Then you get to the top and forget everything. Absolutely beautiful with good fishing. Well worth the hike that I have done twice now. Also trail is very crude and your guessing the last 1/3 of the way if your on the trail. Different color ribbons mark different paths, follow those. Recommended GPS. P.s. don't bring an 18 pack of beer. And if it looks slippery, IT IS.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Very rough hike. Loose terrain, overgrown bushes with devils weed and sticker bushes,
Slippery rocks, and A LOT of up hill that's really hard on the way up. If you do decide to go on this hike be prepared to literally clime a mountain straight up. It's hard, but when you get to the top there's some good camping sites next to the water. Not recommended for people who haven't hiked before. The trail itself sucked really bad (which explains the rating) but when you get to the lake it's really beautiful.

4 months ago

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