Surprise Lake Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews
#5 of 7 trails in

Surprise Lake Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Carbonado, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,171 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

The road leading to the trailhead is very rocky. 4WD and good ground clearance is recommended.

icy
muddy
private property
rocky
2 months ago

The trail head is hard to find. It is marked private road. Walk around the cable. End of Oct. the trail is very muddy. Beautiful walk. Pretty straight up hike to start. We got a late start . So we didn't make it all the way to the lake before dark. Definatly going back to see the lake.

hiking
private property
2 months ago

Nice hike on a beautiful day to a beautiful peaceful lake. Trail is actually more of a rugged road, but it was fine. Three flowing falls along the way. Road is private property, but hikers are welcome. Go while you still can, because the owner is building a boardwalk and small cottage, which will be a nice place for them.

hiking
private property
rocky
4 months ago

Rather than a trail, this is more of a rocky road to the lake. Nice place to camp, and Rainier peeked through the clouds on the right side of the trail. The lake is beautiful. Nice, short, easy walk. The road ascent is pretty brutal on a car - driving something high from the ground seems like a pre-requisite.

hiking
5 months ago

The lake was great, the trail leading to it had way more trash than I was expecting. If you can pack a beer can in, you can pack the empty out.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Got a wild hair today to do a moderate hike with my husband, 16 year old son and 2 dogs. Found this hike and thought what the heck, so off we went. Once you cross the one-lane bridge (river), you start working your way up the forest road. It’s your typical “rocky” forest road so high profile vehicles are best. The trail entrance is not marked but we followed this app’s directions to the entrance and someone already wrote a review to take the road to your left just before the fork. Thanks for that! It’s not like other trail heads, it looks like a road. I will upload a pic of the trail/road entrance with an arrow on where to enter after I write this review (update, uploaded a few pics just fine but for some reason the trail entrance road won’t upload on this app, sorry). Several jeeps/ATV’s go up and down this road/trail. Be careful, it’s very rocky in most places (wear hiking boots/bring your pole if you have it...neither of which we had but we managed). It’s a decent incline all the way up. The lake is pretty at the top. There was a family camping across the lake and a couple of others fishing on the lake but that’s it for people. Bring a small lunch so you can sit at this quiet lake and eat before heading back down. Took almost 2 hours to go up and 1 hour to get down to our car (we are new to hiking, might be quicker for you if a veteran hiker)

hiking
6 months ago

I agree with the other posts about the road to the trailhead...high clearance vehicle and 4x better. With a Tundra it is was good. No signs to the trail, however I followed the map on this app and recorded it and that was accurate, thus follow this map. The trail is on your left just before the fork in the road per the GPS when you follow directions on this app! Trail is great, very rocky and gave it a three star because the rock obstacles seemed to be created by washouts and saw plenty of tracks from an ATV or something else which didn’t give the authentic feel of a “trail” in the forest. Otherwise it’s a good hike, no one on the way on the Monday after 4th of July. Lake is fantastic, definitely want to go back and stay a night. Missed any views because of clouds. Oh, it’s uphill all the way.

hiking
Wed Jan 02 2019

This trail was extremely difficult to find. The signage on this road is really bad so I highly recommend bringing actual maps or print outs of this map. There is no service up there so if you are new to the area this was really hard to find. We spend 45 minutes looking for it and the main road was so icy we kept slipping all over in our car. If you do this hike in the winter, you will need chains, 4WD, and an elevated car. This road is really awful so make sure you have good tires and a spare just incase. I drive a jeep so we were good, but even with that it was a pretty rough drive. We didn't even end up hiking the trail due to difficulty getting around on the main road. We will try again in the summer.

hiking
Sun Jun 03 2018

It wasn’t easy but it also was doable for someone who isn’t fit. There’s water covering the trail in places but you can walk around it. I noticed a lot of trash and shells. The area could use some cleaning I wish I had brought a trash bag. The only snow left is barely hangin on. Next time we will be bringing a spare tire just in case. The road to the trail is very very rocky.

Sun May 27 2018

Basically a Jeep trail and rocky - couple of decent waterfalls and the lake at the top. I’d go back someday soon.

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Sun Nov 25 2018

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