Thornton Lakes Trail

HARD 13 reviews

Thornton Lakes Trail is a 19 mile lightly 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, walking, trail running, and backpacking and is best used from June until September.

DISTANCE
19.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5482 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Directions from Marblemount: Drive east on Highway 20 11 miles to dirt road on the left signed as Thornton Creek Road. Turn northward and drive 5 miles to the trailhead. Thornton Creek Road is not recommended for trailers or RVs. It isn't graded regularly and is very steep.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful

2 months ago

Mother. Fucking. Mosquitos. And flies. Probably the lone reason it went from five to four stars. We knew about the mosquitos going in. Mosquito brothels every mile, I'm assuming because of the beautiful streams/falls coming from the mountain. Bought some great deep woods repellent, should have gone 100% deet. Also the horse flies. They bite. There was a constant buzzing all the way to the top of Trappers Peak, and then once at the top there was silence from the buzzing, kind of.

Other than that, it was a great hike. I wish we made it in time to snag a camping pass (there are only three available) but we hit traffic and were too late.

The trail was a little overgrown to begin with. The first two miles are the easiest, the following three were described as a three mile stair step, which I agree with. Once at the lake view point, you can head right and head up to Trappers Peak, which is a scramble most of the way up. Bits of snow on the way, but the trail is still there, nothing really worth noting, as of 7/22. The views were incredible. We didn't go down to the lake, because of time, I wish we had more of it.

We took some hiking poles up, I definitely recommend. The drive up is a 5 mile drive up a logging road, don't take your car. It's a bumpy drive. When we got back to the truck, six vehicles, including our own were broken into. We reported it to the rangers, they knew about the increase of break-ins, and are working on it. They were great to work with.

Time up for us was three hours to the lake view point, another thirty to Trappers Peak, time down was two hours. We did stop and bathe ourselves of the bug repellent (I went a little crazy with it) in the creek where there's a little log bridge. Take a towel, maybe hide it at the bridge on your way up. It was amazing.

Overall, it was a great hike, with great rewards at the end. Yes, difficult but worth it. A great day hike, and I bet an amazing camping place.

hiking
3 months ago

fishing
3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

Amazing!

fly fishing
5 months ago

backpacking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Picturesque. Hard hike, but totally worth it.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Quite the challenge, but worth it. The views are amazing, and the lake at the end is jaw dropping.

hiking
Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trailhead to Trappers Peak. Snow free all the way to the glacier on Triumph as of 10/19.

hiking
Monday, October 14, 2013

My wife and I went on this hike in late August. The first 2 miles are light slope and then the last 3 miles are a steep ascent of about 2000 ft. It was hard but worth it for the beautiful views at the top. We stayed the night and camped back in the morning. I would do it again but stay for at least two nights to give enough time to visit the surrounding peaks and go to the upper lakes.

hiking
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Strenuous hike to the top but well worth it for the views. We all went down the narrow steep trail to the lake and saw chunks of ice and a beautiful lake close up. We the went back up the trail and took on Trapper peak. Because of snow, the trail was on and off but we got to the top and the view was awesome.

hiking
Friday, September 07, 2012

The first mile starts out flat. All uphill switch-backing through the trees the rest of the way. At around 5 miles you will come to a post in the middle of the trail marking Thornton Lake to the left and Trappers Peak to the right. The view of the first lake is a short distance from there. If you continue all the way down to the lake the trail narrows greatly and can be slippery. If you are short on time I recommend enjoying the lake from the main view point and save your energy for scrambling up to Trappers Peak. You will have to climb up a steep and narrow rock ledge before it levels out, but it is doable and not technical with a well defined trail. The view of the Pickett range, Mt Triumph and the other 2 lakes makes this hike 5 stars. I saw a black bear near the top.