Thornton Lakes Trail is a 8.3 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 May until October.

8.3 miles
3,100 feet
Out & Back



trail running






wild flowers


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.

11 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. Went on October 19th which apparently was the perfect time between when all the last year's snow had melted and right before the next year's snow started to hit so I had minimal trouble making the scramble up to Trapper's Peak. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Two things I would recommend to any one looking to do this:

1) Bring a high clearance and/or 4-wheel drive vehicle. The road up is bumpy, gravel-y, somewhat narrow, and steep. I drove a low clearance compact car up it and had my tires spin a couple times going up some of the hills. I was also somewhat surprised I didn't pop any tires going up or down it. This was also when the road was in good condition and without any precipitation so again I would recommend caution with an every day city driver on this road

2) Bring a buddy. I went by myself and wish I brought someone else along. The common sense of this being a safe practice became obvious to me over the course of the hike as I saw only 1 other human on my way up. A fall or dangerous encounter with wildlife would have dire consequences here. Additionally, I feel this would have been good for the scramble up Trapper's Peak. The trail up there is not maintained and, as such, is easy to lose track of. I decided to call it before getting to what I believe was the top because I was afraid I would lose myself down a game trail and not be sure how to get back, especially considering my fatigue level at that point. Having another person to bounce ideas off of and try to identify where the trail was going next would have been very welcome.

3 months ago

Hike this last week... the view is beautiful

4 months ago

Hiked this on 7/4. Couldn't make it to trappers peak due to a late start. Was able to view the now thawing lake from a ridge. Plenty of snow here, poles and micro spikes would be helpful. Would recommend trying this a couple of weeks from now once the snow has completely melted.

Was able to drive to the trailhead in a Mazda but a high clearance vehicle would have been nice.

The trail cuts through the forest for the most part, nothing very exciting there. The last 3 miles are mostly uphill.

4 months ago

Went all the way up to Trappers Peak on 6/24. Snow free until half a mile from the ridge. That half mile section has small snow patches that are easy to navigate through. Once you hit the ridge the snow is pretty solid. There are bare patches along the trail to Trappers Peak but also some dicier snow travel. The lakes are still frozen although the lower lake is beginning to melt around the edges. Very few people and absolutely gorgeous views from the ridge.

6 months ago

Recommend snow shoes, poles, and spikes to attempt trappers. Still snow everywhere, lake frozen over.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Monday, July 24, 2017

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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


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.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

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

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.

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.

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.

2 months ago

8 months ago

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017