Wagonwheel Lake Trail is a 7.9 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 7.9 km Elevation Gain: 1,017 m Route Type: Out & Back




nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers


no dogs

Please note that during the winter the road to the trailhead may be closed. Please check with the park before visiting in winter.

6 days ago

Great hike (very steep) but the trail disappears at above 3000ft into deep snow. Looked for a hour for the lake without the trail and did not find it. Map check when we got back showed that we were less than 0.25 miles away.. I would not attempt this until later in the summer after the snow field melts. The trail is poorly marked near the end. Still a beautiful day!

2 months ago

off trail
3 months ago

Very steep and icy. Solid workout- and worth it. Lost the trail around 3200 feet due to heavy snow. Didn’t find the lake

7 months ago

Marvelously steep trail as a fantastic workout. Really, one should go all the way to Cub Peak. The views from up there above Wagonwheel Lake are not to be missed.

7 months ago

Hiked 10/25/19. Most brutal few miles of my life on a hike. It’s like climbing straight up a slope, with barely any switchbacks. I planned for a 5-6 mile hike but it felt like 10-12 easily. You get an occasional nice view, but I’m not convinced it was worth the painstaking efforts. It takes like 45+ minutes per mile. It was great for what it was, but I think I could’ve put out the same effort with greater rewards on other trails.

9 months ago

Trail from hell. Pretty amazing though. You’ll feel like you’re close to the lake at like 6 different points, but you’re still hours away at all of them. Beautiful once you get to the lake. Trip back down is long and painful.

Sun May 05 2019

Trail was extremely difficult. Made it to mile 3.0 to find snow, could not continue without snow shoes. Descent was very hard on the knees. Great workout, will do it again!

Sat Mar 23 2019

So the first part of this seems to have no snow anymore. I don’t know about farther up I only went about a mile up. I ran across a cave and since I was hiking by myself I didn’t know if it contained bears.

Sun Mar 17 2019

Park road to trailhead was closed due to snow and ice. We were able to park outside the gate and walk our way into the park then to the trailhead. Sign at the park says the trail is only 2.9mi which is inaccurate. At this time, we had to use yak tracks and then snow shoes due to 3 ft of snow...which makes the trail more difficult going up. We were sinking in the snow even with snow shoes. Lots of hooves and paw tracks on our way up. Hard but worth the challenge! I would recommend this trail in the summer!

Sat Feb 16 2019

One of the steepest hikes of my life. Extremely difficult, but well worth it once you get to the top. Plan for a longer-than-normal few mile hike. Trail gets to be somewhat difficult to find once you get above the tree line, so be mindful of that.

Tue Nov 20 2018

Greak hike! Keep going past the lake. It's more rewarding for the extra 0.5 miles. About 4 miles in total. 3 hrs up & 2 hrs down. I went on 11/17/18, no bugs and the lake wasn't frozen. But it is very wet, so wear water proof pants and bring extra socks. It was slippery and the trail edge can crumble if you step too close to it. Definitely a calf & thigh burner!

Thu Sep 20 2018

Very steep. Slippery in places and the plant life is almost like a jungle as you get close to the lake. If you have bad knees, the descent while annihilate them. My favorite part was Cub Peak. While your legs are burning and shaking and you just want off the trail, it’s worth the extra bit to ascend to Cub Peak. Far better than the lake. The hike was a great challenge and the views at the end were beautiful. Throughout the hike there aren’t a ton of views and it’s VERY challenging. I probably won’t do it again.

Wed Sep 05 2018

This was pretty hard. I run marathons for fun and this was a good workout. My wife who does not, felt like dying and is still sore 2 days later. The view was good at the lake, I am not sure it was worth the effort.

Sat Aug 04 2018

Pretty steep, but my 7 and 9 year old kids made it.

Thu Aug 02 2018

So. Much. Up. Consider it your wilderness Stairmaster. Also, for what it’s worth, my GPS recorded the inbound part of the trek (to the summit of Cub[?] mountain, just above the lake) as 4.1 miles with a gain of ~4100 ft (so ~8 mi r/t). There were quite a few flies and dense foliage to slog through near the lake, but the reward was well worth it. Incredible views from the summit and an abundance of huckleberries along the upper parts of the trail. The lake is pristine and very refreshing for a swim!

Sun Jul 29 2018

Tough hike, but glad we made it. Had problems coming back down, because how knee problems. Definitely need to be in good shape with no orthopedic problems. Last bit of the trail needs to have some grooming, wasn't sure we where on the right trail. Hike is actually 6 miles up and back not 4.9 miles

Tue Jul 17 2018

Amazing swim on a hot day

Sun Jul 01 2018

Nice hike to the little lake. No more snow left today 6/30.

Mon May 21 2018

Very strenuous. Trail never lets up, it just keeps getting steeper and steeper. The lake was still half frozen over, which made for a cool view but all in all this trail is for the workout. Will do again.

Wed Aug 30 2017

Wow! This is one steep trail and will leave your legs sore. It was great to get to the lake and get in. When it seems like you won't make it- keep going. A good landmark to know you are almost there is the slide area that is like going through a jungle. As in, a machete would have been nice! LOTS of bugs at the lake. Beware!

Wed Aug 23 2017

Best during the summer where the snow is passable. One of the most beautiful hikes. Wagon wheel lake itself is blue as the sky and warm. And mountain goats!

Tue Apr 04 2017

Great hike but there's an avalanche shoot that we couldn't get through and there's a lot of snow but over all a great hike

Sun Feb 19 2017

Never made it to the top, snow got too deep! Very beautiful hike! Pretty strenuous. Steep switchbacks.

Tue Feb 14 2017

Pretty challenging trail. There was so much snow near the top that we lost the trail.

Thu Dec 29 2016

Amazing hike! Beautiful views in fall of mountain peaks across the valley close to the lake. Mountain blueberries too! I'm very glad I wore my proper hiking shoes and packed a lunch. A personal achievement for sure!

Sun Dec 04 2016

was a great hike. snow toward the top and the lake was very serene. bring layers if you are hikin off season.

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