Winchester Mountain Trail

HARD 37 reviews
#12 of 85 trails in

Winchester Mountain Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.9 miles
1,299 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash






wild flowers



Directions from Glacier: Follow Mt. Baker Hwy. 542 east for 12 miles to Forest Road #3065 (Twin Lakes Road). The road is located on the left side of the highway just beyond the Department of Transportation's Shuksan maintenance facility. Turn left on Twin Lakes Road and continue approximately 4.5 miles to the Tomyhoi Lake/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead. The remainder of the road beyond this point is not maintained for passenger vehicles. Those persons with a 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicles may be able to continue the remaining 2 miles to Twin Lakes. Check with the ranger station for road conditions before heading out. The trailhead is located between the two lakes.

5 days ago

August, 6,2018! Great hike!

21 days ago

July 20, 2018. Road to the Twin lakes trailhead was clear and we were able to get there with a 4x4. No snow on the road but some tricky portions beyond Yellow Aster with large rocks and pot holes. You definitely want a high clearance vehicle, a spotter, and some patience to help navigate these parts. There was snow in the parking and camping area of Twin Lakes so we parked a down the road where it was clear. A couple of recently fallen trees from the winter on the trail but otherwise clear and we'll travelled. Parts of the trail are still covered in snow in the upper portions. Ice axe would be useful on the sloped portions, but we were also able to navigate these slowly and carefully with our trekking poles. The lookout was closed due to structural damage so we couldn't go in but the views are spectacular and worth trip.

rock climbing
28 days ago

I led a group of 5 guys up this trail 1st weekend of July 2018. The Forest Service rd was blocked just past yellow aster butte trail head do we had to hike the 2 miles up the rd to the twin lakes trail head. The trail is well maintained but had a lot of snow right from twin lakes. At least 50% of the trail was covered in ice or snow so this became an over night trip. About a mile past twin lakes the snow fields become steep & icy. Route finding & mountaineering skills are needed to cross them and there were 2 or 3 avalanche chutes to navigate around. We made camp 500 below the summit on the only snow free flat patch we could find. Amazing views from camp. Sunday morning we made our way to the summit. Breathtaking views from the top. Bugs were not too bad.
If you’re doing this trail when snow levels are down to twin lakes, you WILL need ice axes & crampons. We wouldn’t have made it without them.

1 month ago

road is damaged, blocked off near Tomyhoi lake trailhead. About a 8-9 mile hike just to get to the trail head and the lakes, and the trail head is closed indefinitely due to damage and no funding. Thanks white house!

Heavy heavy snow at the top and the lakes are still frozen over.

9 months ago

Loved this mountain! Though the elevation is high, it wasn't too difficult. The view is incredibly distracting it is so gorgeous!

10 months ago

Winchester Mountain Trail is such a beautiful picturesque hike, with the view of the Twin Lakes. This is a must hike, however you need to be prepared.
The road going up to the trail head is VERY steep and difficult, with large pot holes, bumps, crossing water, large rocks; etc. You will not make it up the mountain in your vehicle if you don't have a Jeep, Subaru or 4x4. Don't even try it! If you have a smaller car, you will have to park down the trail and talk a long, steep hike up to the trail head.
I drove slow and carefully, and it took me 1 hour from the road to get to the trail head in my Subaru.
I wasn't prepared for all of the snow and winter wonderland that had already fallen. The hike was covered in snow, and was slushy, muddy, and wet. As you get closer to the top, it is very slippery and icy. I made my way back down the mountain around 2:45pm and the slushy ice was already starting to freeze and was getting colder.

Tips: (Must Haves for this hike)
Wear hiking boots (waterproof)
You will want your trekking poles
Long pants and gadders
*Requires Discover Pass

This is a beautiful hike, and was quit the adventure; not just the hike, but driving up to it!

10 months ago

Amazing hike, not hard and pretty short, did it last night for sunset and camped at the top. You need a 4x4 vehicle to get to the trailhead.

11 months ago

need a 4x4 to get to the trailhead, short hike but the views are well worth it.

11 months ago

Stunning views from the top! If you ever want to camp in a lookout tower, this one is set up well. First come first serve and dog accessible as it's not up a steep staircase. The car camping at twin lakes at the base of the hike is spectacular too. Highly recommend on a clear day.

11 months ago

This is such a wonderful hike if you're looking for a short hike with fantastic views. At the top is a lookout that you can stay in (first come first serve) with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.

We also did High Pass trail which is at the same trailhead. Personally I think this trail was way more impressive. It descends down and around Winchester Mountain through beautiful wildflowers. Then you hit switch-backs that take you up towards Mt. Larrabee (visible from Winchester Mountain Lookout). The final stretch of this hike is tough but the 360 degree views at the top are STUNNING!!!

Overall both hikes combined came to about 12 miles so be ready for a long day if you plan on hiking both trails. Afterwards spend some time at Twin Lakes!

Note: the road to this trailhead is not maintained past Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and you will need a high clearance vehicle to get there.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Pretty easy hike with an amazing view! The road getting there was very rough, but definitely worth it. The bugs were also pretty bad. Overall, though, this hike is definitely one of my favorites.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Love the cabin at the top, it's a short hike with a really great view for your efforts. Need a 4x4 to get to the trailhead.

Friday, January 06, 2017

One of my all time favourite hikes. It is an easy hike (mainly cause you drive up most of the mountain). Amazing views for an easy hike.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

incredible trail! did it with 5 friends. there was place that was washed out, a huge patch of snow was blocking the trail. we ended up going up & around it. going down was all gravel & did not seem safe.

the road was rough in a few spots going up to the trail head. my Nissan didn't make it up but we all piled into my friend's Outback. not a lot of visibility at the top.

jumped into one of the Twin Lakes after! great hike.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Amazing view. Road to the trailhead was pretty rough when I did it back in Sept 2013.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

As previously mentioned by others a high clearance vehicle is recommended beyond the Yellow Aster Butte TH but the road isn't too bad except for about 4 very large "speed bumps" from wash outs. And unlike the YAB trail there is lots of available parking around the Twin Lakes. It a quick hike up to the lookout with several switchbacks. Although it is a shorter trail I still rate it 5 stars based on the amazing views of so many jagged peaks from the top. This trail was more crowded than High Pass which I hiked on the same day but both offer superb views and I recommend them both.

Monday, October 14, 2013

We parked down at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and hiked the 2.5 miles up to the Twin Lakes and Winchester Peak Trailhead, because of reports of road conditions. The road conditions were actually pretty good and we could have driven most of the way up and parked off the side of the road. Near the top, the road became icy and slick, slushy in some spots. We also were unaware that there was quite a significant amount of snow at the top. Due to the amount of snow and some dark clouds rolling in, and trail conditions, we were unable to hike all the way up to the peak. This hike will go on to-do list for next summer, it was absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine what it will look like with wildflowers all over the place! I'd recommend it to anyone, though it is rather steep, you will feel it for a couple of days after.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gorgeous hike and view of the twin lakes! When you reach the top there's an awesome little cabin that anyone can stay in on a first come, first serve basis. It's pretty set up with a stove, cot, propane tanks, etc. You can't beat the view, either! The sun beats down on you pretty good, so wear some shorts on a sunny day for sure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One of the most incredible hikes I've been on. The views were unbelievable, and for such a relatively short hike. Pretty difficult though, had our hearts beating pretty hard. We went in September and there were still patches of glacier which we did without snow shoes, but it would have been safer if we'd had them. Definitely worth it, though! We'll be back!

13 days ago

1 month ago

3 months ago

10 months ago

recorded Winchester Mountain

10 months ago

10 months ago

recorded Winchester Mountain Trail

10 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sunday, October 16, 2016

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