Memorial Day Sale! Get a year of AllTrails Pro for only $14.99
Get Started

Winchester Mountain Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(96)
Mount Baker National Forest

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 moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,299 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

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.

hiking
no shade
scramble
snow
6 months ago

hiking
snow
6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing Trail! While it was mostly cloudy the entire hike up, once at the top we were treated with a break in the clouds to be able to see the amazing views. Pretty easy gradual hike uphill with plenty of blueberries to snack on while you walk. 100% recommended!!

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

This hike started off with a long drive through a rocky area. I highly recommend a 4x4 or else you will not get far. In the rocky area, there are campsites which is quite amazing. Instead of hiking up, we camped out and decided to hike the next day. Climbing up to the top was pretty moderate but the best part was the hut. You can either decide to stay and sleep in the hut, or enjoy your views and walk back down. We had no bear, bug or sun spray at this time of the year but we have survived. Definitely one of the best sunsets I have ever experienced. On to the next adventure!

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely amazing-sunset is astonishing with the layers of color in the sky. More a moderate-hard? Well worth it

hiking
8 months ago

Stunning view in most part of the trail. Even better view on the top. you'll see a hundred peaks in your sight,glacier and bueatiful lakes.kids enjoyed playing with echo from far distant valley.

hiking
8 months ago

One of the best short and sweet hikes in the North Cascades, so beautiful and all the mountains are so majestic!

hiking
9 months ago

Short trail with great views right from the beginning. The only downside is the uphill driving to the trailhead. SUV/truck is a must. Or a 4x4 car.

hiking
9 months ago

amazing reward for effort. Gravel road on the way out is a bit dicey but just take it easy and you'll be right ✌️

hiking
9 months ago

Getting to this trailhead was tough, and I'm not talking about the rough, steep, switchbacking shelf road beyond the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead. It was all the agonizingly slow drivers on Hwy 542. I'm not expecting people to exceed the speed limit, but 27 mph in a 50 is unacceptable. And how do they not notice the 15 cars stacked up behind them and not pull over? (Delay of more than 5 vehicles is actually illegal in WA.) They're either ignorantly self-absorbed and completely inconsiderate, or they're just dangerously incapable of driving the speed limit. Thankfully, this peaceful hike with amazing views is just what I needed after that frustrating drive. Since this hike is relatively short, I often add High Pass (and maybe even Higher Pass) after doing Winchester. Both hikes have similarly incredible views, just slightly different vantage points. The weather was incredible (i.e., not too hot) and the bugs weren't too bad because of a light breeze. If you're camping at the lookout anytime soon, there are still a couple snowfields (water source) right off the trail and just below the summit. Sadly, on the drive home, we caught up to many more slow drivers -- some of which were only going 35 in a 50, so I guess it was a little better. Overall, it was a great hike, but I lost an hour of my life to pathetic drivers.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

Heed this warning: do not even attempt to try and drive to this trail unless you have a vehicle specifically designed for off-road driving. The road up to the trail is littered with potholes and if you have a small vehicle you will definitely get stuck.

hiking
10 months ago

Road to the trailhead was full of potholes and certainly requires a high clearance vehicle. Bottomed out once with a mid sized SUV. Hiked up and stayed one night. Trail itself was well maintained- there is a section that is blocked off for good reason, it has an impassable snow field section so stick to the left! The lookout was occupied by the time we got up and there were only a few other spots to camp- we ended up right outside the lookout cabin due to the fact that most of the campsites were rained out and had puddles. We didn’t have great weather so mostly we were fogged in but once in a while there was a beautiful clearing of the clouds and we got a view! Overall pretty chilly at the top but no bugs

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this trail last Friday, the trail was in great condition and no snowfields to cross. Great views from the top.

Sat Nov 03 2018

Completed this today! The road was the most difficult part for me today. I drove my Hyundai Tucson all the way up. Bottomed our three times. This road is doable I’m AWD and 4x4 vehicles with clearance. The trail was awesome! Light snow at the start and as I gained elevation the snow for deeper of course. I used my spikes on the way down only. Snowshoes would have helped in a few areas but not necessary to complete the trail. Lookout is locked up for the winter but the hike was very well worth the extra effort. DO NOT do this trail in the fall/winter unless you are comfortable with self arrest, know avalanche basics as well as winter survival. There were persons this trail that got a little sketchy. Oh and you can’t be afraid of heights with the added snow the trail is steep and even made me a little edgy at times. Awesome hike!

Sat Nov 03 2018

Tried this on 10/29/18, my SUV couldn’t get up the steep road. The people coming down said snow was pretty deep and you needed snow shoes. I turned around.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

Such a beautiful hike. I would rate this as moderate rather than difficult. The fall colors are still showing, and we had a clear beautiful day. There was no one in the lookout so we opened a shutter and window and hung out there for awhile trying to think of something inspirational to write in the book there :). The road up does get sketchy in a few spots, but as long as you take it slow it’s not too bad.

hiking
Fri Oct 19 2018

We hiked this trail Monday 10/15/18 around 9:30 am, we had mostly the trail to ourselves passing only 4-6 people along the way. The top has a outlook with the shutters closed (for winter) and 360° views of the surrounding mountains, absolutely gorgeous on a clear day! The trail was marked difficult but I found it to be moderate and would totally feel comfortable taking my 8 y.o & 11 y.o (my kids experienced w/ rock scrambling @ Sauk Mt & Railroad Grade). 2 Miles with decent climb but nothing too intense and along the route, there's some side trails for views (continue on). The road to the TH was rough after Y.A.B and I drove my Outback w/ all season tires, made it taking it slow. Definitely worth the solitude!

hiking
Sat Sep 22 2018

Went up there two days ago. It was sunny, then cloudy, huge wind all night, and snowed yesterday morning. We stayed in the lookout. I dried out the funky mattresses, opened the shutters and a couple windows and aired the place out. I repaired a few catches and secured all the shutters properly. We left our little domino set up there. I swept it all out before we left. The place needs some of those tea candles. It was wonderful. It’s steep, but hell, I’m almost 68 and it wasn’t bad at all. The road up was worse than the trail. Sign the guestbook when you get there.

hiking
Fri Sep 21 2018

marked as difficult, but didnt feel that way. I'm a complete beginner. steep and narrow spots, rocky, but overall I thought it was a moderate to easy trail even with all the elevation gain in a short 2 miles. we were clouded in the way up but got pockets of good views randomly. still a great hike and it didn't rain on us

hiking
Wed Sep 05 2018

Most amazing views!!! We got lucky with excellent weather... the trail is not technically hard but long steep climb but well worth it at the end. The drive to the trail head was not a problem at all with the Jeep. We also saw few sedans that made it (take it slow and easy). The climb to the lakes is steep and narrow so take into account if you are sensitive to that. All in all one of the most beautiful places in WA.

hiking
Wed Aug 08 2018

August, 6,2018! Great hike!

Tue Jul 24 2018

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
Mon Jul 16 2018

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.

hiking
Thu Jul 05 2018

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.

Tue Oct 17 2017

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

hiking
Mon Oct 09 2017

10/8/2017 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 Sunglasses Sunscreen Camera 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!

backpacking
Sun Sep 17 2017

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.

Showing results 1 - 28 of 96