Winchester Mountain Trail

HARD 30 reviews
#12 of 85 trails in

Winchester Mountain Trail is a 3.3 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.

DISTANCE
3.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1230 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

forest

lake

views

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.

2 months ago

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

backpacking
3 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 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.

hiking
3 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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
11 months ago

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.

hiking
11 months ago

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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!

hiking
2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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