Dusty Lake Trail

OutAndBack • 3 mi • 400 ft

Spring is a capricious season for hikers from the west side of the Cascades. Hungry for warm days and flowers, they are often driven east by bad weather. It’s a good thing there are sweet gems like Dusty Lake to visit, situated in the same geological neighborhood as Ancient Lakes. Though the hike is short and the drive is long, it is worth it. You may feel as if you’ve gotten away with something when you drive through a late spring storm at Snoqualmie Pass into open terrain where clumps of phlox cast a purple glow against rolling hills and the golden fire of balsamroot warms the heart.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: George
Length: 3 total miles
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Hikable: Year-round, Best flowers: May through June
Top Elevation: 1,200 feet
Local Contacts: Quincy Wildlife Area
Local Maps: USGS Babcock Ridge
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Recent Trail Reviews


Got to the trail head just after dawn to run a 10 mile loop to Dusty Lake, over the ridge and down to the Ancient Lakes, and up the Ancient Lakes trail to complete the loop. These trails are easy to run, soft dirt intermixed with rock. The autumn foliage, sharp ridge lines and beautiful waterfalls make this a great place to explore. A couple of backpackers were enjoying a easy Sunday morning camped between the Ancient Lakes. This one easily tops my list for 6+ mile trail runs in the area.

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