Rainy Lake Trail

Winthrop, Washington

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Though it does not go downhill both directions, this trail is the next best thing. This is the best example I know of a wheelchair-accessible alpine lake. The only paved trail in the North Cascades Recreation Area, it offers a fine way for wheelchair-bound sightseers, or parents with babies in strollers, to see an alpine cirque lake rimmed by rocky cliffs and snowfields. Children can expect to see a large waterfall on the south cliff above the lakeshore, and a glacier on the crest high above it. Families can picnic at the trail’s end and imagine themselves miles from the highway. The lake isn’t suitable for swimming, so there isn’t much for children to do when they get there, but the trail is so easy that they will enjoy the hike and have something to tell their friends about.
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)

Though it does not go downhill both directions, this trail is the next best thing. This is the best example I know of a wheelchair-accessible alpine lake. The only paved trail in the North Cascades Recreation Area, it offers a fine way for wheelchair-bound sightseers, or parents with babies in strollers, to see an alpine cirque lake rimmed by rocky cliffs and snowfields.

Children can expect to see a large waterfall on the south cliff above the lakeshore, and a glacier on the crest high above it. Families can picnic at the trail’s end and imagine themselves miles from the highway. The lake isn’t suitable for swimming, so there isn’t much for children to do when they get there, but the trail is so easy that they will enjoy the hike and have something to tell their friends about.

©  Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Winthrop
Distance: 2
Elevation Gain: 70 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy for children
Duration: Day hike
Season: Late July to October
Trailhead Elevation: 4,800 feet
Top Elevation: 4,870 feet
Local Contacts: Okanogan National Forest
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 50 Washington Pass; USFS Wenatchee and Okanogan
Driving Directions: Directions to Rainy Lake Trail

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Apr 2018