Heather Lake Trail

Skykomish, Washington

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The trail is steep; the lake is big and beautiful. The hot summer day when I was there, children were having a fine time swimming and playing on the rocks around the shore. The trail begins in old-growth unprotected Wenatchee National Forest. At 1 mile, it crosses Lake Creek and enters the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness. At 1½ miles, a series of murderously steep switchbacks climbs 900 feet in a very long mile that will seem like ten. (I went by two boys trying to lug an in?ated raft up this trail. I wonder if they made it—the last I saw of them they were complaining from underneath it in muffled voices that there was no place to set it down.) The grade finally eases and continues another ¾ mile to sparkling Heather Lake, elevation 3953 feet, in a glacier-scooped cirque basin beneath Grizzly Peak. Many good campsites are scattered about among berry bushes and driftwood. Each comes with a view.
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)

The trail is steep; the lake is big and beautiful. The hot summer day when I was there, children were having a fine time swimming and playing on the rocks around the shore.

The trail begins in old-growth unprotected Wenatchee National Forest. At 1 mile, it crosses Lake Creek and enters the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness. At 1½ miles, a series of murderously steep switchbacks climbs 900 feet in a very long mile that will seem like ten. (I went by two boys trying to lug an in?ated raft up this trail. I wonder if they made it—the last I saw of them they were complaining from underneath it in muffled voices that there was no place to set it down.) The grade finally eases and continues another ¾ mile to sparkling Heather Lake, elevation 3953 feet, in a glacier-scooped cirque basin beneath Grizzly Peak. Many good campsites are scattered about among berry bushes and driftwood. Each comes with a view.

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

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Skykomish
Distance: 6.5
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: July-October
Trailhead Elevation: 2,600 feet
Top Elevation: 3,900 feet
Local Contacts: Wenatchee National Forest, Lake Wenatchee Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 144 Benchmark Mountain; USFS Okanogan and Wenatchee
Driving Directions: Directions to Heather Lake Trail

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Apr 2018