Hiking the North Cascades
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The out and back trail begins and ends at the Twin Lakes parking area. The challenge is getting there. The single lane road to Twin Lakes is best suited for a 4x4 but can be negotiated with 2 wheel drive if you are experienced at "seasonally maintained roads". The road opens late in the season when snow finally recedes and the washouts are repaired. Campers at Twin Lakes reported two weeks earlier the campground was under snow and the lakes were frozen over. The trail begins gently and climbs away from the lakes vertically never getting out of sight of the lakes as it switches back and forth uphill through snowfields, and scree fields. The trails crests several saddles that give you views of other valleys before finally leaving the tree line and beginning the final set of switchbacks to the top. The lookout at the top has been restored by a local hiking club and the photos inside show that the lookout would be completely gone if not for their efforts. The lookout is available for overnight stays. The views of Mt Baker can be worth the trip if it pokes out from under the clouds and the 360 degree view from the lookout justify the effort to get there. Pit toilets are available halfway up the road to Twin Lakes and at the parking area at the lakes. Several fire rings and picnic tables are also at the parking area. The wild flowers were in full display and the huckleberries were just getting ripe enough to find a few along the way as a snack. The trail is suitable for the beginner but will not disappoint the more experianced hiker.
Twin lakes is one of the best Mtn. spots in Washington that you can drive all the way. The last 2 miles require a vehicle with some clearance. The views are incredible. The trail had one steep detour area to get around a steep snowfield, otherwise it is clear for the season.
The views are <b>AWESOME</b>!
This trail is not too long, but a steady climb. It is ranked a 2 out of 5 on the book that we used.
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