A Breathtaking Hike in the North Cascades

When you are in Seattle and the weather is great, its time to go hiking ! 😊

On Sunday, we went on a hike called the “Lake Twentytwo” in the Mountain Loop Highway area. It was a 5.4 mile hike (round trip) with an elevation gain of 1500 ft and was rated as easy-to-moderate. The hike to the lake let us explore beautiful mountain rainforests, alpine wetlands, old growth hemlocks and cedars along with stunning views of Mt Pilchuck.

It was a pleasant two hour drive from Bellevue to reach the trailhead. The drive was beautiful with alpine and cedar trees on both sides.

Drive to Lake Twentytwo
We wanted to make a quick stop to grab some food for the hike. We drove too far and couldn’t locate any food joints. We stopped at a local store on the highway and bought some snacks.

Pit stop
Always yes for a Magnum almond bar !
We reached the trailhead around 1 pm. The parking area was quite crowded.  The weather was around 12 degrees centigrade.

Parking area
Information board
At the trailhead, we learnt that Lake Twentytwo is regarded as a Research Natural Area which means that the natural ecosystems in the area are preserved to facilitate research.

We started our hike at around 1.30 pm.

“Leave no trace of your visit.”
Starting point of the trail
The trail started out to be flat as you can see above. It then went on to become a mountain rainforest trail. There was dampness in the ground for most part of the trail.

Entering the rainforest
Dampness along the way
In about a mile, there was a puncheon bridge to cross the waters. There were several tiny creeks and beautiful waterfalls along the way. ​​

​Puncheon Bridge

​Water falls along the way

Whispers of the woods
After 1.5 miles, the trail turned into a talus slope with stunning views of Whitehorse Mountain and Three Fingers. The ground was rocky and moist and was more challenging.

Climbing higher

Some more mist
Beauty in each leaf
Views of White Horse Mountain and Three Fingers
After 2.1 miles, we re entered the rainforest. There were wetlands and the ground got rocky. This was the final part of the hike.

Almost there !
Wilderness
Blocks of snow
When we reached Lake Twentytwo, we stood speechless before the magnificent panoramic view of the pristine lake with  backdrop of the magnificent Mt. Pilchuck. We sat there absorbing the serenity and sheer beauty of nature.

The Breathtaking View !

Mountains, mist and magnificence
Speechless !
The lake was so clear that it perfectly reflected the magnificence of the mountains.

How clear the lake was !
The tired hikers
Below is the panoramic video of the view.

​The Lake Twentytwo hike was an amazing experience for us with its beautiful trail and spectacular views at the end. As rightly said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than what one seeks”.

The end !
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