Heather Lake (North Cascades, Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest)

Trailhead: Heather Lake Trail 701
Distance: 4.3 miles, out & back
Elevation Gain: 1,272 feet
Highest Elevation: 2,471 feet
Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass

When you find these enchanted sanctuaries, your mind will be set free. #MasculinityRising

A post shared by Nick Hagood (@nickhagood) on

Date Visited: 10 JUL 2017

The Heather Lake Trail is one of my absolute favorites in the North Cascades.

It’s not too hard, not too easy, and offers one of the best views I’ve seen on a hike so far.

The trail climbs through the thick forest, eventually becoming full of roots and rocks. Some of these trees were massive beasts in their time.

Other than the forest and vegetation, there’s not much to see on your way to the lake, but the journey is quick and rewarding.

Eventually, you’ll reach Heather Lake nestled behind the cliffs of Mount Pilchuck. The water is crystal clear, surrounded by a breathtaking scene of waterfalls, snow, and trees.

Take a moment to appreciate this little sanctuary.

Today’s necessity. #MasculinityRising

A post shared by Nick Hagood (@nickhagood) on

If you deviate from the main loop around the lake, you can scramble up the rocks on the opposite side from where you entered. Doing so will get you to about 2,600 feet in elevation.

From here, you’ll have a spectacular view of the basin below and the mountains in the distance.

We decided to climb to this little lookout, eat lunch, and finally descend back down after enjoying the serenity.

💪😈 Oh yeah. Roughly 2600-2700 feet of elevation. #MasculinityRising

A post shared by Nick Hagood (@nickhagood) on

When I talk about “mountain meditation,” this is it right here. Heather Lake is just enough of a challenge to get your breathing into that meditative zone

And when you finally push through the trees near the waters edge, you’ll stare in absolute wonder at Nature’s beauty.


Trailhead: Heather Lake Trail 701

Passes & Permits: Northwest Forest Pass – $30 annually

Regulations: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Regulations

Children: Suitable, but challenging.

Dogs: Yes, kept on leash.

Overnight Stay Allowed: No.

Water: Several spots along trail during rainy seasons. Waterfalls and snow at the lake.

Facilities: Vault toilet at trailhead. Open air pit toilet in woods near the lake.

For trail information, contact:
Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
Darrington Ranger District  | 360-436-1155
Verlot Public Service Center | 360-691-7791

Passes & Permits FAQ

Washington Trails Association

Always check the road and trail conditions before you go.

Nick Hagood
Masculinity Rising

Share This Article!
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Reddit0Share on Tumblr0