From Waterfalls to Alpine Lakes: The Stunning Scenery of Lake 22 Hike

Thayne Muthler

Introduction to the Lake 22 Hike

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Lake 22 Hike is a hidden gem that offers breathtaking scenery and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located in the North Cascades of Washington State, this hike is a favorite among locals and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With its stunning waterfalls, lush forests, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife, Lake 22 Hike is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
From Waterfalls to Alpine Lakes: The Stunning Scenery of Lake 22 Hike

The Trailhead

Embarking on the Lake 22 Hike unveils a captivating adventure in the heart of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, just an hour's drive from the vibrant city of Seattle. Navigate your way to this scenic escapade by taking Highway 92 east from Granite Falls, and upon reaching your destination, turn left onto the enchanting Mountain Loop Highway.

As you traverse the Mountain Loop Highway, relish in the picturesque journey for approximately 11 miles until the trailhead parking lot comes into view. This rustic parking haven serves as the gateway to the Lake 22 Hike, offering a starting point for nature enthusiasts seeking the trail's breathtaking vistas.

However, it's prudent to plan your journey, especially considering the popularity of Lake 22. Parking availability can be a challenge, particularly on weekends and during the bustling peak hiking season. To optimize your experience, plan to arrive early in the morning or opt for a weekday adventure, ensuring a smoother start to your trek.

Keep in mind that access to the trailhead requires a Northwest Forest Pass, an essential ticket to the natural wonders that await. Secure your pass conveniently by purchasing it online or explore various local vendors in the vicinity. With your pass in hand, you not only gain entry to the trailhead but contribute to the preservation of this natural treasure.

In essence, the Lake 22 Hike beckons, promising a harmonious blend of scenic beauty and outdoor exploration. Navigate the twists and turns of the Mountain Loop Highway, securing your pass and seizing the opportunity to embark on a memorable journey into the lush wonders of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

From Waterfalls to Alpine Lakes: The Stunning Scenery of Lake 22 Hike

The Waterfalls

Enriching the allure of the Lake 22 Hike are the mesmerizing waterfalls that grace the trail, creating a symphony of sights and sounds amidst the lush forest backdrop. Traverse the winding path, and you'll encounter a series of enchanting cascades that enhance the scenic tapestry of this remarkable journey. A standout among them awaits approximately midway through the hike, serving as a captivating focal point for hikers and a prime location for those seeking to capture the essence of nature through photography.

For avid shutterbugs eager to immortalize the splendor of these waterfalls, a well-equipped camera arsenal is paramount. Arm yourself with a camera featuring a wide-angle lens to encompass the full grandeur of the cascades. Complement this with a sturdy tripod, enabling you to craft breathtaking long-exposure shots that freeze the ethereal beauty of the falling water. The interplay of light and motion in these shots can elevate your photographic endeavors to a whole new level, encapsulating the dynamic energy of the waterfalls.

However, in the pursuit of the perfect shot, it's crucial to balance creativity with caution. The vicinity of waterfalls can pose challenges, with slippery rocks and unpredictable terrain. Exercise utmost care and mindfulness while navigating these areas, ensuring your safety as you frame the perfect shot. Adhering to safety guidelines not only safeguards your well-being but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural spectacle that Lake 22's waterfalls offer.

In essence, the waterfalls along the Lake 22 Hike beckon not just as visual delights but as opportunities for artistic expression. Arm yourself with the right photographic tools, tread carefully, and let the symphony of waterfalls become the focal point of your journey, both in the moment and in the captivating images you capture.

From Waterfalls to Alpine Lakes: The Stunning Scenery of Lake 22 Hike

The Forest

Embarking on the Lake 22 Hike is a journey into a realm of enchantment, where the forest scenery unfolds like a magical tapestry. The trail winds through a majestic landscape, immersing you in a world of towering trees, rocks adorned with moss, and verdant vegetation. This natural haven creates an ambiance of tranquility, offering a welcome escape from the cacophony and stresses of everyday life.

To savor the full richness of the forest scenery, adopt a leisurely pace. Let the allure of your surroundings seep in as you traverse the trail. Revel in the towering majesty of the trees, the intricate patterns of moss-covered rocks, and the vibrant hues of the lush vegetation. The forest, with its dappled sunlight and serene ambiance, becomes a sanctuary for rejuvenation.

Amidst this peaceful haven, engage your senses fully. Tune in to the melodious symphony of birdsong, the gentle rustling of leaves in the wind—nature's own composition playing in the background. Pause at intervals to inhale deeply, savoring the crisp, invigorating air that envelops you. It's in these moments of mindful appreciation that the true magic of the forest reveals itself.

For those seeking a closer encounter with the forest's inhabitants, bring along a pair of binoculars. Scan the branches and underbrush, and you may be rewarded with glimpses of wildlife discreetly nestled within the greenery. Whether it's a fleeting bird or a curious creature, these binoculars offer a window into the hidden lives of the forest's inhabitants.

In essence, the forest scenery along the Lake 22 Hike is a testament to the restorative power of nature. Take your time, absorb the enchantment that surrounds you, and let the serenity of the forest become a balm for the soul—a timeless escape into the embrace of the natural world.

From Waterfalls to Alpine Lakes: The Stunning Scenery of Lake 22 Hike

The Alpine Lakes

Undoubtedly, the crowning jewel of the Lake 22 Hike is the breathtaking finale—Lake 22 itself. Nestled at the trail's conclusion, this alpine gem is a visual masterpiece, surrounded by majestic mountains and a tapestry of verdant foliage. The lake, with its crystal-clear waters, serves as a reflective canvas, mirroring the awe-inspiring scenery that envelopes it.

Upon reaching Lake 22, seize the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in its splendor. Find a tranquil spot by the water's edge, where the symphony of nature is harmonized with the mesmerizing view. Let time slow down as you absorb the grandeur of towering mountains mirrored on the lake's surface—a spectacle that transforms every moment into a picture-perfect postcard.

Enhance your Lake 22 experience by packing a picnic lunch. Unfold a blanket, savoring a meal amidst this natural amphitheater of beauty. The combination of good food and a spectacular view elevates the simple act of dining into a sensory feast.

For the more adventurous spirits, the crystal-clear waters of Lake 22 beckon. Take a refreshing dip in the lake, a revitalizing reward for your hiking endeavors. If you choose to embrace the water, pack a towel and a change of clothes to ensure comfort and warmth post-dip. The experience of swimming in the embrace of such pristine surroundings adds an exhilarating touch to your alpine adventure.

In essence, Lake 22 is not merely a destination; it's a culmination of nature's artistry. So, whether you choose to bask in the serenity by the water's edge, indulge in a lakeside picnic, or take a daring plunge into its cool depths, Lake 22 invites you to savor the extraordinary in the heart of the great outdoors.

From Waterfalls to Alpine Lakes: The Stunning Scenery of Lake 22 Hike

The Wildlife

The Lake 22 Hike unfolds as a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, boasting a rich tapestry of flora and fauna that beckons nature lovers at every turn. Traverse the trail with a keen eye, and you'll find yourself immersed in a thriving ecosystem that encompasses a diverse range of species.

Bird enthusiasts will find their senses heightened as they spot various avian wonders. Look skyward to catch glimpses of majestic owls, soaring eagles, and the rhythmic tapping of woodpeckers against the towering trees. The symphony of birdsong creates a melodious backdrop as you navigate the trail, providing a soundtrack to your outdoor adventure.

At ground level, the woods come alive with the playful antics of small mammals. Squirrels and chipmunks dart through the underbrush, adding a lively dynamic to the serene surroundings. These charming creatures, with their quick movements and inquisitive demeanor, become delightful companions on your journey.

For those seeking larger wildlife encounters, Lake 22 Hike offers the possibility of spotting black bears, graceful deer, or even the majestic mountain goats that navigate the rugged terrain. Witnessing these creatures in their natural habitat is a privilege, but it comes with a responsibility—observe from a safe distance. Admire these wild inhabitants without approaching or attempting to feed them, allowing them to maintain their natural behaviors undisturbed.

In essence, Lake 22 Hike unveils not just a scenic trek but a rendezvous with the wild. Whether you're an avid birder, a mammal enthusiast, or simply an admirer of nature's diverse inhabitants, this trail offers a captivating glimpse into the thriving ecosystem that calls the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest home.

Tips for Hiking Lake 22

Embarking on the Lake 22 Hike necessitates thorough preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek through the enchanting wilderness. Here's a checklist to enhance your hiking experience:

  1. Hydration and Sustenance:

    • Bring an ample supply of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike.
    • Pack energy-boosting snacks to fuel your adventure.
  2. Sun Protection:

    • Apply sunscreen to shield yourself from the mountain sun.
    • Consider wearing a hat and sunglasses for added protection.
  3. Apparel:

    • Opt for comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing.
    • Dress in layers to adapt to changing mountain weather.
    • Wear sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes to navigate varied terrain.
  4. Navigation Tools:

    • Carry a detailed map or use a GPS device to stay on course.
    • Familiarize yourself with the trailhead and key landmarks.
  5. Trail Etiquette:

    • Stay on the designated trail to preserve the delicate ecosystem.
    • Adhere to posted signs and guidelines for a respectful hiking experience.
  6. Terrain Awareness:

    • Watch your step, especially in steep and rocky sections.
    • Take your time and maintain a steady pace to avoid accidents.
  7. Safety Measures:

    • Prioritize safety by checking the weather forecast before departure.
    • Avoid hiking in inclement weather or adverse conditions.
    • Hike with a buddy or inform someone about your plans for added security.
  8. Emergency Preparedness:

    • Carry a well-stocked first aid kit and familiarize yourself with its contents.
    • Know basic first aid procedures to address minor injuries on the trail.

By embracing these preparatory measures, you not only enhance your safety but also elevate the overall enjoyment of your Lake 22 Hike. As you traverse the picturesque trail, may your adventure be marked by comfort, preparedness, and a profound connection with the natural wonders that await.


Lake 22 Hike is a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest that offers stunning scenery and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With its beautiful waterfalls, lush forests, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife, this hike is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just starting out, Lake 22 Hike is sure to leave you in awe of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. So grab your hiking boots and camera, and get ready for an adventure with the Lake 22 Hike you won't soon forget.