Ever since I started living in Seattle, I've wanted to hike to Lake 22. It's a relatively easy hike, and nearby getaway from the city. However, few of my friends have cars, so it was difficult getting a group together. This Winter though, we made it happen!
Where is Lake 22
The trailhead for Lake 22 is about an hour drive north of Seattle in Granite Falls, WA. It's located just inside the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and well-marked by a sign on the side of the road. Once on the trail, the lake is a steep 2.7 mile hike up the mountain.
When to Go
My friends and I went around the middle of March, but I think visiting in the late Spring or summertime would've been better. Even at the end of Winter, the trail was sopping wet from melting snow, and streams rushed over the path. Our feet were freezing and soaked, making it difficult to really enjoy the view at the end.
Once at the lake, we couldn't walk around it either - at least 6 feet of snow was piled up on both sides of the initial lookout. The lake itself was also frozen over, and fog blocked the view of the mountain.
If you're dressed for the weather though, or plan on snowshoeing, Winter is a great time to visit. I saw lots of people who were dressed warmer than us, and they seemed to be enjoying the snow a little more.
During the Winter, this hike is not exactly family-friendly. Certain parts of the trail were very slippery and steep, and wouldn't be safe for young kids or babies. However, once the snow is fully melted it should be fine.
If you go during a similar time as me, I recommend bringing good hiking shoes and thick socks. I wore a pair of Nike Free Runs and thin cotton socks and ended up with bloody blisters on both ankles...(not the best decision, I know haha).
What You'll See
One of the best parts of the hike was a surprise waterfall about halfway up. It's the perfect place to take a break and snap some pictures.
Midway, there's an open hillside with beautiful views of the surrounding area. This stretch of the trail is a series of switchbacks leading you back into the forest at the top. Then it's one last stretch to Lake 22!