At 6.25 miles and 1350 feet in elevation gain, Lake 22 seemed a beautiful first hike with more than 1,000 feet in elevation gain for us to attempt. We were joined on this incredibly picturesque hike by our friends, Jason and Stacy.

The turnaround point is the climax of the hike, a little more than 2 miles in, where you are greeted by an unbelievable natural wonder. The beautiful Lake 22 sits before you as Mount Pilchuck’s north face surrounds 2/3 of the water.

The beautiful mirror effect on the Lake was unlike anything we'd ever seen before.

The beautiful mirror effect on the Lake was unlike anything we’d ever seen before.

So happy to have made it to this beautiful spot!

So happy to have made it to this beautiful spot!

When we went, there was still snow covering up the 1.2 mile trail that circumnavigates the lake, but that didn’t stop this quintet from walking it. Be wary that we were walking at the base of avalanche shoots and had the danger been high we wouldn’t have done it.

Walking along the snow covered trail.

Walking along the snow covered trail around Lake 22

As we walked along, the snow covered trail became angled to such a degree that having a 70 lb dog pulling you along at the end of a 6 foot leash was becoming hazardous. The pups intense enthusiasm was dangerously pulling Bobby down the slippery slope. We decided it would be safest for everyone involved to let Latigo off leash. He was so excited to be off leash he actually started herding us! He would run and jump and roll in the snow, he was having the time of his life. He continued to make us nervous by going awkwardly close to the edge of the lake below us. However, we were always able to call him back. Until, that is, he decided to finally ignore our calls and leapt right into the frigid waters. Because of the angled bank he couldn’t get out despite his best efforts. Jason was closest and got to him first. He slid down onto his butt, dug his heels into the snow, grabbed Latigo by the collar and pulled him back up onto the shore. It was incredible and we were very grateful that Jason, himself, didn’t fall into the water. After that Latigo got put back onto his leash and we continued along our hike.

Bobby and Latigo atop a big boulder on the opposite side of the Lake

Bobby and Latigo atop a big boulder on the opposite side of the Lake

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A view of the side of the Lake where the trail emerges.

A view of the side of the Lake where the trail emerges.

This hike is a popular one and we met many other groups along the trail. I think we picked an excellent time of year to do this. While the trail around Lake 22 was covered in snow, making it difficult to walk on, it also offered a sense of serenity to the already picture perfect landscape that surrounded us. There was still some snow on the trail leading up to the lake, it wasn’t much and it was only near the turnaround spot. The length and elevation gain were perfectly proportioned to give us just enough of a challenge that we weren’t exhausted but pleasantly tired.

There were many small waterfalls down the cliff face from melting snow

There were many small waterfalls down the cliff face from melting snow

Taking in the majesty of the cliffs around us

Taking in the majesty of the cliffs around us

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Some of the lake had begun to thaw out but much of it was still covered in snow

Some of the lake had begun to thaw out but much of it was still covered in snow

amazing cliffs

amazing cliffs looming above Lake 22

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About the author


I am the youngest of six daughters and spent my childhood vacations camping in the beautiful State Parks of MN. In 2009 I married my best friend, Bobby Marko. We have embarked on numerous adventures along with our Golden Retriever, Latigo, our son, Jack (born 7/26/2014) and our daughter, Rowan (born 10/25/2016). When not adventuring in the great outdoors I spend my time as a stay at home mom and volunteer. I am a Branch Lead for the Twin Cities Hike it Baby branch. My favorite pastimes include dog training, eating chocolate, reading mysteries and crappy romance novels, and creating paper crafts, my passion lies in writing.

2 comments

  1. Anil

    We just did this trail today after coming across your blogpost. Surprisingly there was a lot less snow than when you did it June last year. But it was still a breathtaking sight once you make the final curve from the trail to the bridge. The views on the way to the top were also were very nice. I’m waiting till the middle of July and then its off to Blanca lake…Thanks for the reviews and the excellent photos that you shared here.

  2. Bobby Marko

    Yeah, the quickness of the snow pack has been crazy with all of these warm days. Interesting that there’s already less snow there than in late June two years ago.

    Blanca Lake is incredible – I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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