Lake 22

With a storm coming in on Sunday I headed out for a dry Saturday morning hike. For a change the Mountain Loop Highway looked to be clearer than farther south. I usually get in a trip to Lake 22 most years. I had not been since last December and it was 13 degrees that day. This trip would be much warmer. This was my first trip with my new used mountain car. The Outlander drove great. I have higher ground clearance once again. The temperature dropped to 37 degrees near Granite Falls. It was in the low 40s when I arrived at the trailhead. It was 8:10 am when I arrived. There were 7 or 8 cars in the lot. By 8:18 am I was on my way. There had been no rain for a few days in Seattle and I did not expect much running water. I wore my lightest weight trail shoes. There was a lot of running water. Who needs dry feet on a short hike, right? I passed several groups early. At the bridge over Twenty Two Creek there was plenty of water running.

As I hiked up the trail I found more water running down the trail. A number of the wooded stairways had water filling each wooden square. I just called them the "Step Lakes". Those steps were wetter than the rock hopping creek crossings. I cruised up the trail seeing almost nobody. That is the great thing about early starts and trips not in the summer. I expected crowds while coming down but there was a lot of solitude while going up. At the switchback before the trail leaves forest and enters the big talus field is the short route to Twin Falls. There has been a rough boot path for many years. No longer. Now there is a built trail to the falls. Looks like it will be harder to have the falls to myself in the future. There was plenty of water going over the falls. I wish I had my better camera. The point and shoot did okay. A number of hand held blurry shots but a few good ones too.

After the falls is that rocky talus field. I made good time and passed one group again. They were surprised to see me again. I spent about 10 minutes at the falls. At the top of the talus I reentered forest and met a few folks coming down already. I arrived at the lake at 9:34 am. The sky was still blue. It looked like the coming rain was not that close yet. Nice views from the bridge over the outlet. I chose to do the loop around the lake clockwise. Hopefully by the time I was three quarters of the way around the lake the sun would be high enough to shine there. The back and left side of the lake sees no sun this time of year. The first problem was that the long boardwalk had ice on it. I took small steps and managed to stay upright. I did not consider traction devices in October.

The lake was almost still as there was very little wind. I sat around at several spots waiting for it to be crystal clear for reflection shots. I almost had it. I was very surprised to see that there was still some snow at the back of the lake beneath the big vertical wall. It all melts away most summers. There was lots of good color going around the lake. Some green still and some brown. I began to see more folks going each way around the lake. Not crowded yet but more folks periodically. There are a few spots on the back side of the lake where the boardwalk is broken. Short spots drop steeply down then steeply back up. Very easy walking most of the time. It was challenging when icy. In one spot folks climbed off the boardwalk and jumped a creek before climbing back up onto the boardwalk. I was in no hurry to get around the lake. It was cold enough however to require my puffy layer. Slow walking in the shade on a 35 degree morning is chilly. I'll have many more months of that until spring.

Most of the way around the lake I found a spot down by the lake that was in the sunshine. It felt much warmer in the sun. After a few minutes a group of half a dozen guys also stopped to sit in the sunshine. So much for solitude but I couldn't blame them. On the way out I stopped once again at the outlet bridge. By 1:15 pm I headed down from the lake. As I expected I began to meet folks coming up right away. The crowds were continuous but less than summer. Now that parking along the road is banned there may be a lower limit to the maximum crowd size. I had to stop many times to allow groups to go by. That is just part of hiking Lake 22. When I could go fast I did. I reached the trailhead at 12:22 pm. Even with the stops it only took my 1:07 to hike down the 2.7 miles.

Even at the bottom the day was still sunny. I could have done a longer hike in sunshine but I did not know it. That's okay. This is a very nice hike. It was cool but much warmer than last year's trip. As expected the lot was full and several cars were doing laps around the lot waiting for a car to leave. I had a great time. There was a lot more running water than expected. That led to wet feet but also great views at Twin Falls. The lack of wind provided some terrific reflection shots in the lake. By afternoon the rain did come and it poured all night long. I was happy to have had such great conditions all morning.

Twenty Two Creek
Step Lakes
Twin Falls
Lone Twin Waterfall
SF Stillaguamish Valley
Unique Trees
Talus Rocks
Three Fingers Mountain
Lake 22
Shady Lake
Outlet Bridge
Icy Boardwalk
Nice Reflection
Colorful Reflection
Reflected Forest
Backside Of Lake
Big Waterfalls
More Icy Boardwalk
Broken Boardwalk
Reflected Sky
Lake Reflected
Perfectly Still
Upside Down?
Dark & Light
Tiny Mushrooms
Running Water
Heading Down
More Step Lakes
Cascading Water
Very Old Boardwalk
Trail History Sign
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2018