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Photo by: Ian Mackie (www.mackieimages.com)

Written By: Wenatchee Outdoors

Whether it’s for work, family reasons, entertainment, or culture, we all make the drive over the mountains to the Wet Side from time to time. For most of us, being confined to the cage of our car for the five-hour roundtrip drive gets tiresome. So here’s a suggestion for making the Puget Sound commute healthier and more tolerable: Break up the drive with a walk. Toward that end, we’ve included the details needed to complete a dozen different hikes along the Highway 2 corridor west of Stevens Pass. You might also opt to hike trails east of the pass to destinations like Lake Valhalla, Lake Minotaur, Rock Mountain, Merritt Lake, Alpine Lookout, Nason Ridge, Hatchery Creek, or the Penstock Pipeline that are already listed in our ‘Hiking’ Guidebook. But, if you’re driving west of the pass anyway, you might like to sample a trail beyond your normal backyard.
Note: Each trip below has a difficulty rating of 0 to 4 that’s consistent with the fitness rating of other walks in our hiking guidebook.

Wallace Falls
DIFFICULTY: 2
DISTANCE: 5-6 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: 1250 ft / 1600 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Dramatic waterfall
ACCESS:
–From Highway 2, drive to Gold Bar and follow signs to the state park
–Park in the small parking area. If the lot is full, try a different hike or walk the extra mile from town—they are serious about ticketing those who park outside the gate.
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–At the first junction, choose either path: left follows 2 miles of railroad grade, the right is a steeper (1 mile of distance) to the point where the trails meet again.
–When the trails rejoin, the path bridges the North Fork Wallace and, in .25 miles, reaches a shelter and viewpoint (elev. 870 ft)
–Continue to second viewpoint (elev. 1120 ft) and then to top of the falls (elev. 1400 ft)
–Hike .5 mile to the upper falls
RECOMMENDED SEASON: All year—spring for the most spectacular view
PERMITS / FEES: None
CONTACT: Wallace Falls State Park, (360) 902-8844

Lake Serene
DIFFICULTY: 2+
DISTANCE: 8 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: 2000 ft / 2550 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Views of Mount Index, lake, falls (with short detour)
ACCESS:
–Drive to milepost 35 (east of Gold Bar) on Hwy 2
–Turn south onto gravel Mt. Index road just west of the Skykomish River bridge
–After .3 mile, turn right into trailhead parking
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–Follow an abandoned road 1.75 miles to an intersection. To see Bridal Veil Falls, take a right and continue along the trail for another .5 mile.
–For Lake Serene, continue straight from the junction for 2 miles
RECOMMENDED SEASON: June-Nov
PERMITS / FEES: Northwest Forest Pass
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Heybrook Lookout
DIFFICULTY: 1
DISTANCE: 2.5 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: 1000 ft / 1800 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Views of Mt. Index, Bridal Veil Falls, and Mt. Persis, wildflowers
ACCESS:
–Drive Hwy 2 to near milepost 37
–The trail begins along north side of the hwy across from a national forest entrance sign
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–From the trailhead, follow the trail to the lookout tower
RECOMMENDED SEASON: All year
PERMITS / FEES: Northwest Forest Pass
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Barclay Lake – Eagle Lake
DIFFICULTY: Barclay Lake = 1, Eagle Lake = 2
DISTANCE: (Barclay) 4 miles roundtrip; (Eagle) 8 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: (Barclay) 220 ft/2420 ft; (Eagle) 1700 ft/3900 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Kid friendly, gentle hike, views of Baring Mountain
ACCESS:
–On Hwy 2, drive six miles east of the Index turnoff, near milepost 41.
–Opposite the Baring store, drive north on Rd 6024
–In .3 mile, take a left and continue 4.4 miles to trailhead
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–From trailhead, follow path to Barclay Lake
–Continue along path at east end of Barclay to Eagle Lake
–Pass Stone Lake after .75 mile (and 1400 ft elevation gain) and head left across Paradise Meadow to reach Eagle Lake (1.17 miles from Barclay)
RECOMMENDED SEASON: (Barclay) May-Nov; (Eagle) June-Oct
PERMITS / FEES: Northwest Forest Pass
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Lowe Creek Road
DIFFICULTY: 1+ or 2-
DISTANCE: 4-6 miles roundtrip ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: 50 ft / 900 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Creek views, salmon in the late fall and early winter
ACCESS:
–From Hwy 2, turn south between mileposts 45 and 46 (signed “Money Creek Campground”)
–Continue right on Old Cascade Hwy past the campground and turn right on Lowe Creek Rd just beyond the railroad tracks
–Park about a mile past the pavement
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–Follow road and cross Lowe Creek (no bridge) about 1 mile past where you left the car (2 miles from pavement)
–0.3 mile later, take an old side road right and head a few hundred yards to an area along the creek good for viewing salmon in late fall
–Turn around when road enters private land (1.5 miles from Lowe Creek)
RECOMMENDED SEASON: All year
PERMITS / FEES: None
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

West Fork Miller River – Coney Basin
DIFFICULTY: 2
DISTANCE: (W. Fork) 9 miles roundtrip; (Coney) 7 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: (W. Fork) 1100 ft/2400 ft; (Coney) 1800 ft/3100 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Old growth forest, cliff and creek views, meadows
ACCESS:
–From Hwy 2, take Money Creek Campground turnoff between mileposts 45 and 46
–Drive right on Old Cascade Hwy and turn right on Miller River Rd 6410 about 1 mile from the hwy
–Find a road branching right at about 3.5 miles (before a bridge over the West Fork Miller). Pull off the Miller River road to park
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–Follow the branching road for 2.5 miles
–From this point, another abandoned road heads up to the right .5 mile to Coney Basin and the old mine at the end of the trail.
–One may also hike up the West Fork road for another 1.5 miles
RECOMMENDED SEASON: May-Nov
PERMITS / FEES: None
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Lake Dorothy
DIFFICULTY: 1
DISTANCE: 3 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: 800 ft / 3058 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Family friendly and popular walk through old-growth forest and along beautiful stream to a lake
ACCESS:
–From Hwy 2, take Money Creek Campground between mileposts 45 and 46.
–Drive right on Old Cascade Hwy, turn right on Miller River Rd 6410
–Continue 9 miles along this road to trailhead
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–Head up the valley and cross Camp Robber Creek
–About 1.5 miles beyond the bridge, the trail reaches Lake Dorothy
–Follow the trail east for viewpoints, campsites, and bird viewing.
–For views of Lake Dorothy and Big Snow Mountain, it is possible to continue up to the pass (elev. 3800 ft)
RECOMMENDED SEASON: June-Oct
PERMITS / FEES: Northwest Forest Pass
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Trout Lake – West Fork Foss Lakes
DIFFICULTY: Trout Lake = 1, Foss Lakes = 2+
DISTANCE: (Trout) 3 miles roundtrip; (W. Fork) 8 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN / HIGH POINT: (Trout) 360 ft/2000 ft; (W. Fork) 2300 ft, 3960 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Alpine lakes, popular trails
ACCESS:
–From Hwy 2, turn south onto Foss River Road 68 (1.8 miles east of Skykomish)
–Continue 4.5 miles from hwy to Rd 6835
–Turn left and go 2 miles to trailhead
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–Old railroad grade becomes a trail upon entering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
–Trout Lake (elev. 2000 ft) is 1.5 miles from the trailhead
–At 3.5 miles, take left fork to reach Copper Lake (right leads .25 mile to Malachite Lake)
RECOMMENDED SEASON: (Trout) May-Oct; (W. Fork) July-Oct
PERMITS / FEES: Northwest Forest Pass
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Iron Goat Trail
DISTANCE: 6.75 miles one-way
ELEVATION GAIN (OR LOSS) / HIGH POINT: 800 ft / 3100 ft
ATTRACTIONS: Historic trail follows route of Great Northern Railroad
ACCESS:
–Martin Creek (western trailhead): drive Hwy 2 to milepost 55. Head north on Old Cascade Hwy (Rd 67) for 2.3 miles. Branch left on Martin Creek Rd 6710 and continue 1.4 miles to trailhead.
–Wellington (eastern trailhead): At milepost 64.3, turn north off Hwy 2 onto the Old Cascade Hwy. If approaching from west, continue to the top of the pass, turn around and take turnoff driving east. Drive to intersection with FR 050, turn right into parking area.
TRIP INSTRUCTIONS:
–Start on either side, hike the whole length if a car shuttle is possible.
–From Martin Creek trailhead, hike past several tunnels (closed to hikers), around Windy Point tunnel and, at 3.25 miles, to a cleared viewpoint. Return by following the “Corea Cutoff” trail to the trailhead.
–From Wellington, hike 3 miles to the Windy Point tunnel
RECOMMENDED SEASON: May-Nov
PERMITS / FEES: Northwest Forest Pass
CONTACT: Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Trips included in this listing have been compiled with the help of the book Stevens Pass: Wild Sky Country by Rick McGuire and Ira Spring. Published by The Mountaineers, this book details 55 hikes along the Stevens Pass corridor. Topographic maps and detailed route descriptions for hikes east of Stevens Pass (Lake Valhalla, Rock Mountain, Merritt Lake, Alpine Lookout, Nason Ridge, Hatchery Creek, Penstock Pipeline and more) can be found in the WenatcheeOutdoors Hiking’ Guidebook.

Leave It Better Than You Found It
. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…

Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.

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