Heather Lake (Mountain Loop)


Day Hike - Heather Lake

A moderate, 4.6 mile round trip day hike with 1,100 feet of elevation gain. The trail goes through primeval forest and a cool ravine to a secluded lake on the northeast side of Mt. Pilchuck.

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  • Easy/Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 4.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 2,500 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

7:30 AM at Cedar and Grove Park and Ride in Marysville to arrange car pools to the trail head. Meeting here is highly recommended.

Those further south feel free to arrange car pools as needed to this park and ride. 

Directions from Park and Ride to trailhead.

8:30 AM at the trailhead

This is a fun, relatively short but still rugged hike to Heather Lake. The trail passes through old growth on the way to Heather Lake which is a beautiful spot on the northeast side of Mt. Pilchuck. The trail makes a loop around the lake, where we will plan to find a scenic place to grab lunch.

The complete hike description can be found here.

While the trail isn't too long or steep as far as elevation gain goes, it has plenty of rocks and roots that can make the way more challenging than the mileage and elevation might indicate. The trail may also be wet and/or muddy in locations. Therefore, I recommend hiking boots and probably a set of hiking poles to help with balance if you think you need it.

The pace will be about 1.5 to 2.0 mph, which should hopefully be a casual speed for most hikers. 

There are also some reports of bugs at the lake, so bug spray wouldn't be a bad idea. I'll have some to share if you forget. 

A Northwest Forest Pass is required at the trailhead. I've also seen reports that there are pot holes on the road from Mountain Loop Highway to the trailhead. 

This trip will go rain or shine (hopefully shine!). The weather for the area can be found here.

Participants must be >18 years old.



Heather Lake (Mountain Loop)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports