Pinnacle Lake

A short, steep, heavily rooted, and rocky 4-mile trail with 1,200 feet of elevation gain off the beaten path of the Mountain Loop Highway. It's a challenging hike on the quieter eastern flank of Mount Pilchuck to a pretty alpine lake with some great views along the way. This is a good hike to flex your navigation skills and keep them sharp.

getting there

From SR-92 in Granite Falls, turn left onto the Mountain Loop Highway. Drive 10 miles to the Verlot Ranger Station which is on the left. Drive 4.6 miles past the ranger station, turn right onto Forest Road 4020, signed for Boardman Lake, Ashland Lakes, and Bear/Pinnacle Lake. At a junction reached in 2.7 miles, take the right fork, Forest Road 4021, and drive 1.4 miles to another junction. Stay right and follow this rough road to the trailhead (2,700 ft).

  • The gravel roads leading up to the trailhead have many potholes, so be sure your car can handle it or drive slowly and avoid them as best you can. 
  • The parking lot can hold about 15 cars.
  • There are no toilet facilities at the trailhead.

on the trail

The boot beaten but well maintained trail starts out on good tread to the junction to Bear Lake and then changes to more rocky and heavily rooted tread. Hard work reaching the ridge is rewarded with views of Glacier Peak and Three Finger Jack. Closer to Pinnacle Lake, pass a large tarn and follow the trail down along a small stream to reach the lake. Take note of the "Y" in the trail on the way back down to the trailhead—people have put sticks across the wrong way, but it can be easily mistaken for the path to take.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 4.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,170 ft
  • 3,800 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
    Darrington Ranger District (MBSNF)
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Green Trails Granite Falls No. 109
  • Green Trails Silverton No. 110
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