Heather Lake Hike

Saturday August 26 2006

The Heather Lake trailhead is just a mile or two from the Lake 22 trailhead. Since the trailheads are 50 miles from Seattle, we figured we would bag a second trail on the same day. So after we finished Lake 22, we ate some lunch and started on the Heather Lake trail. Our hiking book, Beyond Mount Si, lists Heather Lake as 4 miles round trip, with 1300 feet of cumulative elevation gain. So it is shorter, and less climbing than the Lake 22 hike. Yet for some reason, this seemed like the tougher hike. Maybe we were just a bit tired from already doing the other hike. It certainly seemed steeper, there were more stairs.

We saw lots of young children on this hike, and plenty of dogs too. Many people wore swim suits and splashed in the lake once they got to the top.

The trail ascends right from the start, not too steep though - the stairs do not come until later. Despite the fact that this area was logged (giant stumps are visible along the trail for at least the first half mile) the forest has regrown so nicely that there is dense shade. It looks like this trail has been rerouted several times, because at a few points we came upon a junction where clearly the trail USED to head in one direction, but now when a different way. Maybe the heavy use this trail sees required a new, better maintained route?

At Heather Lake, we found that the trail continued all the way around. So we walked the complete circuit. It looks like the south end of the lake is becoming a meadow, as plants are slowly filling in the the shoreline. Maybe in a hundred years or so there will be nothing left but Heather's Puddle?

This is a nice hike. We figured that Lake 22 was 5.4 miles round trip, plus at least a mile around the lake, and Heather Lake is 4 miles out and back (though it seemed like more), plus a mile to circumnavigate that lake too. An eleven mile day!

Click on any thumbnail to open photo in new window. I placed the photos in the order in which I took them, so the sequence is what you would see along the trail.

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