Margaret Lake Hike
Sunday September 10th 2006
Our hiking book - Beyond Mount Si - rates the trail to Margaret Lake as Difficult, (note: this is not to be confused with a rating of Most Difficult). This hike is 6.4 miles round trip, and has a total 2200 of elevation gain. Because the first half of the trail climbs up a clear cut slope, it is probably pretty hot in July or August. We went in September, and though it was sunny, it was a pleasant hike. Basically, the hike is an uphill climb to a ridge, a brief jaunt through unlogged forest, and then a steep descent to Margaret Lake. We did not realize that Margaret Lake is on the same trail as Lake Lillian - if only we had turned the page in the book before we got started, we would have realized that both lakes are on this same trail. Lake Lillian is a longer, more challenging hike, and we hadn't brought enough supplies to tackle the farther destination. Thus, we will return someday and go all the way to Lake Lillian.
You will reach Lake Yvonne before you arrive at Margaret Lake. Lake Yvonne is so small it is amazing it has any official name at all; it is little more than a pond. Certainly a beautiful name like Yvonne deserves a more worthy lake!
Margaret Lake is nice. It is nestled at the base of Mount Margaret. (We christened a little tiny hill with the name Mount Yvonne.) There are several campsites along the shore. We passed a boyscout troop heading out on Sunday morning as we were hiking in, clearly they had spent the night at the lake. There are blueberry bushes and wildflowers along the way. I enjoyed the nice forest at the top of the hill - I am not sure why the loggers didn't take the trees all the way to the top of the hill, but since they left those trees standing, it makes a nice shady forest. Mount Rainier is easily visible once you climb high enough.
At Margaret Lake, we decided to hike all the way around the lake. It looked like a well worn path went around the lake, and for most of the perimeter, the path is easy to follow as it leads you from fishing point to fishing point. But on the opposite side of the lake (opposite from the point where the trail brings you down to the lake shore), we could not find a path and had to scramble through some dense shrubbery, and then over an avalanche zone.
We didn't see anyone while we were at the lake, but on our return trip we did see several parties heading up the hill -whether they were bound for Margaret Lake or Lake Lillian I don't know. This is a nice hike!
I found a website that displays topo maps. Click here for a topo map of Margaret Lake.
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