I headed up to Diablo Lake on April 10th with the age 40+ Meetup group. For this early season hike make sure you check to see that the highway is open (North Cascades Hwy 20). We lucked out when we went because the road was closed just after the Diablo Lake turn off. While the trail was not busy, it was a long drive so I recommend leaving early. I do not recall he total amount of time it took but we were home in Seattle after dusk.
Stats: 7.6 miles roundtrip, 1400 ft gain. The gain is a little up and down, rolling. Overall pretty easy
*No parking pass was needed for this hike
For more information and directions see www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/diablo-lake
The trail was a little hard to find in the beginning because you have to go around some of the camp/school buildings to catch the main trail.
I was impressed with the classroom structures here. Very nice architecture. The best part is real bathrooms! Hooray!
Once we were on the trail it was fine. There were some blow-downs to climb over and a few easy stream crossings but nothing that we couldn’t manage
Since this is a dammed lake and major power plant the only other thing that sucked was the power lines getting in the way of views…but that is the price we pay for hydro electric. We didn’t go all of the way down to the dam and suspension bridge, which I would have liked to have done. I guess next time.
At the end we did a nice picnic on the beach rather than going out to eat. I thought this was a great idea! I will have to remember this for other trail heads that have a nice start/finish.