On June 26th I set out to hike Annette Lake with my friend Lisa. This is a moderate hike off of I-90. It is a fairly easy drive in, so don’t expect to be alone.
Here are the details according to the WTA Website:
7.5 miles round trip, 1400 feet elevation gain, highest point 3600 feet.
Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass
See wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/annette-lake for directions and trip report.
We met at Eastgate Park and Ride at 7:30 a.m. which turned out to be a good time before the trailhead parking filled up. The road had a few big potholes, but it was short and manageable.
The first part of the trail is nothing to write home about it is a newer scruffy forest. Once you cross the Iron Horse Trail (watch out for mountain bikes!) it gets much nicer. The trail has a series of switchbacks, somewhat steep but not horrible at times. On this particular day the trail was very muddy. Wear appropriate footwear if you don’t want to soil your tennis shoes. Eventually, you will the trail follows the ridge line, you get some views of the ridge across the way in some avalanche chute/rock slide areas. When you get here you are done with switchbacks. Hooray!
The trail curves to the left and you slog through some muddy areas…or we did on this particular hike. The forest here is very pretty, it is nice and lush and healthy.
You will eventually be able to see the opening where the bowl or cirque is for the lake. when you arrive you can either go right or left to find a nice lunch spot by the lake. To the left there are campsites for people who want to backpack in and stay overnight. To the right, there is a stream to cross to get to the lake side, but you may have more privacy here. If you cross the stream, look for fish. On a busy day you may have to share a spot by the lake. I have never tried swimming in this one, but I suppose you could.