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Canyon Lake

Central Cascades

Location

Central Cascades -- Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan
View map below

Length

12.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 3800 ft.
Highest Point: 6400 ft.

Rating

2.17 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

A rewarding hike on an unmaintained trail takes you past peaks and across meadows to a stunning lake. The trail in places is overgrown, eroded, blocked by blowdown (and occasionally all three) but rarely hard to follow.

From Image Lake, follow the Miners Ridge Trail 785 southeast for about 0.4 miles. As you climb out of the lake basin, look for a sharp left turn onto the Canyon Lake Trail 797. The trail traverses back around the basin, gradually climbing past great views of Image Lake, to a pass at 6400 feet.

From the pass, drop down to the north, turning northeast, and eventually east, as the trail angles down across meadows and talus to a creek crossing at 5400 feet, 2.4 miles from Image Lake. The creek can be heard but not seen beneath the boulders). Along this section are a few slides where the trail has been swept away, but a few well-placed cairns make it easy to stay on track.

After the creek crossing, the trail enters a primeval feeling forest, with a few old blowdowns that slow progress but present no major difficulties. The trail in this section has a few up and downs but is relatively flat. After another 1.2 miles (3.6 from Image Lake), you emerge at the base of a talus field with Sitting Bull Mountain looming above. There is a second easy creek crossing here that is a good place to fill up with water - likely your last chance before Canyon Lake.

Upon leaving the second creek crossing, you encounter the worst part of the trail, steep and overgrown with a number of blowdowns. But the worst of it is over after about 500 feet of vertical (and the worst of the worst after just a few hundred yards of trail), and about half a mile from the creek the forest begins giving way to meadows. You eventually reach a long traverse across an open meadow peppered with vast rock outcroppings and carpeted with blueberries. Take your time here and savor the hike; this is what you worked for! All too soon you will reach the steep but straightforward half-mile descent down to Canyon Lake, where there are spaces for camping and stunning views of the lake, backed by the sheer cliffs of Bannock Mountain.

 

Canyon Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.2481, -121.1924 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Cascades -- Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan

Canyon Lake (#797)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

National Geographic 827: Glacier Peak Wilderness

FSTopo Gamma Peak & Suiattle Pass quadrangles

Getting There

Drive Highway 530 north from Darrington or south from Highway 20 near Rockport. Turn east on FR 26--the Suiattle River Road--and drive to the end of the road.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Canyon Lake

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