Glacier Peak Wilderness: Twin Lakes

Brilliant wildflowers, a rugged gorge, and two mountain lakes highlight this 6.6-mile out-and-back in Wenatchee National Forest.
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Brilliant wildflowers, a rugged gorge, and two mountain lakes highlight this 6.6-mile out-and-back in Wenatchee National Forest.

From the trailhead, the path climbs steeply for a few hundred yards past blooming twinflower, wild ginger, and trilliums that plaster the forest floor. After 0.9 mile, the trail crosses an area covered with silt and mud deposited from a slide, then veers to the right and traverses a broad, flat area. As you hike, listen to the sounds of the Napeequa River (you may spot the signs of resident beavers on nearby cottonwoods).
Soon afterwards, the trail skirts a huge pond rimmed by willows that are home to dozens of species of songbirds. At mile 1.5, the route crosses Twin Lakes Creek, an easy water crossing in late summer. (Caution: In spring and early summer, the creek swells due to runoff. If you aren't able to find a downed tree to walk across, it's best to wait until later in the season to continue on to the lakes.)
From this point, the trail rounds to the southeast and enters a stunning, deep gorge along Twin Lakes Creek—you’ll have to navigate overgrown trail as you approach the lake basin. Lower Twin Lake appears after 2.5 miles. As you hug the water's edge, several open rocky areas offer great views of the lake, the nesting common mergansers, and the backside of Dirtyface Peak. Continue past the lower lake to the outlet of Upper Twin Lake. Reeds (covered with dragonflies) flourish at this end of the lake and mile-long views extend to the southeast. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.3

Waypoints

TWN001

Location: 47.9205412, -120.8950567

From the trailhead, the path climbs steeply for a few hundred yards. Hike past blooming twinflower, wild ginger, and trilliums that plaster the forest floor.

TWN002

Location: 47.922817, -120.890702

Turn left onto a side trail @ 3-way junction. Climb to great views of Mount David and the White River valley.

TWN003

Location: 47.927743, -120.882958

Hike across an area covered with silt and mud deposited from a slide. The trail veers to the right and traverses a broad, flat area. As you hike, listen to the sounds of the Napeequa River. Look for the signs of resident beavers on nearby cottonwoods.

TWN004

Location: 47.9295999, -120.8775473

The trail overlooks a huge pond filled with reeds (and dragonflies). The willows surrounding this pond are home to dozens of species of songbirds. Photo op: The pond's waters reflect the massive mountains that line the lower Napeequa River Valley.

TWN005

Location: 47.9305775, -120.8739424

Gaze up at some of the most massive old-growth western red cedar trees you will ever see. The trail continues to wind to the northwest.

TWN006

Location: 47.9312964, -120.8728266

Cross Twin Lakes Creek, an easy water crossing in late summer. Ahead, the path enters a land of maples, cottonwoods, and pines. Caution: In early summer, this creek swells due to runoff. If you aren't able to find a huge downed tree to walk across, it's best to wait until later in the season to continue on to the lakes.

TWN007

Location: 47.9291973, -120.8678484

As the trail tapers a bit to a moderate grade, it enters a stunning, deep gorge along Twin Lakes Creek. (Rock formations hug your shoulders.) The cold winds that blow through the gorge are refreshing on a hot day. Ahead, the trail becomes more crowded with brush as you approach the lake basin.

TWN008

Location: 47.924513, -120.861933

Peer over the tall, overgrown trail to find the Lower Twin Lake. As you hug the water's edge passing through more brush, several open rocky areas offer great views of the lake, the nesting common mergansers, and the backside of Dirtyface Peak.

TWN009

Location: 47.921557, -120.853179

Reach the far east end of the lower lake and push on through more brushy, overgrown trail. Pass stunning old-growth silver firs, Engelmann spruce trees, and cedars.

TWN010

Location: 47.920353, -120.85066

The trail leaves the forest and passes a well-kept patrol cabin, which was built in 1949 for the Department of Fish and Wildlife's fish-spawning program. An outhouse with a crescent moon can be found behind the cabin. From here, the trail leads east toward the outlet of the Upper Twin Lake.

TWN011

Location: 47.920043, -120.849666

Stand at the outlet of the Upper Twin Lake. Reeds (covered with dragonflies) flourish at this end of the lake. Check out the mile-long views to the southeast. Turn around and head back to the trailhead.

Twin Lakes

Location: 47.924855, -120.8594799