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Seattle, WA: Fall Mountain and Top Lake

Seasonal wildflowers, a remote mountain lake, and plenty of solitude highlight this 8.6-mile hike that winds through forest and meadows in the Cascade Mountains.

Rating

This out-and-back starts with a switchback climb through forest dotted with seasonal wildflowers. During the first mile, the trail traverses the southern slopes of Shoofly Mountain, passing a streamside campsite with wild ginger, vanilla leaf, and bluebells. Less than half a mile later, climb six more switchbacks and gain 400 feet of elevation. From here, the trail follows a flat ridgetop through meadows bordered by firs. Scan the skies for circling raptors and listen for the whistles of marmots. Views of the Little Wenatchee River Valley open up near mile 3 as you traverse several meadows beneath Fall Mountain’s summit. At 3.8 miles, descend steep slopes to the northern tip of Top Lake, a mountain lake ringed with meadows. Grab a snack and savor the views before retracing your route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography

To Trailhead

From Coles Corner, WA: US 2 E for 2.4 miles. Left on WA 207 (toward Lake Wenatchee). In 4.4 miles, left on Lake Wenatchee Hwy. In 6.2 miles, left on Lake Wenatchee River Rd. In 9.4 miles, left on Little Wenatchee Rd. (becomes NF 6701). In 1.9 miles, left on NF 400. Go 2.3 miles to the trailhead.

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